By Lester Rosen, ESR President

The following Due Diligence Checklist contains questions employers can use to find out if an employment screening company is utilizing due diligence in its employment screening process. A .PDF version of this Due Diligence Checklist that employers can download and print is located at

  • Have there been any material changes in the past year that would adversely affect your ability to provide industry standard employment screening reports?
  • Is all work performed in the USA to protect privacy and control quality (i.e., nothing sent offshore to India or other places)?
  • Are all employment and education checks conducted by professionals in a controlled, call center type environment, so that nothing is sent to at-home workers?
  • For employment verifications, are anti-fraud procedures in place, such as independent verifications of all past employer phone numbers instead of relying upon an applicant supplied number?
  • For education verifications, are steps taken to verify if a college or university is accredited and to watch out for Diploma Mills?
  • Are criminal searches conducted using the most accurate means, which normally means on-site (no database substitutes)?
  • Do you search for both felonies and misdemeanors when available?
  • When a criminal hit is reported, does a knowledgeable person in your firm review the findings to determine if there are any legal issues in reporting the findings (as opposed to having the information entered by a court researcher)?
  • When there is a criminal hit, do you contact the employer immediately to advise that there is a potential problem?
  • Does your firm take measures to ensure that ALL legal and relevant criminal records are searched, as opposed to just going back “seven” years?
  • If a client orders a “multi-jurisdictional” database, do you re-verify any criminal “hit” at the courthouse level for maximum accuracy, instead of relying on notifying the applicant of a potential hit?
  • Do you notify your clients of changes in the FCRA and other applicable laws?
  • Do you at least, on a yearly basis, do an internal FCRA compliance audit?
  • Do you offer international background checks?
  • Is your firm “Safe Harbor Certified” to perform screenings of applicants from the EU (European Union)?
  • Do you have data protection, privacy security and data breach policies?
  • Are you a member of the background screening trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and does your firm actively participate and support professionalism in the screening industry?
  • What is your average turn-around time?
  • If there is a delay for reasons that are out of your control, are your clients notified online with in-depth notes and the anticipated ETA of information?
  • Are your clients provided with written documentation and resources on safe hiring, due diligence and legal compliance issues?
  • Are your clients provided with upgrades in technology that would enhance workflow, such as the ability to have applicants consent online or integration with an ATS or HRIS system?
  • Can you describe your initial training program for team members and ongoing training?

For more information on employment screening and due diligence, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at