A la carte or package background checks?

Ann (puts down leftover drumstick, wipes hands on jeans): “Cutting Edge, this is Ann.”

Prospective Client: “I am uh, shopping around for uh, you know, uh background checks.”

Ann: “That’s great! There are a lot of good companies out there. What do you need in a background check?”

Prospective Client (trying to be patient—didn’t Ann hear?): “I uh, I need background checks.”

Ann (stirs mug of cocoa): “Ahh. I see. Let’s see if I have something that fits.”

Years ago (I started in the industry in 1996) I wouldn’t have dared suggest to a client what they need in a background check. But in 1996, NO ONE was doing background checks, the industry was really in its infancy. Now I, and my clients, know about the basics and have some standards in place.

So, when you are thinking about what you might want in a background check, you can go with a package (think of it as the “value meal”—wait, that might be a TERRIBLE analogy—how about the “prix fixe”) or the a la carte options.

The Standard package—background screening services you have performed on your applicants, no matter what level they hire in at might look like this:

Standard Package

SSN Trace

Criminal search: State and local

Federal court criminal search

Nationwide Database

Some applicants might need an MVR run, you can add that to the package

Standard Package + MVR


Some upper echelon applicants would need more scrutiny still, take the basic package and add any or all of the following:

Executive Package

Employment verification

Reference Checks

Education verification

You can order these items individually, but if you take the time to work with your background screener to build these options, it will have couple benefits:

    1. Reduced cost
    2. Faster turnaround time

And these are just examples, if it’s important, you can add a search of the sex offender registry, or agency searches (like SAM, OIG, etc.).

When you use the packages, you know that you are applying these screening practices even-handedly. All the Customer Service Reps get the standard package. All these folks that drive company cars get the MVR added. Everyone at the Assistant Manager level or above? Executive package.

But, know what you’re buying. I’ve had clients that were buying things from previous background screeners and didn’t know (a) what they were or (b) what they were good for. Usually trade-named line items in a report.

So, push away from the table when you’ve had enough at Thanksgiving. We at Cutting Edge Background Investigations are grateful for another year and another opportunity to serve our clients and friends. (714) 587-9166.