The Top 5 Reasons to Audit Your Background Check Program

Kate Rhodes
August 17, 2023
4 min read

Find out which flags could indicate it’s time to update your background screening workflows and technology to unblock bottlenecks, improve the candidate experience, and increase ROI.

If you see slow background check reporting turnaround times, complex compliance concerns, and manual ordering and review processes taking up too much of your team’s valuable time—or worse, causing ideal candidates to drop out of your hiring flow—it may be time to take a closer look at your background check program and HR tech stack.

Analyzing your background check process and identifying underlying causes of frequent pain points may give your hiring team the boost they need to improve their performance and the candidate experience.

Let’s take a look at five signs that it’s time to review your background screening program and look for solutions to improve your hiring flows.

1. Candidates dropping off due to slow turnaround times

The last thing any employer wants is for promising candidates to leave their hiring flow due to workflow inefficiencies and lagging turnaround times for necessary functions like background checks. From the candidate’s perspective, they may be more inclined to move forward with an employer who gets them to the finish line faster—instead of waiting for a slow background check.

Slow turnaround times can result from workflow roadblocks like manual ordering and review processes, running multiple types of background checks, or communication inefficiencies.

Conduct an audit

  • Where are the biggest bottlenecks occurring in my background check workflow?
  • How do I communicate timing expectations with candidates while running a check?
  • Is my background check process fully electronic and mobile-friendly to encourage swift candidate action?
  • Are there certain types of checks that take my team longer than others? And are those checks only run when appropriate for the open position?
  • Is my adjudication team’s time directed toward reviewing only relevant records and reports? Or does my team have to sort through both relevant and non-relevant reports?
  • Can I automate any background check processes and candidate communication with my current vendor or system?

Get swift, safe background checks

2. High dispute rates from inaccurate reports

A high dispute rate from job candidates could be a signal that your background check process is returning inaccurate reports. Inaccurate background checks can slow down your hiring process and potentially increase risk from a compliance perspective.

Unsatisfactory dispute rates may look like this:

  • Your team spends a large portion of their time communicating with candidates and revisiting reports to resolve disputes
  • Candidates leave your hiring flow after disputing a report
  • You’re concerned about potential compliance risks

Conduct an audit

  • How does my team respond to and set expectations for the background check process and disputes with candidates?
  • Does my CRA provide clear, consistent reports for both my hiring managers and my candidates?
  • Is it easy for my team to accurately interpret data returned in a background check?
  • Are there systems in place to ensure background check regulation compliance across my organization?

3. High percentage of ineligible candidates

If a high volume of your candidates are deemed ineligible during adjudication based on information in their background check, triggering the adverse action process, you may want to consider whether the criteria you use to vet candidates needs a refresh.

It’s possible that your background screening criteria, combined with the potential for manual bias in adjudication, may be accidentally resulting in an over-disqualification of candidates in your hiring flow. Widening your criteria, identifying new talent pools, and looking for solutions that help remove bias from adjudication (like machine learning) could help you:

  • Expand your hiring pool and keep talent in your pipeline
  • Make hiring more efficient by reducing time spent on adjudication and adverse action
  • Promote fair chance hiring and comply with fair hiring regulations like Ban the Box laws

Conduct an audit

  • Am I able to customize screening criteria based on job roles with my current background check program?
  • Am I able to automate any elements of adjudication, reducing manual bias and freeing my team up to focus on reports that require review?
  • Do I follow fair hiring guidelines and conduct individualized assessments before taking adverse action?
  • Does the adverse action process take up a significant amount of time for my hiring team?
  • Do I have any background screening criteria that I could adjust to encourage fair chance hiring and widen my candidate pool?
  • Do my candidates have the opportunity to provide context for items on their background checks that may help my team make decisions?

Modernize your background checks

4. Gaps in candidate communication

Unanswered questions, confusing workflows, and a lack of transparency about background check status can put extra stress on your hiring team and even lead to candidate drop-off.

On the flip side, automated messages and a digital, mobile-friendly view of background screening statuses can often alleviate these communication woes—and allow your team to put their time toward solving more complex inquiries.

Conduct an audit

  • Do candidates leave my hiring funnel as the result of unanswered questions or slow support turnaround time?
  • Can I automate any notifications for candidates to ensure swift updates and action?
  • Do my candidates have a transparent view of their background check status and reports?
  • Can my candidates get updates and information about their background checks without contacting my team or my provider’s support line?
  • Can my background check vendor provide candidate support and resolve questions about screening statuses, instead of my internal team?

5. High costs to conduct background checks

Have you ever thought that you might be paying more than you need to for background checks? The actual cost of running a background check for just one candidate can add up quickly when you take into account every step of the process. You may be paying for:

  • Your hiring team’s time spent manually handling paperwork, messaging candidates, and adjudicating reports
  • CRA and third-party vendor fees, including potential extra or hidden fees within a complex billing agreement
  • The opportunity cost of a slow time-to-hire that leaves your organization with unfilled positions

It’s worth your time to consider how you could improve the ROI of your background screening program by examining your current costs and identifying opportunities for savings.

Conduct an audit

  • Am I paying for background check reports that I don’t need? Can I customize my screenings based on job positions to eliminate unnecessary reports?
  • Does my background check vendor have transparent pricing, and am I aware of any extra fees I’m being charged?
  • Are there any manual processes that I’m paying my HR team to complete which could be automated, like document organization and candidate reminders?
  • Do I have a clear adjudication matrix that helps my team efficiently review background checks?
  • Do my team members and candidates have to deal with paper-based forms, or are all documents digitized for fast, easy access?
  • Can I integrate background checks with my ATS to reduce manual processes and improve efficiency?

Get smooth, swift, and safe background checks with Checkr

If any of these five signals ring true, you may need to audit your background check program. Consider how you could remix your process to increase efficiency, decrease disputes and questions from candidates, and reduce costs to boost ROI. Partnering with a trusted employment screening provider like Checkr could be the right solution for your team to remove these roadblocks and build a better background check workflow.

Checkr allows you to create a customized screening process that eliminates time-consuming and cost-heavy manual processes, helping you to improve turnaround times and create an outstanding candidate experience. Our customers have access to our user-friendly dashboard with built-in compliance tools that streamline your background check process into one intuitive, fully-digital workflow. Plus, Checkr gives you access to over a hundred ATS integrations, so you can seamlessly add our pre-built tools to your HR practice. Get started today.

Ready to build a better background check program?

Learn how you can unblock bottlenecks, shorten turnaround times, and improve your candidate experience with Checkr.


The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

Headshot of Kate RhodesHeadshot of Kate Rhodes

About the author

As Content Marketing Manager at Checkr, Kate is passionate about developing resources that educate employers and job candidates about background checks, hiring insights, and the opportunity to build a better future through fair chance hiring.

Read more


Ready to get started?