As the wage gap between high-cost countries like the U.S. and popular offshoring locations like India and the Philippines has remained significant over time, offshoring customer service and support operations is a growing trend among background screening providers. This gap is unlikely to close anytime soon. Simply put, the costs associated with outsourcing these critical functions are a fraction of what it would cost to maintain these practices in the United States. This said, there are four considerations that employers should carefully think through before choosing a background screening provider.
1. Candidate Experience
Today’s competitive job market belongs to the candidate, making it more competitive for employers to acquire qualified talent. The background screening process is more than a necessary step in the hiring process – it's a reflection of the employer and ultimately the employer's brand reputation. An unpleasant onboarding process risks the loss of a good hire and can lead to a negative brand experience. At best, an unfavorable experience can be annoying and cause the candidate to have negative feelings about the screener. Moreover, in this day and age of social media, unhappy candidates generally like to share their concerns publicly.
A screening partner with an onshore candidate support center is one piece of the process that will help foster a trustworthy relationship with candidates from the start and influence positive word-of-mouth. The screening process is sensitive and is generally the last remaining step of the hiring process. It’s critical that candidates have a pleasant experience with the company that is guiding them through the process.
2. Quality of Training and Knowledge-Base
Although technology enabled, background screening is still a service-based business. The key to excellent customer service and support is training, knowledge-base, career development and access to information. These initiatives work best when everyone is working together and accessible.
An onshore/on-site service team has access to the various teams that address all aspects of background screening, usually within the same building. These teams include compliance, international, security, platform engineering, court research, and more. This proximity allows for answers and solutions to be developed more quickly and establishes a higher quality of knowledge around specific topics such as the diverse range of investigative searches, industry-specific regulations, best practices, policies, and procedures of the screening provider.
Additionally, greater accessibility to other departments allows for real-time feedback that is used to develop new product offerings or processes. An in-house client service and support center enables representatives to communicate with departments such as product development regularly.
3. Personalized Support
Onshore customer service is particularly useful for complexities involved in the background screening process that requires specialized training. Customer support means much more than calming angry customers or candidates with scripted interactions. Scripted responses do not address the uniqueness in each customer support interaction. Additionally, they tend to make customers feel like they aren’t being valued and heard. Keeping support in-house recognizes the difference between one-size-fits-all customer service and personalized customer experience by assessing how the customer and candidate feel during the interaction.
4. Data Privacy and Security
The business of candidate screening requires the handling of sensitive data and personally identifiable information (PII) to ensure results match the candidate. Clients and candidates will provide confidential information be it from the time an order is placed or throughout the screening process. By offshoring customer service, this process exposes a company to a myriad of security risks. Regular onsite auditing is required to ensure proper procedures are being followed in securing confidential data. Onshore customer service drastically reduces some of these concerns by giving the screening provider more control over data exposure across the business.
While offshoring customer service and support can increase the profitability of background screening providers, employers must carefully weigh the potential negative impacts that this can have on their employment brand.
At Accurate Background, we believe that our clients deserve the highest degree of care and support. Our clients entrust us to act in their best interest, to deal in good faith with their prospective employees and to protect the information we require to perform our important work.
For these reasons and more, we will continue to support our clients by depending on skilled Accurate Background employees, based in our North Carolina and California offices to handle every screening request with care and attention to detail that it deserves. It’s our commitment to quality and customer service and background checks done right.
*The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied. Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations.