In the background screening industry, trust is the name of the game; from where the chain begins with the prospective employee, to where it ends with the boots on the ground researchers. All parties involved must have a mutual trust of one another. Within that chain is the trust between a wholesaler and their external suppliers. This relationship, above all others in the process of performing a background check, requires transparency, understanding, and communication. In relation to background screening, those three requirements can be defined as follows:
On our end as the wholesaler, it is important to keep your supplier informed as far as changes in volume, hit ratio, and expectations are concerned. It should be expected of your researcher to inform you of their search route/schedule and processes.
It is imperative that wholesalers have an intimate knowledge of how each county, and court within each county, operates. Being aware of the processes that your suppliers operate under and the obstacles they may need to overcome to complete any given search is part of your responsibility. Conversely, it is important for the supplier to truly understand our desires and standards for every search that is sent to them. If there are different requirements for different clients, making sure these differences are made very clear.
Contact. Contact. Contact. As you would in any other relationship, you will need to stay in touch with your supplier more than just when you need something from them or when there is an issue. As we all know, this industry shifts and changes on a week to week, and sometimes, a day to day basis. Open communication is the only way to stay appropriately informed. Also, continually making your suppliers aware of what work is pending, what work is the oldest, and what work you need clarification on is the best way to insure nothing will fall through the cracks.
The most effective way to meet these three requirements is to foster a sense of teamwork and unity between us and our external supplier network. The easy thing to do is to create an authoritative, superior/subordinate type relationship, and while that approach may garner desired results in the short term, over time, it will result in a deterioration of the relationship between the two parties.
The most important resource involved in dealing with an external supplier is good will. People inherently want to work harder for someone whom they feel treats them as an equal and understands their circumstances. At the end of the day, we all have the same goal; complete checks at great speed and with great quality. It sounds simple but we know it is a complicated goal to achieve. Aligning yourself with suppliers who want to work as a team is the best way to get your company to where it needs to be.