When you're considering a background check company, first identify the type of data you need to gather on potential employees ‒ that factor alone affects the price and the agencies that can help you. For example, not all of the services we evaluated handle drug screenings. If this is a screening you need, several services will automatically be eliminated from your list.
Accreditation and Compliance
Verify that the pre-employment screening company and its screenings comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA outlines how employee background checks must be conducted, including obtaining the job candidate's consent to conduct a background check, as well as an opportunity to review and rebut what was discovered. Some agencies do not adhere to FCRA laws. Businesses that use these services are opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit.
You also want to verify that the background check company you're considering is an accredited member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). This accreditation is given to many of the top consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that abide by strict professional standards.
The urgency of how soon you need the results of your screenings will factor into which agency you choose. Some sites allow you to search and view results instantly, while others may take between one and five days to give you the results.
If you can wait a few days before making a hiring decision, you may receive more comprehensive screening results.
It is important that you get the exact reports you need from a background check service. As you evaluate agencies, some only offer preset packages; other services offer specific packages but allow you to customize the plan for the screenings you need.
If you know which screenings and tests you want done, ask the agency you're considering using if they will be flexible with their pricing and accommodate your request. One last consideration is that while some services offer a variety of screenings, e.g., drug screening tests, the results may take longer.