Background Check Companies

by Business.com Editorial StaffLast Modified: January 2, 2018

Intro
Best Picks
Reviews
Pricing
Negotiation
State of the Industry
What to Look For
Map
Services
Compare Quotes

The Best Background Check Companies For 2018

There is a lot riding on each new hire you make. Bad hiring decisions can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. As a result, more businesses are conducting background checks as part of the hiring process.  

As demand for these services grows, so, too, have the number of providers. When looking for an employee background screening service, there are numerous factors to consider, including how easy it is to order and review background checks, whether the provider offers the type of screening your business needs, and if it abides by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  

Of the myriad background check services we evaluated, BackgroundReport, GoodHire and HireRight Express are the ones we think are the best. You can read more about each, why we selected them, the types of organizations we think they are best for and how much you can expect to pay for each one.  

If none of our recommendations work for you, scroll down to see a comprehensive list of employee background check services.

Best Picks

Small Business
DIY
Very Small Business
GoodHire

Best Employee Background Check Service for Small Businesses

GoodHire

GoodHire is a top employee background check service for small businesses because of its comprehensive screening options and easy-to-use online portal.

GoodHire offers three different screening packages – Basic, Standard and Premium – which vary based on price, the number of included screenings and average completion time.

Background Report

Best DIY Employee Background Check Service

Background Report

BackgroundReport is the best do-it-yourself background check website for employee screening. It's one of a handful of DIY services that abide by the federal regulations that govern how background checks must be conducted.

Employers choose from two different background check packages with this service: Basic and Premium. The Basic service, which costs $19.95 per report, includes a Social Security number verification, criminal convictions check, sex offender registry check, terrorist watch list check and Social Security death index check.

HireRight Express

Best Employee Background Check Service for Very Small Businesses

HireRight Express

HireRight Express is an ideal employee background check service for very small businesses. It is easy to use and is available in three different comprehensive packages.

The cheapest option is the Economy package, which costs $39.95 per report. It includes a national criminal search and local record verification, national sex offender registry check, terror watch list check, Social Security number verification and address history.

Reviews

Pricing

Pricing for employee background check services varies greatly depending on whether you use a DIY service or full-service firm, the provider you select and the types of screenings you want conducted.  

  • DIY websites typically cost $10 and $50 per background check. They usually don't include any type of in-person court searches, or past education or employment verifications.
  • Full-service firms cost $50 to $100 per check. Some firms offer different packages that have set screenings included, while others offer a la carte options where you select the screenings you want conducted.  

There is a separate charge for drug testing, which costs anywhere from $50 to $150 each, depending on how many drugs you want the candidate screened for.  

Some providers charge set-up fees, while others make you commit to conducting a certain number of checks each year.

Editor's Note: Looking for employee background check services? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

Negotiation

There isn't much wiggle room on pricing for DIY background check services, but there may be some room to negotiate with full-service firms. To ensure you are getting the best deal possible from a full-service firm, follow these five steps:  

  • See if they will waive the set-up fee. Some firms will do so in order to land your business.
  • If you conduct a large number of checks each year, see if the provider will give you a per-screening discount.
  • Ask whether the service can lower the price of individual checks if you commit to conducting a certain amount of background screenings each year.
  • For firms that only offer set packages, see if you can get a la carte pricing if the packages include screenings you don't want.
  • Check if the service is willing to match a competitor's lower prices.  

Ask the provider if they require you to sign a contract. If they do, review everything with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure it includes all of the details you agreed to and doesn't have any extra charges.  

In addition, check whether the contract has any special clauses pertaining to canceling the service. Are you committed to a certain number of checks? What happens if you don't conduct them all? Can you walk away at any time? These are all questions you want answered before hiring an employee background check service.

State of the Industry

Conducting employee background checks as part of the hiring process has become commonplace for most employers today.  

A recent study by the background check firm HireRight revealed that 84 percent of organizations screen job candidates for criminal history, with 72 percent using background checks to verify past employment.  

Research shows that employers have good reason to screen potential new hires. The Hireright study found that 85 percent of employers discovered a misrepresentation on a resume or job application, with 77 percent saying their screenings uncovered an issue with a candidate that wouldn't have otherwise been caught.  

Employers today have a wealth of options when it comes to what they can screen job candidates for. In addition to criminal searches and employment verifications,  screenings can confirm a candidate's identity, verify their educational history and review motor vehicle records.   Other screenings background check providers offer are:  

  • Sex-offender status searches
  • Professional license verifications
  • Credit report checks
  • Civil records checks
  • Workers' compensation history searches
  • Healthcare sanction checks
  • Drug testing  

When conducting background checks, employers have two options. They can hire a full-service background check firm or a use an online do-it-yourself website.  

Full-service firms offer a comprehensive array of screening options. When conducting screenings, these firms can go beyond searching online databases. For example, when conducting criminal checks, these firms often send representatives to specific courthouses to look at on-site records. They also make phone calls to verify past employment and education. These types of comprehensive checks typically take between two and five days to complete.  

One of the most important reasons many employers lean toward full-service firms is that they abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These are the federal laws that govern how employee background checks must be conducted. These laws include having to get job candidates' consent to conduct a background check and giving them a chance to review what was discovered.  

DIY websites operate much faster than full-service firms. While they can return results nearly instantly, these checks aren't as comprehensive. They typically rely on online databases, which aren't always accurate and kept up to date.  

Another issue with DIY services is that they often don't adhere to FCRA laws and aren't intended for employee screening purposes. Employers that use these services are taking a risk and opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit.  

In the end, most employers believe incorporating some type of background check into their hiring process is paying positive dividends. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed by HireRight said it led to better quality hires.  

Other benefits reported include more consistent safety and security, improved regulatory compliance, better company reputation and greater employee retention. Just 12 percent of organizations reported not seeing any benefits.

Employment Screening Services: What to Look For

When choosing an employment screening service, you have to look at what type of information you want to gather on potential employees. The features you are looking for can affect the price and the number of sites available to you.

Only certain sites may offer the type of screening you need done. For example, not all site allow employers to have physicals and drug-test screenings done on applicants. If that is something you are looking for, a number of sites will be eliminated from your list.

Screenings and Tests
Not every employment screening service offers the same type of screenings and tests. For example, one site may offer drug testing and education and employment verification, while another offers just a simple background check. Knowing what type of information you want to find out about an applicant will help you decide what type of screening you need done and what service you want it done by.

Turnaround Time
Depending on how soon you need the results of your screenings, you will prefer one site to the other. Some sites allow you to search and view results instantly while others may take a minimum of a day and up to three days at maximum to get your results back. When making a decision for hiring someone, you may not always have the time to wait three days to get results back, so the sooner the better.

Customization
It is important that you get all of the options for screenings and reports that you want. Some services only offer certain packages while others start with packages but allow for customization. You should make sure that you can receive the information you want.

Choosing which employment screening service to go with can be an easy decision if you now what type of screenings and tests you want done and how fast you need the results. While some offer a variety of tests, they may take a longer time to get your results. The site you pick is ultimately dependent upon your employment needs.

Map

Background Report
PO Box 1048
Bothell, WA
Background Report
Employment Record Service
3349 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA
Employment Record Service
EmployeeScreenIQ
PO Box 391403
Omaha, NE
EmployeeScreenIQ
Corra Group
295 Madison Ave
New York, NY
Corra Group
HireRight Express
3349 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA
HireRight Express
GoodHire
PO Box 391403
Omaha, NE
GoodHire
TalentWise Hire
PO Box 1048
Bothell, WA
TalentWise Hire
PeopleFinders
1821 Q Street
Sacramento, CA
PeopleFinders
InfoCheckUSA
8010 Blue Ash Road
Cincinnati, OH
InfoCheckUSA

Services

List of 10Background Check Companies

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