August 31, 2023

Best Background Check Services for 2024

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Tags: HR

After thorough research, we’ve picked the best background check services:

Aug. 31, 2023: We rewrote the article to focus on background check services. We also added dynamic page elements to improve the visual flow of information.

First, we evaluated 14 background solutions based on current options and the reviews of customers like you. We then narrowed our selections to the platforms that best address your top-of-mind concerns, such as pricing, types of checks offered, and turnaround times.

We looked into the following vendors during the course of our research:

  1. GoodHire
  2. Sterling
  3. BackgroundReport.com
  4. Accurate
  5. HireRight
  6. First Advantage
  7. Corporate Screening
  8. Backgroundchecks.com
  9. Intelius
  10. Checkr
  11. US Information Search
  12. BeenVerified
  13. Instant Checkmate
  14. TruthFinder

As the market changes, we reevaluate our choices so you always receive the best insight for your purchasing decision.

Best background check sites

To help you in your search for trusted employees, we’ve researched and analyzed six of the best background check companies you can use to screen employees.

GoodHire: Best background check site overall

GoodHire offers background and credit history search products for businesses, individuals, and peer-to-peer communities that rely on the trustworthiness of their members for success. The business products include more than 100 checks spanning professional, legal, health, and financial searches.

GoodHire lets you build a custom background check report with many different combinations, like drug and international background screening. GoodHire offers web, mobile, and API solutions for testing and data transfer, plus an online portal for candidates to sign their consent forms and automatically begin the screening process.

Pros

  • Price is relatively competitive.
  • Friendly, easy-to-use interface.
  • Extensive resource library.
  • Comprehensive check options.

Cons

  • Wait times can be longer than some competitors.
  • Must contact for a custom quote if you want to do more than 10 checks per year.
  • Certain states and organizations charge pass-through fees, which increases the price.

  • Basic: Starting at $29.99 per check
  • Essential: Starting at $54.99 per check
  • Professional: Starting at $79.99 per check
  • Contact for custom quote if you plan to conduct more than 10 checks yearly.

GoodHire offers more than 100 checks across several categories:

  • Criminal and civil court records.
  • Drug screening (up to 10 types of prescription and illicit drugs).
  • Driving record.
  • Credit history.
  • Employment and education verification.
  • Healthcare sanctions.
  • Professional references.

GoodHire also offers international background checks in 223 countries.

Sterling: Best background checks for international companies

Sterling offers business pre-employment screening, verification, and monitoring services in more than 240 countries for businesses of all sizes. Individuals can also use Sterling to check their own candidacy profiles. Even after completing initial checks during the hiring process, Sterling monitors public and traffic records to alert HR about activities that increase employer liability such as DUI or assault charges.

Sterling’s I-9 verification with increased process reliability and real-time validation reportedly decreases employment history verification processes by 75%. Furthermore, automated workflows keep your requests moving through Sterling’s system while you and candidates complete paperwork and updates on your own time. Sterling offers drug and health testing at more than 12,000 locations in the U.S.

Pros

  • Global leader in background checks with decades of experience.
  • Can run background checks in more than 240 countries.
  • Identity verification means more accurate candidate data.
  • Fast turnaround times.

Cons

  • Pricing is not transparent.
  • Customer service could be better.
  • Interface tends to lag.

Sterling does not publicly disclose pricing for its background checks.

  • Criminal record background checks.
  • Pre-employment drug test.
  • COVID-19 screening.
  • Form 1-9 and E-verify.

Also read: The 5 Best Pre-Employment Testing Software Solutions

BackgroundReport.com: Most affordable background check site

BackgroundReport.com is a self-service background check website where potential employees can log in and upload personal information. The service will then send you reports. This option provides two main levels of background checks: basic and premium, both of which are quite affordable compared to competitors. Premium includes credit and eviction history in addition to the basic criminal record and county record checks available at the basic level.

You can also sign up for a monthly monitoring subscription to have BackgroundReport.com scan pertinent documents and rolls for ongoing discovery. The inclusion of housing and credit documents as well as Social Security number validation makes this a good choice for small businesses, renters, and property managers.

Pros

  • Transparent pricing and most affordable background checks overall.
  • Employees can also use it to check themselves preemptively.
  • Can run a background check on another small business you might want to work with.

Cons

  • The Interface is outdated and could be improved.
  • Not suitable for larger businesses or enterprise customers due to the more limited checks.
  • No industry-specific checks available.
  • No integrations with ATS or HR software.

  • Basic: Starts at $21.95 per report
  • Premium: Starts at $31.95 per report

  • Social Security Number validation
  • National criminal background check
  • Bankruptcy reports
  • Judgment records

Accurate: Best background checks for small businesses

This background check company gives automated access to candidate background information for small and medium businesses. Choose from basic, standard, or premium accounts, and purchase checks when you need them, rather than through a monthly or annual subscription, which will likely appeal to small businesses that only need a handful of checks each year.

The basic account level gives you access to current-county criminal data in addition to Social Security and national sex offender rolls. The standard plan includes a seven-year criminal history search and global watch, which checks the Patriot Act registry and similar public record databases for terrorist and fraud warnings.

Pros

  • Pricing is transparent.
  • Offers three self-service plans for small businesses.
  • Can run up to 100 checks a year on the self-service plans (10x what GoodHire allows).
  • Fast turnaround times.

Cons

  • Set-up process can be lengthy.
  • Premium report only includes one education verification and one employment verification.
  • Optional add-ons will quickly raise the price.

  • Accurate Basic+: $30.99 per report
  • Accurate Standard: $62.05 per report
  • Accurate Premium: $77.57 per report
  • Also charges a one-time set-up of $25 to establish a new business account
  • Add-ons for each report range from $5 to $10.30 per addition
  • Must contact for a quote for the enterprise plan (100+ checks a year)

  • County and federal criminal history search.
  • Education and employment history verification.
  • Professional license verification.
  • Social Security number trace.

Also read: Best Human Resources (HR) Software for Small Businesses in 2023

HireRight: Best background checks for enterprises

HireRight offers full-service background and screening solutions, from one-off public record checks to enterprise-level services, in over 200 countries. It also offers a mobile applicant app, available in 22 languages. Improve your check turnaround time by getting real-time results as soon as they’re available. An extensive network of integrations with applicant tracking systems (ATS) lets you look up results from the same interface where you track your potential hires.

If you’re a small business, then you might also be interested in checking out HireRight’s self-service background check site, Backgroundchecks.com, which offers three transparent pricing tiers. HireRight’s offerings are better suited to large businesses and enterprises that need to do background checks in multiple countries and languages.

Pros

  • Available in 200+ countries.
  • Mobile app supports 22 different languages.
  • Industry-specific screening packages available.
  • User-friendly portal.

Cons

  • Sometimes charges more for a check than the initial agreement.
  • Turnaround times can be slow.
  • Customer service could use improvement.

HireRight does not disclose pricing for its enterprise background checks on its website.

  • Criminal background.
  • Financial background.
  • Identity verification services.
  • Education and employment history verification.

First Advantage: Best for industry-specific background checks

First Advantage’s employee intelligence analytics match historical background information against what you provide, so your team gets accurate background information. Encryption algorithms secure data to make sure you comply with global and local hiring regulations. Users can access data from 27 locations in 13 countries. It offers a wide range of industry-specific checks, from banking to healthcare to higher education to manufacturing.

First Advantage is committed to customer success and employee retention; it offers free training for its tools and services, so your company can get started faster. Specialized solutions are available for fleet management, sharing economy, and staffing, in addition to general background services. New services are added all the time, like the Ready2Work work-from-home readiness assessment, available now.

Pros

  • Specializes in employee background checks.
  • Industry-specific background checks across a wide range of industries.
  • Offers solutions tailored to businesses of different sizes and budgets.

Cons

  • Pricing could be more transparent.
  • Focuses only on business background checks, so if you need other types of checks you’ll have to find a second service provider.
  • Could be easier to contact customer support.

First Advantage does not disclose pricing for its background checks on its website, although the small business page offers checks as low as $29.

  • Background checks.
  • Drug and alcohol testing.
  • Executive screening.
  • Employment verification.
  • More than 25 screens and checks offered.

Why are background checks important?

Recent changes in marijuana laws and federal visa compliance have lots of employers scratching their heads about their employee background screening practices. But employment background check sites aren’t just for businesses in Colorado, Seattle, or border towns; thousands of companies use these background check companies as part of their hiring process to make sure employees really are who they say they are.

Background checks go far beyond a simple people search, reference checks, or reverse phone number lookups. Research by Checkster found that 78% of employees lie on their resumes, so a lot of useful information can come out of a background check, especially when it’s paired with credit and drug screening. By pre-screening employees, you can discover pertinent information that corroborates or disproves the data they’ve listed on their application.

Also read: Resume Screening Best Practices for Recruiters (2023)

What to look for in a background check service

Finding the right background check site is often faster and easier than trying to teach your staff how to do an employee background check manually. The best background check sites let you customize your options to include background/employment history, credit check, drug screening, and online history. You might even find biometrics and fingerprinting services, though those are most commonly available through local partner agencies.

For increased transparency, the top background check companies can comb through county and state driving records, Social Security numbers, court records, and county-level criminal records to create a comprehensive profile for your potential employee.

There are so many options here, but the best background check sites generally offer a fast turnaround for results, accurate data, strict compliance, and integrations with the tools you use in your hiring process.

Fast turnaround time

You don’t want to wait weeks to give a thumbs up or down to a job applicant. The best employment background screening services will provide data-related people search results within a week, and drug tests can take anywhere from a day for negative results to a week for positive results. Customer service should also respond quickly to inquiries in case you have an issue with the screening.

Data accuracy

It’s essential to have accurate, up-to-date information that matches the person you’re hiring. Companies that have access to local, national, and international public record databases will provide the best information.

Compliance

Data sharing across state and international borders is subject to regulatory strictures such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to ensure privacy and security. Understand the regulatory compliance standards of your industry and region, and make sure the background check service you choose adheres to those standards.

Software integration

In addition, if you are looking for the best background check site for a business, then it will be beneficial to choose one that integrates with your application tracking system (ATS) and/or HR software stack. This ensures that all data on potential employees and new hires — including their background check information — is synced seamlessly with your HR systems.

Find the right software for your hiring process

Many of these employment screening services can be purchased on their own or in conjunction with a larger applicant tracking system or full-service HR software solution. It’s not a bad idea to contact your ATS provider and ask about the background screening integrations they support.

Still don’t see what you’re looking for? Use our ATS Software Guide to compare more options and get a custom recommendation based on your needs.


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