After thorough research, we’ve picked the best background check services:
- GoodHire is best overall.
- Sterling is best for international companies.
- BackgroundReport.com is the most affordable.
- Accurate is best for small businesses.
- HireRight is best for enterprises.
- First Advantage is best for industry-specific checks.
In this article...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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