The Top Background Check Services — 2022

The best pre-employment background check services, pricing, pitfalls and more

Chris Hatler
Chris is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia
January 24, 2022
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Identity checks, employment history, education and certifications, criminal records, drug testing, the list goes on. When you’re interviewing talent or ready to make an offer to an ideal candidate, you can’t forget about a vital part of your recruiting efforts: running pre-employment background checks. But are you conducting yours the right way and with one of the top background check services?

Background checks ultimately tell you if someone will be a safe hire for your organization, but how you look into their personal records is key. To ensure that you follow all applicable screening laws, you’ll want to use a top employment background screening provider that’s compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Otherwise, a candidate could sue you for not getting hired, or you could be fined by a government agency like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Using an FCRA-compliant screening provider will help you focus your recruiting efforts on the right candidates, hire with more confidence, stay compliant with the latest screening regulations, and create a safe and more diverse working environment — all while being more productive in your recruiting efforts and creating a more seamless and transparent application process for your candidates.

But you have to choose the right background check service for your company and needs. To help you find the best one for your business, we put together this guide on the top background check providers, plus the common use-cases and features, benefits and considerations, suggested demo questions and implementation help, and more. Get started below.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page. Learn more

The Top Background Check Services — 2022

The best pre-employment background check services, pricing, pitfalls and more

Chris Hatler, Chris is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia Jan 24, 2022

Identity checks, employment history, education and certifications, criminal records, drug testing, the list goes on. When you’re interviewing talent or ready to make an offer to an ideal candidate, you can’t forget about a vital part of your recruiting efforts: running pre-employment background checks. But are you conducting yours the right way and with one of the top background check services?

Background checks ultimately tell you if someone will be a safe hire for your organization, but how you look into their personal records is key. To ensure that you follow all applicable screening laws, you’ll want to use a top employment background screening provider that’s compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Otherwise, a candidate could sue you for not getting hired, or you could be fined by a government agency like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Using an FCRA-compliant screening provider will help you focus your recruiting efforts on the right candidates, hire with more confidence, stay compliant with the latest screening regulations, and create a safe and more diverse working environment — all while being more productive in your recruiting efforts and creating a more seamless and transparent application process for your candidates.

But you have to choose the right background check service for your company and needs. To help you find the best one for your business, we put together this guide on the top background check providers, plus the common use-cases and features, benefits and considerations, suggested demo questions and implementation help, and more. Get started below.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page.

Learn more

A Quick Breakdown: Top Background Check Providers

Checkr's mission is fair hiring. It uses cutting edge background screening technology to produce clear, actionable results in a short span of time. It not only ensures compliance under the FCRA, but also shows exactly where the candidate stands.
Certn's slick user interface can reduce your hiring time by 80%. In fact, it only takes about 15 minutes for workers to get through the screening process. And even if you're hiring internationally, Certn can help verify country-specific documents in a jiffy.
VerifiedFirst strives to provide accurate and thorough results in a speedy manner. You can choose from their various background screening processes depending on your business needs.
HireRight boasts a 40,000+ customer base that includes nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies. Its USP is that it's a truly global platform and offers both international and local screening features.
When you use EBI, you directly work with their team of experts who understand your processes and workflows. This leads to a highly customized experience and leaves no room for non-compliance.
Lauded for its simplicity, GoodHire is a technology-first company that promises a delightful user experience. It's not only incredibly flexible, but can also provide criminal checks in less than a minute.

We put in the effort to make this guide awesome

34
Hours Researched
4
Experts Consulted
16
Vendors Reviewed

Our criteria: How we chose the best vendors

We take our research seriously and want to make sure we are presenting our readers with the very best solutions in a given software category.  Here's how we select vendors to be in our buyer guides:

  • Product: We want to have a deep understanding of a vendor's product before recommending it.  This usually means getting a demo by a senior executive (their CEO, head of product, etc), and/or using the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best in class offering.
  • User feedback: We do our best to understand what users say when they experience this product.  User input allows us to accomplish a more thorough due diligence of products, put new vendors on our radar, and generally make sure we are presenting the right products to our readers.
  • Financial metrics: We are very much finance nerds and so use a product's retention rates, growth, profitability, and scale to understand whether or not it is truly best in class.
  • Best for a use case: Sometimes the best solution is the cheapest, the best tool for international companies, or the best for startups. We try to include a diversity of solutions so that our readers can find the tool that is best for what they need.

Here's more detail if you want to read further on how we research vendors.

In this guide you'll find

Featured in

Top Background Check Software

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best background check companies per our research and expert council as of 2022.

Checkr

Review:

A modern UI and a platform that leverages machine learning means that Checkr is making the hiring process easier on both HR and applicants.  Their customer base includes companies like Uber, Warby Parker, and Instacart.

Checkr

Stats:

Checkr’s customers run 1.5 million background checks a month.

Checkr

Pricing:

The pricing of Checkr’s plans and services isn’t disclosed on their site. There are two ways to get started - directly through their site or by talking to a Checkr sales representative for a demo and a price quote according to the size and needs of your business. They offer your first background check free when you sign up directly through the site.

Best For:

Businesses of all sizes across different industries.

Worth Checking Out:

Certn

Review:

Certn is a newer entry to the pre-employment screening company.  They were founded by data scientists and have built a next generation tech stack that allows them to process background checks in record time with competitive pricing.  Additionally, they allow for international background checks, and customized checks for different types of employees.

Certn

Stats:

Certn conducts background checks in over 200 countries from 200,000 data sources.

Certn

Pricing:

Each of Certn’s screening services is priced separately at a flat fee for employers that conduct 50 or fewer checks a year. For employers that conduct more than 50 checks a year, custom pricing can be provided by Certn’s sales team. Visit Certn’s pricing page to learn more.

Best For:

Businesses of all sizes across different industries.

Worth Checking Out:

VerifiedFirst

Review:

VerifiedFirst has built a simple to use background check product that allows recruiting teams to request checks directly from the ATS via a Chrome extension versus having to login to yet another tool.  It’s similarly easy on the employee side as they can complete the process from their phones without having to create a login.

VerifiedFirst

Stats:

  • VerifiedFirst has a 98% customer satisfaction rate
  • Customers can reach a support agent in less than 30 seconds

VerifiedFirst

Pricing:

The pricing of VerifiedFirst’s plans and services isn’t disclosed on their site. Contact a VerifiedFirst sales representative for a demo as well as a price quote according to the size and needs of your business.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes across different industries.

Worth Checking Out:

EBI

Review:

Simply put, EBI is one of the largest players in this space and has been for some time.  They have the experience and integrations to service even the largest companies’ needs when it comes to pre-employment checks.

EBI

Stats:

  • 98% of EBI’s customer support calls are answered within three rings.
  • 97% of EBI’s customer support calls are handled by a live agent.
  • 81% of client issues are resolved on the first call.

EBI

Pricing:

The pricing of EBI’s plans and services isn’t disclosed on their site. Contact an EBI sales representative for a demo as well as a price quote according to the size and needs of your business.

Best For

EBI serves companies of all sizes across different industries.

Worth Checking Out:

GoodHire

Review:

GoodHire services over 80,000 companies through their background check platform.  HR teams can use this for simple one off screens, or build out more custom workflows via their API that supports a range of screens like criminal, drug, driving, and credit checks.

GoodHire

Stats:

  • More than 80,000 employers of all sizes use GoodHire.
  • GoodHire offers more than 100 employment screening services.

GoodHire

Pricing:

Each of GoodHire’s screening services is priced separately at a flat fee for employers that conduct 25 or fewer checks a year. For employers that conduct more than 25 checks a year, custom pricing can be provided by GoodHire’s sales team. Visit GoodHire’s pricing page to learn more.

Best For

Employers of all sizes looking for a comprehensive candidate screening solution.

Worth Checking Out:

HireRight

Review:

HireRight conducts background checks in over 200 countries across the globe and has worked with over 40,000 companies including many of the Fortune 500.

HireRight

Stats:

  • HireRight has been used by more than 40,000 companies from small businesses to nearly half of the Fortune 100.
  • HireRight services reach approximately 200 countries and territories around the world.

HireRight

Pricing:

The pricing of HireRight’s plans and services isn’t disclosed on their site. Contact a HireRight sales representative for a demo as well as a price quote according to the size and needs of your business.

Best For

Companies of all sizes across different industries.

Worth Checking Out:

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Final Advice on Background Check Services

At the end of the day, running background checks with an FCRA-compliant vendor is a great way of making sure you hire the right people, create a safe (and more diverse) working environment, improve candidate retention, and gain competitive edge over other employers. If you'd like to know more about the actual do's and don'ts of performing background checks during the screening process, you can complement this reading with Springworks' employee background check guide.

And as a last note, you may have noticed that none of the vendors in this guide run social media checks to help you gauge a person’s character or judgment. This is because using social media to run a background check is risky — and not always legal. That said, if you’re still interested in adding social media checks to your background screening process, make sure you do it the right way.

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