The Top Background Check Services — March 2021

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

Author Phil Strazzulla, HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd
Phil Strazzulla,HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd - Oct 15, 2021

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.

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A Quick Breakdown: Top Background Check Providers

Checkr's background check tool that is simple enough for one off checks, and powerful enough for companies that need to run thousands of checks per month - leading to fast and safe hiring.
Certn hosts a marketplace with 15+ different screening products, letting your company make personalized background check decisions.
You can connect with an VerifiedFirst agent in under 30 seconds.
We love HireRight because of its global scope, allowing over 200 countries to conduct background checks with its program.
You can easily invite candidates via text or email to get their background checks started with EBI.
GoodHire is quick and efficient, with 85% of background checks delivered in under 1 minute.

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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 March 2021.

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:

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:

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:

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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