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.
Top Background Check Providers
To choose the best background check service providers, our experts thoroughly analyzed the tools, considering five important factors that we believe are crucial: accuracy and comprehensiveness, compliance and legal considerations, turnaround time, user-friendliness, and customer service. To make informed judgments, we attended demos, tested these services first-hand, and engaged in enlightening conversations with industry experts.
- Accuracy and Comprehensiveness: Any data that guides your decision-making should always be accurate and comprehensive. We’ve looked for services with reliable data sources and comprehensive information on criminal records, employment history, and education verification.
- Compliance and Legal Considerations: Privacy and legal regulations, like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), are critical. We prioritized services that understand and comply with these regulations to protect personal information and respect individual rights.
- Turnaround Time: Time is valuable when conducting background checks. Delayed results can hinder your hiring process. That's why we chose services with efficient processes and access to extensive databases for quicker results.
- User-Friendliness: You deserve a service that makes background checks easy and hassle-free. We sought out solutions with user-friendly interfaces and straightforward reports, allowing you to quickly review and interpret the results.
- Customer Care: We selected tools with a good balance of self-service (help centers and live chat) and human support (phone and email). Some of our top picks, such as HireRight and Certn, even offer region/country-specific support for better assistance.
If you want to know more about our evaluation process, check out our HR software evaluation guidelines.
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.
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.
Telus Ventures, Hudson's Bay, Grammarly, WestJet, ATB, Beacon HR.
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.
Businesses of all sizes across different industries.
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.
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.
AirBnB, Netflix, Lyft, Papa Johns, PrideStaff, Instacart, Doordash, Compass Group, and Adecco.
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.
Businesses of all sizes across different industries.
I use Checkr daily, our company hires a lot not only in NJ, but across the U.S. We can use Checkr for everywhere. The results are pretty fast! I have seen results in even 10 minutes. The key workflow is that I can send background checks through the ATS and I can track the progress even through Recruitee.
It's an easy-to-use tool with a modern style. They offer a lot of tutorial videos so you can understand the product. They also assign you an account manager that offers personalized help if needed. Another thing I like is the Checkr champion page, and they give you gift cards if you participate in their information sessions and surveys.
Checkr is such a great tool for us, we use it daily with fast results. It's easy to use and convenient as this system is integrated with Recruitee. I brought Checkr to the company as they used to have JDP. We have been using Checkr for almost a year now. I personally think that it's a fantastic background check provider tool! The pain we were having was delayed results. Through Checkr, we have been able to conquer it!
When a pass has expired for a candidate and you want to extend it, it becomes quite difficult. Sometimes the system crashes. Not always, but I wish they had an immediate answer. They don't have a live chat yet, but they are working on it.
Checkr is way faster than JDP, in my opinion, I like this system better. It comes with a lot of videos and it's very informative for new customers and for employers.
They should consider the price point, Checkr is very competitive! they give you a fair price if you join. Big companies such as Uber, and Lyft are using Checkr because of how fast they are. Also, they are always launching new things, which makes it more attractive and appealing to the customer. What I like the most is the simplicity to use the product, I didn't need much training to understand it.
It has helped us to streamline our processes. We used to manually schedule drug/physical screening to each candidate, now with Checkr, the candidate can fill it out and get it themselves. Our pain is gone, thank you to Checkr.
Companies with a high demand for hiring, companies that are looking for faster results.
Companies that don’t hire often.
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.
- The majority of users are able to get on with Verified First with little to no training needed. Verified First also offers video tutorials which can be helpful to first-time users
- The platform integrates with several HR, ATS, and payroll software.
- It comes with a browser extension that helps you conduct background checks right there from your browser, without needing to log into the Verified First dashboard.
- The platform’s pricing isn’t transparent and free trials aren’t available.
- Zapier integration isn’t available at this time.
- Some users reported that the background screening process can take a while.
Verified First is a background screening tool that allows you to conduct a variety of background checks before hiring an employee. It covers criminal background checks, drug screening, civil records check, Form I-9 verification, E-verify verification, identity verifications, and driving record checks - eliminating any need to supplement it with other background check software or services.
Among Verified First’s many customers are ITI Global, Hawkinson Nissan, The Major Group, and Elica Health Centers.
Verified First tailors their pricing based on the number of checks that you conduct or the number of hires. As such, their pricing is not listed on the website, but you can reach out to a Sales representative for a custom quote. The Sales rep will also be able to provide you with a live demo of the software on demand.
Verified First would best suit a mid to large-sized large organization that hires hundreds or thousands of employees a year.
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.
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.
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.
Companies of all sizes across different industries.
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.
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.
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.
EBI serves companies of all sizes across different industries.
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.
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.
Gale, Goodwill Houston, RLH, DraftKings, Tuft & Needle.
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.
Employers of all sizes looking for a comprehensive candidate screening solution.
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