Best Background Check Companies

Best Background Check Companies

Running background checks is an essential part of the hiring process. The information revealed in a background check can give you crucial information about a prospective employee.

According to a recent survey, 96% of employers run at least some type of background screening before they hire someone.

So if you’re running a business, you need to be doing this as well. But where can you get a background check done? Are all background checks the same?

If you run a quick Google search, you’ll learn that there are countless types of background checks offered by hundreds of different services. It’s tough to figure out which ones will actually give you the information that you’re looking for.

That’s what inspired me to write this guide. I’ll show you the top background check services on the market today, and help you decide which one is the best for your business.

The 5 Best Background Check Companies

In a market flooded with background check services, there are really only five companies that I would consider using as an employer. I’ll explain the pros, cons, and pricing of each service below.

GoodHire

goodhire

As the name implies, GoodHire is clearly intended for employment background checks. It’s one of the most popular background check services for small business owners. But it’s also used by some larger and well-known companies like Tuft & Needle and Draft Kings.

More than 75,000 businesses trust GoodHire to run background checks.

72% of GoodHire customers say that these background checks are faster than other services that they’ve used in the past.

One of the reasons why GoodHire is such an excellent choice for small business owners is because of the flexibility in their pricing.

Since a small business owner doesn’t hire as frequently as a larger organization, you won’t have to pay a monthly fee for background checks. If you plan to run less than 25 background checks per year, then GoodHire will only charge you for each report. Only need five checks? Just pay for the five; it’s that simple.

The cost of a background check depends on how much information you want to find:

Basic — $29.99 each

  • 1 business day
  • SSN trace and associated countries
  • National criminal database search
  • Sex offender search

Standard — $54.99 each

  • 1-2 business days
  • SSN trace and associated countries
  • National criminal database search
  • Sex offender search
  • Domestic watch list search
  • 7 year county criminal court search

Premium — $79.99 each

  • 2-4 business days
  • SSN trace and associated countries
  • National criminal database search
  • Sex offender search
  • Domestic watch list search
  • 7 year county criminal court search
  • 1 education verification
  • 1 employer verification

As price increases, the background checks become more extensive. GoodHire also gives you the option to add-on other screenings and services like:

  • Ongoing monthly monitoring — $2.50 per month per employee
  • Education verification — $14.99
  • Employment verification — $14.99
  • Professional license verification — $14.99
  • Motor vehicle records search — $14.99
  • Credit report — $14.99
  • International employer verification — $53.99

GoodHire provides additional assistance for drug screenings and healthcare sanctions as well. At the end of the day, they have nearly every type of background check that a small business owner would need before hiring someone.

One downside of using GoodHire is that they charge a one-time setup fee to verify your company. This $49.99 cost might be tough to justify if you’re only running a couple of checks per year. But if you plan to use the service at least a dozen times or so, it’s worth it.

The add-ons can also drive up the cost of your checks. So if you need lots of add-ons for each background check, it might be worth requesting a custom quote from their sales team.

Intelius

intelius

Intelius is slightly different compared to other background check services that we’ve reviewed. It’s marketed toward the average person, as opposed to employers.

However, an employer could still use this service to find information about a prospective hire.

You can use Intelius for free to search for names, phone numbers, and addresses. But the results will be extremely limited. It will show you the person’s age and a few associated cities.

To get the most out of Intelius, you’ll need a premier account. These reports include:

  • Full name
  • Possible relatives
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Social networks
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Current and past address
  • Age and date of birth
  • Known aliases
  • Criminal records
  • Marriage and divorce history
  • Lawsuits, bankruptcies, and liens

With Intelius, you’ll pay a fixed monthly fee to run unlimited reports. Memberships are month-to-month and cost $29.95. You can try your first month for a discounted rate of $14.95.

The price of Intelius is definitely appealing, but the reports are limited compared to other companies. If you have a large business that runs tons of background checks, you could use Intelius as a way to pre-screen candidates before running a more thorough report.

For example, the $29.95 per month fee could save you money in the long run if you avoid wasting upwards of $100 on extensive reports.

A red flag on Intelius would be enough to narrow down your candidate pool. Then you could always run a full background check through another platform.

B&B Reporting

B&B

B&B Reporting has been in business for more than two decades. On average, they turnaround reports in less than 24 hours. B&B Reporting also has a 19% criminal hit ratio, which is above the industry average.

I like B&B Reporting because they use superior technology. This cloud-based platform makes it easy for you to order and review background checks online.

Each background check is completely customized. Choose exactly what types of records you want to search for or verify, and the price will vary based on those inquiries.

Unlike other background check services on the market today, B&B reporting does not require a monthly minimum or charge you for an initial setup cost.

The B&B Reporting technology allows you to send electronic consent forms to applicants to initiate the process. They also have a visual dashboard that shows you the status of candidates and reports at a quick glance.

With B&B Reporting, you can run background checks for:

  • Multi-jurisdictional criminal search
  • County criminal search
  • Statewide criminal search
  • Federal criminal search
  • Public records
  • Professional references
  • Employment verification
  • Motor vehicle records
  • Education verification
  • Licenses and professional certifications verification
  • Employment credit checks

Again, B&B Reporting is another background check company that provides basically everything you could possibly ask for when screening an employee.

The biggest downside of this service is that the pricing isn’t very transparent and getting started isn’t so simple. To start running background checks and get a quote, you need to fill out a form online to discuss your screening program with a sales agent.

Prices for the services won’t be listed until you’ve been verified and set up an account with B&B reporting.

AccurateNow

AccurateNow

If you want a simple and straightforward way to run background checks for your small business, AccurateNow will be a top choice for you to consider.

The platform is advertised for small and medium-sized companies. But I’d recommend it to microbusinesses and companies with very small teams.

AccurateNow is affordable and does not require any monthly minimums for background checks. They are FCRA compliant, which will help you avoid lawsuits while screening employees.

To get started with AccurateNow, you’ll need to register your account, e-sign their agreement, and get approved before you can start ordering reports. This company does charge a one-time setup fee of $25 to verify your business.

Once you’ve been verified, you can order the following reports:

Basic — $29.95

  • Social security trace
  • Address history
  • Current criminal county search
  • National criminal check
  • National sex offender registry

Standard — $59.95

  • Social security trace
  • Address history
  • 7 year criminal history
  • National criminal check
  • National sex offender registry
  • Global watch

Premium — $74.95

  • Social security trace
  • Address history
  • 7 year criminal history
  • National criminal check
  • National sex offender registry
  • Global watch
  • 1 education verification
  • 1 employment verification

As you can see, these plans are very similar to the ones offered by GoodHire, which we reviewed earlier. The biggest difference between AccurateNow and GoodHire is the add-on options.

AccurateNow doesn’t offer as many add-ons, but the add-ons they do offer are cheaper. GoodHire’s add-ons typically start at $14.99, whereas AccurateNow begins at $9.95.

All of this makes AccurateNow a better choice for smaller businesses that don’t need features like international employment verification. But this does make AccurateNow a bit more limited than some of the other options on our list.

Verifirst

Verifirst

Verifirst has been running background checks for 15 years. They offer a wide range of services including:

  • Customer ID verification
  • Employment screening
  • Tenant screening
  • Corporate screening

While all of these options are viable, I’d prefer to use Verifirst for niche-specific solutions. Their tenant screening services stand out the most to me.

Whether you own one investment property or run a larger property management business, Verifrist has what you need to find the most qualified tenants.

If you’ve been managing properties for a while, you know that renting a unit to the wrong person can be a costly mistake. Not only are you putting your property at risk, but this decision can also result in thousands of lost rent, legal fees, and turnover costs.

Verifirst offers specific background checks for tenant screening. These reports include:

  • Identity checks
  • Criminal searches
  • Rental history
  • Eviction records
  • Credit and financial history

In addition to the actual reports, Verifirst makes it easy for you to manage applicants and view everything online. You can access this web-based platform 24 hours per day and grant access to an unlimited number of users.

This is perfect for those of you who run a property management business. Furthermore, Verifirst integrates with popular property management systems that you’re already using.

You’ll also benefit from complimentary pre-screenings of an applicant’s income and analysis of their assets.

Verifirst lets you run multiple screenings simultaneously, which is ideal for joint applications or leases with co-signers.

All pricing on Verifirst is custom. So you need to contact their team to get started and learn more about the rates for running reports.

Overall, Verifirst is the best background check company for tenant screening. But I’d look for other options if my business was in another industry.

How to Find the Best Background Check Services

When searching for the best background check company, there are certain feature sets that you need to keep an eye out for. This is the methodology that I used in this guide. I’ll explain why each one is important as you’re narrowing down your choices.

Types of Background Checks

Not every background check service is the same. Some are intended for personal use, connecting with relatives, or finding information about your neighbors. None of these are really useful for employers.

When running a check on potential hires, these are some of the most common types of searches you’ll want on the report:

  • SSN trace and identity verification
  • County, state, and federal criminal search
  • Sex offender registry
  • Employment verification
  • Professional certifications and licenses verification

Depending on the type of business you have, you might also want to run motor vehicle records, or various international screenings.

Turnaround Time

Basic information like identity verification is usually instant. Other reports can take a few days, depending on what you’re searching for.

It’s important to understand how long your reports will take. If it’s taking companies a week to get reports back to you, then it’s way too long. You don’t want that much time to pass, as it extends the hiring process longer than it needs to be.

Company Size

The size of your business is crucial when looking for a background screening service. Smaller companies obviously don’t run checks as frequently. So as a small business owner, you should find a service that doesn’t require monthly or annual minimums.

Very small businesses don’t always need extensive reports either. A basic identity verification and criminal check is usually sufficient.

Initial Setup and New Background Checks

If you’re running a background check for the first time with a new service, you might need to get your business verified before you get started. This process is easier with some services compared to others.

Sometimes you can just sign up online, but in other instances, you’ll need to request a quote and speak to an agent to get set up. In some cases, you’ll need to pay a one-time setup fee as well.

Once approved, look for background check services that make it as easy as possible for you to run a new search. Companies like B&B Reporting let candidates e-sign consent forms, which speeds up the process.

Report Accuracy

At the end of the day, accurate reporting is probably the most important part of the background check process.

It would be terrible if a report came up clean, but the person actually had a criminal history. This is something you need to know about before hiring someone.

All of the companies in this guide have been around for years, which should help you rest easy when you’re running reports. But it’s always a good idea to check and see what databases they are using for screenings.

Conclusion

Background checks are common practice in the hiring process. As a business owner, this is something that needs to be taken seriously.

If you’re looking for the best background check services, these are the companies that you need to consider:

  • GoodHire — Best overall background check company.
  • Intelius — Best for pre-screening potential job candidates.
  • B&B Reporting — Background check services with superior cloud-based technology.
  • AccurateNow — Best background check company for small business.
  • Verifirst — Best background check service for tenant screenings.

You can’t go wrong with a service like GoodHire. It’s made for employers and has every possible report you’d need to screen for. But with that said, these other options are viable choices as well, especially if your company falls into a certain category with specific needs.