To hire the perfect candidate, you need to know who you're inviting to your team. Recruiting the wrong person can be enormously costly — in both time and money.
You need to ensure you get it right the first time. The answer is background checks. The right background screening services will review the information your candidate has provided — such as their professional and educational background — and assess its accuracy and validity.
Background checks can also reveal information your candidate may have tried to suppress or hide, such as a criminal history or poor credit history.
In this comprehensive review of the best background check services of 2022, we’ll walk you through the top six picks for background screening services and what you need to look for before choosing the one that’s right for your business.
With strong experience behind them, ScoutLogic has the expertise to provide thorough background checks with an impressive turnaround time. ScoutLogic’s success is largely down to its unique service model for of background screening.
Ordinarily, background checking services provide a generalized approach. Typically, this involves multiple researchers assigned to specific areas of the screening process.
Unfortunately, the more screeners involved, the longer it takes for the screening to complete.
With ScoutLogic, you get a designated 'Scout' who handles everything for you. You don't need to waste time chasing loose ends regarding someone's criminal history while verifying a candidate's education history. The Scout handles it all, acting as your first point of contact throughout the entire process.
The background check process couldn't be more straightforward or user-friendly than with ScoutLogic.
With more than 23 years of experience, Accurate has cemented its place in the market. Part of its success is due to a commitment to continuous innovation. They are always looking for ways to improve their current practices and make background screening less complicated.
Accurate believes every candidate has their perfect, professional fit. Their job is to pair the two together. Their screening process is how they attempt to achieve that.
Accurate claims to consider the feelings of both client and candidate in their approach, making for a smooth process for everyone involved.
Accurate screeners are experts in their field. If you’re looking to verify you have the right person for the job, they're willing to help.
HireRight claims to be used by some of the most successful organizations worldwide when hiring new talent. Unlike some background screening services, HireRight emphasizes candidate user-friendliness.
The candidate-focused approach can benefit the employer, too. It removes some of the responsibility. You contact HireRight, they contact your candidate, and then, hopefully, you get the results you’re seeking. Simple.
Launched in June 1997, HireRight claims to be the first internet-based background screening solution. HireRight now offers more applicant tracking solution integrations than any other provider in the industry, including IBM, iCIMS, Oracle, Avature, Workday, and more.
HireRight’s worldwide team spans over 200 countries and provides more than 150 background checking services. It’s an impressive organization for those recruiting outside the US and is capable of providing the transparency you need on a global level.
4. Sterling Talent Solutions
Founded in 1975, Sterling Talent Solutions (STS) has decades of experience and claims to match businesses with the best candidates. STS is committed to creating and maintaining a healthy work culture.
STS believes that a vibrant company culture stems from finding the right person for the role, starting with the background verification process.
A thriving work environment relies on trust. An ethos of mutual faith between employer and candidate and employer and screener guides Sterling Talent Solutions.
From hospital staff to school employees and beyond, finding the right employee for sensitive roles is of utmost importance. STS is thorough in its approach and offers a competitive turnaround time.
As the first company to offer an API for background checks, Checkr has long since proven to be an innovator in its field. The company continues this trend by utilizing the latest AI and machine learning technology to process background checks as quickly as possible without sacrificing accuracy.
Checkr first originated when two engineers, Daniel Yanisse and Jonathan Perichon, noticed an alarming amount of flaws in the background check system. They found that a lack of fairness, speed, and efficiency fundamentally hampered many competing services.
This concern drove them to establish Checkr. The service considers the complexities of a candidate's background, especially regarding their criminal history.
Candidates’ pasts are often complicated, and Checkr honor that, giving you the precise details you need to make an informed decision.
FirstAdvantage has streamlined the background screening process to be fast, efficient, and as accurate as you require.
The FirstAdvantage portal is accessible by both candidates and employers alike. Clients receive access to a team of experts to advise them through every step of the background check process. As a global background screening services provider, FirstAdvantage's services are available in various languages.
FirstAdvantage prides the company on fostering diversity and an inclusive working environment. The brand believes that the role of background screening is not to catch someone out in a lie or discriminate against anybody. Instead, screening is about encouraging honesty and transparency.
If you want to determine whether or not your candidate is who they say they are, FirstAdvantage can help. Their process is quick and easy, circumventing some of the complexity other background service providers possess.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Background Check Service
Now that we’ve covered our top recommendations for background screening services, it's time that we share what to look for to find the right fit for you.
After all, finding the right candidate starts before the screening — it begins with the screening service you employ.
All of the services reviewed above are reputable and provide background check services. But every industry is different. For example, the requirements for hospitality vary significantly from healthcare. It’s crucial that you select the exemplary service to match your business.
Below are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before committing to a background checking service.
All industries are different and require specific checks for their potential employees.
Before searching for the best background screening service, you need to know what you are looking for in a candidate.
Write up a list of the background checks essential for your business. When looking for a screening service, make sure that they do all the screening you need. Not all screening services offer the same coverage. Few things are more frustrating to a recruiter than waiting weeks for a report to return, only to find it missing critical information.
Background screening services may cover:
- Reference verification
- Criminal history searches
- Education verification
- Professional experience verification
- Drug testing
- Driving records
- Credit reports
- International background
There may be other types of background checks your business requires to aid in searching for the ideal candidate. One way to know for sure is to look to other companies in your field to see what background information they check for and match their standards.
Although background checks are typically encouraged to protect the employer's interests, the candidate also requires protection.
Regulations governing background screening are typically intended to ensure that background checks aren't invasive or violate an individual's privacy.
The background screening service you use must comply with all relevant regulations, or you may find yourself in significant legal jeopardy.
One of the best ways to check the compliance of a background check provider is to check if they have accreditation from the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) or a similarly recognized organization.
Accreditation can vary on a national level. If you have any concerns, see what you can find by searching the company name. Performing your own “background check” on a screening service is always advisable.
Screening Turnaround Times
Background screening services have varying turnaround times. If you need an employee to start ASAP, finding a background checking service that offers optimal speeds without cutting corners is in your best interest.
Of course, this isn't possible for all industries or assessments. However, sectors where an employee isn’t directly responsible for the welfare of another human being often require less thorough background checks.
If you are an employer in the retail or hospitality sectors, you may only need to complete simple employment history verification and criminal history. The turnaround time for these can be reasonably quick. Indeed, some services distinguish themselves with a quick turnaround in mind.
Just make sure you don't sacrifice accuracy for comprehensiveness because you want a role filled quickly. Impatience could cost you dearly later.
“Unable to Verify” Rate
Always look at what other service users have had to say about their experience with any background screener. Customer reviews from the company's website are a great starting point. However, don't leave it at that.
All businesses feature their most glowing testimonials on their site to make themselves more appealing. Unfortunately, this rarely provides the whole picture.
Search the brand name online on sites like Trustpilot and see what independent third-party reviewers say. User reviews can give you an idea of how the business operates beyond how it portrays itself.
If the background screening service you’re researching doesn’t appear on third-party consumer review sites, check them out on GlassDoor. After all, you’re trying to build a productive company culture with your recruiting efforts. Employee reviews on Glassdoor can lend insight into how effectively your potential background screening service is viewed by its own team at fostering a viable work environment.
Review sites can give valuable insight into how effective a background checking service is by providing unbiased information from employees and clients.
One of the most compelling reasons to perform a background check is because it saves money in the long term.
The last thing you want to do is exceed your budget by purchasing more extensive background checks than your company requires. One effective way to mitigate overspending is by knowing for sure just how extensive you need your background checks to be for each position you’re seeking to fill.
The most intensive background screening is typically reserved for positions of significant responsibility. Government, finance, and healthcare sectors often have rigorous requirements. However, thorough background checks are also advisable for positions where individuals are responsible for large amounts of money.
Embezzlement fraud has previously resulted from businesses failing to perform thorough checks. The lesson? It's important to know exactly who you’re hiring.
Background screening services can help you save money and protect against future losses.
What Shows Up on a Background Check?
Background screening processes vary enormously between service providers. However, there are some staple elements that you will see consistently in the United States.
We have listed some of these below to fully explain why they are so integral to the process.
Social Security Verification
Typically, the Social Security verification process requires a search of enormous databases such as the Department of Homeland Security, in addition to a thorough analysis of credit header data. The Social Security background check seeks to prove that your candidate is who they claim to be and that the information they have provided you lines up with previous documentation.
Unfortunately, Social Security Number (SSN) identity theft is more common than employers realize. Verifying the SSN and the person's right to work is critical for recruitment.
Credit reports are crucial for recruiters hiring in the financial sector or other industries where the candidate has access to large amounts of money. Credit reports compiled by credit bureaus reflect your candidate's borrowing and repayment habits. Such information can provide an illuminating insight into how responsible potential hires are with money and whether or not they have significant outstanding debts.
A poor credit history can be a significant indicator of irresponsibility in the past. Holding substantial personal debt may also reveal an individual’s susceptibility to corruption and blackmail.
Credit history screenings are a must for positions where sensitive financial data and access to funds are involved.
A candidate’s criminal history is one of the first items that may spring to mind when considering background checks. Although there are often distinct nuances in this category, it is understandable that you may not wish to hire someone with a criminal past. Caution is especially advised if the candidate has authority over vulnerable people or capital.
Criminal history checks typically cover county, state, and federal offenses. Reporting restrictions vary significantly from state-to-state. Convictions will almost always be shown. Depending on the location, some or all of the following may appear on the report:
- Pending charges
- Felony convictions
- Misdemeanor convictions
- Dismissed charges
- Acquitted charges
As an employer or recruiter, it’s essential to allow the candidate to respond to any past transgressions a criminal history screening may find. Transparency about a candidate’s criminal history can help you make an informed final decision.
Discovering a previous conviction may be alarming at first. However, the candidate may have completed rehabilitation programs since committing the offense and be well qualified for the position.
Ultimately the decision is yours to make, and screening provides you with the information you need.
Employment and Education History
Deception on job applications is alarmingly commonplace. Indeed, an overwhelming 78% of job seekers lie on their applications. Many such untruths may be relatively harmless “white lies,” but some are more severe than others.
Embellishing a prior role to sound more impressive is one thing. However, fabricating experience, education, or other qualifications can prove extremely hazardous to employers.
Employment and education history checks minimize the risk of hiring someone who isn't qualified for the role. Screeners will contact previous employees or educational institutions to verify the candidate's claims.
You’ll soon know whether they are telling the truth or not.
The hiring process can be time-consuming, expensive, and complicated.
That’s where ScoutLogic can help. We'll help you devise a strategy that works for you and makes sense for your company. This way, you won't waste time conducting unnecessary background screenings.
The "Scout" service model at ScoutLogic works as an extension of your recruiting team. ScoutLogic Scouts are all extremely responsive to recruiter demands through our specialized service model. Your dedicated Scout proactively notifies you of problems, studies your company's and candidates' needs, and offers compliance assistance.
Background checks can be completed faster and more accurately than the industry average, giving recruiters a gift of time to focus on what they do best: finding great talent for their organizations.
Visit ScoutLogic for more information and a free assessment.