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11 min read

The 10 Best Employee Background Check Services in 2024

The 10 Best Employee Background Check Services in 2024
11 min read

The 10 Best Employee Background Check Services in 2024

Before hiring employees for any role involving significant trust or financial delegations, carrying out an employee background check is crucial. Here, we run through the ten best employee background check services available in 2024 and two highly recommended options. 

Key Takeaways

 

What we looked for in employee background check services

Employee background checks are usually done before hiring employees to verify references, education, and licensing, to check criminal records, and to check credit ratings. Background checks verify that someone is who they say they are.

There are many types of employee background check services, and determining which is best for you will depend on several conditions:

Will this be a one-off check, or will you need employee background check services regularly? Is low cost your main priority, or are you happy to pay for the most thorough search possible? Do they offer additional services, such as tenant screening? Are you hiring internationally, and if so, will the background check service have to be European Union (EU) compliant? And does your industry have specific requirements for background checks?

The answers to these questions will help determine which background service is the best for you and your business.

Regardless of your unique needs, the main thing we look for in all employee background check services is Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance.

Suppose a background check supplier states that they are FCRA compliant. In that case, they strictly follow FCRA regulations when performing a check, and their information may legally be used to make employment decisions.

One of the most obvious differences between FCRA-compliant and noncompliant background checks is consent from the applicant. To meet FCRA compliance, the applicant (the person whose background is being checked) must be given a disclosure and sign an authorization form.

Additionally, for a background check to be FCRA compliant, the applicant has the right to review the information reported, correct any inaccuracies, and appeal any decisions based on the information they feel was made unfairly.

FCRA-compliant background checks are also limited in what information they can report; bankruptcy cases will not be reported if they occurred more than ten years previous, adverse information (not including criminal convictions) will be no older than 7 years, and no medical information is allowed to be shared unless the report is for insurance purposes.

Some employee background check services advertise they are “PBSA Certified” and FCRA compliant. The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) is an association of US-based screening companies. PBSA-certified companies have shown that they comply with the Association’s verification, security, research, and legal standards. It is not a legal designation but shows that the screening company meets a certain quality control standard.

Some companies that perform international background checks also state they are “GDPR Compliant.” The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) covers background checks in the European Union (EU), like FCRA covers background checks in the US. In addition to requiring the applicant’s consent, GDPR-compliant background checks must show that there is a “Lawful Basis” for the check, following EU regulations.

What are People Search background check services?

Non FCRA-compliant background checks allow clients to investigate public records and other sources of information simply based on a name, address, or phone number. The individual is not required to consent to the background check, but it may not be used for employment, insurance, credit, and other purposes covered by FCRA. This type of search is often called a People Search.

As a word of warning, however, if you’re not sure if your search is covered by FCRA regulations, consult a legal specialist. Making employment, insurance, tenant-related, and credit-related decisions based on a non-FCRA-compliant background search can leave you open to lawsuits.

For those looking to trace a call from an unknown number, locate a former colleague’s present address, and do other non-employment purposes, we’ve rounded out our list with three of the most popular People Search background check services as well.


BEST FOR LARGE EMPLOYERS

Checkr

Checkr is a popular background check service, fully FCRA-compliant and PBSA-certified, particularly favored by large companies. 

Key Features

  • Checkr is designed for large employers in business sectors with high turnover. It uses machine learning to increase the speed of its searches and provides ETAs for completion time.
  • Industries of focus include retail, food service, hospitality, and gig jobs.
  • Services include criminal history checks, civil searches, education and employment verification, drug screening, and motor vehicle record searches.
  • FCRA compliant and PBSA certified.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Applicant portal for candidates to monitor the progress of their background check.
  • Integration with applicant tracking software.
  • Simple to scale for high volumes.

Cons

  • May be more than needed required for small and medium-sized employers.

Final verdict

Checkr’s service will be very useful for large businesses in high turnover industries, or for staffing companies supplying to those businesses.





BEST BACKGROUND CHECK BUNDLED WITH AN EOR

Deel

Deel is a major global Employer of Record which provides background checks as part of its comprehensive HR outsourcing solutions. 

Key features

  • Deel is a global Employer of Record (EOR), HR outsourcing service provider, payroll, and relocation solutions provider. It has partnered with Certn to provide employee background check services for its clients. The service can perform background checks on individuals from 200 countries,
  • Areas of focus include global businesses, small businesses, and property management.
  • Services include credit checks, criminal record checks, motor vehicle records, professional reference checks, and education and employment verification.
  • FCRA compliant and GDPR compliant.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Seamless integration with Deel software and other services. 
  • App for candidates.
  • Simple setup.
  • Easy to use candidate search.

Cons

  • Integrations available for Deel users only. 

Final verdict

For Deel clients and international employers just looking to screen and hire a few candidates, this service is a simple, clear choice. The combination of EOR, HR outsourcing, and employee background check services make this a powerful tool for building global teams.

Read more about Deel’s international HR offerings in our 2023 Deel review





BEST FOR LARGE GLOBAL EMPLOYERS

HireRight

HireRight is a major background check service provider offering background check services in virtually every country, as well as 20 languages. 

Key features

  • HireRight provides everything that large global employers need to perform background checks on a continuous and sizable volume of candidates around the world. It covers nearly every industry, in 200 countries, and works in 20 languages.
  • Industries of focus include education, energy and utilities, financial services, banking, government, healthcare, life sciences, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, gig work, non-profits, retail, staffing, technology, and transportation.
  • Services include Identity checks, drug screening, and verification of employment, professional licensing, and education credentials.
  • FCRA compliant and PBSA accredited.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • 200 countries covered.
  • 20 languages supported.
  • Specialized packages for most industries.

Cons

  • May not suitable for small employers.

Final verdict

HireRight is a great choice for large corporations, operating in many countries, with local offices using multiple languages.





BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

SentryLink

SentryLink is a simple, no-frills provider, perfect for the small business on a tight budget. 

Key features

  • SentryLink performs simple background checks by searching through criminal records and driving records. It is also able to perform Social Security number validation.
  • Pricing is transparent, and on a per-service, per-check basis. Reports are delivered via PDF.
  • FCRA compliant.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Simple pricing with no recurring fees

Cons

  • Limited capabilities.

Final verdict

SentryLink is a simple, competitively priced, and compliant choice for small businesses. For large employers conducting many background checks year-round, international employers, and those requiring more extensive information or integration with other software systems, the service may not offer enough.

To find our more about the best way to hire as a small business check out our 2023 small business hiring guide





BEST FOR SMALL INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSES

Sterling

Sterling is a useful international background check services provider that need a straightforward and professional service. 

 Key features

  • Applicants from 195 different countries can be checked by Sterling.
  • Services include identity verification, education and employment verification, motor vehicle checks, motor vehicle checks, medical license monitoring, and workforce monitoring. Enterprise services are available as well as per-screening.
  • Industries of focus include construction, education, energy and utilities, entertainment, financial services, and business services.
  • FCRA Compliant and PBSA Accredited.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Proprietary technology allows for fast criminal checks

Cons

  • Pricing available by request only.

Final verdict

Sterling is a good choice for global employers that need just a few international background checks and don’t need to subscribe to a monthly service.





BEST FOR TENANT SCREENING

Intellicorp

Intellicorp offers an extensive background check service, going beyond the standard employment offerings to offer tenant screening as well. 

Key features

  • Intellicorp is a well-established employee background check provider that has been recognized for high customer satisfaction. 
  • Services include; criminal, civil, credit, and motor vehicle checks, drug screening, and reference verification. 
  • Industries of focus include the healthcare, volunteer work, and property management industries, and provides general pre-employment screening.
  • FCRA Compliant and PBSA Accredited.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Tenant screening and property management screening are available

Cons

  • Limited industry-specific services

Final verdict

Intellicorp focuses specifically on healthcare and volunteer work, so employers in those industries will find the service quite helpful. Landlords will also appreciate their tenant screening services.

 





BEST PEOPLE SEARCH FROM MINIMAL DATA

Intellius

Intellius is the ideal background check company where there is minimal data available on potential hires. 

Key features

  • Intellius offers public records search through county, state, and federal data. Includes criminal records and property data.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Search from minimal data such as name, phone number, or address.

Cons

  • Pricing can be confusing
  • Not FCRA compliant.

Final verdict

Intellius is a good choice for individuals, journalists, or private investigators looking to conduct regular People Searches for purposes other than employment screening.





BEST PEOPLE SEARCH FOR CRIMINAL CHECKS

Instant Checkmate

Instant Checkmate is a useful background checker for those with an interest primarily in criminal screening. 

Key features

  • Instant checkmate performs people searches through public records. It looks through arrest records, lists of sex offenders, criminal records, and traffic infractions.
  • It can locate incarcerated people through an inmate search option. Search can be done with limited information, such as a phone number.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Inmate search.

Cons

  • Not FCRA compliant.
  • Pricing information is not clear

Final verdict

Instant Checkmate is a good choice for locating individuals (even those currently incarcerated) based on limited information.





BEST FOR TRACKING PRIVATE DATA LEAKS

Truthfinder

Truthfinder is a useful information service for those interested in getting control on their own data, rather than screening employees. 

Key features

  • Truthfinder searches through criminal records, property ownership, social networks, and public records. Results can include job history and living relatives, among other results. 
  • TruthFinders Dark Web Monitoring can track whether sensitive personal information is being sold on illicit websites.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Dark Web Monitoring services available for privacy monitoring.

Cons

  • Not FCRA compliant.

Final verdict

Truthfinder is a good people search service but not appropriate for hiring purposes. The Dark Web Monitoring feature will be useful for those wishing to monitor several phone numbers, social security numbers, and other sensitive information.

BEST FOR FINANCIAL FIRMS

ShareAble

ShareAble is a market-leading employee screening service for businesses with a focus on financial matters. 

Key features

  • ShareAble serves employers primarily concerned with the financial health of their new hires (such as those in the financial services industry). Wile ShareAble does not offer add-ons like driving records or drug testing, it will discover the financial and credit history of applicants and search through federal, state, and county watch lists. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • A simple, fast, economical service for credit and financial checks. 

Cons

  • No custom screenings, but upgraded services are available. 

Final verdict

The economical basic plan will discover whether a candidate is currently wanted, and reveal their general financial health. For many employers this may be all that is needed. Plus and pro plans add fraud alerts, SSN match, and employment checks, but businesses needed driving records and drug testing will have to use another service. 

Highly recommended background check services

BEST INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC BACKGROUND CHECKS

Trusted Employees

Trusted Employees provides a comprehensive employee screening service for companies and organizations in nearly any industry. 

Key features

  • Trusted Employees offers custom packages for nonprofits and volunteer organizations, as well as businesses in the manufacturing, retail, transportation, and tech industries.
  • It also provides user friendly reports with customized scoring, risk assessment reports, and notifications when applicants do not meet regulatory compliance.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Industry-specific services are available. 
  • Custom, easy to read reports provided. 

Cons

  • No bulk discount option. 

Final verdict

Small businesses with industry-specific screening needs with find Trusted Employees to be their best option. Those that need a large number of less specific tests may wish to try other options. 





BEST CUSTOM SERVICE FOR SMALL COMPANIES

Backgroundchecks.com

Backgroundchecks.com provides a useful employment screening solution for any company needing a custom service. 

Key features

  • Backgroundchecks.com specializes in providing services for the construction, retail, manufacturing, and staffing industries, as well as for volunteer organizations.
  • It offers  basic services like Social Security Number lookup as well as credit checks and even drug screenings.
  • Multiple country search is available, however only at the highest membership tier. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Discount packages available for companies that order more than 50 background checks per year. 

Cons

  • Registration fee makes the service less economical for occasional users. 

Final verdict

Small businesses that need a large number of custom applicant screenings and background checks over the course of the year (such as staffing companies) will find Backgroundchecks.com time saving and economical. Occasional users may wish to find a different service.

Top 10 employee background check services — our take

If your industry has very specific needs regarding employee background checks, a service with specialized packages will be best. Beyond this, look at your area of operation, how much information you need in the report, and how many employee background checks you expect to regularly perform.

If you need to perform a one-off employee background check, only need a basic report, and care mainly about performing a compliant background check for low cost, the basic services from SentryLink will be a good option.

If you’re already a Deel client or considering global Employer of Record and HR outsourcing service anyway, they provide an easy-to-use service that is already integrated into their platform.  This combination of services is the best background check service for employers looking to build a global team from scratch.

If your company already has a large global team and doesn’t require HR outsourcing services, Sterling and HireRight offer good solutions.

Large employers in the US seeking an enterprise-level background check service will likely prefer Checkr.

If you require background check services primarily for the healthcare industry, volunteer work, or tenant checks, Intellicorp provides the most specialized service.

If you are interested in protecting personal information and want to the minute your details appear on hacked databases, the Dark Web Monitoring service offered by Truthfinder will be useful. If you wish to track down an individual who may be incarcerated currently, try Instant CheckMate. For more general People Searches, Intellius is another good choice.

We hope that this list has helped you find the best employee background check service to use in 2023 for your business. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the cost comparison for different services can vary depending on how many searches you need to perform each month. For employment background checks, remember to always use a service that is FCRA compliant. If you just need to track down a phone number or an address for other reasons, however, feel free to use a People Search service.

FAQ

Employers conduct background checks to mitigate risks, ensure workplace safety, protect their business and employees, and make informed hiring decisions. Background checks help verify the accuracy of an applicant's claims, identify potential red flags, and assess whether they meet the requirements of the position.

The specific information included in a background check may vary based on the employer's requirements and legal regulations. It commonly includes employment history, educational background, criminal records, credit history, professional licenses, references, and drug testing results if applicable.

The cost of background check services varies depending on several factors, such as the depth and scope of the background check, the number of checks required, and the provider chosen. Prices can range from a few dollars for basic checks to more comprehensive checks that may cost several hundred dollars per applicant.

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.

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