Choosing A Background Check Service For Your Small Business

March 14, 2016

Nowadays, part of the hiring process for employers often involves conducting background checks on applicants, but knowing how to choose the right service is not always obvious.               

There are two main types of services that you can use: full service background check companies - who do all of the investigatory work for you, and DIY background check websites – online sites which allow users to conduct their own searches with instant results. 

The following information should help you decide which one is best for your small business: 

Full Service Background Check Companies

  • Give the full name of the applicant to the company of your choice and they will comprehensively screen them; includes checking criminal convictions, verifying employment and education details and anything else that you request.
  • Most companies offering this service use an online portal which allows employers to request a background check (or multiple checks) and assess the end report from anywhere with a connection to the internet.
  • Most companies will charge between $50 and $100 for each report on each individual and generally take from around two to five days to complete.

 What are the benefits of using a full service background check company?

The main benefit of using companies who conduct service background checks, is that they’re in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) laws. Should you use a service that isn’t compliant, you could be exposing your business to potential lawsuits and hefty penalties. 

They also conduct very thorough searches; rather than simply relying on online databases for information, they employ court runners who make personal visits to courthouses to try and obtain information on any criminal indicators that have been flagged up. Not only that, but they contact former employers and educational facilities to affirm the applicants previous work and educational history. 

One disadvantage of using these companies is that they can be costly and take some time to provide results. 

Online background check websites

  • Background check websites are user friendly and affordable 
  • The results are often instantaneous; you visit the site, type in the name of the applicant and a number of details will pop up, such as any misdemeanour and felony convictions, sex offences, arrest or plea deal details, bankruptcies, address history, marriage records, social security number and even their social media profiles.
  • DIY sites can cost from around $10 to $50, depending on how detailed you want your background search to be. 

What are the benefits of using an online background check website?

The main benefits of conducting a background search check yourself, are that you are provided with instant results and at a very low price. 

However, these DIY websites are not in compliance with the FCRA and can often give the user incorrect and incomplete information that hasn’t been properly verified.

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