Employment Background Check Companies

The US Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire costs organizations up to 30% of their first-year salary on average. Another report shows that this cost can be as high as $240,000! Bad hires can also affect your organization’s productivity, motivation, and reputation. 

You can’t afford to hire the wrong people. A top employment background check firm can help you mitigate this risk and select the most trustworthy and qualified talent for your business. 

We’ve already selected the best employment background check companies by comparing multiple providers against our comprehensive evaluation criteria. Scroll down and start screening today. 


The Leading Employee Background Check Services in 2021

Sterling Logo


People First, Always.

Since 1975, Sterling has been focused on helping organizations build trust and safety for their employees, customers, and business partners. Over 40,000+ businesses globally rely on Sterling’s advanced employee background check solutions to recruit, hire, and monitor their teams. With decades of experience, expertise in dozens of industries, multiple integrations, and fast turnaround times, Sterling is one of the best employee background check providers to hire.

  • Civil and Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
GoodHire Logo


Simply Better. Start to Finish.

Driven by its statement to provide a “better way to do employment background checks,” GoodHire is a technology-first firm with a seamless user experience built into its DNA. Over 80,000 businesses of all sizes have already entrusted GoodHire with their employment screening needs, stating it’s the best background check service for employers due to its ease of use and speedy turnaround times.

  • Civil & Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • Drug Screening
InfoMart Logo


Make Background Screening Easy for You & Your Applicants

Established in 1989, InfoMart is a leading background check company built on world-class customer support and responsible business practices. It offers a wide range of services and caters to dozens of industries. By blending expertise and technological innovation, InfoMart consistently ranks as the best background check website.

  • Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Sanctions Searches
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
IntelliCorp Logo


Advance Your Hiring Practices

Established in 1996, IntelliCorp is committed to continued investment in new products and technologies, superior customer care, and forward-thinking leadership. Its screening solutions cover diverse needs from pre-employment to tenant screening. The company offers one the best background checks for employers including reliable healthcare screening packages and add-ons that provide extra protection for this highly regulated industry.

  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Employment Background Checks 
  • International Background Checks 
  • Drug Screening
Peopletrail logo


Discover the Safest Hiring Trail With Peopletrail's Advanced Employment Background Checks.

Peopletrail is a premier employment screening company known for its unique Actionable Insights model. It means organizing data in the reports in a way that will further assist hiring managers in their decision-making process, all that with an industry-leading turnaround time of 1.6 days. Over 20,000+ businesses use Peopletrail as their criminal background company of choice.

  • Personal Background Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
Verified Credentials Logo

Verified Credentials

Trusted Background Screening Since 1984.

Founded in 1984, Verified Credentials is among the leading pre-employment background check and personal background check companies known for their premium customer service and a variety of screening services. Its live support representatives take as little as five to eight seconds on average to answer. The company delivers fast and accurate results for a variety of business needs and industries.

  • Personal Background Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
Accurate Logo


Screening, optimized.

With a 98.5% client retention rate, 90% first call resolution, and a team of 1,700+ screening experts, AccurateNow is the go-to provider of background check services for small businesses. Marrying advanced processes and intelligent technology, AccurateNow provides an optimized background screening experience for both candidates and employers. Its employee background check process delivers a 99.99% accuracy rate, allowing employers to hire with peace of mind.

  • Business Intelligence
  • Employment Credit Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
AmericanChecked Logo


Through, Accurate & Easy to Use.

With a 98.1% customer satisfaction rate, variety of screening products, cutting-edge technology, and custom offerings, AmericanChecked is a reliable background screening company that offers all the pre-employment background check solutions you need in one place. Its industry-specific solutions and an extensive list of criminal background services help businesses stay ahead of the compliance curve.

  • Employment Background Checks
  • Civil & Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Employment  Credit Reports
  • Tribal Licensing
BackgrounChecks.com Logo


Be Sure. Hire With Confidence.

BackgroundChecks.com is a unique platform that brings together people search services and employee background check online solutions in one place. Its self-service guide allows you to discover which employer background check service bundle is recommended for your organization. Along with pre-made packages, it allows clients to pick only the services they need, and leverage candidate self-order.

  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Personal Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Drug Screening
Intelifi Logo


Better Background Checks.

Intelifi is both a software developer and data provider. Bringing together the best of both worlds, it offers comprehensive screening solutions, built-in compliance tools, human and AI record reviews, and seamless functionality. The firm is committed to providing the highest quality data for clients to make more informed hiring and renting decisions. More than 10,000 businesses are growing with Intelifi’s EMERGE screening platform and comprehensive background checks.

  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Records
  • Drug Screening


More Efficient Hiring for Every Kind of Company.

Checker has been helping businesses hit their staffing goals in the competitive job market since 2014. It relies on state-of-the-art technology to deliver fast and accurate employment background check and criminal background reports. Its human resources and talent acquisition solutions help businesses across multiple industries hire the best talent at the lowest risk.

  • Employment Background Check
  • Criminal Records Check
  • MVR Records
  • Education & Professional License Verification
  • Drug and Health Screenings

How We Selected the Best Employment Background Check Companies — A Detailed Look Into Our Evaluation Method

There are hundreds of employee background check online providers that claim they can screen candidates. But you can’t trust just any company with this vital process for your business. That’s why we developed a comprehensive selection method to detect the most reliable pre-employment background screening firms on the market. The providers that have earned a spot on our list have passed every step of our evaluation methodology. Below we’ll dive into the details of our selection process. 

Checking the Online Presence of Employee Background Screening Companies

We start our investigation process with a simple website visit to ensure we are moving through a safe online space — an HTTPS sign is excellent proof. Since these websites accept online payments, we check whether they’re using SSL(TLS) protocol, trustworthy payment gateways, and other layers of security related to safely processing online payments. 

Then we check each company’s mission, vision, team, and years of experience. This step helps us learn more about the employee background check companies under consideration. Lastly, we look at client reviews on independent sites. We examine these reviews for insight into the strongest and weakest points of each company. Any business can get bad reviews even if it’s not necessarily at fault. But the best in the industry take the time to address these negative experiences and possibly offer to make things right. Our list is filled with companies that have years of experience, predominantly positive feedback, and a loyal client base. 

Verifying Compliance and Accreditations

All employment background check companies must follow the rules outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and provide accurate results. Failing to respect these hiring and employee background check laws can expose you to penalties and lawsuits. It is against the law to use people finder sites to make hiring and lending decisions. FCRA demands from employers to obtain screening permissions from candidates. It also gives candidates the chance to review the results, explain the information uncovered, and file disputes. As an employer, you must follow a specific procedure if you decide not to hire an applicant or retain an employee based on the findings provided by your chosen employee background check service.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that governs the civil rights and laws related to workforce discrimination. According to the EEOC, employers should not exclude applicants solely because of arrest records or criminal convictions. However, things get more complicated with some states prohibiting individuals with criminal records from taking on certain positions. Laws and regulations greatly vary from one state to another and, in some cases, from city to city. The companies that offer the best employee background check services understand the different rules, regulations, and employee background check laws and can help you navigate this complex compliance labyrinth. 

Another sign of excellence we look for is accreditation from the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). This association recognizes only the best background check providers that adhere to its strict guidelines. A Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation meanwhile provides extra credibility to the companies recognized by this institution. 

The employee background check companies on our list have been verified for their knowledge of all applicable laws, regulations, and best practices. These firms keep their eyes on the latest changes in compliance and are always ready to make the necessary adjustments in their screening programs. 

Evaluation of Their Service Focus

Most providers that do a background check for employment cover the basics plus offer advanced searches. Depending on their focus, these companies also offer industry-specific services or industry packages tailored to provide all the necessary information for secure hiring. The best employment background check companies typically offer a broader range of searches, support different industries, and provide ongoing monitoring services. Below, you can see a list of services you can order from these firms. 

These FCRA-compliant employee background screening companies might also offer tenant screening services that involve the following searches: 


We spend time on the companies’ websites, browsing through their employee background check services and other categories. Then we order background checks, a step that allows us to test the user experience first-hand and review the results as they become available. We have handpicked companies with user-friendly websites that provide seamless functionality across all devices. 

Testing Services Quality and Reports Accuracy

We created a group of potential applicants from different walks of life to test the services. We then ordered background checks from all employee background screening companies for each person. We compared the delivered results and asked the screened candidates to confirm their accuracy. 

Another important thing we evaluate — how do they organize the data in the background checks? Do they structure the information in a way that makes it fast and easy for decision-makers to process? Employers don’t need just any reports but well-organized background checks that add value to HR’s decision-making process. That’s why we handpick the best employee background check services that focus on delivering useful reports and the highest ROI to their clients. 

Accuracy is not only about showing everything but showing up-to-date information while respecting the FCRA guidelines and other laws and regulations that govern the hiring process. Most criminal record checks can only go seven years back into an individual’s criminal history. The seven-year rule applies to all states for non-criminal convictions and a lot of states for criminal convictions. Companies, however, should know which criminal records can be reported indefinitely and include those in the background checks. 

We also ask our test group of applicants to review their employment background check results and report if they find any incorrect information. This step allows us to double-check the data and get first-hand feedback on whether it’s accurate. Only employment background check companies that pass our two-step accuracy test earn a spot on our list. 

Turnaround Time

Companies that take weeks to deliver results are passé in the nowadays fast-paced world. The talent market is getting more competitive by the minute, meaning that you can quickly lose a great candidate if your employee background check process takes too long. 

Industry trends suggest that employment background checks should be ready between three to five business days. Some employee background check service providers promise faster turnaround times, ranging between one to three business days. The turnaround time mostly depends on how deep you wish to go and how complex it is to obtain the required information. You can usually see estimates on the companies’ websites. You can also ask how long it will take for your requested searches. 

We order background checks from each evaluated provider and track how long it takes to get results. Companies that provide accurate, well-organized, and valuable reports in shorter periods rank higher on our list. 

Customer Support 

Prompt and attentive customer service is a must for employee background check companies, especially because they deal with sensitive information. Whether you’re interested to learn more about their offerings or have an issue that needs a resolution, the companies on our list will be on the case. 

We present ourselves as potential clients to test all channels of communication they offer. We immediately discard firms with poor and slow customer support. 

Checking if Their Pricing Follows Industry Standards

When it comes to employment background checks, one-size-fits-all solutions are not for everybody. Prices charged by employee background check companies vary depending on the industry, the scope and complexity of the information you need, and the locations where data needs to be obtained. The total employee background check cost will also depend on how many checks you need and how long you intend to use the service, as larger quantities and loyal clients are often eligible for bulk or commitment discounts. 

Generally speaking, several pricing models are popular among pre-employment background check firms:

Pre-bundled employee background check services are more suitable for small businesses that need fewer background checks per year or once in a while. The most basic packages cost $30 on average and typically include SSN trace and criminal records check (national criminal check plus sex offender registries). Mid-tier packages up the ante with domestic watchlist search and county criminal check, for ~$60. More advanced packages usually cost around $80 and add education and employment verifications to the mix. 

A-la-carte options are great if you need to add services to pre-built packages, purchase services separately, or build your own bundle. Suppose you want to develop your own screening program. In that case, you need to get in touch with a company representative and have them help you do that. 

Below you can find the average price ranges for searches that are typically part of employee background check services

On top of the fees charged by the employee background check company, you might need to pay access fees to obtain the requested information. Those are usually contingent on the location and type of information. Below you can find rough estimates:

In most states, the access fees are single-digit or no fees at all, yet some jurisdictions like New York charge $95, a cost that can really add up if you screen dozens or more candidates. The exact employee background check cost you’ll end up paying depends on many variables but you can rest assured that the companies on our list have fair pricing that aligns with industry standards. 

How to Detect the Best Employee Background Check Services for Your Needs

We understand that leaving you with a list of the best background check providers might also leave you overwhelmed and uncertain how to detect the most appropriate one for your business. The following guide is designed to help you make the best decision. 

Determine Your Employment Screening Needs

How many background checks per year do you need? Are there any searches that will make hiring in your industry a lot safer? Do you need an employee background check company that has a deep understanding of your field? 

Do you want to cover only the bare minimum or perform advanced searches on your candidates? You might not need the most advanced background checks for all applicants, but you could use every bit of information for those that will potentially take on high-level positions. Companies that offer social media background check services, for example, can help you reveal things that you can’t find in traditional screenings. Are you interested in building a custom screening program and even automating your workflows?

Create a list of your needs and questions you want to ask the potential employment background check companies. This step will help you see which providers are the best fit for your requirements and situation. 

Look for a Compliance Expert in Your Industry

If you operate in a highly regulated industry, a background screening firm that understands the specific laws and regulations will provide the safest hiring trail for your business. For instance, healthcare background check companies offer industry-specific searches that help employers select the most qualified and trustworthy healthcare professionals. 

Industry specialists can advise you which searches are best for candidates that will potentially have access to vulnerable categories, including children, financial goods, and sensitive information. Let’s say you work in the airline industry, it’s advisable to limit your choices to outfits offering airline and airport employee background check services. 

Allocate a Budget

If you need advanced searches and lab drug tests, you’re unlikely to get away with $30 per background check. When allocating a budget, you should consider your screening requirements, the average prices, and the custom quotes the companies have given you. You should set a realistic budget and then eliminate the options that don’t fall into those ranges or satisfy your criteria. 

Close the Best Deal

When you’re purchasing a custom-made screening program, you have space to negotiate a lower price. For instance, you can ask for bulk or commitment discounts if you’re after a long-term business relationship or a certain number of background checks per year. You can also ask your employee background check company of choice if they’d price match if their offer is higher than the competition. 

Employment Background Check FAQs

What does an employment background check consist of?

Employment background checks can vary depending on the employers’ requirements but typically include: 

How long does it take for an employment background check?

In general, employment background checks take between three to five business days or less.

What shows up on an employment background check?

The results depend on the employee background check services requested. In most cases, employment background reports show the applicant’s identity, employment, education, credit history, license verification, criminal and driving records. Still, those applying for specialized positions will most likely undergo additional screenings. 

How far back does a background check go for employment?

The FCRA rules and other compliance and location-specific laws govern how far a background check for employment can go. Typically, employment background reports show seven years of criminal or court records. 

How does a background check verify employment?

Employment background check companies verify applicants’ previous employment by contacting each workplace listed on their resumes and checking facts like job titles, duties, and dates of employment. Specific regulations govern what a previous employer can share when giving a reference, and they vary from one state to another.