Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of businesses choose the right background check software to automate employee background check processes and eliminate paperwork.

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EZ Screen

EZ Screen is a full-service background check solution that offers self-service technology and a dedicated service team to streamline the employment screening process. With experienced experts, EZ Screen Solutions offer a comprehen... Read more

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Employment Hero

Employment Hero is a cloud-based human resource (HRM) management system available to businesses of all industries and sizes. The solution helps manage the entire employee lifecycle, with modules for recruiting, onboarding, payroll... Read more

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GoodHire

GoodHire offers tech-enabled services to help businesses streamline processes related to pre-employment background checks, ensuring compliance across federal, local, state, and industry regulations. This solution helps HR teams mo... Read more

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Checkr

Checkr is a tech-enabled staffing and background screening solution built to help businesses attract and acquire qualified talent. This solution enables employers to perform background checks, while reducing complexity, mitigating... Read more

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Emerge

Intelifi offers tech-enabled background check services by giving employers access to applicant DMV records, employment history, credit reports, plus more. Services are conducted using Intelifi's software, Emerge, which is built to... Read more

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ScreeningCanada

ScreeningCanada is a cloud-based background screening solution, which helps Canadian businesses leverage application programming interface (API) connections with information bureaus to verify candidates' details. Professionals can... Read more

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Good Egg

Good Egg offers tech-enabled services that help organizations conduct criminal background inspection, drug tests, and employment or education verifications. It allows users to identify and flag potentially illegal activities, viol... Read more

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Sterling

Sterling Talent Solutions provides tech-enabled human resource services related to background screening and candidate onboarding. Designed for financial services, retail, healthcare, staffing, nonprofit and gig economy organizatio... Read more

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Certn

Certn is a comprehensive background check provider that uses smart technology and a dedicated customer service team to deliver results in a matter of minutes. With Certn's online portal, employers, talent acquisition teams, staffi... Read more

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PeopleG2

PeopleG2 is a offers tech-enabled background screening services for small to large enterprises, which can help improve recruitment operations. It also enables professionals to access candidate information and track the hiring stat... Read more

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SEON. Fraud Fighters

SEON. Fraud Fighters include fraud prevention tools that help businesses in insurance, eCommerce, banking and other industries manage detection and prevention of financial and identity frauds. Its sense platform helps organization... Read more

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CompuFACT

CompuFACT offers tech-enabled background check services to help employers make efficient hiring decisions when considering applicants. This solution provides access to county, state, national, or international criminal records. Ad... Read more

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Verified First

Verified First offers tech-enabled background check services, including criminal checks, civil checks, identity checks, verifications, driver records, international searches, and drug screening. This solution was built for a varie... Read more

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Veremark

Veremark is an automated background and reference check solution that offers technology and service components used by HR teams globally. Veremark streamlines the candidate screening process and helps organizations conduct inspect... Read more

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Asurint

Asurint offers tech-enabled background check services that enable businesses to streamline processes related to candidate screening and pre-employment verification, ensuring compliance with various local, state, federal and intern... Read more

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HireRight

HireRight provides employment tech-enabled background screening services for small to large organizations across various industries such as transportation, healthcare, retail, education, non-profits and more. It facilitates the ca... Read more

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FIrst Choice Hiring Solutions

FirstChoice is a cloud-based hiring management solution designed for small and midsize businesses. Primary features include candidate pre-screening, assessment platform, on-boarding, video interviewing and behavioral tests. I... Read more

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Shareable For Hires

Powered by TransUnion, ShareAble is a self-service pre-employment background check solution that delivers fast and reliable employment background checks. Using state-of-the-art technology and FCRA-compliant background check servic... Read more

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UniCourt

UniCourt is a leader in making court data more accessible and useful. It offers Legal Data as a Service (LDaaS) via APIs, providing Fortune 500 companies and AmLaw firms bulk access to legal data for business development and intel... Read more

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Orange Tree

Orange Tree offers tech-enabled background check services that help businesses search multiple criminal databases, watch lists, offender registers and fraud/abuse records to screen job candidates. It allows applicants to register ... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 13, 2021

In theory, background checks should be the easiest part of the hiring workflow. If you're part of the 72 percent of companies that perform a background check on every new hire though, you know that this final hurdle to employment can still come with its fair share of headaches—even if the results come back clean.

Between maintaining mountains of paperwork for compliance purposes, keeping track of payments to background check providers and updating the status of candidates in your hiring pipeline, there are more than a few steps where errors can, and do, occur. Errors lead to delays, and delays mean potentially pushing back a new hire starting date. That's no good.

Which is why if you're looking to save time, ensure accuracy and reduce costly delays with employee background checks, you should consider background check software: systems designed to help HR personnel stay on top of this small but important process.

If you're new to background check software, this Buyer's Guide can help. Below, we'll go over everything you need to know to find the right system for your needs.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Background Check Software?
Common Background Check Software Functionality
Businesses That Benefit the Most From Background Check Software
Key Considerations When Evaluating Background Check Providers

What Is Background Check Software?

As the name implies, background check software helps companies digitize and automate processes pertaining to requesting, obtaining, paying for and tracking the status of employee background checks. More accurately, background check software is a combination of software and service—vendors either offer background check services themselves (rare) or partner with someone who does (more common).

Compared to disparate emails and paper files, background check software offers a more secure, centralized and streamlined solution that can save you time while ensuring nothing with regard to background checks falls through the cracks.

Overview screen in background check software Newton

Background check overview screen in Newton

Background check software can be purchased either stand-alone (e.g., Intelifi's Emerge) or as an optional feature set integrated within a more comprehensive recruiting or onboarding software platform (e.g., Newton).

Common Background Check Software Functionality

When researching different background check software vendors, you should expect to find these features in a majority of systems:

Background check ordering Enter candidate details, select the type of background check you want and submit payment.
Status tracking Keep track of the status of different background checks. Automatically notify the responsible party when they have a task to complete.
Document management Store background check documents. Documents can be searched for or attached to candidate profiles in a recruiting software system.
Digital signature All parties—candidates, employers, background check service providers—can read and sign documents in-system.
Results and reporting See the results of background checks and generate standardized reports for stakeholders.

Software functionality is just one half of the equation though. You should also learn which types of background check services a vendor or their partnered providers can offer. Here are some common options to ask about:

  • Criminal history
  • Drug screening
  • Social security trace
  • Employment verification
  • Education verification

Depending on your company, there may also be more industry-specific background checks you should include on your must-have list. Fleet companies, for example, should ensure their vendor offers motor vehicle screenings, while those in finance may require credit checks.

Businesses That Benefit the Most from Background Check Software

If you only do background checks for a few select roles or don't do a ton of hiring outside of seasonal spikes, it's unlikely that you'll get enough value out of dedicated background check software to warrant the cost. On the other hand, if you're one of these types of businesses, background check software is more than a worthwhile investment:

  • High-volume recruiters. Retailers, restaurants, hospitality businesses and other high-volume recruiters have to hire a lot of low or unskilled labor quickly. For this reason alone, background check software is a must to shorten time to hire.
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  • Multistate businesses. Laws differ from state to state regarding what you can and can't do with background checks. For example, in 12 states you can't go back more than seven years when looking for criminal convictions. Everywhere else, you can look at a candidate's entire history. With background check software, you can avoid compliance missteps.
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  • Finance, IT and health care. According to a CareerBuilder survey, these three industries are some of the worst when it comes to applicants lying on their resume. More thorough background checks facilitated through software can ensure you catch imposters before it's too late.

Key Considerations When Evaluating Background Check Providers

There isn't a ton of variance when it comes to the background check software itself. If it has the functionality you want, is intuitive to use and has great reviews from other users, you should be good to go.

The background check provider that will actually be performing the service requires more scrutiny. Here are some things to look out for when evaluating them:

  • Are they FCRA-compliant and NAPBS-accredited? The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates the information about a candidate you're entitled to learn and what you're allowed to do with it. There are a handful of enticing online tools out there for DIY background checks, but these services are rarely, if ever, FCRA-compliant. Instead, look for a provider who employs experts that will do the background checks for you, accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).
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  • Do their priorities mirror your own? If the candidate experience is of utmost importance to you, don't go with a provider who puts speed of service over courtesy. On the other hand, if you need to hire people quickly, don't invest in a provider with a terrible turnaround time. A background check provider is an extension of your employer brand, so make sure your values align.
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  • Do they partner with any applicant tracking systems (ATSs)? Whether you already have a system in place or are looking to invest in one soon, having a background check provider integrated with your ATS will just make your entire recruiting process and workflow that much more seamless.