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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UZIO

UZIO is a SaaS-based online marketplace that provides cloud-based HR, payroll, and benefits management software and services. It is built for businesses of all sizes. This integrated solution offers local/regional brokers, employers,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 137 recommendations

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Zenefits

Zenefits is an all-encompassing HR SaaS platform designed specifically for small to midsize businesses. The Zenefits People Platform includes a robust offering spanning HR, Benefits, Payroll, Well-being and Performance apps that combines... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 86 recommendations

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RUN Powered by ADP

RUN Powered by ADP (RUN"), is a web-based payroll solution designed for small businesses. The solution can be deployed on either iPhones, iPads or on any touchscreen device. RUN can integrate with multiple third-party accounting software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 61 recommendations

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BambooHR

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR management software solution for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), time... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 60 recommendations

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isolved

isolved People Cloud, seamlessly connects and manages the employee journey across talent management, HR & payroll, workforce management and engagement management functions. Employ, enable and empower your workforce by transforming... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 45 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
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Paycor

Paycor is an integrated cloud-based software suite that offers functionality to encompasses the entire employee lifecycle - from recruiting and onboarding to time and attendance management. Collectively, the solution offers tools for... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 44 recommendations

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UKG Ready

UKG Ready (formerly Kronos Workforce Ready) is a flexible and seamless HR solution that provides a connected people experience to easily manage the entire employee journey, from a single solution. Designed for flexibility and ease... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 42 recommendations

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ClearCompany HRM

ClearCompany is a software system that works for human resources (HR) and recruiting teams across both public and private industries. The ClearCompany Talent Alignment Platform connects recruiting, new employee onboarding and performance... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 41 recommendations

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eddyHR

EddyHR’s mission is to help small and midsize businesses move out of paper and spreadsheets, and into an intuitive, modern, all-in-one HR platform. EddyHR is unique because of its seamless combination of hiring, onboarding, and people... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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PurelyHR

PurelyHR is a cloud-based leave management solution for small to midsize businesses. The system’s core modules allow HR departments to track staff leave requests and approvals as well as manage diverse time off policies and hierarchies.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Rippling

Rippling makes it easy to manage your company's Payroll, Benefits, HR, and IT—all in one, modern platform. It brings all of your employee systems and data together, and helps automate your busy work.  Take onboarding, for example.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 34 recommendations

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Workful

Workful is a cloud-based payroll and employee management solution designed to help small businesses automate processes for internal communication, time tracking, onboarding and more. Key features include direct deposit, geo-fenced... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

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ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Now is a comprehensive solution for managing HR, payroll, talent, compliance, and employee benefits. This workforce solution is suited for businesses with more than 50 employees looking to streamline HR processes. ADP... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

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Arcoro HR Management System

The Arcoro human resources (HR) management solution is the bridge to better HR. With over 10,000 customers and 360,000 daily users in 20 countries around the world, Arcoro offers 11 configurable, easy-to-use, cloud-based HR software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

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Dayforce HCM

Dayforce, provided by Ceridian, is a cloud-based solution for Payroll, Benefits, Workforce Management, Human Resources, Talent Management, Document Management, and Analytics. As a single application, Dayforce provides organizations... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 24 recommendations

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UKG Pro (Formerly UltiPro)

UKG Pro (formerly Ultimate UltiPro) is a powerful, global HCM solution. Transform your business with a truly connected global workforce experience delivered through resilient and mindful HR technology. From payroll, to talent, to service... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 22 recommendations

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iCIMS Talent Cloud

Support the entire candidate experience from start to finish with a unified recruitment platform. iCIMS offers best-in-class recruiting products for your hiring life cycle, available as part of one unified talent cloud platform, or... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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JazzHR

JazzHR is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applicant tracking system. Founded in 2009, JazzHR provides recruiting and hiring software accessible to businesses of all sizes. JazzHR’s sourcing tools enable users to post jobs, mirror... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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Workable

An applicant tracking system and more, Workable combines machine learning and AI with 40+ integrations to provide a complete hiring toolkit. In five years, 20,000 companies have used its global hiring platform to find, evaluate and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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The Applicant Manager

The Applicant Manager (TAM) is a cloud-based applicant tracking solution that helps recruiting agencies and teams to streamline their hiring and onboarding process. The solution lets users track job postings and actively engage quality... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: January 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.