June 19, 2018

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Background Checks - Hiring in the 21st Century

Negotiating the Mine Field - Background Checking Services

“I couldn’t believe the application. I was stunned! They wanted to know my:

  • Current mortgage balance
  • Who my neighbors were and how long they lived near by
  • My total current credit card debt …. And the list went on and on …”

The above quote was provided to me by an actual job applicant I met just last week. If these questions sound highly intrusive … welcome to the 21st Century. To be fair this particular individual was applying for a job as a dispatcher for the local Police Department but it dramatizes how all companies and organizations are tightening the screws when it comes to the application and screening process.

Like it or not companies are spending more and more time double checking, re-verifying and scrutinizing candidate’s backgrounds. To help the hiring manager (or recruiter facilitating the hiring process), check out the services available in the following list.

While large companies have national or regional agreements already in place, many fast growing small companies with 15 to 200 employees (and the recruiters lucky enough to work with such rapidly growing organizations) may find the services listed very affordable.

For independent recruiters you will find this list handy as:

  1. A “hand out” guide you may provide to a small company client … or
  2. A resource for conducting background checks and adding value to your recruiting services

For small or medium sized company recruiters this can be an invaluable resource as well.

To compile our list we surveyed, emailed and called scores of corporate and independent recruiters, executive recruiters, and staffing firm owners nationally. The resulting list are the most popular background checking services reported as most often used.

Whether you use this list as a helpful “handout” a “value added” resource to tap yourself for a client, or for your own internal recruiter hiring background checks have fallen and price and become easier than ever to obtain via online providers.


Backgrounds Online - Background checks. Internet-based, no software needed, paperless order and retrieval, full range of services, fastest turnaround times, great pricing, fully-integrated custom data solutions.

Background Checks - This was the single most popular reported background checking service due to its easy online user interface. Several state personnel services members and former board directors chose this as the most popular service.

Instant Background Investigation - Instant Background Check includes Criminal Check, Legal Judgments, Bankruptcies, Liens, Property Info, Relatives and Associates, Neighbors, Neighborhood Info and much more.

Choicepoint - Originally Choicepoint was a supplier of data for the insurance industry. Their web site cites:For almost a century ChoicePoint has been a trusted source and leading provider of decision-making information that helps reduce fraud and mitigate risk.

Pre-Employment Background Checks - Credit reports, criminal records, DMV and more. Serving HR professionals and corporate managers exclusively. FCRA compliant. Twenty-four to forty-eight hour turnaround.

National Background Investigations $69 - As seen on TV, perform a background check on anyone online. Same day results. Includes national criminal index scan, sex offender search, and more. Eight years experience. Toll free support.

Background Investigation - Fast, easy to order and accurate. Results in 24-48 hours via e-mail.

KnowX - Background Check $9.95 - Enter a name and select a state to uncover bankruptcies, judgments, lawsuits, liens, and UCC filings against a person or business with one search $9.95.

We Offer Background Investigations - As licensed private investigators and professional interviewers, we are here to assist your Human Resource department. Conducting a background screen facilitates smart hiring decisions.

Pre-Employment Background Investigation - From $18, check any county, statewide, federal criminal or civil records across the USA. Results in 48 hours or less. Volume discounts, international searches and rush service available.

Nationwide Background Investigations - Founded by LAPD Detectives in 1976, Internal Affairs provides professional and efficient investigative services for individuals and businesses. Domestic, criminal, civil case experts.

ApplicantScreen Online Background Checks - Order quick, easy and cost-effective background investigations. Our ordering process is self-service and client-driven - order when you want and how you want anytime, seven days a week.

Criminal Background Check - From $29.95 Search criminal records on family, friends, associates, anyone. Our search experts use the most comprehensive public record databases with criminal searches as low as $29.95.

Cyber Detective Investigation Software - Complete solution to conducting your own investigation. Find missing people, phone numbers, email, conduct background checks, search criminal records and more! Only $19.95. (limited period)

Web Detective - 2003 Edition - Use Your Computer To Investigate Anyone. Do background checks on friends, neighbors, employees and even yourself. Search for court, criminal, FBI, adoption, birth, marriage, driving records & lots more. - Employment Screening - We can provide thorough pre-employment screening and background checks to give you the tools you require to make an intelligent choice.

Background Investigation Program - Search 200 million person database from voter DMV records and other sources. Background and investigation tools. Guaranteed satisfaction. Latest 8.0 version.

Search 160 Million Criminal Records Criminal records - search allow you to perform low cost online criminal and sex offender background checks for your security. Search 140 million county and state public records. Rapsheets.

One service: was quite popular with many personnel staffing firms for it’s a) User friendliness b) Low Cost c) Immediate/instant online results. I can vouch for the simplicity myself as it helped us close one offer/acceptance and fulfill the final contingency requiring a background check be performed … all for only $8.95 in some cases (depending on the extent of the region searched)!

However a few firms reported back that the results may be slightly outdated due to how they “harvest information”. Elaine Kachi of JK Consultants in Manhattan Beach, California reported back stating “My understanding is that does their research only from their own database with information they purchase every 30 days. This may appear to be a low price but because it is "ala carte" the costs will add up and can become more expensive, particularly for a candidate who has lived in several states”

Elaine went on to state that she prefers ChoicePoint which “… does a physical search of the courthouse records to get the most up to date status…”. While Bonnie O’Brien, principal of Placement Professionals in New Jersey and past president of the state’s Staffing Alliance swears by which she uses regularly.

Many (about 66%) of personnel recruiters surveyed did not perform background checks. This was especially true if they’re clientele were larger corporations with more than one thousand employees. A typical reply to our survey was “Sorry, don’t generally do these.” As reported by Janine from ESP staffing in Sioux City, S.D.

But with background checking service’s prices having dropped so low … it would be a shame to to ignore this inexpensive value-added service as part of your your personnel recruiting practice. Rather than tell a hiring client “you’re on your own” … for $8.95 you can be their hero by running a background check requiring no more than 10 minutes.

In sum, background and criminal checking services are much more easily available and for much lower prices than ever before to their integration into the world wide web and the competition it has spawned.

-Frank Risalvato

Author/CEO/Founder of IRES, Inc., a national recruiting and staffing firm. Risalvato has appeared on numerous radio and TV business segments and has been considered an authority on hiring and staffing trends since 1987 --- Visit for free and immediately downloadable training material · Main Tel: (973) 300-1010 · Email: