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Tips for Choosing the Right Background Check Service Provider

The Right Background Check

For companies of all sizes and across all industries, background checks are crucial in the hiring process. Yet elements in this realm—ranging from drug screening to federal background checks, even a motor vehicle background check—can be time-consuming. Worse, for businesses in periods of rapid growth, a criminal background check backlog can quickly interfere with your ability to scale.

Companies looking for the best background check service provider should keep in mind the most essential elements in such a service:

  • Appropriate use of advanced technologies
  • Speed and scalability
  • Cost


Whether you’re a small business, a mid-sized one, or an enterprise, these three factors remain. Enterprise organizations may prioritize speed and scalability more than cost, but the factors themselves don’t change

Let’s dive a little deeper into the elements businesses like yours should prioritize when choosing a background check provider.

Compliance Matters

The first and most important consideration is compliance. Reputable background check agencies must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which involves getting candidates’ consent before conducting a background check and adequately handling any credit inquiries.

The best way to know whether an agency is compliant is to look for accreditation by NAPBS, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. Accredited agencies can be trusted to follow the rules and stay compliant — keeping your company more protected from lawsuits related to compliance issues.

Evaluate Accuracy and Services Available

Next, take whatever steps you can to evaluate the accuracy of a given background check provider. Are they doing what they claim to do, or are they sending in shoddy and incomplete reports?

Additionally, make sure that the background check companies you’re considering can provide all the services you may need. For some roles, a basic criminal background check is sufficient. For others, you may need to go further with employment verification, education verification, or other deeper screenings. Enlisting multiple background check companies can get complicated in a hurry, so it’s best to choose a firm that can do all the screenings you need.

Consider Turnaround Times: How Long Do Background Checks Take?

Most standard criminal records searches take a minimum of 24 to 48 hours. Add in additional time for other steps (and a potential queue or backlog at various stages steps in the process), and three days to a week is typical for the whole process on a standard background check.

Some firms can leverage technology to work more quickly, while others may take more time. And every check could face delays: a crucial person at one entity or another may be out sick or simply prove challenging to track down.

Also, generally speaking, the more complex or involved the screening or background check, the longer you should expect to wait.

The smart move is to look at each company’s track record for standard searches (or whatever type of search is most common for your business). Then, look for one that’s on the faster side, as that helps you hire and scale more quickly.

Beware the so-called instant background check: these are rarely FCRA compliant (since it’s impossible to get a candidate’s permission to run a check instantly), and they don’t tend to produce accurate results.

Technology Tools Make All the Difference

Next, look for a background check partner that’s investing in a strategic technology platform and leveraging that platform to drive better, faster results.

Technology allows background check companies to create scalable platforms, eliminating bottlenecks caused by manual processes. But not every company is keeping current and innovating in this space.

Tech implementation also affects what features are offered, greatly influencing the user experience (both for your internal team and your prospects). Here are a few examples:

  • Does a particular background check partner offer an applicant tracking systemWhat about responsive mobile access for hiring managers that move around, work remotely, or are otherwise on the go?
  • Is there a self-service portal where applicants can provide information and consent to a background investigation?


The firms making investments in these and other tech tools are positioned for future growth and scalability. The ones that aren’t? They’re stuck in a previous way of doing business.

Equity and Inclusion Matter More Than Ever

In addition to these, companies are increasingly looking for smarter solutions that work toward the greater good, increasing equity and inclusion rather than decreasing it (as it has traditionally been a risk).

KarmaCheck platform leverages innovative technologies to provide insightful checks and screenings that still supports equity and inclusion.

KarmaCheck: The Best Background Check Solution for Your Business

As you evaluate the three primary criteria of the best background check solutions, KarmaCheck consistently ranks as one of the best service providers for covering many  types of checks and screenings for both the SMB and Enterprise market. In addition, we provide high scalability, competitive costs, and our advanced tech platform supports your efforts at increasing equity and inclusion throughout your hiring practices.


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