Getting Started With Employment Screening

How long does a background check take?

Delivery times for our background checks vary depending on the type of searches run. The Basic Check returns results fastest – often almost instantly – because it searches online databases rather than physical records at a county courthouse. Other searches, like the Terrorist Watch List, may take longer due to the depth of the search. Some add-ons, like employer and education verifications, can take up to five days to complete.

We let you know the estimated delivery time on every background check you order, and we return the results as soon as they’re available. That means you can see the results of the National Criminal Databases Search, for example, even if employer verification isn’t yet complete.

Keep in mind: The first time you order a GoodHire background check, we must verify that your company is a legitimate business, as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The verification process typically takes less than 24 hours – often as little as one hour – depending on the clarity and completeness of the information you provide at signup.

How do I cancel a background check?

If you would like to cancel a check, please Contact our Support Team as soon as possible so we can stop processing your order. We will require confirmation of your employer status to prevent unauthorized payment changes and to help better protect your confidential information. To cancel, just follow the three steps listed below:

  • Call GoodHire Support at 1-888-906-4284
  • Verify your company name and account information
  • Specify which orders need to be cancelled using candidate name


Which screening services does GoodHire offer?

GoodHire's range of specific employment screening services are detailed on our All Services page.

In addition, GoodHire has a dedicated account management team based in Omaha, Nebraska, in-house compliance expertise and a technical support team for companies looking to integrate with our API.

What types of background checks yield the best results?

GoodHire's employment screening packages have been created specifically to yield quick, accurate results for most employers. However, additional consideration, such as industry or experience level might require different add-ons. Use our All Services page to understand your choices.

Where does GoodHire get its data?

GoodHire partners with a variety of FCRA-certified providers whose comprehensive databases compile state and federal records. Our team of experienced court researchers conducts on-site court record checks, while a team of professional educational and employment search specialists pursue direct verification of candidate credentials.

How are resume verifications done?

For resume verifications, such as a completed degrees, past employers, or professional licenses, GoodHire investigates information provided about a candidate's background to verify claims made by the candidate. For further details about the process, please refer to our Verification Protocol.

What information do you need to run a background check on my candidate?

To start a background check, you only need to provide your candidate’s legal name and email address. We’ll take care of the rest.

We email your candidates a link to a secure site where they can provide the rest of the information we need: Social Security number, date of birth, and current home address. Our digital consent process, with built-in electronic signature, keeps the entire process quick, easy, and accurate.

Of course, you can collect the candidate information yourself, if you prefer.

How do you determine which counties to check?

The SSN Trace determines the counties for the 7-Year County Criminal Court Search. We cross-reference the information the candidate provided with data from the major credit bureaus, which indicates counties where the candidate previously applied for credit. Matches for the three most recent counties (if applicable) are searched either electronically (if the records are available online) or in person via our network of professional court runners.

What if I don’t have access to a candidate’s email address?

GoodHire needs your candidate’s email address to contact them and obtain their consent to run a background check. If you do not have your candidate’s email address, GoodHire can not electronically obtain their consent on your behalf. Instead, choose to download the consent form directly from the GoodHire website and manually upload it once you’ve received the necessary signatures. Note, the manual option may delay delivery of your results.

Why do you need Social Security numbers?

We use your candidates’ SSNs to check whether the number is valid and belongs to the name they provided. An SSN Trace also returns any aliases or name variations associated with the SSN along with a list of recent counties where the candidate lived or applied for credit. If you’ve ordered a background check that includes the 7-Year County Court Check, we use the three most recent addresses to determine which counties’ records to search.

Ultimately, SSNs help us return accurate information about the right person. If you can't or don't wish to collect sensitive information from your candidates, just send us the candidate’s legal name and email. We’ll work with the candidate directly to gather all remaining information and consent.

What if I don’t have the candidate’s date of birth or Social Security number?

GoodHire requires the candidate’s date of birth (DOB) and Social Security number (SSN) in order to run a background check. An individual’s DOB and SSN is used as a primary identifier by nearly all American court systems and this information helps ensure the accuracy of our reports.

If you can't or don't wish to collect sensitive information from the candidate, you can request that the candidate securely provide his or her information to GoodHire directly through our e-consent process. Companies that choose this option will only need to submit the candidate’s legal name and email.

What if the candidate changed their name in the past?

Accurate names are critical to retrieve criminal records. Industry best practice is to conduct background checks of each name used within the last seven years.

What if I don’t have some of the required information about a candidate?

All required information must be provided before starting a background check. GoodHire provides employers the option to ask candidates to complete their own information, effectively offloading the often difficult task of collecting the information yourself.

What if my candidates want to submit their information offline?

If a candidate is unable to or prefers not to provide their information online, employers can request the required information from the candidates, and enter it manually during the ordering process. Be sure to use the GoodHire Candidate Information Form to gather the necessary information needed to run the background check. It is important to note that supplementary information may be required from the employer and/or the candidate for certain screening services.

What is the process from signup to background check results?

When you sign up for GoodHire, you provide some basic information we use to verify that your business is legitimate. Once verified, you can begin running background checks by selecting the pre-packaged check you need – and include any add-ons during checkout. We’ll ask for the legal name and email address of your candidate or employee, and that’s it. We gather all remaining information and consent directly from the candidate. You can view the results as soon as they’re ready. (Turnaround time varies depending on the type of background check you ordered.)

Once I sign up and order, how long until the background check starts?

The FCRA requires that we verify your business before we run any background checks for you. We make it easy, and you only have to do it once.


To make the process go quickly, be sure to have the following information ready at signup:

  • The legal registered name of your company, as well as the DBA (Doing Business As)
  • Your Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Your work email address

Once we’ve verified your company, we’ll send an email to let you know. As long as we have all the candidate information and the signed consent form, your background check will begin processing right away.

How much do background checks cost?

You can see the prices of our pre-packaged background checks here and order them online. If you want to include add-ons, like Motor Vehicles Records or Drug Testing, you can add them during checkout.

We offer discounts on volume orders for as few as five checks. Sign up to get started.

If you have high-volume background check needs, our sales team will be happy to work with you to provide a custom quote.

Is candidate data stored securely?

Absolutely. All transmission of personal data uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), a robust protocol for encrypting data online (check your browser’s address bar for the “https://” prefix—this means you’re surfing with SSL protection). HTTPS connections are used throughout GoodHire’s checkout process for payment protection, and whenever you’re logged in to the site.

How does GoodHire deliver results?

To protect your candidates’ privacy and ensure the security of their data, background check results will be available to both you and the candidate or employee on the GoodHire website. You’re automatically notified by email when results are ready. If you prefer not to be notified via email, it’s easy to turn off this feature in the Account Settings section.

How many separate employer or education verifications are included with a background check?

A Premium Check includes one employer verification and one education verification. You can add verifications to any background check for $14.99 each.

Can I get a refund if my candidate withdraws from the application process?

This will depend on the status of the background check. Different parts of the check are processed at different times. GoodHire can only refund the portions of a background check that have not already been delivered.

Compliance For Employment Screening

What is the consent form, and how do I fill it out?

In order to run an employment background check legally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that employers obtain written authorization from the job candidate or employee before they’re screened.


By obtaining consent, employers officially certify that they have:

  • Notified candidates about the details of the background screening process
  • Informed candidates about their legal rights in case of an adverse action
  • Taken steps to ensure candidate privacy and prevent discrimination
GoodHire’s process is fully FCRA-compliant. With just your candidate’s email address and legal name, our process will collect consent on your behalf, and ensure all legal notifications and requirements for consent are fulfilled. Our consent process is electronic and works on all devices, including smartphones and tablets and has been thoroughly vetted by GoodHire’s legal team.

If you already have a candidate’s signed consent, you can scan and upload the form to GoodHire. Due to legal compliance requirements, GoodHire manually reviews and approves each scanned or uploaded consent form, which may delay the background check results. If you prefer this offline method, we recommend using our pre-approved consent form.

Why is consent required before running a background check?

In order to legally run a background check, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that employers obtain written authorization from the job candidate or employee before they can be screened. Click here for a sample consent form.

By obtaining consent, employers can officially certify that they have:

  • Notified candidates about the details of the background screening process.
  • Informed candidates about their legal rights in case of an adverse action.
  • Made efforts to ensure candidate privacy and prevent discrimination.
Note: Because California law prohibits employers from obtaining ongoing consent to run employment screening, all employers running background checks in the state of California must request candidate or employee consent each and every time they conduct a background check or update.


How do I obtain my employee’s consent using GoodHire?

GoodHire’s FCRA-compliant, e-consent is the quickest, most efficient way to obtain the appropriate authorization for a background check. To use e-consent, just provide your candidate’s email address and we will contact them and request consent on your behalf. Candidates receive a link to complete the consent form online, where they can read the fine print and sign the document digitally. The e-consent form works on all devices, including smartphones and tablets and has been thoroughly vetted by GoodHire’s legal team.

If you already have a copy of your candidate’s signed consent, you can scan and upload the form to GoodHire. Due to legal compliance requirements, GoodHire manually reviews and approves each scanned or uploaded consent form, which may delay the background check results. If this method is preferred to the e-consent, we recommend using our pre-approved consent form.

Can I download an FCRA-compliant consent form?

Download editable PDF templates for employees, contractors, and volunteers. We also include “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” and other relevant legal disclosures to the candidates in the documents. Simply enter your company name in the field “Insert Company Name” and deliver it to your candidate to start the process.

How far back does GoodHire check candidates?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) prohibits making employment decisions based on any arrest records or adverse information older than seven years. This time limit does not apply to records of conviction or employees reasonably expected to earn $75,000 or more per year. GoodHire abides by these regulations and will only display records that match these limitations. Read more

Can I export my billing history?

Yes. Your billing history can be exported as a CSV file. Just look for the “Export CSV” icon on your Billing page.

Do employees have to sign a new consent form every month if I use your Ongoing Alerts service?

Only California requires employers to get written consent for every ongoing background check. This applies to employers based in California as well as employers who screen employees working in Califorina. GoodHire helps manage this process.

In all other states, the GoodHire consent form covers ongoing background checks. If you use your own consent form, our Ongoing Alerts process automatically asks each employee you enroll to provide their consent electronically.

Reviewing Employment Screening Results

What type of records show up in a background check?

All GoodHire background checks include criminal records searches. What we can report to employers depends on FCRA, EEOC, and state-level regulations and guidelines. In general, though, criminal convictions will be reported.

GoodHire background check results don’t include arrests that didn’t result in a conviction, in accordance with the EEOC. In some states, GoodHire also can’t include convictions that happened more than seven years ago, in accordance with specific state laws.

Our in-house compliance expertise and trained customer support staff answer your questions and help ensure our processes protect your business and your candidates.

How do I know the status of a background check?

You can check the status of any background check from your GoodHire account, using the “Candidates” icon. “Status” is one of the columns displayed.

What do I do if a background check is flagged?

All GoodHire background checks provide a contextual “what to do” guide when portions of the results are flagged. This guide paves a step-by-step process for you to follow.

What happens if there are inaccuracies in the results?

Contact our dedicated support team and we’ll investigate and resolve any inaccuracies found in a background check.

Telephone: 1-888-906-4284
Address: GoodHire P.O. Box 391403 Omaha, NE 68139-1403

What if I don’t see something I’m expecting on a background check?

Sometimes candidates notify employers about an incident they believe will be included on their background check, but when the report comes back, that incident isn't included in the results. This is often due to legal or regulatory restrictions. For example, under the FCRA certain types of records can't be reported once they are more than 7 years old. 

Where can I find old background check results?

You can find results for each candidate under the “Candidates” tab of your account. Simply click on "View Report".

Do I get a hard copy of results?

No. Your reports are delivered through our secure website. Once logged in, you can print out or save results to a secure location on your hard drive.

Does your system allow me to save background check results on my hard drive?

If you want to save results to your computer, right-click the “Download Report” option in the upper-right corner of the results. In order to comply with the law, you must delete the document from your computer when you’ve finished your evaluation.

GoodHire Account and Billing

How can I find transactions in my billing history?

GoodHire offers a variety of sort and filter options for your billing history. You can filter by date, keyword, and sort alphabetically.

How do I change my login credentials?

You can change your email and password from the Account page once you have signed in.

What if I have trouble logging in to my account?

To log in, use the same email address and password used during your first purchase. If you've forgotten your password, please enter your email address on the Password Reset page. You’ll receive an email with your password reminder and sign-in instructions. If you’re still having trouble with your login, please submit a help request to our customer support department and we’ll get it figured out quickly.

Can I add or remove users on my company account?

You can add and remove users if you are an account administrator (usually the individual who initially registered with GoodHire). Once you are on the “Users” page of your Account Settings, click on the “Add New User” button to start entering a new user’s information.

What levels of access can I grant other users?

There are three levels of GoodHire user access: Admin, Read/Order, and Order Only. You can manage account permissions in the Account Settings section.

How can I manage my company information?

You can edit your company information on the “Company” page of the Account section, available only to administrators of the account. This information is edited in-line after pressing the “Edit” button. Note: you cannot edit Tax ID and verification status.

How do I manage my email alerts?

Manage email notifications via the “Profile” page of the Account section.

Employer Verification Process

What information does GoodHire need to verify my company?

GoodHire uses the following information to verify your company:

  • EIN:Employer Identification Number. Help me find my EIN
  • STATE OF INCORPORATION:The state in which your company is registered for tax purposes.
  • DBA (DOING BUSINESS AS):The trade name or name under which your business or operation is conducted and presented to the world (if applicable).

Companies located in the states listed below will also be required to submit a business license as part of the verification process:

  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia


Why does my company need to be verified?

Because GoodHire is an FCRA-compliant, employment screening tool, we need to make sure that all our customers are using our services strictly for hiring purposes. By verifying that your company is a legitimate business, we can make sure all investigative background research on any individual abides by federal and state laws.

Why do I need to fill out a W9 form before running a background check?

GoodHire needs you to fill out a W9 so we can better determine the legitimacy of your business.

When will my employer verification be complete?

Employer verification can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days depending on the accuracy and breadth of the information you provide. If your business is registered with your state’s Secretary of State office, then verification should take only a few minutes. Otherwise, our Member Services team will request a combination of your Doing Business As (DBA) certificate, business license, and Employer Identification Number (EIN) to complete the verification process.

What happens if my business cannot be verified?

GoodHire will grant a full refund for all background checks purchased if we cannot verify your company.