Not all background check providers’ turnaround times are comparable. Here are 4 things you can do to speed up completion of your background checks.
How do background check companies GoodHire and HireRight compare? Based on leading third-party review sites and user feedback, we’ve compiled the key differences between these background check providers. We also explain what to look for in a background check service so you can make sure the vendor you choose meets your needs in terms of services, price, and legal and regulatory compliance.
Outsourcing pre-employment background checks is a smart, strategic use of resources for many companies, but choosing the right background check provider can be daunting. When multiple vendors offer similar slates of services, it can be difficult to know where to turn for guidance.
To help distinguish GoodHire from another background check company, HireRight, we’ll summarize key differences as revealed in third-party product reviews and user feedback. We’ll also discuss some additional evaluation criteria to consider when comparing any background check providers, including:
- Quality and accessibility of customer support
- Compliance with federal, state, and municipal hiring laws and regulations
- Data reliability and rate of disputes by applicants
- Pricing (and why you get what you pay for)
When evaluating any resource for use by your company, it’s helpful to consider the recommendations of other companies and individuals who have used the product under consideration. The idea that real-world experience provides greater insight than marketing materials is the premise behind crowdsourcing product-review site G2.com. The site collects and organizes verified user reviews of productivity software, subscription services, and other digital and cloud-based resources for small, midsize and large businesses — including background check providers.
Top user-review rankings across the background-check category earned GoodHire G2’s 2021 Spring Leader award, and a head-to-head comparison of GoodHire with HireRight reveals the following:
- GoodHire outperforms HireRight on all seven main criteria for comparison: Meets Requirements, Ease of Use, Ease of Setup, Ease of Admin, Quality of Support, Ease of Doing Business With, and Product Direction.
- GoodHire earns an overall G2 rating of 4.5 stars (of a possible five), while HireRight earned four stars overall.
- One of the widest discrepancies between G2 ratings for GoodHire and HireRight was in the area of Quality of Support, with HireRight garnering a 5.4 on G2’s scale, compared with GoodHire’s 6.7.
Background Check Provider Meta-Analysis
Professional third-party product reviews are another rich source of information about background check providers. Media outlets targeting small and large businesses have subjected GoodHire, HireRight, and other background check providers to comparative evaluations.
Among the results of these comparisons was small-business outlet FitSmallBusiness naming GoodHire best background check provider overall for 2021.
In a more comprehensive analysis conducted by GoodHire, summarizing results of multiple reviews and ranking them by relative performance, GoodHire earned an aggregate score of 73, handily beating all seven ranked competitors — including HireRight, which had an aggregate score of 30.
Background checks are potentially sensitive for job candidates, and must be conducted with discretion and transparency. They also need to be performed quickly and efficiently to prevent slowdowns in the hiring process, and to avoid the risk of losing quality applicants.
Therefore, your employment screening provider’s customer support team should be easy to get in touch with for both the hiring company (the client), and for the applicants and employees who are subjected to background checks:
- Employer support. Accessible, responsive customer support for the client can address potential issues in the deployment and management of the screening process and prevent administrative bottlenecks. Employers often cite phone access to knowledgeable, helpful U.S.-based, FCRA-trained support staff as a highlight of GoodHire’s customer service.
- Candidate support. Phone and online support for background check subjects can eliminate confusion in the potentially intimidating steps of consenting to a background check or responding to its findings, minimizing anxiety or delay on the part of the applicant. GoodHire’s customer support team and interactive portal for job applicants offers user assistance at every step in the process.
It’s important to identify and select a background check provider with qualified, responsive, and effective customer service. As we saw earlier, G2’s user-feedback ratings for GoodHire and HireRight rank GoodHire’s Quality of Support as significantly superior to HireRight’s.
How To Evaluate A Background Check Company
Beyond the G2 rankings and third-party reviews we’ve already addressed, there are several other important criteria worth considering when evaluating a background check company:
- Seek additional user feedback. Along with the G2.com evaluations discussed above, you also can find useful user feedback on background check providers at ConsumerAffairs.com, Capterra.com, and the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) vendor directory.
- Consult professional product reviews. Look for relevant evaluations in publications and websites specific to your industry, as well as general business and technology outlets. Pay close attention to the evaluation criteria for these reviews, to make sure they align with your needs and priorities.
- Look for FCRA-compliant background check providers who are accredited with the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA).
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure there are no major complaints against the vendor(s).
Employment Screening & Compliance
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of legal and regulatory compliance in the conduct of pre-employment background checks. Screening processes must adhere to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as a variety of state and local fair-hiring statutes.
These requirements may include, but are not limited to:
- Notifying job applicants and obtaining their written consent before conducting background checks.
- Informing applicants that information uncovered in a background check may impact a decision to hire them.
- Allowing job candidates to refute, explain or otherwise respond to adverse action determinations — decisions not to hire them based on information found in a background check.
- Complying with ban the box regulations adopted in a growing number of jurisdictions to help individuals with criminal records find meaningful work. These measures may forbid employers from asking job candidates about past criminal convictions on an initial job application or during the interview process.
Failure to follow these procedures may expose hiring companies to expensive litigation and damage their reputations as employers.
Automated FCRA compliance tools like those built-in to GoodHire’s background check platform can help prevent compliance errors by guiding job applicants through the consent and authorization process. And if a screening leads to a decision not to hire, GoodHire’s integrated adverse action workflow guides employers through each step. The automated process also helps ensure screening procedures are documented, to help protect the hiring company in case a candidate alleges unfair hiring practices.
When comparing background check providers, it’s wise to ensure that each operates in all the jurisdiction(s) where your company operates, and to check their histories for any compliance issues in those jurisdictions. It’s also a good idea to check the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to see if screening companies you’re considering are subject to any fines or sanctions, and to do a web search to see if the vendors are involved in any lawsuits.
Data Reliability & Background Check Dispute Rate
When sizing up a background check provider, it’s important to consider the reliability of its data and how it delivers legally reportable results with maximum possible accuracy. Incomplete verification of background check findings can lead to inaccurate, or false-positive, results, which in turn can lead to hiring decisions based on incorrect or non-compliant information. Those bad decisions can then lead to damage to the employer’s reputation or even potential legal liability.
Look into the methods — both technical and human — that any prospective background check provider uses to ensure data accuracy. GoodHire, for instance, has developed advanced software that cross-checks numerous databases and filters out data that’s outdated, non-compliant, or questionable, and employs an FCRA-trained, in-house team of quality assurance experts to review results for accuracy.
An important measure of data reliability is dispute rate — the frequency with which screening subjects challenge the accuracy of information reported in its background checks. No background check provider can claim a zero percent rate, because background screening is not a perfect science. Generally speaking, however, the lower a vendor’s percentage of successfully disputed reports, the more accurate and reliable its data-retrieval and verification processes will be. Background checkers don’t advertise their dispute rates, but may disclose them when asked. (For the record, GoodHire’s dispute rate is .05%, among the lowest in the industry.)
Pricing & Value
Price is always an important consideration when comparing vendors, but it must always be viewed in light of the value the service provides your company, as well as the available features and tools the vendor offers that improve performance and increase efficiency. As with other frequently outsourced services (payroll management, health insurance, etc.), the key is to find a quality provider that meets your needs, in all the jurisdictions where you operate, at a reasonable cost.
Both GoodHire and HireRight offer background check options including criminal background checks, driving record checks, education and employment verification, and employee drug screening services, among other services. In addition to reviewing prices, it’s wise to also consider the following:
- Flexibility. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for background checks. Pre-packaged screenings may (or may not) cover the basics you need, but they typically don’t cover specific screenings required for industries such as financial services and healthcare. Moreover, all-in-one packages also may include (and charge for) screens your organization doesn’t need. Consider a provider that offers a variety of pre-bundled background check packages, as well as the flexibility to easily customize and create as many screening packages as required by your company.
- Volume discounts. High-volume hiring, and hiring multiple workers at once, as when opening a new facility, acquiring a company, meeting seasonal demands, or otherwise expanding rapidly, can mean a major investment in background checks. If you fall into this category, consider a vendor that offers bulk pricing or discounted pricing for high-volume hiring.
- Platform features & capabilities. Beyond pricing and the screening services offered, it’s important to consider how your background check provider’s platform can help you expedite, streamline, and manage the complexities of an employment screening program. Consider platform features such as integration with your ATS, automated workflows and status notifications, built-in compliance processes, and reporting capabilities.
The Bottom Line
When choosing a background check provider, it’s good practice to consider the feedback of real-world users of screening services, to look at the collective results of third-party product review outlets, and to make sure the vendor you choose meets your needs in terms of service offerings, legal and regulatory compliance, and flexible pricing.
The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.