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GoodHire Review: Best Background Check Service for Small Businesses

After much research and analysis, we recommend GoodHire as the best background check service for small businesses. We chose GoodHire from a pool of the dozens of background check services we considered. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can view our methodology and a comprehensive list of background check services on our best picks page.

GoodHire offers three levels of background checks, has an easy-to-use online portal and provides outstanding customer service. GoodHire's background checks cost between $29.99 and $79.99.

With GoodHire, small businesses can choose from three different background check plans, as well as add-on services that can be tacked on to each package. Background checks can be ordered one at a time, and you do not have to purchase a minimum amount. Here is a breakdown of the various plans:

Basic

  • Cost: $29.99 per report
  • Includes: a Social Security number trace, a national criminal database search and a sex-offender list check. 
  • Average completion time: 1 to 3 business days

Standard

  • Cost: $54.99 per report
  • Includes: A Social Security number trace, a national criminal database search, a sex-offender list check, a domestic terrorist watch-list check and a seven-year county criminal court check. The county searches are conducted in-person.
  • Average completion time: 3 to 5 business days

Premium

  • Cost: $79.99 per report
  • Includes: a Social Security number trace, a national criminal database search, a sex-offender list check, a domestic terrorist watchlist check, a seven-year in-person county criminal court check, and employee and education verifications
  • Average completion time: 7 to 10 business days

Add-on services

  • Motor vehicle records check: $14.99 each. This confirms whether a candidate's driver's license is valid or has been suspended, and highlights any driving-related violations.
  • Drug screening: $59.99 to $74.99 each. This tests for the use of amphetamines, phencyclidine, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, methaqualone and propoxyphene.
  • Employment verification: $14.99 each. This verifies employers listed on a résumé, employment dates, the position held and salaries.
  • Education verification: $14.99 each. This validates school attendance, major and degrees received. 
  • Professional license verification: $14.99 each. This verifies an applicant's professional license and whether the license is in good standing.
  • Employment credit report: $14.99 each. This reviews financial history, including notifications of civil judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, unpaid bills from collection agencies, credit and payment history records, and other credit inquiries made on the candidate.
  • Global terrorist watchlist check: $14.99 each. This conducts an expanded most-wanted search to international criminal and terrorist databases.
  • International checks: Starting at $14.99; vary by country. This is a search for international criminal records, as well as education and employer verifications for candidates who are working in the U.S. but have an international background.

Customized pricing is available on background checks purchased in bulk.

Unlike many of the other services we examined, GoodHire does not charge a registration or setup fee. We were also impressed with how up front GoodHire is with its pricing. While many of the other companies we analyzed required you to call for price quotes, GoodHire has all of its costs listed on its website.

Editor's Note: Looking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Running background checks with GoodHire is very simple. After you purchase reports via the company's website, a one-time verification is conducted to confirm your business is legitimate. Verification requires you to provide your company name, address, employer identification number and state of incorporation. You may also be asked, depending on the state you are located in, for your business license. This process typically takes about one day.

Once your business is verified, you can log in to the system through the GoodHire website to start purchasing background checks. To run a check, you give GoodHire the candidate's name, date of birth, Social Security number and address. When ordering employment and education verifications, details about those topics are also needed.

In accordance with federal background-check laws, GoodHire requires a signed consent form from the candidate before starting a search. You can get this either on your own or with the e-consent option, which allows candidates to electronically sign the form. For this option, GoodHire emails the job candidate a link to the online consent form. The candidate can then read and digitally sign the form.

GoodHire warns that it might be delayed in starting the background check if you get the signed consent form on your own, because the company has to manually confirm that the consent provides the appropriate authorizations.

GoodHire sends email notifications as each phase of a background check is completed. This allows you to review the report as it proceeds, without waiting until it is finalized to review everything at once. Not all of the other providers we analyzed offered this feature.

We found GoodHire's background check reports to be easy to read and navigate. After logging in to the system and clicking on the candidate's report, you are shown an overview page with details on the candidate and the searches being conducted.

On the left-hand side of the report is a list of each individual check being conducted. Next to each type of search, there is either a green box with a thumbs up, indicating that nothing negative was found, or a yellow box with an exclamation mark, indicating a status alert that should be reviewed. You can click on each check to review the details of what was found, such as when the incident occurred, whether the candidate pled guilty, the sentencing information and the severity of the offense. You can view sample reports on the GoodHire website.

In addition to manually clicking on each search, you can have the system walk you through each step to ensure you don't miss anything of importance. There is a review tool at the top of the page that you can click through to immediately see each item that has a status alert. After reviewing each item, you can click OK if the alert will not affect your hiring decision. The item is then marked in green, with a thumbs up.

Once you have reviewed the report, you can have it immediately sent to the candidate. This step is required by law when the information discovered could negatively affect his or her chances of being hired. You also have the option of printing out final reports or saving them to your computer's hard drive. All reports are also saved in the online portal.

One aspect of the system we found appealing is that there are three levels of user access: Administrator, Read and Order, and Read Only. This not only allows you to let other people from your company in on the hiring process, but it also restricts the amount of access that those people have to the system.

Among all of the background check services we examined, GoodHire offered some of the best customer service. To test the level of support, we called the company on several occasions posing as a new small business owner interested in background check services.

During each of our calls, the GoodHire customer service reps seemed genuinely interested in speaking with us. During our conversations, the representatives answered all of our questions clearly and in enough detail to leave us with a complete understanding of what GoodHire offers and how its system works.

During one of our calls, the representative went as far as to walk through the sample background-check reports that are available on the GoodHire website. The rep explained details on each, including how to read and access them.

What we really liked about GoodHire was that at no time did any of the customer service representatives try to pressure us into immediately signing up for the service. Unlike with some of the other background check companies we talked to, these representatives seemed more interested in making sure our questions were answered than in landing a sale right then and there.

GoodHire support is available by phone, email and live chat between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday. Additionally, the company's website provides customers with a number of resources on background check and human resources laws, HR forms for employers, and a detailed FAQ section about how the system works.

GoodHire is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), the official accrediting agency of the background check industry. According to the NAPBS, accredited background check providers must demonstrate initial and ongoing compliance with the Background Screening Credentialing Council's accreditation standards. An independent third-party auditor determines compliance. Accreditation lasts for five years, after which time providers are required to redo the process if they wish to remain accredited.

GoodHire is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). According to the BBB website, GoodHire has an A+ rating, and only two complaints have been filed against the company. It is important to note that many of the background check services we investigated were not officially accredited by the BBB.

One downside of GoodHire is that unlike many other background check services, it doesn't offer i9 or E-Verify management programs. These programs help confirm a job applicant's identity and that the individual is eligible to work in the United States.

Another potential negative is that customer service isn't available on the weekends. If you like to spend time on Saturdays and Sundays catching up on administrative tasks, not having someone available to help you understand your completed reports could be a problem.

  • Best for Small Businesses
    GoodHire
    Read Review
    • Cost
      $29.99 to $79.99
    • Background Check Packages
      3; Plus add on searches available
    • NAPBS Accreditation
      Yes
    • Electronic Consent Form
      Yes
    • Customer Service
      Phone, email and live chat
  • Best for Very Small Businesses
    AccurateNow
    Read Review
    • Cost
      $24.95 to $63.95
    • Background Check Packages
      3; Plus add on searches available
    • NAPBS Accreditation
      Yes
    • Electronic Consent Form
      Yes
    • Customer Service
      Phone and email
  • Best for Household Employees
    eNannySource
    Read Review
    • Cost
      $19 to $89
    • Background Check Packages
      3; Plus add on searches available
    • NAPBS Accreditation
      No
    • Electronic Consent Form
      Yes
    • Customer Service
      Email
  • Best Do-It-Yourself Website
    BackgroundReport.com
    Read Review
    • Cost
      $19.95 to $29.95
    • Background Check Packages
      2
    • NAPBS Accreditation
      No
    • Electronic Consent Form
      No
    • Customer Service
      Phone and email
  • Best for Medical Practices
    HireRight
    Read Review
    • Cost
      Customized for each business
    • Background Check Packages
      2; Plus add on searches available
    • NAPBS Accreditation
      No
    • Electronic Consent Form
      No
    • Customer Service
      Phone, email and live chat

Ready to choose a background check service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's Note: Looking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.