What are the costs of background checks for employment?
All the steps required to conduct a thorough employment background check on your employees and contractors can be very time consuming and costly. There are some things you can do that may limit the cost of a background check for employment if you know what they are.
How much does a background check cost?
A complete background check for employment – permanent, temporary or contracting – can be very expensive. The costs will vary depending on the type of job you are hiring for and how thorough you want your background check to be.
For example: the background checking process will be more intensive when working for the US government, than when working in customer service for a small business.
Most employers want a full investigation into their applicants backgrounds.
This means that all past addresses, phone numbers, criminal checks, due diligence, and anything else that might help verify what information is provided on the application, needs to be found, documented and verified before anyone gets hired.
If you are hiring more than one person the cost of these background checks can add up very quickly. So it is important to make sure that you know what you need checked beforehand.
We will go through the costs of the three types of background checks that are carried out the most.
Cost of criminal record checks
Criminal record checks are to find out whether an applicant has had any run-ins with the law in the past. These background checks are often done through a police-based online database such as the Police National Computer (for UK residents) or FBI files (US). This will cost anywhere from €20 to €25 per applicant.
Free criminal records search online is available without the expense of someone actively doing the research for you. However, if you want a more detailed criminal background check than what is available online then you will have to pay for one.
Cost of financial and credit checks
Sometimes, your potential new employees will need to provide their credit scores and financial references prior to getting hired.
Having a company representative contact past employers and interview them reference your potential new hires may also end up costing money as well. You might want to consider using online services if at all possible.
The cheapest online credit checks cost around €5. The most comprehensive one will cost you at least €60, and may run as much as €200 or more in some cases.
Cost of employment checks
The cost of getting a background check for employment varies but it will probably be between €20 and €50 per inquiry.
This is usually not something that you can do on your own. In most cases, an employment background check specialist will have to be hired or the process outsourced to a third-party to collect the information and verify it for you. That is where the expense comes in.
Is there anything that can be done about the high costs of these checks?
The most cost effective solution is to become educated on how much these checks actually are going to cost before getting them done. You should try to find out exactly what kind of information needs to be found and verified from each person being checked before paying anyone. You also need to make sure that every precaution is taken by whoever completes your employment background check so they do not miss anything important.
Ways to avoid unnecessary fees when having to do a background check
Getting inexpensive yet thorough employment background checks is possible, if you take these two things into consideration.
First of all, you need to make sure that all information requested is absolutely necessary for the position that is being applied for. If any of it can be skipped, do so! This will save you money by ensuring you apply a directly proportionate and reasonable effort to due diligence. Some companies even offer free criminal records or credit checks depending on jurisdiction and freely available information, so make sure you ask and take all free deals that are offered.
Second, employers should always conduct a general ID verification before conducting any other pre-employment or background checks. ID verification is a mandatory requirement for businesses and hiring practices. This is because it can help employers know for sure that the person they’re talking to is who they say they are. And if not, find out what their intentions may be with your company.
It could be a sign that there may be more at play than what appears on the surface. If someone lies about something like their name or nationality, then how do we know which parts of their story can really be trusted?
It’s also fairly cheap (from €1,50 per check!) so this would greatly benefit you in determining whether to proceed with evaluating them further!