Background checkEmployment Screening

Cost of Pre-Employment Screening in the US

By December 17, 2019 No Comments

What is the actual cost of pre-employment screening for companies? There are reporting agencies that will charge companies hundreds of dollars for a check, and there are some who will do it for free. How are these background checks different? If you are looking to learn about the varying costs of background checks, you are on the right blog.


What Affects the Cost of a Background Check?

The extent to which the check needs to be conducted influences cost directly. The more thorough the search, the more it costs. It also depends on what kind of search and where.  The corresponding access fees for each search established by courts, states, DMV’s and other data providers could be anywhere from $3-$65 per report.


Is a Background Check Worth the Cost?

The cost of a background check could easily be covered quickly by the productivity of a good new hire. When a company does not conduct a background check, the safety of the whole company can be compromised. When a thorough check results in a positive outcome, the employer can gain peace of mind.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Criminal Background Check?

Again, the costs of a criminal background check depending on how thorough the search is to be. Depending on what is required, these are some standard searches and their associated costs:

  • County criminal records: $5 – $20
  • State criminal records: $9 – $20
  • Federal criminal records: $8 – $15
  • Sex offender status: $0 – $10
  • Records of terrorist activity: $0 to $5

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Motor Vehicle Background Check?

A Motor Vehicle Background Check is conducted to gain a history of the applicant’s driving history. This check is utilized when hiring for positions were driving company vehicles or operating machinery may be necessary.  The average motor vehicle background check is $3 – $10. It’s important to note that these background checks will also be subject to access fees.

How Much Does It Cost to Run Verification Background Checks?

Many different searches are utilized to verify background checks. These searches could include:

  • SSN verification checks: $0–$10.
  • Education verification checks: $7 – $15.
  • Employment verification checks: $7 – $15.
  • Professional license checks: $7 – $15.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Credit Background Check?

The credit background check is typically utilized when employment is sought in the finance department, or any position where one is responsible for handling money. The average cost to run a credit background check is $5-$20.  Credit checks incur no access fees. The results of this check could provide insight to the employer as to how the applicant will fulfill their job duties.

What Affects the Cost of a Background Check?

The following factors can usually affect the cost of a background check:

1. Amount and Type of Information

The amount of information requested can have a major impact on the overall cost of the background check. The more information you want about a particular candidate, the higher the costs are going to be. For instance, a background check including MVR records, drug testing, credit, and criminal history is going to cost more than a simple criminal background screening.

Other background checks, such as educational degrees and reference checks that are not available on any public database require independent verification. These tend to cost more than regular background checks since they are time-consuming.

2. Access Fees

Access fee refers to the amount charged by the state, county, and data providers to access information. This fee varies depending on the state, jurisdiction, and the type of information you request. Many states offer online database searches. However, these come with a fee as well. Typically, a statewide criminal repository access fee is between $3 and $65. MVR records access fee is between $2 and $25. This largely depends on the state you request the information from.

3. Country Court Record Searches

The cost of background verification can increase depending upon the number of county court record searches you want. Many employers like supplementing state search information with individual county court record searches. You could unearth additional results about your candidate allowing for better hiring decisions. However, these results will come at an added cost.

Is a Background Check Worth the Cost?

These are a few major benefits of carrying out background checks which make them worth the cost:

1. Complete Peace of Mind

The costs associated with background checks are a small price to pay when you consider the relative peace of mind it brings. You can make confident hiring decisions by knowing more about your candidate’s background. This allows you to choose applicants that you know are a good fit for your company.

2. Reduced Attrition

Background checks can help you reduce the costs associated with employee attrition. By hiring a candidate that is the right fit for your organization, you reduce the risk of employee turnover. The US Department of Labor states that a wrong hire could cost your organization at least 30% of the employee’s annual salary.

3. Reduce Wastage

Whenever you hire a new employee, as you know there are many costs associated with onboarding and training. You spend considerable resources to get the employee on par with your operations. Wrong hires tend to affect everyone in the business or organization. They particularly reduce the morale of coworkers and can impact the efficiency of supervisors and managers. Time spent on rectifying the poor performance of an under-qualified candidate can be quite costly.

4. Improve Brand Reputation

Background checks are important to make sure you do not hire ex-convicts or other risky candidates that can tarnish the image of your organization. Imagine the impact of poor customer experience on the general perception of your brand. Background checks are especially important for customer or client-facing positions. The impact of a background check is minimal when you compare it with the expenses associated with reclaiming brand reputation.

Peopletrail Pre-Employment backgrounds Check Costs?

Peopletrail is less costly and more efficient when compared to the industry standards, depending on how many checks are conducted. Fill out a short form below to talk to a Peopletrail® screening specialist and get a custom quote for your background check needs.