Pros and Cons of Free Background Checks

Posted on Dec 9 2013 - 11:03am by Victoria Heckstall

Background Check

You already know how important it is to perform a background check on any potential employee. Yet you’ve seen offers of a free background check. The nice advertisement tells you how you can find out everything you need to know about an employee at no charge. It sounds too good to be true, but is it?

In truth, it depends what you’re searching for in a background check. If you expect everything you would get from a paid check, you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you want a very brief glance at an employee it can be useful.

Pro: Time Issues

You don’t have to sign up for any accounts to use a free background check, or worry about your company payment details. Instead, you can get away with just typing in a name and getting started.

Employers usually only spend 30 seconds on the average resume. And this is because they’re low on time. Now you can increase your productivity and reduce delays using free checks.

Con: Access to Information

You’ll never have access to the same information with a free check as you would with a paid background check. Paid background checks will provide you with tons of information. It will be piled high. You can’t expect this sort of dossier with a free check. You haven’t paid anything and they won’t have the same access to resources.

Pros: It’s Free!

You’ll never have to pay for a background check from a free website. It will always be free and you won’t have to pay a cent towards it.

Small businesses can take advantage of this the most. They have to worry about every dollar in their company’s coffers. If something goes wrong and they lose a few dollars, they can’t just brush it off. It causes damage to their prospects. A free check will allow them to get a rough idea of an employee’s credentials.

Con: Accuracy of Results

The Bureau of Labor has revealed unemployment is steadily decreasing. It’s still competitive, though. There are still millions of people without a job to go to. It makes lying on a resume more likely than ever before.

With a free background check, you can’t guarantee any accuracy with the results. The results aren’t as detailed, either. Something else you have to take into account is the fact they owe nothing to you. You haven’t paid anything. It’s a free service which could collapse at any time.

Should You Use Free Checks?

Free checks do have their disadvantages, but this doesn’t mean they’re useless and should be avoided. Even large companies can benefit from them by getting a rough idea as to the quality of their new hire.

For example, they might narrow down the field with a free check, before moving onto paid checks to get some additional details. See it as just a new tool you have to separate one potential hire from another.

They’re useful and you might just find your next new hire is found through the help of a free check on their background.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Robert S. Donovan

About the Author

Victoria Heckstall is a professional writer who has been writing online since 2011. She is also the owner of Young Work At Home Moms where she shares advice with others who want to work from home.