A reputable vendor can take care of the document retrieval, legal research and other services for you. This saves you the money you would otherwise spend hiring staff to perform these tasks in-house.

Hiring is a high-volume endeavor, so conducting thorough criminal background checks can be challenging for HR teams. In some cases, these searches involve multiple jurisdictions and contacting various courthouses.


As with any outsourcing initiative, you’ll need to do a cost analysis to see if this will save your company money. Depending on the specifics of your situation, you can narrow down a range of possible savings with several pessimistic, optimistic and most likely scenarios. Whether you perform background checks in-house or outsource, you’ll still have to pay for various resources like courthouse records searches and personal information databases. You’ll also have to consider labor costs associated with manually performing the research or working with a background screening provider that does all the work for you. A reputable provider can reduce these expenses by automating the analysis and processing of the data into the format you require for reporting. This saves time and money by eliminating the need for in-house staff to search for criminal records independently, a labor-intensive process. However, you must consider that different laws and regulations may govern your outsourcing contract.

Regulatory Compliance

One of the most significant advantages of outsourcing criminal records searches is that it helps ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This act requires a company to obtain an individual’s written consent before performing a background check. Additionally, a CRA must only provide the information from a background check to the client who requested it. A CRA can be liable for damages if it violates these guidelines. Additionally, some laws vary from state to state that regulate how criminal convictions must be considered when hiring individuals.  The process is time-consuming and labor-intensive if you use manual research methods like contacting courthouses, searching online databases or browsing candidates’ social media pages. But if you outsource to a reputable provider, the research is completed quickly and thoroughly. Outsourcing also helps ensure the CRA complies with all federal and state regulations regarding how information and records are disposed of. This includes providing they are destroyed or transferred to the appropriate organizations following the FCRA. You can make sure this is the case by communicating to your service provider, through your contract, which disposal processes they are permitted to use and those that are prohibited.

Time Savings

While many CRAs rely on automated software to run background checks, manual searches are still a part of the business. Whether it’s finding the right data sources, searching and retrieving records, or arranging the information into the required format for reporting, there’s no denying that it takes time. This time, if reclaimed by your team, can be better spent on more value-added services for your clients.

A trustworthy outsourcing partner will have the tools and processes to get your company as close to the criminal records source as possible. This helps CRAs meet or exceed the accuracy requirements of their end-users without bogging down the process with unnecessary layers and intermediaries between them, the county-level data they need, and the final reports their customers will use to make critical hiring, tenancy, credentialing, and security decisions. Depending on the industry and the size of your company, it may not be feasible or cost-effective to hire a staff of investigators to handle a large volume of background check orders in-house. Many companies turn to outsourcing partners to help with the documentation retrieval and legal research vital to their overall business. These outsourced providers can provide various legal and document management solutions, including assisting with obtaining birth or death certificates.


Legal outsourcing is a $1 billion industry; many attorneys outsource document retrieval, research, and other legal services. It takes a lot of work to match the expertise of a company specializing in these areas. This allows you to focus on your core business. For instance, if you need to run background checks on prospective employees before hiring them, it’s important to use a service that has a global footprint. Another provider has employees worldwide who must verify their social security numbers, check their educational degrees’ accuracy and ensure they aren’t on terrorist lists. This would only be possible if you had in-house staff. You’d need a full-time team of investigators who could travel and spend much time searching for records in county courthouses nationwide. There are more cost-effective ways to conduct background searches. Another benefit of outsourcing to a background screening firm is the ability to supplement pre-employment screening with Criminal Records Monitoring, which alerts you to reportable new activity after the employee begins work. This can help you reduce costly financial and reputational risks such as insurance premiums, worker’s compensation claims and employee turnover. It also supports regulatory compliance by providing you with more timely data and allowing you to take corrective action before a serious problem arises.