First Advantage Background Check Review

At first glance, First Advantage comes off as being a polished and professional background check service. A brief look at their website shows that the company boasts a very long list of services, from criminal records monitoring and background checks, all the way to driver services and what they call ‘investigative research’. 

But are they as good as they look, or is it all just for show? Let’s dig a little deeper in this First Advantage background check review and find out. 

First Advantage initially went public in 2003, and almost two decades later, it claims to be one of the largest screening providers in the world. So far, they have 26 locations across 14 countries staffed by a multilingual team of experts. That’s certainly something an enterprise customer with an international presence might appreciate. 

Still, a screening company like First Advantage is only as good as the checks they can provide. They do offer comprehensive background checks that include criminal and driving records checks, aside from licensing and credential verifications. To top it all off, they also have social media checks, just like many background check companies do.

All of those are the standard set of services you’d expect from any company offering background checks. However, that’s not where First Advantage truly stands out. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that the company has several specialized background check solutions that you won’t find anywhere else. They include XtdForce™, Ready2Work™, and Ready2Volunteer™. 

Each of those trademarked solutions focuses on a unique and specialized need. XtdForce™, for instance, is a unique solution for screening freelance and remote workers specifically. Meanwhile, Ready2Volunteer™ is one that charitable and nonprofit organizations will find very useful for screening their volunteers.

As for Ready2Work™, that’s a solution to screen large groups of potential and returning employees quickly. That is a handy solution with minimal turnaround time when needing to screen temp workers or new hires to fill open positions quickly.

These unique solutions are very impressive, and they certainly set First Advantage apart from most background check companies in the industry today.

Who’s It For? 

First Advantage Background Check

Looking closely at First Advantage, it’s clear that the company caters mainly to Human Resources and Talent Acquisition professionals, specifically in these types of companies:

Multinational Corporations (MNCs): HR and Talent Acquisition professionals in MNCs with an international presence would benefit the most from First Advantage’s many offerings. With First Advantage’s international offices staffed by multilingual teams of experts, they would serve well as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for solutions to screen potential hires and monitor their existing workforce.

Companies With An Extended Workforce: Besides MNCs, First Advantage’s tailored and trademarked solutions (discussed earlier) would also benefit other types of organizations. For instance, their XtdForce™ solution would fit perfectly for startup companies that rely heavily on freelance, contract, and remote workers. 

Companies Screening Large Groups Quickly: First Advantage is also suited for companies that need to screen large groups of workers quickly. That includes those that rely on temporary workers or those with workers returning to a job site. Their Ready2Work™ solution would be ideal for those reasons. 

Volunteer, Charitable, and Nonprofit Organizations: Thanks to First Advantage’s Ready2Volunteer™ solution, the company is also suited for any organization that relies on volunteers.

With a wide range of customers suited to what First Advantage has to offer, here are those that the company’s solutions are NOT suited for:

Private Individuals: Private individuals who wish to perform background checks for dating or other reasons will not find First Advantage useful unlike some other services available on the market for those purposes.

Occasional Users: Some users only use background check services occasionally, such as small businesses that don’t hire new employees very often. First Advantage, through ShareAble, does offer one-off background check services for those users. However, that option may be costly for small businesses that might be better off with one-off background checks from other companies.

What We Like About First Advantage Background Check 

Overall, the primary thing to like about First Advantage is that it’s a professional service suitable for enterprise use. First Advantage is tailored to Human Resources departments at large corporations and less of a one-size-fits-all type of background check solution.

Enterprise users will find it very easy to integrate First Advantage’s services with their existing Talent Management systems (like Workday, Cornerstone, etc.). As a result, First Advantage makes it very easy for new users to adopt their services with minimal hassle. 

Besides that, we love that First Advantage offers XtdForce™, tailored to screen remote workers and freelancers in particular. These days, plenty of startup companies rely on these kinds of workers to function, and it’s not uncommon that their teams are spread across multiple time zones all over the world.

With XtdForce™ and First Advantage’s international reach, even a startup consisting of remote workers in different continents will be able to screen all of their employees using the same solution! Not only is that impressive, but it’s hard to find any other background check company that can offer that!

What We Don’t Like About First Advantage Background Check

There are some drawbacks to using First Advantage, though. For one, the user interface is quite sophisticated, leading some users to find it challenging to navigate. Clearly, there is a bit of a learning curve and it does take some time for new users to get acquainted with using the system. 

Besides that, some background checks do take longer than others. That problem is made worse given that the platform doesn’t provide an estimated time for when the check may be completed. For users who are submitting large numbers of background check requests, that can be quite frustrating, especially since they can’t communicate how long the process may take.

Lastly, First Advantage can sometimes provide incorrect information on candidates that have generic names. That could lead to confusion among users, and it would require the user to manually verify that the information supplied by the system is for the correct candidate. 

PROS

  • Highly-detailed background check information. 
  • Specialized screening services for remote workers, freelancers, and volunteers.
  • International reach in 26 countries with multilingual teams of experts.
  • Seamless integration with enterprise talents management platforms like Workday and others.

CONS

  • The interface can be challenging to navigate.
  • Delayed background checks do not provide an estimated time of completion.

What’s Included?

First Advantage

Each background check report that a user gets through First Advantage only contains information from checks that they request. To give you an idea of what that might look like, such a report may include items such as:

  • Identity verification.
  • State and county record checks.
  • Federal watchlist checks.
  • National Sex Offender Registry checks.
  • National Most Wanted List checks.
  • Verification of licenses, qualifications, and education credentials. 

However, the exact information provided in each report will depend on what checks the user has requested. A more comprehensive check may also include other items such as: 

  • Fraud Alerts.
  • Prior Employment checks.
  • Current and Previous addresses.
  • Highly-detailed credit report.

Overview Of Features

Like other companies in the industry, First Advantage offers background checks and criminal records monitoring, among many others. However, the company goes above and beyond with its specialized screening solutions such as XtdForce™ (for screening remote, freelance, and contract workers), Ready2Work™ (for screening large batches quickly), and Ready2Volunteer™ (for screening volunteers). 

Beyond that, the company also offers other screening services that are useful to Human Resources and Talent Acquisition responsibilities, such as drug and alcohol testing, occupational health solutions, as well as driver and fleet compliance services. 

Review Summary

First Advantage is clearly the answer for enterprise users wanting to screen potential hires and monitor their existing workforce. Large corporations with an international footprint (like MNCs) would certainly appreciate the full spectrum of services and benefits offered by First Advantage. That includes the company’s international offices and multilingual staff members capable of serving such corporations.  

Still, First Advantage is versatile enough that it can also benefit startup companies with a distributed or extended workforce of contract workers and charitable organizations that rely on a volunteer workforce. That’s all thanks to the unique tailor-made solutions for these types of users that are undoubtedly uncommon in the background check industry.

Small businesses could also benefit from First Advantage, albeit on a pay-per-use type of arrangement. 

The sophisticated tools that First Advantage offers are somewhat of a double-edged sword, though. While they do provide users with the functionality they need to screen potential job candidates, that can also come off as being too complex for some users to manage. For them, additional practice and training may be required before they can effectively make the most of what First Advantage’s tools have to offer.

All things considered, this is still a fantastic solution for performing background checks and thorough screening on potential job candidates or existing hires. With that, it’s safe to say that First Advantage would be a worthwhile expense for Talent Acquisition professionals who want to ensure that they’re hiring the correct candidates for positions within their company. 

Background Hawk - Team

Background Hawk - Team

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