Limited Budget For Background Checks? Here Are Some Ideas

, , , , , | March 24, 2023 | By

A challenging economy requires organizations to get creative to maintain quality in operations with less funding and, often, less staffing. Managing a background screen to support hiring is no exception. Fortunately, it is possible to conduct effective background screens on a budget. Here are some tips on doing so.

Ideas for Affordable Background Screening

In a recent survey conducted by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and, 54% of respondents said cost was one of the most important factors in choosing a screening service. Of course, you also want to ensure that the service is reliable, or the cost-savings up front will be offset by the expense of unreliable results down the line. The following tips will help you save money on background screens without sacrificing quality.

Distinguish Must-Have from Nice-to-Have Information

You may be able to cut back on what information you obtain in your screenings to save money. Conducting a more limited screening is always better than no screening at all. If you need to cut back on your screening budget, distinguish between must-have information and nice-to-have information, and only pay for must-have information.

Some must-have information, like a criminal history check and a sex offender registry search, is universal and should be included. Other information, such as fingerprinting and social media screening, may only be nice to have, but you can pass on if you want to stay within budget.

Seek Volume Discounts

If volunteer or employee background screens are a regular part of your business, you may benefit from volume discounts. Always ask about volume discounts even if they are not listed in a pricing chart. For example, BIB customers who conduct more than 75 screens annually are eligible for custom volume pricing.

Explore Tiered Pricing Options

Background checks can provide a lot of information about potential employees and volunteers. But not all of the information may be necessary for all roles in your organization. For example, you may decide to only conduct driving record checks for positions that involve driving and credit checks only for positions that involve access to money and financial accounts. Of course, some information, most notably, criminal background checks, is essential for all positions.

With tiered pricing, you pay less for less comprehensive searches. This can be a very effective method of saving, especially if your organization conducts a large volume of background screens annually.

Consider Self-Pay Options for Volunteer Background Checks

One of the most effective ways to save a lot on volunteer background checks is to ask volunteers to pay for their background screen. This approach is called volunteer self-pay.

You may worry that asking volunteers who are already donating their time to also pay for their screening may make it more difficult to recruit more volunteers. Good news! BIB’s research on volunteer self-pay found that 95% of volunteers are willing to pay for their own background checks. Of those surveyed, 61% would also be willing to donate money to ensure all volunteers are subject to a quality background check. In comparison, 89% indicated they would disprove of a school that did not conduct volunteer background screens.

Get More Background Screen Guidance

At BIB, we are committed to educating organizations on background screen best practices. For more guidance on how to conduct background checks, download our Background Check Survival Guide.

At BIB, we streamlined background screens with integrity. We screen, test, and verify the backgrounds of employees and volunteers. Want to learn more about BIB? Contact us at (704) 439-3900 or visit us at