5 Differences among Small, Medium, and Large Background Check Companies

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
March 24 2016
When InfoMart first started as a small business more than 26 years ago, we had to discover the best ways to find the information companies needed, deliver that information, and ensure our clients were satisfied.
Over the years, we’ve incorporated technology, expanded our operations and services, provided more customization, and always maintained good customer service. This dedication to our customers and focus on improvement has rewarded us with an ever-growing client list. Our current clients’ loyalty indicates that we’re doing something right. However, no one in business likes to make uninformed decisions. So, we have provided a screener overview. The right provider for your organization will depend on the services requested, as well as your company size, hiring volume, location, industry, and budget.


Small Screeners

Small screeners pride themselves on superior customer care. They may also specialize in a certain geographical area and/or niche industry. This has its advantages; they can be particularly knowledgeable about whatever (or wherever) they specialize in. However, they may have trouble scaling to meet the needs of a larger client or service high demand. When considering a small screener, ask:

  • Are they experienced and established, or are they a newer or start-up company?
  • If new to the industry, do they have experienced staff who can lend credibility?
  • Do they offer all the services you need? Do they plan to expand their service offerings?

Large Screeners

Large background screening companies are often subsidiaries or secondary businesses of parent and umbrella corporations. Before choosing a large screening provider, consider:

    • Access to capital and resources – The parent company may have broad assets, but that doesn’t guarantee the screener is legitimately capable of casting a wider net, processing a larger number of screening services, or ensuring that the reported information is accurate.
    • Relationship with leadership – Large companies tend to have many layers of leadership and a company’s ownership and management has a significant effect on the quality of its business. Who will handle your account, and are they empowered to make decisions to improve your experience?
    • Industry experience – Will your screening program have enough of the necessary specialized background check knowledge to be effective and compliant?
    • Focus on customer service – Large companies outsource more than smaller companies, and may lack reliable and knowledgeable customer service representatives.

Mid-Sized Screeners

Mid-sized companies like InfoMart often marry the best qualities of large and small screeners. Owned by a single person and led by an experienced team of industry experts, mid-sized screeners can be as versatile as large screeners, but with the superior customer service and customization of small companies.

    • Customer service – The same leaders who brought you in may continue to be a point of contact after your account has been setup. They will be more invested in your future suggestions and concerns and are less likely to blow you off than contacts at a larger company.
    • Professional experience – Mid-sized companies are usually established and have been through the legal challenges and changes of the growing background screening industry. More than 50% of InfoMart employees have been here for more than 5 years and nearly 10% have been here for more than 16 years. Our ability to retain experienced professionals helps us predict changes on the horizon and act ahead of them.
    • Vendor relationships – Experienced companies tend to have great relationships with their vendors. Many of our information retrievers have been with us since the creation of our business nearly thirty years ago. The longer a screener has been in business, the more likely it is that they know who can best fulfill an order.

How Does Cost Differ for Background Checks?

The cost of services offered by background screening providers doesn’t vary much from company to company, but most screeners will give you a free pricing quote if you ask. The quality of your results, turnaround time, and customer service will vary much more than cost will. Make sure you aren’t being overcharged for sub-prime information and do your research.

Don’t settle for the first provider you find. Select a company that will work in your best interest, take your needs seriously, remain available to you, and get you the information you need.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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