Standout Screening Solutions

backed by boutique-style service

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Employment Screening Services

From pre-hire to post-hire, our services are the perfect fit.


Simple, yet powerful,  by design.

Our cloud-based platform is ever-changing to keep up with the functionality you need and the ease of use you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your needs are unique. Everything we do starts with one-on-one styling, but just in case your question is a general one, here is a list of common inquiries regarding our services.

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All organizations, regardless of size, can benefit from managing risk through employment screening. We provide service to a diverse list of clients including non-profits, faith-based organizations, private medical and law practices, as well as large fortune rated corporations. The bottom line: all companies should perform employee screening to minimize risk to other employees, clients and society as a whole.
Hiring the wrong employee poses an inherent risk and exposes your organization, employees and customers to unforeseen threats. By utilizing a reputable screening provider, employers can avoid the financial and legal problems associated with hiring an unsuitable candidate. Lawsuits for negligent hiring are among the fastest growing areas of litigation in the U.S. The cost of human capital is usually the largest single-line item in the budget of any organization. Employers have become increasingly aware of the tremendous consequences of bad hiring decisions. The pre-screening process ensures a safe and profitable workplace.
No, a good screening program will outline what types of past criminal activity would eliminate a candidate from successfully filling a particular position. The goal is to match candidates with appropriate jobs, not to keep all applicants with records from gaining employment. Some obvious examples would be preventing habitual alcohol and drug impaired drivers from driving company vehicles or sexual predators from working with children.
A full name, social security number and date of birth are imperative for an accurate search of criminal public records to be conducted. Most county courts in the United States file criminal records by name and date of birth. Some courts allow a search by social security number, but this identifying information is not always included or released on records. If any of the above information is submitted or transmitted incorrectly, records may not be found.
There is not a "one search fits all" approach to employment screening. Critical Research will consult with you, your staff and legal counsel to help create the right screening program for your organization. It is imperative for your company to have a well-thought-out plan for employment screening. This prevents discrimination in your screening practices, even if unintentional (called Disparate Impact).
Critical Research adds additional services on an on-going basis so all services available may not be listed. Please contact us to inquire about additional services. Our parent company, Smith and Carson, has 35 years experience gathering intelligence information so we can usually perform any search needed.
Each state makes its own choices regarding the information they consider "public." Some states choose not to provide repository access for the purposes of accessing information for employment services.

A consent form, approved by your legal counsel and signed by the applicant, is needed before you order a background check. An additional, specialized release form may also be needed for certain services. If you require international services, our Client Services team will provide you with paperwork needed to obtain the appropriate information.
Results are reviewed internally by our experienced team members before being reported to you. We follow strict protocols and standards before releasing adverse information. We have a responsibility to clients and applicants to report information accurately and we take that responsibility very seriously.
Our results are obtained directly from the source at the time requested. Critical Research provides the most up-to-date information available. We do not maintain a database of static information. Going to the primary source every time ensures that you receive the most accurate and reliable information possible, every time.
Turnaround time for results varies by search type and from where the information is originating. Critical Research strives to return all domestic results within 24 to 72 business hours. If extended delays occur in any situation, a member of the Critical Research Client Services team will contact you and keep you abreast of daily status changes.
Costs vary depending on the services ordered and on the pricing format selected. Critical Research offers two pricing formats; à la carte or bundled package pricing. À la carte pricing allows clients to pick and choose individual services where as package pricing allows clients to bundle frequently used services at a discounted rate.
Additional fees can be incurred as a result of courts charging access fees for information or when third party vendors verify employment or education history. Critical Research passes access/third party fees to clients at the same cost we incur to obtain information. Other factors that can increase the cost for a background screening include the number of years reviewed, the number of courts that have to be searched and how many areas the applicant has resided in during the past 7-10 years.
No, there is no cost to sign up for service. We waive sign-up fees in an effort to encourage all companies to participate in employment screening. If your company requires access to credit reports there is a one-time fee to conduct an on-site inspection. This inspection is required by the major credit bureaus, is conducted by an independent third party, ensures that credit reports are being ordered for permissible purposes and evaluates the security of kept files. The cost for this inspection can range from $75 to $150.
Critical Research, Inc. is a federally regulated Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), for the purpose of providing pre-employment screening information in accordance with all applicable guidelines, confidentiality and mandates as stipulated within applicable statues. Critical Research is in compliance with all Individual Reference Service Group principals and procedures.
There is no single source of information that contains all criminal history for an individual. Consequently, we recommend clients take advantage of several different sources to identify criminal records. Review of multiple sources increases the quality of hiring and reduces risk. Not all criminals get caught in the jurisdiction where they live. Criminal records can often be found in nearby jurisdictions, areas frequented during travel, areas of temporary relocation or even vacation destinations.
Once you have signed the Critical Research agreement and have a signed authorization form from a candidate, you are ready to begin screening. All search requests should only be performed after obtaining a signed release from the applicant. Searches can be ordered through our online ordering system, by fax or XML data transmission.
Absolutely, as you never know what happens on the weekend or over time. The cost to re-screen an applicant is usually substantially less than an initial screening because searches only need to check the time span while working for your company. This is probably the most overlooked step in a solid background screening program. Re-screening intervals depend on the position and goal of the program. Typical re-screening programs check drivers every 6 months and all employees every 12 months for criminal activity.
Yes, these programs can be tailored to your company needs and are based on what information is available for your jurisdiction. Contact us to inquire about ongoing monitoring options.

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Social Media Screening by Employers

The advancement of social media is profoundly changing the way companies conduct background checks and screen applicants to confirm their credentials. But while social media screening is on the rise, many employers refrain from the practice out of fear of its legal implications, including the risk of discrimination lawsuits. Although the law on social media […]

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Quick access to links and forms you need make compliance a cinch!

There are many pieces to the compliance process so we make it as easy as possible. These forms, along with others, are also available through our client portal under the Document Library in the Help section.


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