Background Checks

Top 5 First Advantage Alternatives & Competitors

  • March 25, 2024
  • Christy Clifton
  • Approx. Read Time: 6 Minutes
  • Updated on March 25, 2024
Cisive. Top 5 Alternatives to First Advantage Background Checks.

First Advantage is a well-known pre-employment screening solution used by companies across many industries. While it is recognized as a strong competitor with many useful pre-employment background check features, it does have some notable weaknesses. In this article, we’ll look at the platform’s background check offerings and present five possible First Advantage alternatives.



Key Takeaways

Here are some important things to consider when evaluating First Advantage competitors:

        • Platform functionality is key; each competitor’s portal offers different talent management experiences.
        • Customer support is extremely important to all users. 
        • If real-time tracking is important to you, many companies fall short here.
        • When speaking with background check companies, make sure to ask whether they integrate with your Applicant Tracking System/Human Capital Management (ATS/HCM) system.
        • Not all background check companies can accommodate large companies; make sure you choose an option that can scale with you.


Table of Contents
  1. What Is First Advantage?
  2. 5 Top First Advantage Alternatives
    1. Cisive
    2. GoodHire
    3. HireRight
    4. ClearChecks
    5. Sterling
  1. Build a Strong Workforce With the Help of Cisive


What Is First Advantage?



Founded in 2003, First Advantage specializes in pre-employment background checks for many different organizations, including those in sectors like financial services, education, health care, hospitality, retail and more. First Advantage offers solutions for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, including global companies.


Key Features

    • Insight Advantage diagnostic dashboard helps HR teams measure the success of their background check process
    • Criminal records and sex offender registry searches in all 50 states
    • FCRA-compliant social media and driving records screenings available



First Advantage is known for its quick turnaround times. Its platform is designed to optimize the experience of both candidates and hiring managers with integrated screen-to-onboard experiences.



The background check software lacks the ability to integrate with some ATS platforms, according to reviewers. And while the interface is easy to use, the functionality is limited. For example, users sometimes had to rely on First Advantage to provide reports rather than getting those reports themselves. 

In 2022, First Advantage settled two class-action lawsuits resolving claims that it ran unauthorized background checks in violation of FCRA.



First Advantage does not provide pricing on its website. You need to fill out their online contact form to initiate the process of getting a price quote.


5 Top First Advantage Alternatives

While First Advantage is widely used and generally viewed positively, no system is perfect. As an HR leader, you’ll want to do your due diligence in comparing First Advantage alternatives that may be a better fit for your business. We highlight five of these services below. 


1. Cisive


Rating: 4.6/5 based on 76 reviews on G2 


Key Features

    • Easy to integrate with leading ATS platforms
    • Recordkeeping made easy with invoices associated with each background check
    • Range of screenings available, including criminal history, education and employment verification, SSN, social media and more
    • HR teams can receive training from the Cisive team
    • User-friendly, customizable portal


Cisive is a highly competitive alternative to First Advantage. One of Cisive’s strongest selling points is our proprietary technology, eSecure Global®. This system is recognized as very accurate and information-rich. It allows HR professionals to see in-depth results for every background check.

Another highlight is the ability to provide both real-time and customized data. The Cisive Analytic Reporting Tool (CART) allows users to customize reports in ways that provide the most value for them, whether it’s vehicle records or thorough education and employment verification.

Features like CART make background checks easier and more informative in all contexts, including international background check solutions. 

G2 and other review sites contain many reviews highlighting positive interactions with Cisive’s customer support team. Notably, Cisive customers are assigned a dedicated representative to whom they can reach out for direct help. The Cisive platform has a 24/7 support help desk to provide assistance even during off hours.

In terms of reputation, Cisive is accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and has never been the subject of a class action lawsuit.



Cisive pricing is based on your specific needs with service packages tailored to you so you don’t end up paying for solutions that don’t bring value to your organization. Contact a Cisive expert to get started.


2. GoodHire


Rating: 4.6/5 based on 273 reviews on G2 


Key Features

    • Built to integrate with 15+ ATS and HRIS platforms
    • User-friendly interface
    • Popular workflows built-in and can be customized


Reviewers of GoodHire note the ease of pulling reports and the logical formatting of those reports. The system is user-friendly both for HR teams and candidates and the time from sign-up to implementation is quick.



GoodHire offers many background check options, but reviewers note that these services are more expensive than those of some competitors. For small businesses, employment and education verification is only available with the most expensive Professional option.

Additionally, reviewers have mixed opinions of GoodHire’s customer service, with several stating they had difficulty getting the help they needed. 



GoodHire provides pricing on its website for those who need less than 10 background checks per year. The Basic+ check is $29.99 per check. The Essential check is $54.99 per check. The Professional level is $79.99 per check. All three levels include global watchlist records. However, education and employment background checks are only available with the Professional option.

If you need 10 or more background checks per year, you must contact GoodHire to obtain a price.


3. HireRight


Rating: 3.3/5 based on 128 reviews on G2 


Key Features 

    • Includes HR analytics
    • Customizable dashboard
    • Integrates with many ATS and HRIS platforms


HireRight is known for its easy-to-use portal and the ability to integrate with other HR systems. Users appreciate that the HireRight system provides timely notifications during the screening process that help keep their processes streamlined.



Many reviewers experienced slow turnaround times, sometimes more than a month. The accuracy of reports can be questionable. Frustrations with customer support appear to be common, with users having difficulty getting answers.



HireRight does not provide background check pricing on its website. You’ll need to contact the company to get a quote.


4. ClearChecks


Rating: 4.9/5 based on 15 reviews on G2 


Key Features 

    • Pre-built integrations with ATS and HCM platforms
    • Platform is easy to use and mobile-friendly
    • Workflow only requires an email address, and then ClearChecks contacts applicants and gets all required disclosures


The two main benefits of ClearChecks, based on reviews, are the system’s capabilities and the company’s customer service. Reviewers are emphatic that the ClearChecks platform is intuitive and logical, making screenings easy. 

Most of all, reviewers praise the company for its customer support, stating that it is easy to contact real people and those people are knowledgeable and helpful. The overall sentiment is that ClearChecks offers excellent value for the money.



ClearChecks has garnered mostly positive reviews, though a few users stated that they felt turnaround times could sometimes be too long. There are also some comments about reports containing outdated information.



ClearChecks pricing starts at the Basic $24.99 per report. The Standard report is $39.99 per report and includes unlimited county criminal record search. The Professional option is $69.99 per report and includes education and employment verifications. All three options include state, federal and international watchlists.

After selecting one of the three options above, you can add other checks a la carte at additional cost. For example, you can get a driver history report for $29.99 or a federal criminal search for $9.99.


5. Sterling

*Note: First Advantage has recently acquired Sterling



Rating: 3.2/5 based on 56 reviews on G2 


Key Features

    • Identity verification available
    • Platform is easy to navigate
    • Integrations with APIs and ATS platforms


Sterling has been around since 1975 and has built a large network of integration partners and currently offers integrations with hundreds of ATS/HCM platforms. Its data analytics platform allows HR teams to collect information to optimize background, drug and health screening programs.



Reviewers frequently note customer service issues ranging from onboarding to finishing checks. Several reviewers expressed frustrations with not being able to contact a person and instead being routed through an automated system. 



Sterling does not provide background check pricing on its website. Contact the company to get a quote.


Build a Strong Workforce With the Help of Cisive

Cisive separates itself from other First Advantage alternatives by offering both accurate, comprehensive screening services and a deeply dedicated customer service team. Cisive’s combination of technology solutions, compliance, and humanity makes it today’s premier background check offering so you can make informed hiring decisions.

To learn more about Cisive and receive a customized price for your business, contact a Cisive expert today.


Screen smarter, hire safer. Get the right talent to drive your success. Speak to an expert.


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