Background Checks

Top 9 Certn Alternatives & Competitors in 2024

  • April 8, 2024
  • Christy Clifton
  • Approx. Read Time: 7 Minutes
Top 8 Certn Alternatives

High cost and questionable quality are two common problems in the world of pre-employment background checks. HR professionals are always looking for a screening solution that gives accurate, robust results quickly and at a reasonable cost. Certn is a popular choice and is well-reviewed online. But it isn’t perfect, and there are alternatives that could fit your business better.



Key Takeaways

Here’s what you need to consider when looking for an alternative to Certn's background screening services:

        • Easy-to-use applications help you save time and money.
        • Several alternatives offer real-time data, which is missing from Certn’s offerings.
        • Customer service quality varies greatly among Certn's competitors.
        • ATS/HRIS integrations can make or break your decision.
        • Not all vendors offer international screening.


Table of Contents




What Is Certn?

Certn is a popular background screening tool used by businesses of various sizes, including those with an international presence. Certn can be tailored to fit numerous industries like healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, finance and more.

Rating: 4.8/5 on G2, based on 169 reviews


Key Features

    • Proprietary technology enables facial recognition
    • Easy, no-code integrations with many HRIS and ATS systems
    • Turnaround times as little as 15 minutes for some checks


Certn uses its OneID technology to let you use biometrics and a 3-step identity verification process. You can run screens in 190+ countries.



Reviewers on G2 note long turnaround times for international job histories and education reports. Reports sometimes lack detail and are difficult to interpret. Some users note long setup times and difficult communication with customer service.

Pricing for criminal record checks is $30.99 for a Basic check in Canada and $37.99 for a Basic check in the U.S. The Certn website also provides pricing for credit reports, social media checks and other ancillary services. Pricing for enterprise-level solutions and bundled packages must be obtained by contacting Certn.


Top 9 Certn Alternatives

Although Certn is well regarded, anyone evaluating background screening solutions should take care to weigh multiple options. We present nine alternatives to Certn here.


cisive Color


1. Cisive

Rating: 4.6/5 on G2, based on 76 reviews


Key Features

    • Dedicated customer service representative assigned to your account
    • Availability of real-time, customized data
    • Billing simplified by automatically associating invoices with each background check

Cisive is a strong alternative to Certn thanks to the proprietary eSecure Global technology and Cisive Analytic Reporting Tool (CART). These value-adding tools help HR pros see fully customized detailed reports.

In addition to criminal background screening, Cisive provides employment and education verification, insight into motor vehicle records, international background checks and more.

Cisive is accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), and offers pricing packages tailored to your company’s needs, so you don’t have to purchase services you don’t really need.


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2. Sterling

Rating: 3.2/5 on G2, based on 56 reviews


Key Features

    • Customizable order rules
    • Detailed, easy-to-understand reports
    • Integrates with many ATS and staffing software programs


Sterling promotes its integrations as its biggest benefit. The company has been in business since 1975 and now integrates with hundreds of ATS/HCM systems. Sterling uses its SmartData technology to help match candidate data and automate parts of the background check process.



Unfortunately, many online reviews mention that it’s difficult to get a real person on the phone when support is needed.

Pricing for background checks is not available on Sterling’s website. They state that the cost varies depending on the services you select and that you should contact them for a quote.





3. Checkr

Rating: 4.5/5 on G2, based on 230 reviews


Key Features

    • Powerful AI core filters data fast and auto-updates when laws change
    • Offers real-time updates for background report requests and completions
    • Uses machine learning to quickly classify criminal charges


Customizability and connectivity are Checkr's strong points. Checkr has an open API to connect to core systems and workflows. Also, onboarding and customer service are generally solid.



Some users reported system glitches that the Checkr team took days to resolve.

If you plan on doing more than 300 background checks a year, you must contact the company for pricing. Pricing for under 300 per year is:

    • $29.99 per check for Basic+
    • $54.99 per check for Essential, which adds more criminal history searches
    • $79.99 per check for Professional, which adds education and employment verification



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4. Checkmate

Rating: 4.9/5 on G2, based on 23 reviews


Key Features

    • Integrates with LinkedIn for identity verification
    • Flexible logic flow and question types
    • User-friendly interface that can be customized easily and is mobile-friendly


The Checkmate dashboard receives praise from online reviewers. They’re highly satisfied with how easily they can tailor it to meet their needs, thus speeding up the process. Users also note that Checkmate’s customer service team is responsive and helpful.



Some reviewers wish for more ATS integrations and had challenges with AML processes.

There are no setup fees and no fixed contracts with Checkmate. Pricing is not available on the Checkmate website, so you’ll need to reach out to the company for a quote.



Paycom Logo


5. Paycom

Rating: 4.2/5 on G2, based on 1,145 reviews


Key Features

    • Scalable solution to fit businesses of nearly any size
    • Range of screenings available, including criminal background checks, education, employment, drug and more
    • Integrates with E-Verify and many ATS platforms


Paycom is one of the more well-known players in the payroll and HR world. Its background check offering, called Enhanced Background Checks, provides quick turnaround times and is FCRA-compliant and secure.



Paycom’s main focus is payroll and time and labor management, with background checks being an ancillary service. Online reviewers note issues with background checks, such as candidates not receiving scheduling links and lack of detail in reports.

Paycom doesn’t publish background check pricing on its website, so you’ll need to contact the company for details.



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6. RUN Powered by ADP

Rating: 4.6/5 on G2, based on 4 reviews


Key Features

    • Compliance support, including guides, webinars and legislative alerts
    • Workflows customizable by industry and organization
    • Proprietary sourcing methods include real-time data and on-site researchers


ADP’s background check tool is straightforward and easy for HR team members and candidates to use. The dashboard allows you to track candidate information in one place.



ADP is a very large organization, so users may have trouble connecting with the right support person to answer questions and resolve issues.

Background checks from ADP require no contracts and have limited pass-through fees. However, to obtain a price quote, you’ll need to contact the company.



Zinc Logo


7. Zinc

Rating: 4.7/5 on G2, based on 137 reviews


Key Features

    • Wide range of checks available
    • Can conduct screenings in 190 countries
    • Scalable to fit everything from startups to large enterprises


Zinc offers quick setup, good onboarding and responsive customer service, according to G2 reviewers. Reviewers note the intuitive UI and enjoy the ability to customize reports and have them branded with your company’s branding.



Drawbacks of Zinc include limited integrations. As of early 2024, it integrates with just over a dozen HRIS and ATS platforms. Also, Zinc sells the fact that it’s “UK and European focused.” This is something to be aware of if you aren’t screening candidates there.

Pricing for Zinc’s background checks is not available on its website. Contact the company for a quote.



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8. Verified First

Rating: 4.0/5 on G2, based on 19 reviews


Key Features

    • Partners with 100+ talent management solutions include ATS, HRIS and payroll systems
    • Drug screening and I-9 verifications available in addition to background screens
    • FCRA-compliant services, plus their staff includes PBSA-certified experts


Background screen turnaround times tend to be fast through Verified First. The company provides many different types of screens and verifications, including employment and education.



Several reviewers questioned the accuracy of the reports generated by Verified First and felt that the reports were missing information. Some also reported service issues such as billing errors and difficulty communicating with the customer service team.

Pricing for Verified First can only be obtained by contacting the company for a quote. Their website does mention no annual contracts and no minimum number of screens.



Hireology Logo


9. Hireology

Rating: 4.5/5 on G2, based on 1,079 reviews


Key Features

    • Can configure automation for background checks and drug screening
    • 10 different screening packages available
    • Automated workflows available


Hireology’s background check solution is not available as a standalone product. Their checks are outsourced to Accurate through an integration with Hireology’s platform. Accurate is a well-known background check provider, and you may consider using Accurate directly rather than purchasing Hireology.



Since background checks are not available as a standalone product, you would need to purchase the entire Hireology application first. Contact Hireology for pricing.


See How Cisive Can Streamline Your Screening Process

Cisive stands out from Certn and other Certn alternatives due to our proprietary technology, comprehensive background screening solutions, and access to real-time data. What's more, we deliver high-quality service through assigned, dedicated customer service representatives. Our clients know they're in good hands with our team of talent acquisition experts. Schedule a demo with Cisive today to learn more.


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


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