John Bethell, president of JB Screening Partners. Photo by Rodney Margison


You’ve found the person you want to hire. The candidate’s qualifications match your needs, and the interview went well, but this is a sensitive position, so you want to be sure there are no red flags in the applicant’s background. That’s when you might want to call a company that does comprehensive background checks.

“Most employers feel they’ve got the right person when they make an offer of employment,” says John Bethell, president of JB Screening Partners, a year-old Bloomington firm that conducts “risk profile” background checks of prospective employees. “We ask clients a series of questions regarding the nature of their business and the characteristics of the position they are filling as a way to create a risk profile. The more risk you perceive, the more searching we do.”

For example, Bethell says, a tool-and-die worker under supervision would be a lower-risk hire than a visiting nurse who goes into people’s homes or an employee who handles cash.

JB Screening Partners will check criminal records, education and licensing credentials, references, and, if the employee will have access to company assets, credit reports. If something does turn up?  “We need to verify the information at the source and will go to the actual court records,” Bethell says. “And if we were to disclose something that would disqualify the candidate, the client must then give the person time to dispute the accuracy of the report.”

Many records are automated now, he says, and a very basic criminal background check can be completed for $25–$30. The more thorough the profile a client requires, the higher the agreed-upon cost.    

Timeliness matters, too. “We understand the competitive market for good employees, and the best candidates may have multiple offers,” Bethell says. The firm starts work as soon as an order is received and has a zero-backlog policy in which all information received by 4 p.m. is included in a background report that day.

Typical clients include employers in financial services, retail, information technology, health care, and title insurance. Bethell started JB Screening Partners after 30 years in the title insurance business.  He continues to own John Bethell Title Company in Bloomington.   

For more information, visit