These days, it seems like it’s become standard practice for companies to do a credit check and background check on job candidates. And this applies to both traditional employment opportunities and remote positions.
There are plenty of reasons for employers to make this precaution. In many positions such as customer service and sales, you may be dealing with customers' personal and financial information. If that information is compromised or misused in any way, it's the company that's on the line for any restitution or legal penalties. There are even laws in place for certain positions requiring background checks.
While you may have nothing to hide, the problem often arises when it comes to who foots the bill. When applying to work-at-home positions, that's usually the applicant. Most online background checks run $35 or so, but you may be paying that with every application you submit. That financial burden can be a turnoff, even if you wouldn’t necessarily object otherwise.
The explosion of work-from-home opportunities has led to an increase in companies who are using background checks (and sometimes credit checks) in their decision-making process for their at-home workforce, but the good news is that there’s also been a lot of growth in the number of companies that don’t require background checks to be employed. And those are the ones we’re going to talk about today.
If you’re looking for a work-from-home job that doesn’t require a background check, try looking at one of these places:
(Note: Companies can change policies at any time. While we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, please refer to the company website or job leads for the current hiring requirements and procedures.)
If you think you’ve got a good ear for voices (including ones with accents) and you’re able to type fairly quickly — or you’re willing to learn how to type faster — transcription might be a great work-at-home option for you.
Many online transcription companies don’t require a background check for their transcription work, and you can set your own hours and schedule. These are some go-to transcription businesses that hire work-at-home transcriptionists without a background check:
One great thing about transcription work is that you can turn it into a full-fledged freelance business if you want. Learn more about transcription work from home here!
2. Website Testing and Evaluation
Website testing and evaluation can be a lot of fun. Depending on which business you’re working with, your tasks may range from looking at a user-submitted website and offering feedback to actually testing and evaluating a website and giving your opinion on how well it works, how well it’s organized, and more.
This is one of those work-at-home gigs that offers a ton of variety, and you never really know what you’re going to get. If you like the idea of that, and you’re interested in giving your own personal opinions about things, check out these companies that hire for website testing and evaluation:
If you want to learn more about website testing, you can read my in-depth discussion here.
3. Mail Decoying
Mail decoying isn’t the most exciting or the most lucrative work-at-home job, but if you’re looking for a fairly mindless way to make some extra cash or supplement your other income during your downtime, it might be worth looking into. The overall task is to take pieces of mail, sort them into categories, and then key in some data. Two of the big names in mail decoying are Hausernet and US Monitor.
4. Customer Service
Online and over-the-phone customer service jobs can be a good option when you want to work from home and avoid a background check. While many customer service companies are going to require a background check, these don’t list one in their stated requirements:
- Active Network
- Fancy Hands
- Pleio GoodStart
- Working Solutions
5. Surveys and Small Tasks
These ideas aren’t so much “jobs” as they are ways to make a bit of cash on the side. If you need extremely flexible work and are just looking for some easy pocket money, you might be interested in doing small tasks and other click-based work with these sites:
- Amazon Mechanical Turk (or MTurk)
These are five of my favorite survey sites, and you can find more information on surveys here:
The faster you are at any of these, the more money you’ll make — but don’t go into it expecting to make a lot of money this way.
6. Online Freelancing Sites
If you’ve got a skill you can put to use in the digital world — like writing or graphic design — there’s a lot you can do to make money as a freelancer. Many sites work as marketplaces of sorts for freelancers with various skills. You can get started at any one of these with no background check at all:
- 99designs, a site for graphic design
- Fiverr, you can offer almost any type of service here
- PeoplePerHour, which hires for all kinds of work
- Upwork, another site where you can get hired for any kind of digital work
- Scribendi, for writers and editors
The great thing about working through a freelancing site is that you can develop a portfolio and even a client base that could turn into a robust business that you have a large amount of control over.
When you work from home for yourself, you can absolutely, 100% opt out of the background check requirement! Entrepreneurship is a great fit for many people — even those who don’t think of themselves as being particularly entrepreneurial. It can take the shape of just about any kind of self-starting endeavor, too:
- Freelancing (as a VA, writer, or transcriptionist, for example)
- Selling or reselling on sites like eBay and Amazon
- Becoming an independent tutor
- Dog-walking, house-cleaning, personal shopping, and numerous other in-person task-oriented service jobs
- Making and selling items on Etsy, at craft shows, etc.
- Direct sales
- Gardening and landscaping
- and more!
If you’ve ever thought about a need that people have, and how a skill you have (or could develop) could meet that need, there’s a business idea. Lots of in-person, service-based businesses can be started without having to bring in other entities that would do a background check, and because you can choose the market you work for, you can create a business that you enjoy, that pays the bills, and that completely avoids the need for background checks.
One of the real perks of working for yourself, too, is that there’s no limit to how much you can make. If you land on a good idea, learn how to do that job well, figure out the marketing aspect, and manage your clients well, the sky is the limit for you.
Caveat: What’s Your Time Worth?
The trouble with many of these jobs — as is the case with many work-at-home jobs in general — is that the pay is extremely low. Humanatic, for example, comes out to less than $5 per hour. There are lots of options (including many options on this list) that will pay you better — so if you’re discouraged by the pay rates you’re making, don’t be afraid to branch out and try something else… or learn a new, more valuable skill!