FORT MYERS, FL., January 14, 2021 – Global HR Research (“GHRR”) and Employment Screening Services, LLC (“ESS”) announced today the completion of a definitive merger agreement creating a leading tech-enabled services company in the employment screening industry.

GHRR and ESS are leading providers of employment screening services, including advanced data- and health-related services such as background checks, drug testing, driving record checks, employment and education verifications, electronic employee eligibility verifications, and various industry-specific compliance and screening solutions.

The combined company serves more than 5,000 clients and delivers industry-leading technology solutions across key sectors, including healthcare, transportation, energy, education, manufacturing, restaurant, and staffing. The merger accelerates a unified strategy of investing in differentiated technology and products to meet increasingly complex and regulated client needs. The combined company remains dedicated to providing the highest quality of service in the industry.

“This is an incredible opportunity to blend the unique strengths of both companies to increase value for our customers and continue to bring advanced products and technology to deserving clients,” said Brandon Phillips, founder and President of GHRR. “We believe GHRR’s investments in delivering industry-leading technology combined with the consistently award-winning customer service culture at both ESS and GHRR will resonate strongly with clients and prospects.”

“We view technology as a tool for enhancing service, not replacing it,” said Sheila Benson, founder and CEO of ESS. “With smart technology, operating scale, and deep product expertise, we can provide a level of service and certainty that is unmatched in our industry.” Ms. Benson will continue to maintain an investment in the combined company and serve as chairwoman emeritus.

Stifel, Nicolaus and Company, Incorporated served as advisor to Global HR Research and Croft & Bender LP served as advisor to ESS.

About Global HR Research

Global HR Research ( has earned the trust of Fortune’s Top 50, Forbes’ Largest Private Companies, and Inc’s Top 5000 companies across the U.S., by leveraging our proprietary employment screening platform and a team of expert consultants. That trust has been consistently recognized and awarded for over a decade by the industry’s most influential associations and news publications. Our advanced proprietary platform provides our customers with a set of employment screening, compliance, and risk management solutions, and a comprehensive set of tools that helps them make better hiring decisions faster.

About Employment Screening Services

ESS ( helps companies hire and retain safe and productive workforces by providing a broad range of background screening and drug-testing solutions—from standard criminal searches and drug testing to more sophisticated intelligence solutions that validate credentials, monitor ongoing compliance, and analyze social media activity. The company’s 26-year history and compliance focus have earned it a solid reputation for helping organizations implement, manage, and control effective background screening programs.


Thomas Hafner
Vice President of Marketing
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