The information displayed will vary from consumer reporting agency to consumer reporting agency. I suggest that you carry out a quick bit of research online to find out which one is going to give you the most information. Remember, in some cases you are going to need to pay a subscription fee, and you therefore need to make sure that you are getting the most value for your money. As I mentioned before, CRAs will not report arrests which did not result in a conviction. If there is a conviction however you will find out a little bit about the amount of time somebody spend in prison, whether they are on any sex offender registers, and whether they have any theft reports from specific stores (this can be ideal as you obviously do not want to employ somebody who is a known shoplifter)
If you are going to be carrying out public record searches in the name of business then it is a legal requirement to inform somebody that your decision will be based on a consumer report check that you carry out. You will also need written permission from the person that you will be investigating via a public record search. The information that you give them will have to be in a durable form. This is worth mentioning as there are many businesses and landlords who do not do this. They invariably end up falling foul of the law.
You do not need to go into the full idea of hiring a FCRA. There are plenty of public record searches online (this being one of them!) which you can use to access information. You just need to have an idea of the name of the person that you are searching as well as a few other details such as the area that they live in. If you have this information to hand then carrying out your search is going to be very simple. Always inform somebody beforehand though. You may not even have to carry out the search if they are honest about their history! There are also other records out there that you can use to carry out your criminal record search, but most public databases, providing they are good, should be a fairly decent starting point for you.
Searching for criminal records is just as easy if you are a private citizen. You can also carry out public record searches using the same databases. However, you do not need to justify the search. I am sure that you have reasons for looking into criminal record history (i.e. you may be checking up on what information is stored about you). The majority of states should put their information online through these databases for you to find. Some do not, if you can't find the information that you need then you may want to head onto your state's website and find out what you are going to need to do in order to get hold of that information.