Background Screening Critical to Hiring

HR & Safety

Background screening provider HireRight recently announced findings from its 2016 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report.

The report is based on surveys of almost 3,500 human resources, recruiting, security, and management professionals to provide a view of the current hiring landscape, indicate market trends, and identify common gaps in employers’ background screening and hiring processes.

The survey revealed a positive hiring outlook, with 77% of organizations expecting to grow their workforce within the next year.

Workers are increasingly mobile and finding top talent in a competitive job market has become a more complex undertaking.

When screening this diverse workforce, 88% uncovered a misrepresentation on a resume and 84% reported that verifying new hires previous employment history and education credentials uncovered issues that would not have been found otherwise.

Increasingly Complex Pool of Applicants

The workforce is changing, and background screening practices are changing with it. Employers are continuing the trend of hiring contingent, contract and temporary workers to fill their open positions, with 81% of respondents screening this “extended workforce”—almost double those that screened this segment five years ago (48%).

Additionally, 19% of respondents said they screened candidates with non-U.S. backgrounds, up from 15% in 2015.

Of the 19% that do screen candidates with non-U.S. backgrounds, 70% have or plan to put a global screening policy in place.

Medical marijuana laws are forcing employers to rethink their screening practices.

This is an indication of a highly mobile workforce, as more employers are screening candidates who have lived, worked, or studied abroad.

Medical marijuana laws are also forcing employers to rethink their background screening practices, with 23 states and the District of Columbia allowing for the use of medical marijuana, and four states allowing recreational use. Yet, only 5% of respondents reported having a policy for medical marijuana use.

The number of those who do not accommodate nor have a plan to in the next year dropped from 53% in 2015 to 39% in 2016, signaling more employers may be considering this in the next year.

Top Screening Challenges and Investments

The survey revealed the majority of employers are finding it difficult to keep up with hiring needs, as 53% reported finding, retaining, and developing talent was their top business challenge.

To manage these talent challenges, businesses are planning to invest in:

  • Finding qualified job candidates (65%)
  • Keeping good employees/employee turnover (55%)
  • Making HR processes more efficient (43%)
  • Developing leaders within the organization (37%)
  • Improving the candidate experience (34%)

In an increasingly competitive talent market, employers must balance moving candidates through the recruitment process quickly and delivering a positive experience while still thoroughly vetting and screening candidates, which can take time.

Respondents identified these among the top screening challenges:

  • Reducing time-to-hire (43%)
  • Verifying information (32%)
  • Improving overall screening efficiency (30%)
  • Getting quality information (24%)
  • Ensuring a positive candidate experience (20%)

Common Background Screening Practices and Benefits

While finding the best candidate in a large pool of applicants can be a daunting task, 52% of respondents cited better quality of hires as the leading benefit of screening, with more consistent safety and security at 49% and improved regulatory compliance at 40%.

The most popular types of background checks include:

Criminal and other public record searches (89%)

  • Identity (SSN validation, etc.) (77%)
  • Previous employment (64%)
  • Driving records (55%)
  • Education (50%)

Look to CBIA for all your pre-employment screening needs.


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