COVID-19 Update: Despite court closures in many areas, Sterling is still able to complete criminal checks with minimal disruption thanks to our proprietary end-to-end automation that allows us to access court information. For additional info on how Sterling is handling the COVID-19 situation, please visit our COVID-19 page.

August 22nd, 2017 | Julianna Haase, Sterling Talent Solutions

Employers’ Biggest Background Screening Challenges

Sterling surveyed 500+ HR representatives to gain insight on hiring trends, opinions on background screening and employers’ priorities for the upcoming year for the 2017 Background Screening Trends and Best Practices Report. The background screening industry is constantly changing considering the fast rate of technological improvements and fluctuating compliance laws. As a result, our survey is essential for us to keep a pulse on companies using background screening to ensure they hire the right people. Each year’s survey provides us with new understandings on trends and challenges to share with you.

Employers’ Biggest Challenges

One of the focal points of the survey was to discover what employers’ consider to be the biggest background screening challenges. We wanted to hone in on this issue to provide you with our industry trends and outlooks.

  • Finding enough information to make an informed hire. 38% of those who participated in our survey agree that ensuring they are getting all of the information they need to make an informed hiring decision will be their number one challenge in 2017. This is a 25% increase from The Sterling Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report 2015 to 2017 in that respondents selected improving the quality of the information they consider as their top priority. Employers recognize that the information found through resumes, social media sites, LinkedIn and other various components of the background screening process, do not tell the full story of who the applicant is. At the same time, these platforms can leave room for discrepancies, sometimes creating confusion as to what information employers can trust. Employers report that these components make it more difficult to find and hire the right employee for the job and organization. And for a good reason, being that it isn’t until a person has been hired that employers can see the candidate perform in the workplace.
  • Complying with Ever-Changing Screening Laws. 25% of our survey participants state that trying to follow all screening laws is their number one challenge this year. 2017 has proven to be a year full of changes with the Ban-The-Box laws gaining momentum, the legalization of marijuana in 26 states and D.C., and the constantly shifting regulations surrounding screening candidates online. With the emergence of social media as popular platforms to share professional information and network with potential employers, additional laws have been put in place to guard against considering protected information like race, sex, gender and religion. Employers have to stay vigilant during the background check process to ensure they are complying to and aware of all screening laws.
  • Improving Time-To-Hire. 18% of employers stated that improving time-to-hire is their biggest challenge this year. While some applicants are offered jobs on the spot with competitors, our respondents state that their top challenge is finding a happy medium between making a careful decision and acting quickly. This pressure-filled situation has landed itself as the third highest challenge for employers this year. Between finding the right pool of applicants and ensuring you choose the right potential hire, the candidate search is proving to be a headache for companies both big and small. Hiring is a constant hoop employers have to jump through and tailor to the current job market which makes it a primary concern for many companies.

Sterling seeks to keep you informed and up-to-date on all things background screening. Visit our website to learn more about compliance updates in the background screening industry and our services. You can find more information about trends in the background screening industry by downloading a copy of the Background Screening Trends and Best Practices Report 2017.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.