July 9th, 2018 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

New NAPBS Report Finds the Need for Global Screening is on the Rise

At the beginning of 2018, we asked Sterling experts to share the trends they saw developing (or continuing) in the background screening industry for the coming year. The top takeaways were continued regulation and compliance issues, the growth of the on-demand economy, candidate experience, global screening and smart technology, including mobile and AI. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) also predicted some of the top human capital management trends for 2017. The trends included the following topics: growth in the contingent workforce and improving the candidate experience through simpler background screening platforms. The forecasting comes from the companies who are in the human resources industries, but what do HR professionals think are important topics in their industry and how do they impact their hiring processes?

HR’s View of Background Screening

The National Association of Professional Background Screening (NAPSB) commissioned HR.com to conduct a national survey of human resources managers at the beginning of the year to assess their views on the background screening. The report, “How Human Resource Professional View the Use and Effectiveness of Background Screening Methods” which surveyed over 2,100 HR professionals, gives insight into a variety of topics from why a company screens to the growing importance of global screening.

The survey found that 95%, down 1% from the 2016 results, of those employers surveyed conduct one or more types of employment background screening check. 86% of respondents said they screen all full-time employees, while 68% screened their part-time employees.

Employers are screening candidates for many reasons, but the majority of companies (86%) screen to protect employees, customer and others. The other top reasons to screen from the NAPBS responders were:

  • Improving the quality of hires-52%
  • Compliance requirements-39%
  • Protecting company reputation-38%
  • Prevent theft, embezzlement and other criminal activity-36%

Sterling asked a similar question to respondents in our 2017-2018 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report. While the top reason across reports to conduct screening is protecting clients, customers or employees is similar; our report found that 15% conduct background checks to enhance workplace safety, 14% to identify the best candidates and 9% do it because it is mandated by law.

NAPBS Survey Shows Most Commonly Used Check: Criminal Record

According to the NAPBS survey, criminal record checks continue to be the most commonly conducted background check with 94% of respondents including some form of a criminal check in their screening program. Respondents also conducted drug and alcohol testing (45%), motor vehicle record checks (40%), education verification (31%), professional license verification (16%) and credit checks (16%). Surprisingly even with the growth of social media screening, the report showed that HR professionals only performed social media checks to 8% of their candidates. These findings were similar to the results found in the Sterling report. However, our report stated that 34% of respondents were performing social media checks with 95% of these searching being done internally and not through a third-party solution.

Biggest Background Screening Challenges

Similar to last year’s NAPBS report, the biggest challenge companies face when conducting background screening was the length of time to get results at 65% with the cost of background screening coming up a close second at 62%). For Sterling survey respondents, the top challenges were ensuring that the employers were getting all the information that they needed to make an informed hiring decision (38%), complying with the ever-changing screening laws and improving the time to hire (18%).

Global Screening

To reflect the growing global workforce, NAPBS added a few questions to their survey about employers’ views and uses of international tools to screen employees. The survey found that regardless of whether a respondent has locations outside the United States or job applicants that live or have lived overseas, employers stated it is at least somewhat important (80%) for companies to have access to global/international screening capabilities. 52% of respondents stated they believe access to global screening capabilities is important, while 28% believe it is somewhat important.

Sterling’s report found that 50% of respondents did not currently have a global screening program. With 196 countries, plus countless jurisdictions to monitor, global screening is critical yet complex for employers. From where candidates have lived to where they studied, employers increasingly want to know where to search, the type of information they need to search for and the required compliance laws in each country.

Importance of Having a Background Check Policy

The NAPBS Report shows that performing employment background checks has become nearly universal. Employers are looking to these checks to give them peace of mind in their hiring procedures to keep their employees, client and community safe. Those companies who have not implemented an employee screening program yet should take an in-depth look at their business’ needs and determine the value they would receive from implementing an employment background screening program. From identifying the best candidates to maintaining compliance, it’s good to get a plan in place to understand the reasons screening matters to your organization.

Sterling is proud to be accredited with NAPBS. With changing regulations and technological trends that continue to impact the employment background screening industry, Sterling will keep you updated on the latest topics affecting the Human Capital Management industry and can’t wait to share them with you! Stay tuned to Sterling Blog for new trends, insights and information for the background screening industry.

Sterling is not a law firm. 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.