Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2014 Released by Employment Screening Resources

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) has announced the release of the 7th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2014’ selected by ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen. For 2014, the “Ban the Box” movement to eliminate questions about criminal records on initial job applications to give ex-offenders a more level playing field when looking for work topped the list. The ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2014 are available at http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends.

“For the seventh consecutive year, Employment Screening Resources has identified trends that will evolve as the background check industry matures,” says Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ and a nationally recognized background check expert. “2014 promises to be year of challenges in screening.”

Since 2008, Rosen has selected the top trends after closely reviewing developments regarding employment background checks that include legal cases, new government regulations, advancements in screening technology, and questions and concerns raised by employers, recruiters, and human resources professionals. Rosen chose the following ten trends to follow in 2014:

  • 1. Ban the Box Movement that Eliminates Criminal History Question from Job Applications Picking Up Momentum: The “Ban the Box” movement that seeks to eliminate questions about past criminal conduct on initial job applications is quickly heading towards becoming a national standard and will be a hot issue for employers in 2014. The “box” refers to where an applicant is asked to answer “yes” or “no” about a criminal past.  The idea is that asking about criminal records upfront serves as a potential early knock-out punch for ex-offenders that may otherwise be qualified.
  • 2. Updated EEOC Guidance on Use of Criminal Records by Employers Becoming Core Concern for Human Resources: The updated Guidance on the use of criminal records in hiring decisions issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 25, 2012 carries the potential to impact the hiring processes of every employer and Human Resources professional in the United States in 2014 and beyond. Although not a law or legally enforceable regulation, it is critical for employers to understand the Guidance since it shows how the EEOC interprets the use of criminal records.
  • 3. Use of Commercial Criminal Databases Becoming More Controversial as Employers Face More Risk when Screening: The use of commercial criminal databases and cheap “do it yourself” background check web sites will be the focus of increased scrutiny and controversy in 2014 as employers face more risk when screening job applicants as the demand for accuracy in background check reports rises.
  • 4. Class Action Lawsuits for Failing to Perform Background Checks Properly Becoming Even More Prevalent: Given the need for employers to exercise due diligence in hiring and at the same time comply with the complex legal environment regulating hiring, employers can expect to see an increase in legal actions in 2014 – including class action lawsuits – for failing to perform proper background checks or failing to do them right.
  • 5. Use of NAPBS Accredited Background Screening Firms by Employers Picking Up Steam: Given the increasingly complex legal environment, employers in 2014 will be faced with the challenges of ensuring that a background screening provider utilizes best practices to be in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance for the use of criminal records, and applicable state laws as well as accuracy.  The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) has introduced a rigorous accreditation program for screening firms that is confirmed by an on-site independent auditor and is a way to ensure an employer is dealing with a knowledgeable professional.
  • 6. Identity Theft and Offshoring Emerging as Important Factors for Employers to Consider when Screening: Employers in the United States are coming under increased pressure to protect the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of job applicants due to increased media focus on identity theft and the “offshoring” of information gathered for background checks overseas beyond U.S. privacy laws. In 2014 employers may need to closely examine their processes in the area of protecting PII when it comes to background checks.
  • 7. Social Network Searches Being Used Less for Background Checks and More for Recruiting and Sourcing: While a hot topic in past years has been the use of the internet to help with employee selection through social media background checks, it appears that this trend is fading fast for a number of reasons.  As a result, social network searches will diminish as a tool for background checks but will grow for purposes of recruiting and sourcing as well as employer branding.
  • 8. Credit Reports Becoming Disfavored Tool in Employment Screening that May Disappear from Hiring Landscape: Employers should generally approach the use of credit reports for employment purposes with great caution, carefully examining if such use is regulated by state law, is relevant to the job, and be on the lookout for potential future restrictions in 2014 as credit report checks continue to become a disfavored tool that could potentially disappear from the hiring landscape.
  • 9. More Employers Including International Background Checks in Hiring Processes: In 2014, the use of international background checks will increase as employers both open offices outside of the U.S. and hire people who have spent time abroad.  With nearly 250 political entities in the world, each country is an adventure when it comes to background checks and employers cannot assume that screening internationally is the same as domestic U.S. processes.
  • 10. Technology Decreasing Time and Effort Needed for Employers to Perform Background Checks: Technology will continue to decrease time and effort needed for background checks in 2014. In the coming year, employers can expect to see even more robust Applicant Generated Report (AGR) systems where applicants perform the data entry and also integration with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) where employers can simply click a button and be done.

Founded by Rosen in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA-area, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). ESR provides Effortless Legal Compliance, Proven Expertise, Less Work/Lower Cost, Results You Can Trust, and Painless Migration. For more information, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email sales@esrcheck.com.

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

LesRosenPhoto_Aug2012_SmallWhiteBorderFounded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in the San Francisco, CA-area in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com, call toll free 888.999.4474, or email sales@esrcheck.com.