NAPBS and HR.com Release Results of Annual Survey of HR Professionals about Background Screening

NAPBS HR.com How Human Resources Professionals View and Use Background Screening in Employment

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – a non-profit trade association representing the interests of background screening companies – and leading human resources (HR) social networking website HR.com have released the results of their third annual survey of “How Human Resources Professionals View and Use Background Screening in Employment.”

The NAPBS commissioned HR.com to conduct a national survey of 2,301 human resources professionals to gauge their views on background screening. Nearly all respondents stated they conduct background checks and the number one challenge continued to be the length of time in getting results. The survey found that protecting employers and customers was the top reason for doing background checks.

The NAPBS and HR.com survey revealed that nearly all HR professionals conduct background checks of some kind, with a majority saying they screen both part-time and full-time employees. Ninety-six percent of employers conducted one or more types of employment background screening, up by one percentage point from 2018. Of the four percent of respondents who indicated their companies do not run background checks:

  • 31 percent were using other tools or methods to screen applicants.
  • 20 percent cited the associated costs.
  • 19 percent could not cite a reason that was responsible for their company not utilizing background screenings.

A robust 85 percent of respondents conducted background checks to protect employees, customers, and the public. While the focus was on safety and security, background checks also help employers ensure they are hiring the best person for the job, with 51 percent citing improving the quality of hires as a reason they conducted background checks. Other top reasons for background screening included:

  • Protecting company reputation (37 percent).
  • Law/regulation requirements (37 percent).
  • Preventing and/or reducing theft, embezzlement and other criminal activity (36 percent).

Accuracy remained important with background checks and depended on access to personal identifiers such as complete name and complete date of birth. However, redaction of identifiers such as dates of birth (DOB) by federal, state, and local court systems can lead to delays in hiring. This was particularly true in the federal court data system known as PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records).

The survey found more employers were looking for international screening capabilities in an increasingly global economy. Nearly all employers – 95 percent – stated it was at least somewhat important for companies to have access to global/international screening capabilities regardless of whether a respondent had locations outside the United States or job applicants that lived or had lived overseas.

The NAPBS and HR.com survey also revealed that criminal history checks continued to be the most commonly included component of a background check as 93 percent of respondents included some form of criminal history check in their screening program. The survey salso continued to provide one of the most in depth glimpses into the types of background checks employers were using.

NAPBS Chair Angela Preston and NAPBS Executive Director Melissa Sorenson will provide a complete overview of the results of the survey, including data regarding how widespread professional background screening has become and laws that may impact background screening, in an NAPBS webinar taking place on August 14, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The NAPBS also has announced registration is open for the upcoming 2019 NAPBS Annual Conference taking place in September 2019 that will have the theme of “One World. One NAPBS.” Attendees new to the screening industry and seasoned experts will both be able to take away valuable information and resources to benefit their specific business goals.

Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of leading global background screening firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), will speak about “Becoming an Expert or Expert Witness in Background Screening” during the 2019 NAPBS Annual Conference that will be held in San Antonio, Texas from September 8th to 10th, 2019.

Rosen – the author of “The Safe Hiring Manual” and a frequent speaker on background screening issues – will co-present the breakout session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. The 50-minute session will include a “mock trial” demonstration of a direct and cross-examination of a background screening expert in court.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a “Founding Member” of the NAPBS and is accredited under the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the NAPBS and served as first co-chair. To learn more about ESR, please visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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