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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A safe hiring expert believes that the “need for speed” in the hiring process “unfortunately can often run contrary to the need for accuracy and due diligence” in the background checks of job applicants, according to the article ‘Push to Reduce Time-to-Hire May Impede Background Check Process’ on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website.

In the article by SHRM online editor and manager Roy Maurer, Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of San Francisco, California area background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) and the author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ explains that “there can be a trade-off involved” when it comes to pre-employment background checks on job applicants.

Rosen explains that “sometimes hiring for speed makes business sense” due to both the incentive of staffing firms to place candidates quickly and the constant turnover in the service industry. However, employers will sacrifice accuracy and depth when choosing a solution for background checks based solely upon turnaround time, according to the article from SHRM.

“There have been significant technology advances to speed up the screening process, but some of these have arguably been abused and employers are not really getting the protection they think they are,” Rosen says in the SHRM article. “This is especially true in the area of court records, where automation can lead to shortcuts that are not in the employer’s best interest.”

Rosen also tells SHRM that many screening firms try to speed up background checks by ‘screen scraping’ to electronically extract data from courthouses. “The big problem, however, is the integrity of the electronic data,” he warns. “If the data pulled remotely is not the functional equivalent of going to the courthouse, an employer is in danger of not receiving an up-to-date and accurate report.”

“An employer needs to ensure the screening firm has properly vetted each and every county being searched in that fashion,” says Rosen, a frequent speaker on the subject of  background checks. “The bottom line is that there is no such thing as an ‘instant’ background check because of the structural nature of available information about applicants in the United States.”

As reported earlier by the ESR News Blog, the average time needed to hire workers to fill vacant job openings in the United States jumped to a record high of 29 days in July 2015, up from 26.8 days in June 2015, according to the DHI-DFH Mean Vacancy Duration Measure. The report  found that U.S. employers took approximately an entire month to hire workers for their companies.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) was founded by Rosen in 1997 and the company is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). ESR also undergoes yearly SOC 2 audits to ensure the security, confidentiality, and privacy of consumer data used for background checks. To learn more, visit


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

© 2016 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.


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