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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has commissioned to conduct an unprecedented national survey of 1,528 human resources (HR) professionals to gauge their views on background screening and found that public safety was cited as the number one reason for employers to conduct background screening, according to a memo from the NAPBS about the survey.

The NAPBS survey found that employers overwhelmingly cited public safety as the top reason they conducted background screening, as 89 percent stated they conducted screens to protect employees, customers, and others. Other top reasons cited for background screening were improving quality of hires (52 percent), protecting company reputation (45 percent), and law/regulation (44 percent).

The NAPBS survey entitled “View of Human Resources Professionals on Background Screening Methods and Effectiveness” revealed that background screening is nearly universal. Almost all of the employers surveyed – 96 percent – stated their organization conducted one or more types of employment background screening. Eighty-three percent of respondents screened all full-time employees.

HR professionals highlighted the need for accuracy in their background screening in the NAPBS survey, with 98 percent believing it was “very important” to their organization that the screens were “accurate.” At the same time, 62 percent of employers surveyed stated that the length of time to get results was the most significant challenge facing their organization when conducting background screening.

Nearly all NAPBS survey respondents – 97 percent – included some form of criminal history check in the background screening program. However, 77 percent of employers surveyed currently do not use social media in their screening process, and only five percent used social media for all candidates. More than half of the respondents surveyed – 52 percent – represented companies with fewer than 99 employees.

The survey also found that background screening was conducted primarily after a job interview or conditional job offer.  A full 86 percent of employers surveyed conducted background screening after the job interview, including 55 percent that waited until after a conditional job offer was made. The full NAPBS survey memo is available at

Founded in 2003 as a not-for-profit trade association, the NAPBS represents more than 850 member companies around the world that offer employment and tenant background screening. NAPBS provides programs and training aimed at empowering members to better serve clients and maintain standards of excellence in the background screening profession. For more information, visit

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