Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Background check firms are focused on making candidate screening – sometimes considered the most stressful aspect of the recruiting process – as painless as possible, according to a background check expert interviewed in the ‘Sector Report: Navigating the Patchwork of Screening Regulations’ available on

“If recruiting gets bogged down during background screening you run the risk of losing candidates – and all the resources you spent recruiting them in the first place,” explained Dawn Standerwick, Vice President of Strategic Growth for global background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR).

Background check firms are integrating their technology with applicant tracking systems (ATS), onboarding, payroll, and other solutions to streamline the process, reduce wasted time, and eliminate demand for redundant information, according to the report written by Sarah Fister Gale.

Background check firms are also adding automated alerts and updated features including texts and emails to let candidates know whether information is missing and how they can access their background check report. “A little extra communication makes the process more transparent,” Standerwick said.

Standerwick – who joined ESR in 2015 and brings 26 years of experience in all facets of workforce screening solutions – said almost every county, city, county, and state has its own requirements for what can and cannot be considered when performing a background check for employment purposes.

“The patchwork of regulations has heightened the environment of lawsuits and litigations, and employers are looking for more guidance from their providers,” said Standerwick. “It’s getting increasingly complex to manage, and not every vendor wants to take that responsibility on.”

‘Ban the Box’ laws that tell employers when it is permissible to ask candidates about their criminal history are also complex. “We are reaching the tipping point with Ban the Box. It’s not only complicated, it can actually do more harm than good. It’s creating a lot of frustration,” Standerwick noted.

“If the recruiting process drags out for weeks only to have the candidate disqualified, it delays that person from finding a job and the company from filling a position,” explained Standerwick, who is responsible for sales, business development, brand marketing, and client success at ESR.

Standerwick was elected Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) for the 2016-17 term. The NAPBS is the background screening industry’s professional association and accreditation body. ESR is a founding member and accredited by the NAPBS.

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