Blog by Danny Davila, Executive Director of GroupOne Background Screening

HR professionals are expected to acquire talent by utilizing multiple tools to ensure new hires comply with expectations. GroupOne’s background checks are valid investigative summaries compiled by licensed personnel. In 2017, a survey issued by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) was completed by 1,528 HR professionals.

The biggest challenge identified in the survey was the time it takes to have a background report completed. While 98 percent of the respondents indicated accuracy is important, it’s interesting to note that 62 percent stated the length of time for results is the most significant challenge. Other interesting notes confirm the start of the background check begins after the job offer, with 86 percent conducting the screen after the interview, including 55 percent waiting until after a conditional offer. During my tenure in talent acquisition, I had senior leaders ask whether the background report could begin as early as the interview. I stated then to delay the request until a conditional offer is made.

Expectation of faster turnaround time does not coincide with the data providers making the information available quickly. For example, it’s probable that more court systems will redact critical information – such as date of birth – from court conviction records, thus extending the research time. High school diplomas issued by home schools, charter schools and private proprietary schools can be falsified and require extended validation.

The advancement of “Ban the Box” has provided increased applications from candidates with convictions. With 29 states and over 150 cities having adopted the legislation, employers will be monitored on their screening process.

Other factors impacting the industry include the pressure to have background reports completed more rapidly; the complexity of obtaining information from primary sources; and the growing request of information through social media. The role of social media in talent assessment contributes to the complexity of evaluating candidates and is deserving of a column in and of itself. The factors that must be considered when evaluating social media requires thoughtful consideration from all HR professionals.

A well-researched background report is a singular component of a comprehensive talent assessment program. Background report companies are held to stringent standards and will continue to increase their proficiency to produce a safer workplace for all.