IRVINE, Calif., Mar. 27, 2014 – The 2014 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report, released today, revealed an optimistic hiring forecast as 71 percent of respondents indicate their organizations would increase hiring this year. In addition, the report also identified significant security gaps in the majority of employers’ background screening programs and how companies are responding to changes to the law, including legalized marijuana. HireRight, a leading provider of global employment screening, drug and health testing, and employment eligibility solutions, conducted the benchmarking report which consists of surveys completed by more than 3,000 talent management and security professionals on a broad range of questions related to employment screening.
“The annual HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report provides an invaluable look at employer screening programs, practices, and challenges, and is the industry’s leading large-scale user survey. It offers important insights into recruiting and screening trends and issues,” said Rachel Trindade, vice president, marketing at HireRight. “This report helps identify screening best practices to guide human resources and security professionals to develop or improve the hiring and employment procedures that drive talent management.”
Changing Legal Landscape New laws and regulations ranging from legalized marijuana to regulatory guidance and limitations on criminal background checks may be impacting how employers are conducting employment screening. Nearly one third (31 percent of respondents) revised their criminal history check policies within the past year. This is likely, at least in part, in response to new and evolving EEOC actions and guidance on the use of criminal background checks in hiring.
As states continue to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, only 24 percent of employers have developed or have plans to develop a medical marijuana use policy, while 76 percent have no current policy in place.
Screening Gaps that Place Companies at Risk Confirming most employers conduct background checks, the survey results indicate the vast majority of organizations have gaps in their screening programs and policies that can lead to significant security and liability risks. Only 32 percent of respondents reported their organizations screened their contingent and extended workforce, which includes temporary or contract workers, volunteers, and vendor employees who have access to a company’s facilities, systems, personnel, and data.
Contingent workers often represent a significant part of an employer’s workforce, and can include those in critical positions, so failure to screen these workers at the same standard employees are screened can present a substantial risk for organizations. For example, a security director noted every person who had access to the CEO’s office had to be screened or escorted, except for the custodial vendor who watered the plants. As a vendor employee, he had complete access to the facility and offices without any required screening, which opened up a security gap that posed potential liability risks for the organization. The lack of a contingent workforce screening program has the potential to lead to workplace violence or fraud and can result in negligence claims. Negligent hiring cases have had verdicts of up to $45 million1, and the average negligent hiring lawsuit settlement is nearly $1 million2.
Another area where employers can open themselves to risk is in global hiring. Only 15 percent of respondents indicated their organizations perform international background checks on individuals who have lived, worked, or been educated outside of the U.S. The global screening rate increased to 33 percent among organizations with 4,000 employees or more, but the majority are not performing these screens. By conducting global screening, organizations can improve their safety and security, create consistency across their programs, ensure better hiring quality, and help protect against negligent hiring.
The study also found only 20 percent of employers conduct recurring screening, where employees are re-screened on a periodic basis. This demonstrates that the majority of employers are leaving themselves vulnerable to new security or liability issues that may crop up over the span of an employee’s tenure. As negligent retention lawsuits are also prevalent in today’s employment environment, re-screening can help reduce an organization’s long-term risk by enabling employers to stay well-informed through the life of the employment relationship.
Top Screening Benefits Increased security, risk mitigation, and improved quality of hires are critical benefits of background checks. This is reflected by 88 percent of respondents who reported screening revealed the person in question lied on their resume. Further, 72 percent of respondents indicated running a background check uncovered an issue that would not have been found otherwise. Screening also helps protect employers against security risks and the risk of a bad hire, which can be costly for businesses.
The following are the top benefits of screening reported by respondents:
“This year’s benchmarking report indicates finding top talent in a competitive hiring environment, maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements, and ensuring high quality hires are the driving business goals for employers across all industries. Improving hiring practices, including increasing the effectiveness of screening, is critical to meeting those goals,” said Trindade.
The full report can be downloaded at www.hireright.com/benchmarking.
About HireRight HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs. Many companies, including more than one-third of the Fortune 500, trust HireRight because the company delivers customer-focused solutions that provide greater efficiency and faster results. HireRight also provides pre-integrated background screening services through applicant tracking systems from top providers such as Oracle, Taleo, Kenexa, SAP, PeopleAdmin, HealthcareSource, HRsmart, and SilkRoad. For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.hireright.com.