Survey Reveals Majority of Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail and Education Contractors Go Unscreened and Compliance Remains Low Priority

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SterlingBackcheck’s 2015 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report

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We’re still seeing the vast majority of organizations place a low priority on compliance and this is putting them at considerable risk.

More than half of companies in healthcare, manufacturing, retail and education do not require a background check for their temporary employees and contract workers, according to SterlingBackcheck’s 2015 Background Screening Trends and Best Practice Report.

The full report provides insights from employers and HR managers on screening protocols, from social media use in screening to hiring practices and compliance concerns.

According to the survey, manufacturing employers saw the highest number of criminal convictions in potential employees last year, while healthcare employers saw the lowest number of criminal convictions.

Nearly half of the 1,403 hiring managers surveyed indicated their discomfort with, and preference to avoid, the use of social media screens when considering prospective hires. When social media screens are used, respondents listed Facebook as the primary account incorporated within screening, with LinkedIn a close second.

When it comes to compliance, the majority of respondents indicated it remains a low priority despite the turmoil many employers experienced in 2014 due to equal opportunity and Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits.

“Our Background Screening Trends and Best Practice Report for 2015 shares an incredible amount of data, delving into the background screening issues that concern most hiring managers, employers and employees,” said Clare Hart, CEO of SterlingBackcheck. “We’re still seeing the vast majority of organizations place a low priority on compliance and this is putting them at considerable risk.”

SterlingBackcheck’s CEO Clare Hart and VP of Corporate Ethics and Compliance Curt Schwall will host a webinar on April 29, 2015 to share more of the key findings and insights from the survey of the Background Screening Trends and Best Practice Report. Participants will learn how their organization compares and where potential gaps may exist in their background screening program, including:

  •     Top compliance concerns
  •     How post-hire screening and monitoring is being implemented across organizations

To learn more or sign up for the webinar, please visit

Key findings from the survey include:

Of the 1,403 human resource professionals surveyed, only 45% reported that their organizations perform background checks on their extended workforce, including contingent workers, contractors and temporary employees.

In a telling statistic, 69% of organizations said that they expect to grow their workforce in 2015. Only 3% of organizations expect a decrease in workforce while the remaining 23% of respondents believe their employee count will remain unchanged.

Despite it being a very hot topic in 2014, compliance was not a top concern for employers according to survey results. Less than one fifth of respondents reported being extremely concerned about class action lawsuits brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Even fewer were concerned about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits and inspections, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuits and local Ban-the-Box legislation.

The majority of employers (51%) surveyed believe background checks take too long, while one in three respondents believe the checks are expensive.

Not all organizations like including social media as part of their pre-employment background screening, with 54% of respondents admitting they are only somewhat comfortable with it. In addition, when asked what social media accounts are checked, Facebook was the most common answer with LinkedIn coming in as the second most common.

About the SterlingBackcheck Benchmarking Survey
SterlingBackcheck's Background Screening Practices & Trends Report 2015 provides employers and human resources professionals with essential insight into current trends, best practices, compliance concerns and emerging threats that impact hiring programs.

The survey, administered in September 2014, includes data from more than 1,403 respondents. Highlights of the report include employer data on anticipated changes in workforce, compliance concerns, screening priorities, challenges and opportunities for policy improvement.

About SterlingBackcheck
SterlingBackcheck is one of the largest background check companies in the world. Established in 1975, SterlingBackcheck is chosen by more than 25% of the Fortune 100, 20% of the FTSE 100 and more than 20,000 organizations to help them hire and retain the right people. As a global background-screening leader, SterlingBackcheck employs almost 3,000 people in five countries and its team offers expertise in compliance, client experience and applicant experience. Connected by the world’s most advanced background check technology platform, SterlingBackcheck continuously reinvests in its business and its customers to ensure it remains a global leader. To learn more about SterlingBackcheck, please visit:

SterlingBackcheck is a trademark of Sterling Infosystems, Inc.

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Tara Parsell
since: 04/2010
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