The pre-employment screening industry is contantly evolving in response to corporate needs. In 2013, we are seeing some trends emerge that will impact how background checks are ordered and how background checks will significantly impact the hiring process.
1. Dynamic Adjusted Pricing: For many years, background screening companies – large and small – have encouraged their clients to include a county criminal search in their background screening package. As part of this process, many background screening companies have been giving their clients access to “unlimited county criminal records” and charging them a premium. Industry research shows that a majority of people have lived in just two counties during the past 10 years so paying a premium for access to “unlimited” county criminal records is becoming a thing of the past. Modern background screening companies are now using Dynamic Adjusted Pricing, which is a new-technology feature that recognizes how many counties the applicant has lived in and charges the client accordingly. This means if the applicant lived in just one county, the client will be charged for a single county criminal record. If the applicant lived in two counties, then a two-county search will be executed and the client will pay for a criminal search in both counties. Only if the applicant has lived in three or more counties would the client be charged for “unlimited counties.” This new-technology feature is being implemented in response to companies that are paying closer attention to price as one of their key value propositions.
2. Total Customization: Another trend that has been emerging is an increased demand by users for complete customization. Being able to add features to the background screening system upon request – to simplfy the ordering process, save time and even save money – is becoming even more prevalent and background screening companies that cannot accommodate these requests are at a competitive disadvantage. Companies with a proprietary background screening system (not a system owned and operated by a third party) will be better equipped to meet these evolving demands.
3. Self Background Checks: A third trend that we are starting to see is more applicants accessing their own background checks before submitting resumes or interviewing for jobs.
Many recruiters find this service extremely useful because their candidates can clear up bad information and correct cases of mistaken identity before interviewing for a job. Being able to send a “clean” candidate to an employer creates a competitive advantage for recruiters by ensuring they don’t waste precious time and resources sending candidates with disqualifying or seriously confusing information on their background check, only to have that candidate turned away.
For many applicants, this service is about cleaning up any bad information on their report so they can remain competitive for any position. Others use this service so they can prove claims on their resume and demonstrate their honest character, as well as saving employers money and expedititing the hiring process.
Regardless of rationale or motivation, this is a trend that will likley continue and may change how companies use background screening in their hiring process.
As new trends like these emerge, the background screening industry will respond and service quality will continue to improve. We look forward to see what will come next in 2014.
For a quick, fun video showing the history of pre-employment screening, click below.