Hiring & Recruiting

New Study Debunks Major Myths Around Background Checks for Employers

“Never judge a book by its cover.” A common phrase that in terms of recruitment means something very unique. When it comes to selecting the best candidates to work for your company, going deeper than just face value should be a routine practice. According to a new CareerBuilder survey that outlines myths around background checks, not all companies or workers know the process.background check

The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 16 to December 6, 2016, among a representative sample of 3,411 U.S. full-time, private sector workers across industries and company sizes, and 2,391 full-time hiring and Human Resources managers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

“In essence, a background check is what an employer uses to help protect against false advertising on a resume and reduce employer risk. After all, a good business is built on people who fulfill their duties responsibly,” said Ben Goldberg, CEO of Aurico, a CareerBuilder company. “But background screenings are surrounded by misconceptions and misunderstandings and our role is to provide transparency for candidates and employers.”

Myths for Employers

Myth 1: Background checks aren’t always necessary.
Reality: Eighteen percent of employers said they made a bad hire because they didn’t conduct a background check. Given that one bad hire can cost a company $17,000 on average, this can be an expensive misstep.

Myth 2: All background check systems are created equal.
Reality: Twenty-nine percent of employers made a bad hire because they received bad information about the candidate. One in seven employers (15%) have run into litigation for not hiring someone because of what was found in a background check. Make sure your provider keeps up with compliance standards, is National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Accredited, and makes sure the candidate is informed and supported.

Myth 3: My background check system provides a good experience for candidates.
Reality: Sixty-five percent of employers have never tested out their system themselves to see what the candidate experience is like. Not only is it important for employers to experience the process first hand, it’s important to seek direct feedback from candidates.

Myth 4: Background checks typically take 1 to 2 weeks.
Reality: The longer the background check, the higher the risk of losing the candidate because you couldn’t verify information fast enough and they moved on to another employer. Typically, background checks should return in less than 5 business days, but on average checks take 24 to 72 business hours to complete.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,391 hiring and Human Resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, including 2,391 in the private sector) and 3,411 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 16 and December 6, 2016. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions. With a pure probability sample of 2,391 and 3,411, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 2.00 and +/- 1.68 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.