Surprising Statistics about Employment Background Checks

2 min read
Mon, Jul 17, 2023

In today's competitive job market, businesses must make informed decisions about hiring and retaining employees. Employment background checks provide valuable insights into a candidate's past, helping employers evaluate their qualifications, credibility, and any potential risks. If your business is wondering if they should screen incoming or existing employees, consider these statistics. 

Learn more surprising statistics about employment background checks.

Criminal Background Checks are More Common than Not Among Employers

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) reports that screening employees is "nearly universal" among U.S. employers. Further statistics include:

  • 95% of U.S. employers conduct employee background screening
  • 77% of U.S. employers have a documented background screening policy
  • Criminal background checks are the most common type of background check at 94%
  • 89% of employers rely on state/local resources for their criminal records than a fingerprint database
  • U.S. employers rely on drug testing, driving records, and sex offender registry information than non-U.S. employers

The When and Why of Employee Background Checks

We recommend background checks of new and existing employees to reduce the risk of negligent hiring and other workplace challenges. Most employers use this rationale to protect their brand and their staff.

  • 77% of employers conduct screening to protect employees and customers
  • 52% screen to improve the quality of new hires
  • 40% screen to protect their company's reputation

Regarding the timing of screening during the hiring process, our survey revealed that it was common among employers to conduct employee screening after an interview or after extending an offer. Here are more current statistics:

  • 74% of U.S. employers conduct background checks after a conditional job offer
  • 16% screen after an interview but before a job offer
  • 3% screen applicants before the job interview
  • 67% of employers that do post-hire screening tend to run criminal checks on an ongoing basis

See also: What is the optimal time to run a background check?

Screening Partners are a Vital Part of the Hiring Process

With so much value placed on employment background checks, 81% of employers surveyed said they will not be switching screening providers. When selecting screening partners, employers look for quality and accuracy (83%), speed (58%), and cost (54%).

Have you found that these are the reasons you're satisfied (or not) with your employment background check provider? If you're considering if you need to screen new hires or current employees, we have decades of experience to answer your questions. Connect with VeriFirst to see if we can help.

See How VeriFirst Performs  Background Checks and Drug Screening


2021 Statistics found at Background Screening: Trends in the U.S. and Abroad

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