The Future of Background Investigations


Most products and services improve over time as technology and competition drives innovation, but not in the background investigation industry. Background checks are still conducted the same way since the invention of the phone. How long will the antiquated background investigation process continue in this manner? A growing movement by candidates to proactively take matters into their own hands will change the face of the background investigation industry.

Several issues have resulted in a substantially negative impact on the background check process for employers and vendors that will change the future of this industry. The time to hire has increased from 2010 to 2015 (Society of Human Resource Management) by 62%. The time-to-hire for management positions increased to an unacceptable sixty-eight days with background checks contributing an average of twenty days to the delay. If Human Resources utilize a vendor to conduct background investigations, the process will fall under federal and state laws that stipulate certain rights and protections when errors occur during employment verifications and criminal record research. Violations of federal and state laws have resulted in numerous multi-million dollar settlements against employers and vendors. This situation begs the question for employers, what is more dangerous? Conducting a background investigation or not conducting one?

 How long will Human Resources continue to utilize vendors to conduct background investigations when this process increases the time-to-hire, cost-per-hire and subjects the employer to litigation and financial penalties? The vast majority of employment verifications are conducted by phone, fax and (gasp) even by snail mail, a process that delays on-boarding and increases costs. Candidates are conducting their own background investigations with the help of software platforms available on the Internet and submitting the report when they apply for a job to stand out from the crowd of applicants applying for the same position. The result is a win-win situation for employers and candidates. Employers reduce their exposure to lawsuits and substantial penalties while reducing time-to-hire and cost-per-hire metrics. Candidates ensure information about their past is reported accurately and move to the front of the employment line.


Look for this trend to continue and change the on-boarding process in the near future.