Companies See Higher Screening Hit Ratios with Global Job Market Expansion

By SHRM Online staff Apr 25, 2008

As more companies step up their pre-employment screening practices, the percentage ofcriminal record convictions flagged continues to trend upward, increasing to 9.5 percent in 2007—compared to 9.1 percent in 2006 and 8.5 percent in 2005—according to the 2008 Hit Ratio Report, released annually by the background screening division of the risk consulting firm Kroll.

Overall, industry trends revealed in the 2006 report are gaining ground. The construction (15.4 percent), automotive (13.9 percent) and retail industries (13.7 percent) had the highest criminal record hit ratios, while education (3.7 percent) had the lowest. Red flags identifying criminal records also grew in the manufacturing sector from 11.6 percent in 2006 to 12.6 percent in 2007 and in the food services sector from 12.1 percent in 2006 to 13.4 percent.

“Background screening is as important as ever, as evidenced by the trifecta effect of the U.S. job market becoming more competitive for positions, a need to fill positions as quickly as possible, and an increasing trend in criminal hit ratios,” said Michael Rosen, president of Kroll’s Background Screening division, in a press statement about the report.

Pre-employment screening also is becoming more complex as companies are looking more to overseas job markets.

“It is now common for a job applicant to have been raised in Japan, educated in the U.K. and now seeking employment in the U.S.,” said Rosen. “As a result, employers are carefully vetting candidates for entry-level [jobs], senior management and positions in between. [They] are recognizing that screening job candidates at all levels is more complex and vital to the well-being of the organization.”

Other findings:

  • Employers are conducting more thorough, multi-jurisdictional background checks on the individuals they hire.
  • Employers are screening a greater population of their staff as well as temporary employees, vendors and consultants.

“With data security and identity theft top of mind these days, it is especially important to conduct thorough background checks on employees with access to sensitive personal data,” said Rosen.

The complete report, derived from a sample of Kroll’s Background Screening clients across a variety of industries and company sizes, provides key statistics for the seven most common employment screening criteria, plus detailed analyses of industry-specific hit ratios for 13 industries. The 2007 Hit Ratio Report is derived from a sample of Kroll’s Background Screening clients across a variety of industries and company sizes.


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