The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Changing your Screening Experience: Background Screening Predictions for 2016


Background screening is a vital part of the hiring process and continues to remain important after you have hired your candidate. At CBS, we saw a 57% growth in the number of Criminal Checks we performed in 2015, highlighting the consistent importance of background screening with no sign of slowing. 2016 is likely to show a continuation of trends that we have already seen such as changes in regulation and flexible working as well as new trends that we may not have expected such as mobile employment screening. Rachel Bedgood, CEO of background screening company Complete Background Screening (CBS) discusses what she expects to see in 2016.

Improved candidate experience
Customer experience is an indicator of success for any industry but when going through the screening process, candidates obviously require it to be as simplified and smooth as possible. In business, 80% of CEOs in Global Fortune 500 companies believe that they offer great customer experience yet only 8% of their customers agree. For background screening companies such as CBS, customer experience is a vital part of what we do and it encourages more people to use your service. Also, no one wants to risk the possibility of getting the right candidate into their business due to a bad user experience.

Mobile Employment Screening
In the UK, we are very much a nation of smartphone users. Two thirds of UK adults and 90% of 16-24 year olds have a smartphone and mobile is overtaking desktops as the number one way of using the internet. Mobile experience is an important part of the overall candidate experience when going through the employment process. Many companies have given priority to mobile experience and this will soon become an important part of employment screening.

This year, applicants should see an increase of background screening agencies allowing them to apply on their phone rather than just on the desktop for a background check. Employment screening will step into the world of mobile.

Updating screening service
The value of ongoing screening services cannot be expressed highly enough. More businesses are now opting for an updating service and at CBS, we saw a 30% increase of this service in 2015. Even though you may perform a screening check on your candidate at the start of their employment, criminal history status can change over the course of employment. For this reason, I believe that ongoing screening services will become more popular this year. They will allow employers to have constantly up-to-date records, ensuring consistent safety of their business and hires.

Changes in Regulations
Background screening regulations and legislations are frequently updating and I don’t see that trend changing this year. However, employers need to fully understand legal requirements when going through the recruiting and screening process. Laws are becoming more complex when it comes to employment screening, so it’s important to keep up the pace and stay involved.

Flexible-working labour force screening
With today’s busy world, there are many different working structures which have come into play. This includes an increase of temporary workers, freelancers, contractors, vendors and may more. In 2015, there were an estimated 1.88 million freelance workers in the UK alone. Although flexible working is increasingly popular, these workers could potentially slip through the gaps of employment screening. This needs to be rectified in 2016.

Increase in social media background checks
In today’s world, social media is everywhere. Brands are now on social media and certainly, so are millions of individual users. Although it shouldn’t be your only concern when it comes to background screening, many people have called for background checks to be part of the overall screening process and this is likely to become more of a trend in 2016. Incidents such as the mass shootings in America have led to calls from the public for social media to be monitored more frequently and with greater detail.

However, it’s crucial that social media checks do not lead to bias before you have any contact with a potential employee. Not only will this put you at legal risk for discrimination, but you may also lose out on hiring a fantastic candidate due to a less than perfect social media account.

Globalising background checks
Due to many mid-level businesses now having offices in different locations, I believe that background screening is going to become globalised in 2016. Companies need to make sure that their employees in all areas of their business and every country are screened equally to ensure consistency throughout the business.