New Survey Says Nearly 2 in 5 Employers Lose Job Candidates Due to Poor Background Check Experiences

August 23, 2017 | Bryan Barajas

According to a new survey1 by CareerBuilder, more than a third of employers (38%) have lost a candidate because they had a negative experience with their background check. Other disturbing finds for employers are:

  • More than half of job candidates think less of a company if they have a negative experience with its HR technology.
  • 21% of employers who lost candidates that had accepted a job offer say it was because the background check took too long.
  • 20% of employers said it was because a candidate had a poor experience with background screening.
  • Nearly 1 in 6 HR managers would rate their background check candidate experience as fair or poor.

Hiring in this tight workforce environment is hard enough without having unnecessary road blocks that create a negative candidate experience. The pressure is on! HR managers must fill open positions with the best candidates in a timely manner all the while providing a positive onboarding experience for candidates as they are being oriented into the company.

A background screening partner can help to create a positive candidate experience – especially a provider, like Cisive, that provides a system which streamlines and simplifies the process. Cisive provides efficiencies through automation with our Onboarding Solution, which engages applicants through a portal where they can directly supply their information (only once) and track their background screening and on-boarding progress. The entire process is easy and transparent thereby alleviating the candidate’s stress of the “unknown.” The system even provides compliant electronic signature technology!

Selecting the right background screening partner can be a daunting task! To help, Cisive has created an informative White Paper that explores how to evaluate a potential background screening partner and discusses positive attributes to be examined as well as “red flag practices” to avoid. Here is a sampling:

Positive Attributes to Examine:

  • Accreditation: Accreditation by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) should be considered a minimum selection criterion. No employer should risk accepting services from a company who cannot or will not achieve Accreditation.
  • System Capabilities: Determine whether the provider’s system is built on a true rules-based workflow engine that is capable of creating a secure, efficient, and compliant process and presents an easy to follow workflow for both your candidates and your staff.
  • Client and candidate facing resources: A background screening partner should make your job (and your candidate’s job) easier and provide the tools to help you assess further opportunities to improve.
  • Data Security: Data security and protection of your candidates’ and employees’ PII has never been more challenging and more critical than it is today.
  • Litigation History: It has been said that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Ask potential background screening providers if they have ever been the subject of an FCRA violation investigation by the federal regulator, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Red Flag Practices to Avoid:

  • Promises of unrealistic turnaround time: If a prospective background provider is offering turnaround times and prices that appear to be far better than others that may suggest dangerous shortcuts such as the use of raw database searches or unverified reports.
  • Over reliance on “national” criminal databases: There is no such commercially available product as a true national database. Over reliance on compiled databases is another quick route to a rotten candidate experience and possible civil action.
  • Off-shoring: Off-shoring is the first indication that the background provider is motivated more by low cost than quality and customer service. The only reason to off-shore is to lower cost. Quality is not a driving factor.

Providing a positive, candidate-focused onboarding experience is a vital part of recruiting the best people for your company. The employer and background screening provider should be partners in creating the best candidate experience possible. Selecting the right background screening partner is vital and is not a simple task. The stakes are high. There are risks to the company if their background screening program is deficient and their onboarding platform is complicated and cumbersome. As the CareerBuilder survey indicates, some important risks are consistently losing qualified candidates and damaging a company’s reputation because of a bad candidate experience.

Click here to view Cisive’s informative White Paper, Important Considerations When Selecting a Background Screening Company.


1 The national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 24 to June 16, 2017, included representative samples of 2,369 full-time employers (including 221 HR managers) and 3,462 full-time U.S. workers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.


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