With the rise of Technology both the employers and Background screening companies have been witnessing certain evolution. There has been a growing need of privacy and data protection with an increasing complex regulator movement. However, if we try to delve a bit deeper we can conclude some key trends that are driving the background screening industry and impacting employers and applicants alike.
Following are the Background Screening Industry Trends of 2019
1. Data Breach Concerns Lead to Increased Focus on Information Security
Background check firms that are operating in the United States (U.S.) will have to show their data breach protection and information security capabilities. They must also be compliant with privacy laws on domestic and international front in 2019. With the incidents of recent data breaches, the U.S. screening market will conduct greater due diligence on information security in 2019. It will also be a mandate for the screening firms to have third-party certifications, audits and accreditation from the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP).
2. FCRA requirement will not only be the Concern for Employer Performing Background Checks
In 2019 lawsuits involving the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) will not be the only compliance concern for employers performing background checks. Apart from FCRA requirements employers will also be impacted by the state and local prohibitions involving “Ban the Box”, salary history, and privacy. As legal compliance in screening industry continues to increase, hiring a screening firm that is compliant with all the prevalent employee laws will be very crucial. The reason behind is that background checks for employment purposes are expected to increase this ongoing year and the market will look more closely at a screening firm’s history of authorization and lawsuits before hiring them.
3. Employers will be Willing to Hire Ex-Offenders due to Resource Scarcity
With record low unemployment, employers should be more willing to hire ex-offenders with the necessary skills to make sure they are not eliminating job applicants with past criminal records who are qualified to work in 2019. Ex-offenders face many hurdles after leaving prison to re-enter society that include finding a job. However, with the demand for workers rising in the United States due to record low unemployment rates, companies are being forced to consider workers they once would have turned away such as ex-offenders and to provide opportunities to people who have long faced barriers to employment, such as criminal records.
4. “Ban the Box” Pervasive Enough for Studies to Show Whether Fair Chance Laws are Effective in 2019
“Ban the Box” is a set of laws passed in the different states of The US that seeks to advance job opportunities for people with prior criminal convictions by eliminating any questions on the criminal history of candidates during the initial application process, specifically the checkbox that requires candidates to disclose their criminal history. Originally, Ban the Box laws were concerned with the initial application process, but now many of these laws have morphed into Fair Chance laws that also impose processes for how criminal information is utilized. In other words, Ban the Box laws often are no longer limited to just the application process.
5. The Laws that Prohibits asking Salary History Questions will become more Stringent with the Increment of Gender Pay Equity
Laws prohibiting employers from seeking salary history information about job applicants will increase in the United States as the pay equity movement to narrow the gender wage gap between women and men grows in 2019. Some salary history laws require an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request to encourage employers to prepare pay scales instead of relying on past salary. An employer can however still ask what an applicant expects to receive, and obtain objective and quantifiable measures of past job performance such as meeting sales or production quotas.
In response to these laws, employers should modify job applications to prevent past salary inquires and train hiring managers so illegal questions are not asked in interviews. When an employer has a screening firm perform past employment verifications, it is critical that firm knows which states and cities prohibit such questions as well as software that helps facilities compliance or else that employer could be fined.
Cheap and Instant Background Checks of Gig Economy Workers Lead to Due Diligence Concerns
Reports about “gig economy” employers using cheap and instant background checks will lead those employers to examine the value of these background checks due to the examples of theft and violence experienced in 2018. Essential to the success of any gig economy company is that consumers have trust that the services the company provides are safe to use. Unlike traditional employment where there is a greater degree of supervision, gig economy employment involves workers providing services in situations that are mostly unsupervised and can potentially cause greater risk to users.
Gig economy workers should be subjected to background checks, although the process may require a different approach than what is used for traditional employees. Because of the potential liability faced with the extended workforce, gig economy employers should look for background screening providers that deliver “real” background checks and not cheap and instant “check the box” database searches.
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.