Behind the Screens: EMEA Background Check Trends in 2018

2018 was a year of fundamental change for Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) HR and risk departments, as they faced a barrage of new and emerging challenges.

There was the long-awaited GDPR implementation on 25th May 2018, the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit negotiations, the trend towards contingent and flexible working, and of course, technological disruption.

Despite this, the 2018 EMEA Employment Screening Benchmark Report revealed that, for many businesses, growth was still a top priority. As a result, hiring rates were expected to rise – in some cases, significantly.

But what did this all mean for Human Resources departments in EMEA, and specifically, their background screening programmes?

HireRight’s annual survey can be used as a barometer to see if and how HR and risk professionals are adapting their practices and changing their priorities.

Here are some of the other key findings from the 2018 EMEA Benchmark Report:

  • 89% of HR and risk experts have seen candidates misrepresent information on applications. Screening has uncovered issues in 75% of organisations which would have otherwise gone undetected, and 28% of HR teams have uncovered issues in senior applications. Do you often find discrepancies in your candidates’ applications?
  • Top screenings performed pre-hire were Employment (83%), Education (75%), Criminal or other public records (69%), Identity (67%) and Professional Qualifications (65%). Do these reflect your company’s most common background checks?
  • Top screening challenges were reducing time-to-hire (52%), ensuring a positive candidate experience (48%) and improving the overall efficiency in the screening process (47%). How do you facilitate quick turnaround times whilst keeping your candidates happy during the onboarding process?
  • Top international screening issues were sourcing information (38%), difficulty understanding laws by country (32%), costs being too high (28%) and a lack of cultural acceptance (20%). Does your business have the resources and capability to conduct international background screenings?
  • Important factors for a great candidate experience were follow up communications for all candidates (59%), candidate-friendly emails (58%) and a mobile-friendly application/screening process (21%). How does your business keep candidates informed during the screening process?

An Invitation to Share Your Thoughts

This week, we launched our 2019 global employment screening benchmark survey.

Our annual survey had almost 6,000 respondents from the North America, EMEA and APAC regions in 2018. This year, we’re looking to get even more.

That’s where you come in.

If you work in HR, risk, IT security or compliance and your company uses background screening, we’d love to hear your thoughts for our 2019 Survey.

It will take around 15 minutes to complete, BUT in return you will have an opportunity to receive an advance copy of the report, which will offer insights into current HR trends around recruitment and background screening.

You’ll also be helping your peers to better understand industry trends and best practices. So thank you in advance from all of the report’s readers.

Although the survey is anonymous, you’re very welcome to share with your peers that you’ve taken it (and invite them to do the same).

The survey will be open from 25th March 2019 until 14th April 2019.

After completing the survey, you will be offered the chance to win one of three £100 Amazon vouchers in a free prize draw.
See full terms and conditions


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