A benchmark study on employment background screening revealed more than eight out of ten employers found resume fraud that includes embellishments or outright lies on job applicant resumes in the last year.

The HireRight 2017 employment screening benchmark report found:

  • Candidates, even at the highest seniority levels, are regularly embellishing their resumes.
    • 85% of survey respondents uncovered a lie or misrepresentation on a candidate’s resume or job application during the screening process – up from 66% five years ago.
    • 77% said screening uncovered an issue with a candidate’s background that would not have been caught otherwise.
    • Yet, only 49% of respondents verify candidates’ education credentials today, despite the many headlines in recent years of executive-level scandals involving falsified degrees.
  • Despite the international workforce becoming increasingly interconnected, few organizations have developed a global screening program.
    • Only 15% of respondents verify international backgrounds of U.S.-based employees.
    • Merely 13% of U.S. employers screen employees based outside of the U.S. – a 6% decrease since last year.
    • When asked about the most significant challenges associated with screening candidates in non-U.S. locations, 34% of respondents cited difficulty sourcing information, 30% cited high costs, and 20% cited difficulty understanding laws by country.
  • More organizations are employing contingent, contract, or temporary workers to meet hiring demands – and screening this population has become commonplace.
    • 24% of respondents said 40% or more of their workforce comprises non-employees.
    • Five years ago, only 41% said they screened contingent and/or temporary workers. Today, that percentage is up to 86%.
  • The marijuana landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years – but organizations’ drug policies have not.
    • Five years ago, 79% of respondents said they did not have a policy recognizing the use of medical marijuana, nor did they have plans to create one.
    • Despite multiple states legalizing marijuana in the 2016 election, 78% of respondents reported no plans to change their drug screening policy this year.
  • Talent acquisition and retention have become a bigger challenge.
    • In 2009, only 29% of respondents cited "talent management” as their top business challenge. In 2017, 62% reported “finding qualified job candidates” as their top business challenge.
    • In 2017, 62% of respondents plan to invest in finding qualified candidates, 60% in retaining employees, and 35% in improving the candidate experience from application through onboarding.

“The hiring landscape has changed dramatically since the financial crisis of 2008. Organizations are now competing for the most qualified candidates and therefore putting greater emphasis on creating a positive onboarding experience, which includes the background check process,” said Mary O’Loughlin, vice president of global customer experience and product management at HireRight. “Despite pressures to hire quickly, organizations should not overlook the importance of instituting a thorough background check process that includes creating a global policy, rescreening current employees, and ensuring a rigorous screening process for senior executives.”