Background Screening in Today’s Internet Age

Photo Courtesy of Roy Scott
Photo Courtesy of Roy Scott

Believe it or not, it wasn’t long ago that an employer would fax an applicant’s information to their background screening vendor, and would receive results of the check weeks later in the mail. Before that, you had the analog world, but I won’t bore you with the archaic details. As those of us in the world of background screening and human resources know, that’s not the case in today’s technologically advanced world.

Access to the world wide web and integration with employers’ HR systems has dramatically improved turnaround times as well as convenience. According to Roy Maurer of, “When screening functions are linked to an applicant tracking system (ATS), candidate data flows directly to the vendor once an investigation is initiated and the results are immediately stored in the candidate’s file in the ATS.”

According to Raj Ananthanpillai, CEO and President of IDentrix, “With the speed and convenience that integration provides, some employers are opting to go above and beyond pre-employment background checks and instituting post-hire monitoring. One-and-done background checks are limited and expensive and don’t account for the dynamic nature of risk factors.” The convenience of integration is also prompting companies to perform background checks on those who they might not have before, such as temporary and seasonal workers. In many cases, these types of employees produce the same kind of risks as regular, full-time employees do.

Another added benefit of technology is the ability for a job candidate to go online and enter their own information. This makes it so the recruiter or HR Manager doesn’t have to do so, and also helps the applicant to feel like they are part of the process. This also helps streamline the legalities of the background screening process, as applicants are sent all of the disclosure forms for an electronic signature. “Technology that’s really making a difference to the process are the self-service applicant portals and a system that understands—based on the information provided by the applicant—all of the legal issues associated with the screen to ensure compliance for employers,” says Barry Boes, CEO of Austin, Texas-based Accio Data, a technology company that connects screening firms to data providers.

Finally, advanced technology in the background screening industry is helping employers to catch anyone who might be lying on their application. Roy Maurer informs us that, “According to a 2015 study by online job board and software provider CareerBuilder, 54 percent of small businesses have caught a lie on an applicant’s resume, most commonly related to their skills (61 percent) and past responsibilities (55 percent).” With emerging technology in the background screening industry, it’s becoming more and more difficult for people to exaggerate or “stretch the truth” when submitting a resume or job application.

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