Five Background Screening Trends in 2020

Wholesale Background screening companies and employers alike continually watch the background check industry evolve and transform with every passing year. This is due to improvements made in technology, the increasingly complex regulatory environment, and growing concerns for data privacy and protection.

As we look forward to the opening of economies and a post-COVID-19 pandemic period, there are five key trends that will drive the employment screening and background check industry. They will have far-reaching effects on employment screening providers, data providers, Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs), employers, and job applicants.

  1. FCRA Lawsuits to Still Target Background Check Firms, CRAs, and Employers

Class action lawsuits alleging violations under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) will continue to target employers, CRAs, background check firms, and retailers despite the ruling in Spokeo vs. Robins by the Supreme Court.

Over the last ten years, it has become a common occurrence for background check firms and employers to pay out millions in litigation settlements over claims that they violated the FCRA. Class action lawsuits that allege violations of the FCRA, even if it is just a technical violation of the statute, can be costly to employers as well as retail and wholesale background check firms.

  1. Removal of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from Court Records

Though the process of limiting and removing personally identifiable information (PII) from court records started in the last five to ten years, it has gained momentum in recent years. As of 2020, courts have applied the trend to mixed results and unintended negative consequences.

The biggest losers are background check firms. This is because, without access to personal identifiers like full address, social security numbers, complete dates of birth, or driver’s license number, it is challenging, if not impossible, to match job candidates’ identifiers to those in criminal records. The trend will expose communities and workplaces to increased safety, liability, and operational risks.

The reality presents a real challenge in terms of cost, accuracy, and turnaround time for the industry as a whole. However, retailers may rely more on background check firms whose economies of scale and established court relationships will enable them to fare better.

  1. The Push-back against Industry Commoditization

Gone are the days of employment screening, background checks, and research providers using low costs as their only selling points in positioning their services. The rise of class-related claims and lawsuits against CRAs and the advent of the Supreme Court ruling in the Spokeo, Inc. vs. Robins has seen pushback against commoditization in favor of a professional service-based reality.

In general, background screening providers cannot afford to continue providing low-ball prices because of the increased risks associated with privacy and consumer protection.

  1. The Growth of PBSA into an International Organization

The non-profit trade association Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) that represents the background screening industry will grow into an international organization with a global outlook. Since its establishment in 2003 as the National Association of Professional Background Screener (NAPBS), PBSA members overwhelmingly voted in 2019 to mark the association’s transition into a global brand.

PBSA already has a significant international footprint with existing chapters in Canada, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, and the U.S. It provides educational resources, accreditation programs, advocacy, and industry practices to member companies working in tenant and employment screening around the world.

  1. Cost and Timeliness of Services to Remain Huge Challenges to Employers and CRAs

A 2019 employer background screening survey revealed cost and timeliness of service as the top challenges they faced with their respective background screening providers. In 2020, the two will remain significant challenges for both background screening firms and employers. Continuing talent shortages, the removal of personally identifiable information, and the need to ensure accuracy due to the increased risk of FCRA-related claims and lawsuits are some aggravating factors that have led to the trend.

Over to You

Are you prepared for the reopening of economies and the post-COVID-19 cost of doing business? Do you have the right wholesale background screening partner at your side? The recent trends in the background check industry present both opportunities and challenges alike that background check firms must contend with to survive in the space.

Hence, the need to partner with a wholesale background screening company that is affordable, willing to work with you, and reliable to get your job done quickly, thoroughly, and efficiently. File Finders is one such company that has been in operation since 1995. It provides wholesale civil, criminal, and public records.

File Finders wholesale background screening solutions come fully insured with General, Errors and Omissions, and Worker’s Compensation liability. We are the largest San Diego, CA, wholesale employment screening provider, in addition to having a nationwide presence.

We also take pride in our fast turnaround times, data accuracy, integrity-based services, as well as reliable and established court relationships. Trust us to do all the legwork and provide accurate results with no monthly minimums requirements.

Get in touch to work with us today.