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20 Surprising Facts and Stats About Background Checks You Need to Know

Updated: Jan 24



Background checks are becoming increasingly common in the hiring process, with more and more employers recognizing the importance of verifying a candidate's background before making a hiring decision. In this article, we'll explore the top 20 facts and statistics related to background checks, and what they mean for both employers and job seekers.

  1. Stat/fact: According to a report by Grand View Research, the global background screening market size is expected to reach USD 11.49 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 7.6% from 2020 to 2027. Summary: The background screening market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $11.49 billion by 2027. Source: Grand View Research - Background Screening Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Service, By End-use (https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/background-screening-market)

  2. Stat/fact: Criminal history (86%), identity (67%), and employment history (50%) are the most common types of background checks performed by employers. Summary: Criminal history, identity, and employment history are the most common types of background checks that employers conduct. Source: HireRight - 2020 Global Benchmark Report (https://www.hireright.com/global-benchmark-report)

  3. Stat/fact: According to a survey by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), 96% of employers conduct at least one type of background screening. Almost all employers conduct some type of background screening. Source: NAPBS - 2020 Industry Survey (https://www.napbs.com/industry-resources/industry-surveys)

  4. Stat/fact: In the United States, the number of background checks conducted for firearm purchases reached a record high of 39.7 million in 2020. The number of background checks conducted for firearm purchases in the US reached a record high in 2020. Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation - NICS Firearm Checks: Month/Year (https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_month_year.pdf/view)

  5. Stat/fact: The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in demand for background screening services, particularly for healthcare workers and remote employees. Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for background screening services for healthcare workers and remote employees. Source: HR Dive - Pandemic's Impact on Hiring Process: What's Changed for Employers (https://www.hrdive.com/news/pandemics-impact-on-hiring-process-whats-changed-for-employers/589266/)

  6. Stat/fact: In 2020, 27% of employers reported that they had removed a candidate from consideration for a job due to information found on a background check. Summary: More than a quarter of employers have removed a candidate from consideration due to information found on a background check. Source: NAPBS - 2020 Industry Survey (https://www.napbs.com/industry-resources/industry-surveys)

  7. Stat/fact: A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 69% of employers conduct background checks on all job candidates. Summary: A majority of employers conduct background checks on all job candidates. Source: SHRM - Background Checking: Conducting Pre-Employment Screenings (https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/conductingpre-employmentbackgroundchecks.aspx)

  8. Stat/fact: In 2020, the most common errors found on background checks were related to criminal records (27%), employment history (23%), and identity (16%). Summary: Criminal records, employment history, and identity are the areas where most errors are found on background checks. Source: HireRight - 2020 Global Benchmark Report (https://www.hireright.com/global-benchmark-report)

  9. Stat/fact: In the United States, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including background checks. Summary: The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including background checks. Source: Federal Trade Commission - Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know (https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/plain-language/bus08-using-consumer-reports-what-employers-need-know.pdf)

  10. Stat/fact: A report by Sterling found that 85% of organizations have discovered a lie or misrepresentation on a resume or job application. Summary: A significant portion of organizations have discovered a lie or misrepresentation on a resume or job application. Source: Sterling - 2021 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report (https://www.sterlingcheck.com/resources/whitepapers/background-screening-trends-best-practices-2021/)

  11. Stat/fact: In a survey by HireRight, 85% of employers reported that they had uncovered a lie or misrepresentation on a candidate's resume or job application. Summary: The majority of employers have uncovered lies or misrepresentations on candidate's resumes or job applications. Source: HireRight - 2020 Global Benchmark Report (https://www.hireright.com/global-benchmark-report)

  12. Stat/fact: In the United States, employers cannot ask job candidates about certain criminal history information, such as arrests that did not lead to convictions, unless it is relevant to the job. Summary: Employers must be cautious when asking candidates about criminal history information and can only inquire about certain information that is relevant to the job. Source: National Employment Law Project - Ban the Box and Fair Chance Hiring: A Comprehensive Guide to State and Local Laws (https://www.nelp.org/publication/ban-the-box-fair-chance-hiring-state-and-local-guide/)

  13. Stat/fact: The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is becoming increasingly popular in the background screening process, particularly in identifying red flags and streamlining the screening process. Summary: The use of AI and ML is increasing in the background screening process, making it easier to identify red flags and streamline the process. Source: SHRM - The Future of AI in Recruiting and Hiring (https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/future-of-artificial-intelligence-in-recruiting-and-hiring.aspx)

  14. Stat/fact: A report by Sterling found that 61% of employers surveyed had reevaluated their background screening processes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Summary: A significant portion of employers have reevaluated their background screening processes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Sterling - 2021 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report (https://www.sterlingcheck.com/resources/whitepapers/background-screening-trends-best-practices-2021/)

  15. Stat/fact: In the United States, the average turnaround time for a background check is 2-4 business days, although it can take longer for more in-depth checks. Summary: The average turnaround time for a background check is 2-4 business days in the US. Source: GoodHire - How Long Does a Background Check Take? (https://www.goodhire.com/blog/how-long-does-a-background-check-take/)

  16. Stat/fact: According to a report by the National Employment Law Project, 36 states and over 150 cities and counties in the United States have passed "ban the box" laws, which restrict employers from asking about criminal history on job applications. Summary: "Ban the box" laws are becoming more common in the US, limiting employers' ability to ask about criminal history on job applications. Source: National Employment Law Project - Ban the Box and Fair Chance Hiring: A Comprehensive Guide to State and Local Laws (https://www.nelp.org/publication/ban-the-box-fair-chance-hiring-state-and-local-guide/)

  17. Stat/fact: In the United States, the use of credit reports in background checks is restricted by law in some states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Summary: The use of credit reports in background checks is restricted by law in some states in the US. Source: National Conference of State Legislatures - Employer Use of Credit Reports (https://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/employer-use-of-credit-reports.aspx)

  18. Stat/fact: A study by the University of Michigan found that banning the box on job applications can increase employment opportunities for people with criminal records, particularly for Black and Latino job seekers. Summary: Banning the box on job applications can lead to more job opportunities for people with criminal records, especially for Black and Latino job seekers. Source: National Employment Law Project - Ban the Box and Fair Chance Hiring: A Comprehensive Guide to State and Local Laws (https://www.nelp.org/publication/ban-the-box-fair-chance-hiring-state-and-local-guide/)

  19. Stat/fact: According to a report by the Professional Background Screening Association, 94% of employers surveyed said that background checks had helped them identify job candidates who were not a good fit for the job or who could pose a risk to the company. Summary: Employers overwhelmingly believe that background checks are helpful in identifying job candidates who may not be a good fit or who could pose a risk to the company. Source: PBSA - The Value of Background Screening: A Multi-Faceted Perspective (https://thepbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/PBSA_The-Value-of-Background-Screening.pdf)

  20. Stat/fact: A report by Sterling found that 69% of employers surveyed said that their organization had experienced a "bad hire" in the past year, and that 85% of employers believe that background checks are an effective way to mitigate the risk of a bad hire. | Summary: Many employers have experienced a "bad hire," but believe that background checks are an effective way to reduce that risk. Source: Sterling - 2021 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report (https://www.sterlingcheck.com/resources/whitepapers/background-screening-trends-best-practices-2021/)

At GlobalBackgroundScreening.com, we understand that the process of ordering background screening services can be time-consuming and frustrating. That's why we've made it easy for you to order right from our website. Our pricing for all services and turnaround time is listed on our site at checkout, even for every country in the world. No need to contact a salesperson and wait to get an account - just checkout and create an account, and you're ready to go.


Unlike some of the other big players in the industry, like HireRight and Sterling, we take a modern approach to background screening. Our easy-to-use online platform puts the power of screening right at your fingertips, allowing you to order and track background checks with just a few clicks. And with our state-of-the-art technology and methodologies, you can be sure that you're getting fast, accurate, and reliable results.


So why waste your time with outdated and complicated background screening processes? Choose GBS and experience the modern way to screen candidates. With our easy-to-use platform, transparent pricing, and fast turnaround times, you can rest assured that you're making the best hiring decisions for your business or rental property. Try GBS today and see the difference for yourself!



If you're a Consumer Reporting Agency, Staffing agency, BPO, or any other related organization and would like to be added to the list of providers who offer background screening services, feel free to contact us. We'll be happy to consider adding you to the list.