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2019 Global Screening Trends

Assess your program performance based on recent international screening metrics
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These days, more companies than ever are wading into the global talent pool in search of the best candidates. A recent First Advantage analysis shows that our customers performed 13 percent more international background checks in 2018 compared to 2017. But, if you’ve never performed background checks in China, India or wherever, how can you know what to expect, or if your program is performing well?

Here we share a few global background screening benchmarks—based on a recent analysis of 66 million+ global searches performed by First Advantage screening customers—to help companies better understand their international search results and program performance.

Turnaround times

On average, international background checks are completed within one to two weeks, with some being slower and some faster. Several factors can directly influence turnaround times, including the local culture and political climate, national laws and regulations, regional and/or country-specific data protections, natural disasters, accessibility of data and technology and more. All of these vary by country.

  • Countries and regions with some of the fastest turnaround times include the United States, Canada, Central Europe, South America, Australia, China and India
  • Countries with some of the slowest turnaround times include Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Algeria, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo

Hiring hotspots outside of the United States

According to our analysis, India was the most commonly searched country in 2018, with 30.9 percent of international searches performed in that country. Australia came in second with 14.4 percent of searches, followed by Canada with 7.2 percent, then China with 5.9 percent.

Discrepancy rates

When screening results contain information that is different than what a candidate provided on their application or resume, it’s called a discrepancy. In a perfect world, these two sources of information should always align, but in the real world, they often don’t. In fact, a surprising 50 percent of resumes from around the world include discrepancies, according to our analysis. Often the discrepancy is simply a wrong date.

  • Average discrepancy rate for the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was 31.07 percent
    • Ireland had the highest discrepancy rate among EMEA countries at 18.10 percent
    • Qatar had the lowest discrepancy rate among EMEA countries at 3.37 percent
  • Average discrepancy rate for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region was 26.11 percent
  • Average discrepancy rate for the country of India was 9.61 percent

Many employers view discrepancies as a red flag and automatically kick background checks with discrepancies into a “decisional” queue where they must be manually reviewed. This can slow down turnaround times. To hire global candidates faster, some employers are adjusting their adjudication matrices to account for the most frequent discrepancies such as minor date discrepancies on employment and education verifications.

Learn which international background screening components produce the highest discrepancy rates and get fresh insight into performance metrics from other regions such as Canada, Latin America and more in Part 3 of the First Advantage Trend Report: Global Trends & Insights by Region. DOWNLOAD NOW

If you’re currently looking at international background screening companies, give us a call. When you have questions, we can offer the trusted answers and insights you need to make the best background check decisions.