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New Report from First Advantage Reveals Background Screening Insights by Vertical

Latest Research Examines Practices and Trends in Retail, Transportation, Staffing, Healthcare and Financial Services

ATLANTA (June 4, 2019) – First Advantage, the global leader in background check and drug screening solutions, today shared the fourth report in its ongoing series benchmarking the state of the industry. In “Vertical Trends & Insights,” First Advantage explored cross-referenced results from a recent customer survey with aggregate data from more than 66 million annual global searches to identify trends across retail, transportation, staffing, healthcare and financial services.


Acknowledging the differences between industries as well as individual organizations, First Advantage included a scale for reference, illustrating important factors in current screening practices and the need to balance speed versus risk. Across all verticals, First Advantage highlighted five key takeaways:


  • Criminal records are what most companies screen for – with transportation consistently ordering the most comprehensive reports, while staffing focused on crime, retail on sex offenders, healthcare on employment and financial services on criminal records adjudication.
  • From these screens, staffing brings in the highest rate of returned criminal records at 9.8 percent, followed by transportation at 6.7 percent, retail at 6.1 percent, financial services at 2.6 percent and healthcare at 1.9 percent.
  • There is no one-to-one correlation between a low criminal return rate and the rate of reports requiring further review. Industry-specific regulations often dictate which results need additional analysis.
  • Drug positivity rates impact retail the most – 5.8 percent test positive for drug use, followed by staffing at 3.9 percent, transportation at 2.9 percent, healthcare at 2.4 percent and financial services at 1.0 percent.
  • Marijuana is the most common source of drug positivity. For retail and financial services, 82.3 percent of positive results came back for marijuana, 81.4 percent in staffing, 73.4 percent in transportation and 59.9 percent in healthcare. Amphetamines came in second for all industries except transportation, where cocaine took this spot.


At the vertical level, First Advantage shared the aforementioned benchmarking scale, plus critical findings from the research.


“How companies approach screening varies based on any number of factors,” said Scott Staples, CEO of First Advantage. “With these verticals in mind, this particular report provides an inside look at the considerations influencing hiring outcomes in five of the world’s biggest industries. It examines the complexity of each space while offering a high-level perspective aligned with the overall state of background screening.”


For a limited time only, download a complimentary copy of “Vertical Trends & Insights” by visiting

About First Advantage
First Advantage provides comprehensive background screening, identity and information solutions that give employers and housing providers access to actionable information that results in faster, more accurate people decisions. With an advanced global technology platform and superior customer service delivered by experts who understand local markets, First Advantage helps customers around the world build fully scalable, configurable screening programs that meet their unique needs. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, First Advantage has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

To learn more, please visit

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Note to editors: Trademarks and registered trademarks referenced herein remain the property of their respective owners. A copy of the full research report can be requested through First Advantage’s media contact.


Media Contact:

Kate Achille for First Advantage

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