HireRight saw screening volumes increase by 25.19% in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the first quarter or this year. This is ahead of the 5.4% increase reported in The Monster Employment Index Europe for the same periods, and the Office of National Statistics reported a more modest 0.8% increase in UK employment rates amongst 16-64 year olds in April – June 2012 on the previous quarter.
Some of the most substantial growth was seen in the manufacturing sector, whilst the utilities sector saw a 17% decline.
As recruitment activities rise, organisations remain cautious in their hiring decisions – the screenings undertaken in the first half of 2012 were more thorough than in the same period in 2011, with a 4% increase in the average number of components per screening.
Application lies double in competitive job market
The prevalence of irregularities in employment screening has almost doubled (49%) in just two years, with more than half (53%) of the screenings undertaken by HireRight in the first six months of 2012 containing a discrepancy of some kind.
This dramatic increase in irregularities could be due in part to an exceptionally competitive job market, with candidates striving to make their application stand out. Professional qualifications and memberships seem to be particularly vulnerable to résumé lies or embellishments and HireRight’s verifications uncovered this to be the area with the most frequent occurrence of discrepancies (29%) in the first half of 2012, followed by employment verifications (28%) and education checks (26%).
HireRight predicts that we will continue to see positive recovery in employment rates through the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, despite continuing economic challenges. Many firms will re-staff using contract hires, which, without an appropriate screening program for this type of workforce – something that is often overlooked, can leave a significant weakness in a company’s risk management process.