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HireRight Releases Its First Background Check Benchmark Report for Higher Education; Reveals Risks, Screening Trends and Practices

A new survey from HireRight focused on employment screening in higher education found that 77 percent of higher education industry respondents reported screening had exposed a person who lied on a resume. HireRight, a leading provider of global employment screening, drug and health testing, and employment eligibility solutions, today released Employment Background Checks in Education, its first survey and report on employment screening for the higher education sector. The survey further found that 63 percent of respondents reported that screening uncovered issues that would not have been found otherwise.

HireRight surveyed human resources, recruiting and talent management professionals from a wide range of academic institutions, and the results revealed important trends and common practices in employment screening. The survey reveals information especially relevant to the higher education sector, which has experienced many high-profile resume fraud incidents, including the MIT dean of admissions and the Notre Dame football coach who both allegedly lied about their academic degrees and backgrounds.

“In light of situations like this in the news, we’ve found that institutions are reviewing and revising employment practices and increasing their focus on background screening to help mitigate risk and ensure high-quality hiring,” said Rachel Trindade, vice president of marketing, HireRight. “The HireRight Employment Background Checks in Education report is HireRight’s first survey focused on employment screening practices in higher education. The data provided offers valuable insights, important trends, industry benchmarks, and best practices.”

When asked why screening is conducted, survey respondents indicated that the top benefits they receive from screening are safety and security (59 percent), improved regulatory compliance (43 percent), better quality of hires (35 percent), better reputation of institution (14 percent), and greater employee retention (6 percent). In the current job market, hiring top talent can be challenging, and effective screening can help identify the best candidates.

The top two screening challenges reported this year were reducing time-to-hire and improving overall efficiency. These results point to a trending industry practice that addresses both of these issues – integrating screening with an applicant tracking system (ATS) or talent management solution. In this way, using a single, integrated solution can help significantly improve hiring timelines by keeping all information regarding job postings, applicants, processing, and screening in one central location, accessible by all necessary staff. Interestingly, the higher education sector is ahead of many other industries in terms of using integrated solutions, as 40 percent of respondents reported that they integrate screening with an ATS, compared to only 28 percent in the general marketplace.

The survey responses and report also pointed toward several screening best practices to consider, including:

  • Having a well-documented and mandatory hiring process to help ensure consistent checks for employees.
  • Reviewing hiring policies at least annually to identify any weaknesses and risks.
  • Determining the types of checks required or appropriate for each position, and implementing them appropriately.
  • Considering more in-depth, comprehensive background checks for high-profile or high-risk positions to more extensively examine candidate backgrounds.
  • Using digital forms and storage for I-9 processing to help ensure forms are completed correctly and improve readiness for compliance audits.

About HireRight

HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs. Many companies, including more than one-third of the Fortune 500, trust HireRight because the company delivers customer-focused solutions that provide greater efficiency and faster results. HireRight also provides pre-integrated background screening services through applicant tracking systems from top providers such as Oracle, Taleo, Kenexa, SAP, PeopleAdmin, HealthcareSource, HRsmart, and SilkRoad. HireRight, Inc. is an Altegrity company with worldwide headquarters located in Irvine, California, and offices and affiliates around the globe. For more information, visit the company’s web site at

HireRight is a registered trademark of HireRight, Inc.

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