Fringe Benefits and Perks

40+ Background Check Statistics in 2024

Uncover the rising trends of background checks in the workplace and stay on top of the company’s safety.
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These background check statistics show that employers frequently request background checks on job prospects for employment screening. This is common practice with roles that require high security or trust.  

The incentive of background checks is to protect the safety and security of the organization’s workers. Here are some background check statistics that show the trends in this field:

General Background Check Statistics

  • The total number of assaults that resulted in injuries and illnesses in 2019 was 20,870, which increased from the 2017 total of 18,400. (National Safety Council*, 2019) 
  • Last year, the FBI processed 39.7 million firearm background checks, a 40% increase over the previous year. (KGW, 2020) 
  • 95% of employers conducted employment background screening in 2018. (NAPBS Survey, 2018) 
  • Background checks generally include seven years of criminal and judicial records but can go back further depending on compliance laws and searches. (Goodhire, 2020)
  • One in three Americans, or around 70 to 100 million, have criminal records. (The Sentencing Project, 2022) 
  • Over half of Americans, or 42.6 million, admit to having lied on their resume at least once. (StandOut CV, 2022) 
  • Those working in manufacturing are most likely to lie (72%), followed by healthcare (62%), and arts and creative positions (63%). (StandOut CV, 2022) 
  • Three in ten, or 30%, weren’t caught on their lies. (StandOut CV, 2022) 
  • Of the 61% of discrepancies detected via background checks, 87% were within employment and academic verifications. (First Advantage, 2022) 
  • Most discrepancies appear in manufacturing, staffing, and business services. (First Advantage, 2022) 
  • 11.2% of employment discrepancies and 8.6% of education discrepancies are due to incorrect dates. (First Advantage, 2022)

Background Checks: Current Trends

  • A criminal record affects nearly 70 million people or roughly one out of three American adults. (CNN, 2021) 
  • 46% of reference and credential verifications indicated a discrepancy between the information given by applicants and what the screening revealed. (AccuSource, 2023) 
  • More than a third of driving record checks revealed one or more violations or convictions. (Oregon.gov, 2021) 
  • Approximately 6% of criminal history background checks found a criminal record in the previous seven years (out of the 1.7 million checks performed). (Urban.org, 2017) 
  • In 2018, how long are potential workers in the United States prepared to wait for a firm that has issued a job offer to complete its background check procedure before moving on to another opportunity? (Statista, 2018)
Characteristic18-34 years old35-44 years old45-54 years oldOver 55 years oldTotal
1 week to less than 10 days37%43%42% 41%41%
10 days to less than 2 weeks23%25%19% 21%22%
2 weeks or more21%23%19%17%20%
  • Ilinois, Kentucky, and Texas hold the position as the top three most diligent states with criminal background checks. (Statista, 2020) 
  • Nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction: 30% of those who use marijuana have a marijuana use disorder, 15 million have an alcohol use disorder, 5 million regularly use cocaine, and 0.3% of all Americans are heroin users. (Addictioncenter, 2021)  
  • Organizations with reported substance use and abuse have higher turnover and absence rates. (AspenRidgeRecoveryCenters, 2020) 
  • Workers with substance use disorders miss two more weeks of work annually than their peers. . (Nsc.org)
  • 38% of companies perform background checks to help minimize the risk of future criminal activity, 27% to fulfill regulatory compliance, 17% to ensure the applicants have the right skills for the job, and 6% to protect their brand reputation. (First Advantage, 2022) 
  • Over half of the organizations say speed is the most crucial factor in a background check program, 33% say it is risk mitigation, and 14% choose it according to cost. (First Advantage, 2022) 
  • 38% of companies screen their applicants more strictly because of today’s recruiting challenges. (First Advantage, 2022)

Theft Statistics

  • 75% of employees have stolen from their company at least once. (Forbes, 2018) 
  • Employees account for 90% of all significant theft losses. (Willis North America, 2016 
  • Before stealing from their workplace, 40% of employees had experienced HR red flags. (SHRM, 2019) 
  • Businesses lose $50 billion each year as a result of employee theft. (CNBC, 2017)
background check statistics
  • 34% of fraud cases in small organizations are related to employees. (Verizon, 2022) 
  • 22% of small business owners have had workers steal from them. (Business, 2021) 
  • Most workers steal money, food and drink, clothing, time, office supplies, and electronics. (Business, 2021) 
  • 39% of employees conceal thefts by creating fraudulent physical documents, 32% by altering physical documents, 28% by creating fraudulent electronic documents, 25% by changing electronic records, and 23% by destroying or withholding physical documents. (ACFE, 2022) 
  • 68% of organizations say they experienced an increased risk of employee fraud after COVID-19. (PwC, 2022) 
  • Each year, employee theft costs American businesses almost $50 billion. It works up to nearly $137 million every day. Companies are thought to lose 20% of every dollar to worker fraud and theft. (ACFE, 2022)

Demographics of Employee Theft

  • Men conduct 72% of all occupational fraud. (ACFE, 2020) 
  • The median age of employees found guilty of committing occupational theft is 48. (Hiscox, 2017)
  • Managers committed 39% of occupational fraud cases, staff members 37%, executives/owners 23%, and others 2%. (ACFE, 2022)
  • Employees in their twenties or thirties typically carry out insider assaults in finance or insurance. (Carnegie, 2018)

Employee Theft in the Top Industries

  • Insider assaults are most common in the banking, insurance, and healthcare industries. (Carnegie, 2018) 
  • Finance and insurance organizations are most commonly victimized, followed by healthcare and information technology. (Carnegie, 2018) 
  • The perpetrators of 84% of events in healthcare are motivated by the desire for financial gain. (Carnegie, 2018) 
  • Employee theft incidents cost retailers three times more than shoplifting incidents. (NRF, 2021) 
  • The top five industries for workplace theft in 2022 were banking and financial services (median loss of $100,000), government and public administration (median loss of $150,000), manufacturing (median loss of $177,000), healthcare (median loss of $100,000), and energy (median loss of $100,000). (ACFE, 2022)

Conclusion

These background check statistics show a rising trend; because remote work is now more attainable than ever, some employers and recruiters are placing even greater emphasis on completing background checks and following up with employees’ references. By doing so, they are making sure that they can stay on top of the company’s safety.

*We’re using an archived version of the page as the source.

Written by Shortlister Editorial Team

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