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3 min read

Top 5 Employee Background Screening Trends For 2021

background screening trends

2021 has seen the workforce shift quickly into uncharted territory, as many businesses have had to adapt to an environment filled with brand new practices and precautions. It’s also affected one of the longest-standing precautions in hiring, aka the employee background screening.

We’ve compiled a list below (in no ranked order) of the major trends already influencing background checks for companies all across the country. Get familiar with them, as their presence is only likely to grow stronger:

1. Applicant Tracking Systems

Already gaining popularity before the worldwide push to remote work, the use of applicant tracking systems has taken off in the past two years, as companies have been forced to consolidate resources & operate more efficiently, no matter how far the team may be scattered. Remote conditions aside though, an ATS-based approach still offers copious benefits to employers. Depending on the system, this technology allows you to automate much of the paperwork that used to wear Human Resources down to the ground. The hiring process is then tracked for each candidate from the first time they submit a resume or an application.

A good ATS keeps a digital record of every relevant bit of data on that candidate’s road to getting hired, and can even automate the background check process if properly linked to an external automated system. AccuSourceHR works with most of the country’s top ATS providers to ensure swift & easy integration with our own automated systems. There’s no new data to enter – within a few clicks, you can run a full employee background screening through your ATS, saving you time and labor better spent on deciding who to actually hire.

2. Trial Employment

For many offices, particularly ones that haven’t transferred their hiring process over to an ATS, trial employment and contingent job offers have been a growing trend out of necessity. The pandemic, along with its uncertain after-effects, has slowed down the retrieval of court records for many services, and a more analog hiring process requiring paperwork and in-person interviews also tends to operate slower and with more restrictions these days.

The result of that for many companies with immediate positions to fill has been to bring on the candidate anyway, on a trial basis, with a permanent job waiting for them assuming the background check comes back clean. There are enormous risks involved with this trend, of course, and those should be inspiration enough to transfer your company’s hiring process over to a quicker system, if you haven’t already.

3. Remote Screening

By this point it should be obvious, but the rise of remote work has gone hand in hand with the rise of ATS and naturally, the rise of remote background checks. When properly implemented, a remote screening process isn’t just faster, it’s also a lot more secure for both candidates and current employees.

AccuSourceHR offers SwiftHire, a powerful mobile tool designed to help you screen candidates from anywhere with full confidence. It’s flexible enough to fit your current hiring process, and simplifies every step of the background check for applicants. It also gives you full control of exactly how automated you want it all to be, along with self-payment options and customized messages to candidates. Along with SwiftID, it ensures that your mobile screening experience won’t be just like doing it in person – it’ll be far more efficient.

4. Annual Rescreening

Another ripple effect of the move to remote work is the rise of rescreening for many companies. With employees spread out, and unpredictable changes and challenges now occurring daily, many companies have opted to re-screen current employees at regular intervals – once a year being the most straightforward to enact.

Naturally, it’s a decision your employees must absolutely consent to, but by rescreening annually – which ensures all certifications remain valid, and no red flags have emerged across criminal or DMV records, you can retain a clear picture of exactly who’s working for you, even if they’re not right in front of you. Proposing this should be handled with grace, but for the right company, it’s a necessity you can’t afford to ignore.

5. More Legal Scrutiny

With the country’s focus still on getting many people back to work, the need for accuracy and consent in running any background check has never been more important. Whoever you hire, make sure they’re experts in the rapidly changing laws surrounding hiring, and trusted with delivering correct information.

Lawsuits from candidates who’ve lost jobs over identity confusion or illegal screenings have already grown in the past year, and have gotten more attention from both state and federal judges, which means bigger risks for any companies hiring. By working with trusted professionals, or by carefully reviewing your process step by step, you can help mitigate these risks and ensure a smooth ride for everyone.


The trends mentioned above are a mix of technology-based advances that were already gaining traction for their improved efficiency, and practical reactions to a new work landscape. AccuSourceHR can help your company adapt to all of them, with both the industry’s most innovative technology, and by far its most awarded customer service. Reach out today to make your employee background screening faster, safer and more accurate – three qualities that are always on-trend.