Shedding light on our latest Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Survey.
By Elliot Clark 
Elizabeth Boudrie, our V.P. of research and the executive director of our new HRO Today Institute, and I have to admit that we are both gratified and a bit tired. HRO Today has just completed its largest customer satisfaction survey ever of HR practitioners in assessing the service providers in employment screening. We received 752 surveys on 23 providers.
It demonstrates two important things to HRO Today. The first is how important our work is to the practitioner community. We cannot thank all of you enough for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback to your colleagues. We also recognize you do it because you find HRO Today Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Surveys valuable to have for your own information and for the procurement and benchmarking processes. Secondly, it highlights the importance of pre-employment screening as a growing area of service and an increasingly necessary and important tool in the hiring process.
It is all too fitting and proper (and darned ironic) that we should be checking references and screening screeners. It seems like poetic justice in a way, but we have to really respect the intensity of this technologically sophisticated and relatively young branch of the HR hiring infrastructure. Certainly, the process of checking references is ancient.
Background checking companies have long existed, going back decades to when executives were subject to private investigation companies digging into their experience as part of the hiring process. Today, one of the providers can do much of this work in less than an hour using online technology. They can collate it and upload into the talent management suite of the hiring company and update the specific record as new information arises. They can specifically target information on criminal, credit, and employment history on a candidate at a local, national or international level and, often, you can order this directly on screen through the candidate record if they are partnered with your talent management suite provider. The level and the depth of information available would likely make George Orwell squeamish, but risks—from embezzlement to workplace violence—auger better screening for criminal information.
As for the arguments for employment screening, they are simple and so pressing as to be irrefutable. The cost of a bad hire today is astronomical. Tenure has continued to shrink. I have repeated the mantra that I have been told now by hundreds of HR executives around the globe that they are concerned about the availability and quality of talent in the “pool.”
If, indeed, the pool is getting shallow and we already know tenure is getting shorter, what does that mean for hiring? It means that you get someone with a very short ramp to deploy them and get them productive and recoup the cost of hire and training. If the hire is unsuccessful, the cost of starting over is prohibitive.
These demographic and business reasons, coupled with technology driving the cost of individual assessments down, is leading to an explosion in the use of pre-employment assessment. This also is leading the formation of new companies in the United States, European Union, and the Asia-Pacific region. In managing the survey, we recognized that the market is becoming segmented based on the size of clients and the complexity of the programs based on the different types of screenings clients are requiring the providers to offer. As a result, we changed the weightings of the indices.
The overall score includes a weighting based on the breadth of service provided and the size of deal managed (as expressed in number of transactions performed). This methodology is consistent with the weightings we use in our other HRO Today Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
Some companies did not make the list this year due to an insufficient survey sample. And there was some turnover of companies from las year’s list that did not make this year’s list in this considerably competitive marketplace. Once again, thank you all and we hope this information will help you in your future “screenings.”

Tags: Contributors, Screening & Selection, Talent Acquisition

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