HireRight, a leading provider of global candidate due to diligence services, has announced findings from its 2018 EMEA Employment Screening Benchmark Report. Finding, retaining and developing talent has been earmarked as a key challenge this year for more than half (52%) of EMEA businesses, according to the latest annual EMEA employment screening benchmark report from HireRight.
In this year’s survey of human resource (HR) and risk professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), employee growth emerged as one of the top priorities for EMEA businesses. 71% of companies reported that they are planning to grow their workforce in 2018, compared to 59% in 2017. Further, there has been a shift from attracting talent to retaining it, with 43% of businesses having identified maximizing employee engagement as a top talent management issue (a rise of 30% from 2017). To address this concern, half (52%) of companies report that they are investing in engagement initiatives and improving company culture.
“HR and risk departments have faced a nearly unprecedented year of change and challenge, as they tackle tightening data regulation, Brexit uncertainty, technological disruptions, and the continued move towards contingent and flexible working,” according to Steve Girdler, Managing Director of EMEA and APAC at HireRight. “Despite these changes, business confidence continues to grow, and as result hiring rates are expected to rise – in many cases, significantly.”
Verification of candidates does remain a concern for employers, however. 89% of survey respondents report that they have seen candidates misrepresenting information on CVs or job applications. In addition, over a quarter (28%) of businesses uncovered issues during screenings of senior-level staff, with 26% of businesses admitting that it’s possible that board-level staff have never had their qualifications and experience verified.
75% of organizations surveyed say they have discovered candidate history discrepancies that would have gone undiscovered without the use of background screening. Of organizations which screen, ensuring a positive candidate experience was one of the biggest issues of importance – having risen 14% in a year – with half (51%) of businesses investing into initiatives to improve this.
According to Girdler, “With corporate reputational scandals continuing to make headlines and increasing pressures of regulatory compliance, and EMEA businesses are now held to closer scrutiny than ever before. However, many continue to needlessly open themselves up to threats by not implementing simple but effective screening processes when hiring.”
“Discrepancies are continuing to be identified at all candidate levels of seniority – from entry to boardroom level. The need for employers to hire with confidence is becoming ever-more crucial to avoid business risk.”
Respondents to this year’s survey were also clearly focused on the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, which came into force on May 25th and impacts the way all EMEA businesses transfer and store data, whether they are EU-based or hire from within the EU. Over two-thirds of businesses (69%) reported that they were ready for the required changes and that they know exactly how to comply with GDPR. Still, nearly one fifth (18%) of HR and risk professionals say they don’t know how GDPR is any different from the existing Data Protection Directive.
“It’s clear that, as a result of GDPR, companies are now having to paying more attention to all aspects of data handling, including where data is stored and processed around the world,” said Girdler. “As a business, HireRight rigorously planned to be GDPR compliant – including ISO certifications, a separate data center, and updated policies – to ensure a candidate’s data is protected. These efforts and investments have put us squarely at the forefront of the screening industry in terms of embracing the drive toward transparency, accessibility and our compliance when it comes to candidate data.”