Study: Employment Pre-Screening a Growing Trend

June 9, 2006 ( - The Spherion Emerging Workforce Study, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that an increasing number of employers are turning to prescreening tools and assessment programs to help streamline the hiring process.

Sixty percent of companies have increased their use of assessments in the past five years, and around half (51%) increased their use of prescreening programs in the same time period, Spherion said in a news release.

Screening and assessment methods used and the percentage of survey respondents reporting their use is as follows:

  • Any Screening – 93%
  • Background Checks – 79%
  • Prescreening Programs – 57%
  • Skills Testing – 56%
  • Behavioral Interviewing – 54%
  • Drug Tests – 50%
  • Behavioral Assessments – 34%
  • Credit Checks – 33%

According to the study, larger organizations, particularly those that employ HR best practices, are more likely to utilize screening and assessment solutions; 66% of larger companies ($1 billion or more in annual revenue) have increased their use of screening and testing over the past five years, compared to only 39% of smaller organizations ($500 million or less in revenue). These large organizations are generally less inclined than smaller organizations to feel they interview too many people, according to the news release.

Smaller organizations generally interview more people for open positions than do larger organizations; 27% of smaller companies interview 10 or more people on average for an open position compared to only 14% of larger companies. Smaller companies are also more likely to report that their recruiters and hiring managers have to interview too many people in order to find qualified candidates.

“Our study found that 68% of employers mention an item related to recruitment as one of their top HR concerns,” said Roy Krause, president and CEO of Spherion, in the release. “Therefore, we’re not surprised to find an increasing number of organizations seeking more efficient, economical solutions to identify top talent quickly and more accurately. Utilizing screening and assessment programs appears to be a growing trend among organizations seeking to efficiently capture an increasingly scarce commodity and avoid costly bad hires.”

More about the Emerging Workforce Study is here .