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Let’s Be Honest: Does Industry Matter In Pre-Employment Screening?

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As is true with most business-to-business service providers, background screening providers often highlight specific industries with accompanying claims of being particularly well-poised to provide solutions to them.

Some providers focus on the healthcare industry; others focus on HR staffing, and so on.

While certainly a marketing strategy for CRAs, the question remains: does the employer’s specific industry really matter when it comes to providing background screening solutions?

Well, the answer is yes and no. Let’s explain.

Is the Data Different?

The specific screening program that best aids an organization will likely experience variability and nuance across industries. A solution for educators will often vary from a solution for construction workers. A solution for healthcare professionals will often vary from a solution for business professionals.

For example, a medical staffer hiring physicians will often opt to do an in-depth search of medical exclusions lists and a formal license verification; they may also focus more heavily on professional and personal references than, say, a hiring manager for a construction company. The background solution for a medical professional will likely have components fairly unique to the industry as well as more depth and detail.

Thus, screening solutions between industries can be quite different at a high level.

That being said, are the solutions entirely unique from industry to industry? Does a criminal background check on a healthcare provider require access to different data than a criminal background check on a school teacher? Largely, no.

Generally, the same databases, courthouses, data verifiers, authorization methods, and processes are used to screen workers across industries. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for screening products and packages to be completely identical between two companies in entirely different industries. It mainly depends on the needs of the employer.

It’s More About the Solution Than the Industry

To be candid, the industry is less relevant to a screening provider than the breadth of the solution.

Often, a specific industry will require a certain breadth of solutions. For example, the DOT will often regulate industries that fall under their jurisdiction. Thus, a provider with the appropriate means and experience to accommodate that need would be a better fit for that specific industry than a company without DOT screening experience. However, many organizations that aren’t specifically regulated by the DOT may need many of the same services as a company that has DOT requirements.

Another example would be executive screening. Executive leadership screening often includes credit components, drug testing, civil searches, employment verifications, degree verifications, etc. Thus, a CRA with experience in those things would be the best fit for an organization needing executive screening. However, financial screening, drug testing, and civil searches are common across all industries.

The Human and Tech Systems Component

There is an important part of the equation apart from solutions alone.

Different industries have different personnel structures and can utilize vastly different systems for applicant tracking and onboarding. Therefore, screening providers with more focused experience with these nuances may offer slightly better efficiency overall. They may be more used to working and communicating with users and points of contact occupying specific seats within the organization, creating a more acute awareness of their needs. They may also have more comprehensive integrations with an organization’s internal systems.

However, as a full-service screening provider with nearly 20 years in the industry, we have worked with organizations of all shapes and sizes across almost every industry. We can safely say, from experience, that this isn’t as big of a factor as it may seem. 

The same processes, protocols, and communication methods used by a screening provider for one industry are often wholly transferable to another with no issue. It’s likely that an experienced, reliable screening provider that has never earned a government contract would be completely able to meet and exceed all the expectations of a government organization, provided they are fluent in providing all the required solutions.

If the customer service infrastructure is in place and integration capabilities are in place, the ability to fulfill a contract well isn’t often too affected by industry.


The truth is that a screening provider’s expertise in providing a certain set of solutions (i.e., drug testing, health screening, criminal screening, verifications, etc.) is often way more relevant than their expertise at servicing a certain industry. This is also true with their customer service, technology, and compliance.

If a provider is reliable and experienced in all things background screening, their reliability and expertise are often applicable to all industries. In short, if an organization has a choice between two screening providers, one that seems more compliant and responsive and another that appears less reliable overall but touts more industry-specific experience, Peopletrail would recommend the first almost every time.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information, visit us online.

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