The Competition for Talent

By Michael Klazema on 5/1/2019
The United States unemployment rate, as for March 2019, was tracking at 3.8 percent. For comparison’s sake, the unemployment rate at the peak of the recent “Great Recession” was 10.0 percent, in March 2009. While some experts are forecasting another economic downturn for the not-so-distant future, we are, for now at least, experiencing a booming economy and job market. The situation has created a scarcity of talent in many industries, driving organizations to consider new and innovative strategies to attract candidates to fill jobs. If your business is among those facing a challenge to source top-quality talent right now, it’s vital not to forget the importance of a crucial hiring step: talent background checks.

The current economic situation has created a wealth of opportunities for professionals, who are enjoying a job seeker’s market. There are currently high-demand positions or job types in virtually every field. Healthcare, in particular, is desperate for talent, with Registered Nurses, personal care aides, and home health aides all among the job market’s most in-demand workers. However, shortages also exist in technology (software developers are heavily in-demand), across the skilled trades (including truck drivers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and more), and beyond.

Because there are such shortages of talent in these and other job sectors, some employers might feel inclined to hire the people they can find, no questions asked. There is a line of thinking at the moment along the lines of “If we don’t hire this person quickly, someone else will.” While this competitive atmosphere is no illusion—employers really are racing to make the best job offers to top candidates—it shouldn’t be used as a reason to skip due diligence.

On the contrary, talent background checks need to remain a part of the hiring process—even for highly in-demand professionals. Consider heathcare. Nurses, personal care aides, and home health aides have positions of high responsibility and importance. Their actions directly impact the safety and wellbeing of their patients. These professionals also regularly have access to patient files, sensitive information, medications, and more. Thorough background checks—including criminal history searches, alias checks, drug testing, credit history checks, and verifications for education, employment history, and professional licensing—are an important means of protecting patients. Background checks can also shield the employer from negligent hiring claims and other forms of liability.

Talent background checks can also improve the chances of an employer getting the full “return-on-investment” of hiring a new employee. While there is no agreed-upon statistic for how much it costs to recruit, hire, and onboard a new employee, there is at least a consensus about it being an expensive proposition. Forbes, for instance, says the minimum cost of bringing in a new hire is six months of the position’s wage. For higher-level positions, the cost of a new appointment can be up to two years of the salary. These costs are made up of various expenses, including recruiting costs, lost productivity, training for the new employee, and payouts of obligations such as extra vacation time or sick leave for outgoing employees. By helping businesses avoid bad hires, talent background checks can help make sure that these expenses are at least going toward onboarding valuable, long-term employees.

At, we can help you put together a talent background check strategy that makes sense for your organization and the position or positions. Contact us today for help tailoring a solution to suit your business.
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  • June 04 A Seattle ordinance now prohibits landlords from running criminal background checks on prospective tenants. Landlords are fighting back with a lawsuit against the city.
  • May 30 Following a medical professional’s arrest for several alleged violations, authorities in Florida discovered that he had already lost his license to practice in another state for similar acts.
  • May 29 Thorough background checks can be expensive, but they provide protection and peace of mind that far outweigh the cost.
  • May 28 North Carolina legislators are insisting on an investigation of the U.S. Census Bureau’s hiring practices after the Bureau hired a registered sex offender to lead its Charlotte office.
  • May 23 With legal cannabis coming soon in Maine, legislators have voiced concerns about past convictions holding back citizens. Two proposed solutions are now in committee.
  • May 22

    How accurate are background checks? The question is complicated, with factors from geography to timing coming into play. At, our US OneSEARCH background check scours databases that compile information from multiple counties and states throughout the country.

  • May 21 A bill currently awaiting the governor’s signature in Florida would institute new regulations for the state’s cosmetic surgery industry. Since 2008, 13 patients have died in botched surgeries at four South Florida clinics run by convicted felons.
  • May 16 Following the passing of a new federal law, daycare providers in North Dakota found themselves constrained and struggling to meet demand. In response, the state has streamlined its process.
  • May 14

    After dismissing several black workers at an Illinois distribution center, Walmart is facing EEOC complaints that claim its background check policies have a disparate impact on minorities.


  • May 10 The experiences of our clients in the medical space show how businesses in the medical field rely on to protect the sense of trust that defines their missions and models.