Top Takeaways from Cisive’s Healthcare Talent Screening Benchmark Report


After more than two years spent in a global pandemic, healthcare employers have had to adapt how they attract, hire, screen, and onboard new talent.

Cisive, PreCheck’s parent company, conducted an industry benchmark study that asked human resources, talent acquisition, compliance, recruitment, and operations professionals in the healthcare industry how their policies and procedures changed as a result.

Many employers had to quickly pivot in the early days of the pandemic to support a newly dispersed workforce, some of whom were working remotely from home for the first time in their careers. Companies that may have previously had no work from home policies had to establish them quickly, while also facing a steep learning curve for how to translate in-person processes like interviewing, hiring, and onboarding into virtual communication.

But healthcare workers, who cannot all work remotely, have been on the frontlines facing COVID-19. The healthcare industry was facing staffing shortages before COVID-19. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1.1 million Registered Nurses (RNs) are needed to replace retiring nurses and overcome the nursing shortage. The nursing shortage has been caused by:

  • higher demand due to an aging general population;
  • an aging nursing population reaching retirement;
  • an aging educator population leading to staffing shortages for nursing programs; and
  • stresses of the job, exacerbated by the pandemic.

The 51-question survey asked more than 150 organizations about how their workforce practices have changed, how they handle background checks and screenings, the systems they have in place, and what challenges they expect in the coming months.

Here are a few interesting findings from our survey:

  • Undisclosed criminal convictions (50%) and driver motor vehicle records (34%) were the two most common discrepancies uncovered from background screening by healthcare organizations.
  • 38% of healthcare employers introduced new background checks in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, and the same percentage either introduced a screening program or an ongoing monitoring program for employees.
  • 57% of healthcare companies recruit internationally, while 50% consider finding qualified job candidates as the top talent acquisition challenge.

The survey also found that despite the unpredictability of the pandemic, most healthcare organizations continued their talent acquisition efforts at normal levels while some even increased recruitment efforts during 2020 and beyond. As the healthcare industry incorporates remote work in the evolving workplace, more than one-third of employers introduced new background screening components during the pandemic.

The report's findings also articulate how screening practices are evolving. For example, most of the background checks introduced in 2020 by healthcare employers consisted of ongoing monitoring (19%) or rescreening (18%) programs. A growing number of healthcare organizations prefer post-hire screening programs of every two years (29%) and annually (15%), although time of hire only remains the most common frequency of background screening (39%).

For more insights into the healthcare industry and how its policies and procedures changed as a result of the pandemic, download Cisive’s healthcare benchmark white paper. The report also provides context for what we learned, as well as recommendations for organizations who want to build the safest and most effective workforce possible.