“Groundhog Day” is a tradition – some say superstition – observed in the United States every year on February 2 where legend maintains that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this date and sees its shadow, winter will last for six more weeks, and if it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive early.
The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where each year a mythical but also very much alive groundhog named “Punxsutawney Phil” is summoned to come out and either see or not see his shadow. In other words, the groundhog is asked to predict the future.
In a somewhat similar way, background checks are an attempt by employers to predict the future of how job candidates will behave in their workplaces by examining their pasts through criminal record checks, education and employment verifications, reference checks, driving history, and drug tests.
Background checks are widely utilized by employers. A survey released in 2021 by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) – a non-profit trade group representing background screening firms worldwide – found 93 percent of organizations reported that they conducted background checks.
While background checks – like groundhogs – are not perfect about predicting the future, they can be a valuable tool that businesses can use to help try to ensure safe workplaces for employers, employees, and the general public. And they can be used on every day of the year and not just on February 2.
ClearStar – a Hanover Investors portfolio company – is a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology-based services specializing in background, credit, and medical screening. To learn more about ClearStar, please visit www.clearstar.net.