How Background Checks are Like Groundhog Day


How Background Checks are Like Groundhog Day

“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

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    Thomas Ahearn - News Editor & Social Media Manager

    Thomas Ahearn is our News Blog Editor and Social Media Manager. Our News Blog provides information about the background check industry to employers, HR professionals, recruiters, and consumers. ClearStar's News covers a variety of topics including Ban the Box, credit reports, criminal records, data breaches, drug testing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), E-Verify, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), HR technology, identity theft and fraud, jobs reports, lawsuits involving screening, Millennial workforce, privacy issues, social media background checks, and workplace violence.

    At ClearStar, we are committed to your success. An important part of your employment screening program involves compliance with various laws and regulations, which is why we are providing information regarding screening requirements in certain countries, region, etc. While we are happy to provide you with this information, it is your responsibility to comply with applicable laws and to understand how such information pertains to your employment screening program. The foregoing information is not offered as legal advice but is instead offered for informational purposes. ClearStar is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice and this communication does not form an attorney client relationship. The foregoing information is therefore not intended as a substitute for the legal advice of a lawyer knowledgeable of the user’s individual circumstances or to provide legal advice. ClearStar makes no assurances regarding the accuracy, completeness, or utility of the information contained in this publication. Legislative, regulatory and case law developments regularly impact on general research and this area is evolving rapidly. ClearStar expressly disclaim any warranties or responsibility or damages associated with or arising out of the information provided herein.



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