Whenever you attempt something, there’s a chance you may succeed and a chance you may fail. Think about flipping a coin—with all else being equal, there’s always a 50% chance that you get each side of the coin. However, when you’re thinking about something with a lot more input, like a background check, the percentage of something happening may be significantly different.
Rather than thinking in sheer probability, situations wherein certain outcomes can depend on skill may use a hit rate instead. Essentially, this is the percent of the time where a specific outcome is achieved. However, that outcome may be desired or undesired. The hit rate just has to do with how often that outcome is the truth.
Originally, the term “hit rate” came from the business world. It had to do with how often someone converted a sale; if someone was able to make one sale for every four calls they made, they would have a 25% hit rate. However, in the world of personal record searches, a hit rate is about how often an undesired response comes up on a background check. For example, if you ran 10 background checks and all but one of them came back with a completely clean record, you would have a 10% hit rate.
Not necessarily. Just because you get a hit on a record doesn’t necessarily mean you need to toss out the whole resume. A “hit” means that the person in question doesn’t have a 100% clean record. That’s all it means—it doesn’t say anything about the seriousness of the hit and it doesn’t say anything about whether it’s something you’re looking for specifically.
For example, if you’re hiring a chauffeur, you probably won’t care if the person was arrested one time 10 years ago for public drunkenness, but you probably will care if they were arrested a year ago for a DUI. Automated processes can be helpful in the background checking process, but they’re not perfect, so it’s always important to go over the hits yourself to see if they’re important.
A typical hit rate is about 25%, which means that an astonishing one in four people on average will have a hit on their background or criminal record. However, it’s still important to keep in mind that these things don’t necessarily restrict a person from every opportunity. These types of organizations may need to learn about hit rates for their specific industry:
Essentially, no matter what industry you’re in, it’s a good idea to get a handle on hit rates and how that impacts your business. After all, chances are that you’re going to want to do background checks on new clients, and understanding those hits can be important.
When you’re running a background check, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little bit more information on top of whatever you already have. More information is always good, especially in the world of background checks. That’s where Enformion can come into play. After you run a background check elsewhere, consider running one with Enformion to get even more information.