SHRM Background Check Survey Finds Nearly 70 Percent of Organizations Conduct Criminal Checks on All Job Candidates

Nearly seven out of ten organizations – 69 percent – conduct criminal background checks on all of their job candidates while 18 percent conduct criminal checks on select job candidates and 14 percent do not conduct criminal checks on any job candidates, according to a new survey titled ‘Background Checking—The Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions’ from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The survey from SHRM, the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, is available at: http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/CriminalBackgroundCheck.aspx.

Other key findings of the survey, which was conducted between December 2011 and February 2012 and consisted of a sample composed of 544 randomly selected HR professionals from SHRM’s membership, include:

  • When do organizations initiate criminal background checks? Among organizations that conduct criminal background checks, 62 percent initiate criminal background checks after a contingent job offer and 32 percent initiate them after the a job interview. Only 4 percent of organizations initiate criminal background checks before a job interview.
  • Why do organizations conduct criminal background checks? 52 percent of organizations conduct criminal checks on job candidates to reduce legal liability for negligent hiring while 49 percent conducted them to ensure a safe work environment for employees.
  • What type of criminal activity could influence the decision not to hire a particular job candidate? 96 percent of organizations say that they are influenced not to hire convicted violent felons while 74 percent say they are influenced by non-violent felony convictions.
  • Which category of job candidates did organizations conduct criminal background checks on? 69 percent of organizations conduct criminal checks on job candidates for positions with fiduciary and financial responsibilities and 66 percent conduct them on job candidates who will have access to highly confidential employee information.
  • Do organizations allow job candidates to explain the results of their criminal background checks? 58 percent of organizations allow job candidates to explain the results of their criminal checks before the decision to hire or not to hire is made while 27 percent allow job candidates to explain the results after the decision is made.                                                 

In addition, the SHRM survey found that larger organizations are more likely to conduct criminal background checks for all job candidates than smaller organizations:

  • 83 percent of organizations with 2,500 to 24,999 employees conducted criminal background checks for all job candidates.
  • 69 percent of organizations with 100 to 499 employees conducted criminal background checks for all job candidates.
  • 48 percent of organizations with 1 to 99 employees conducted criminal background checks for all job candidates.

The figures from this latest survey from SHRM differ slightly from an earlier survey. As previously reported on the ESR News blog, a 2010 SHRM survey found nearly three out of four organizations – 73 percent – conducted criminal background checks on all job candidates while 19 percent conducted them on select candidates and 7 percent did not conduct any. For more information about SHRM, visit: http://www.shrm.org/ .

For information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at http://www.esrcheck.com/ or call 415.898.0044.

Sources:
http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/CriminalBackgroundCheck.aspx
http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2010/03/23/shrm-surveys-reveal-3-out-of-4-businesses-conduct-reference-background-checks-and-criminal-background-checks/

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– provides accurate and actionable information, empowering employers to make informed safe hiring decisions for the benefit for our clients, their employees, and the public. ESR literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percentage of screening firms. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about Employment Screening Resources (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com/, call 415.898.0044 or 888.999.4474 (Toll Free), or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

About ESR News:

The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com.