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.
- 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.