Nearly 70 Percent of Organizations Conduct Criminal Checks on Job Applicants
Nearly seven of every ten organizations – 69 percent – conduct criminal background checks on all of their job candidates while 18 percent conduct criminal checks on select candidates and 14 percent do not conduct the check on any job candidates.
These numbers come form the results of a new survey, Background Checking—The Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions, from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
According to an article from Employment Screening Resources News, the survey was conducted between December 2011 and February 2012, and consisted of a sample of 544 randomly selected HR professionals from SHRM’s membership.
Other key survey findings, reported in the article, 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.
Also, 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.’
These results differ from a survey from 2010, which found that nearly three of every four organizations – 73 percent – conducted criminal background checks on all job candidates. In that survey, the article reports, 19 percent conducted the checks on select candidates, and 7 percent did not conduct them on any candidate.