A new survey finds an overwhelmingly large percentage of the public not only favors background checks, but thinks they should be mandatory.

The study was commissioned by Sterling Talent Solutions, the entity created from the recent acquisition by SterlingBackcheck of EmployeeScreenIQ.

According to the survey, 95% of respondents think it should be mandatory to determine whether a person has a criminal background before he or she takes on the responsibilities of a job. In addition, mandatory background checks are considered “necessary” for workers who take the lives of others in their hands such as airline pilots (66%), those who prescribe medication (63%), those who represent people in legal matters (56%) and those employed to drive or chauffeur others (44%).

The survey noted that 78% expect to feel safe at their workplace, second only to their doctor’s office (83%). 65% believe that background checks provide them with a sense of safety. And 84% believe that the safety provided by employment background checks is more important than an applicant’s right to refuse a background check.

Also, 81% of respondents believe that feeling safe at all times is a right — not merely a privilege, and 52% would be more inclined to support a company that conducts employment background checks.

More than one-third (37%) of respondents said they’d be willing to give up use of their smartphones for one year to ensure their safety.

Regarding privacy, just 14% of respondents believe that background checks are an invasion of privacy.

When asked where they expect to feel safe, 78% of survey participants cited the workplace as their number two response, topped only by their doctor’s office (83%). Clearly, this expectation is one of the main reasons nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents think employers should investigate a job applicant’s criminal background before making a hiring decision. Indeed, when asked to rank the qualifications employers should investigate when considering a job applicant, respondents put “criminal background” (71%) and “legal right to work in the U.S.” (69%) well above “experience” (57%) and “references” (53%).

The overwhelming majority of survey participants (95%) think it should be mandatory that employers determine whether job candidates have a criminal record before making a hiring decision. And virtually half (49%) think a criminal record is grounds for denial of employment. Other top reasons to deny employment include not having a legal right to work in the U.S., a history of fraud (66%), a history of sexual harassment (65%) and a lack of the appropriate professional license (59%). Infractions such as inappropriate images or posts on social media (29%), DUI (20%) and poor credit (9%) were not nearly so troublesome to respondents. While many respondents believe that this type of adverse information should be grounds to deny employment, it’s crucial that employers determine whether any such negative findings have a direct bearing on a candidate’s ability to perform the functions of the specific job they for which she/he is being considered.

The survey is at: http://info.sterlingbackcheck.com/l/34062/2016-06-17/6ms9n3