According to a new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), ‘Background Checking—The Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions,’ 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.
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:
- 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.
- 52 percent of organizations conduct criminal background checks on job candidates to reduce legal liability for negligent hiring while 49 percent conducted them to ensure a safe work environment for employees.
- 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.
- 69 percent of organizations conduct criminal background 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.
- 58 percent of organizations allow job candidates to explain the results of their criminal background 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 conduct criminal background checks for all job candidates.
- 69 percent of organizations with 100 to 499 employees conduct criminal background checks for all job candidates.
- 48 percent of organizations with 1 to 99 employees conduct criminal background checks for all job candidates.
The figures from this latest survey from SHRM differ from an earlier survey. 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.
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 here: ‘Background Checking—The Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions.’