SHRM Report: Use of Background Checks in Hiring

SHRM Survey Findings: BackgroundChecking—The Use of Criminal BackgroundChecks in Hiring Decisions

Do organizations conduct criminal background checks on job candidates? If they do, how often and under what circumstances?

Courtesy: 2012 backgroundcheck criminal_final from shrm

This study by the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 69 percent of companies claim to conduct criminal background checks on all of their job candidates.

  • Some key highlights:

Only 18 percent of organizations conduct criminal checks on select job candidates, while 14 percent do not conduct criminal checks on any job candidates.

When do organizations initiate criminal background checks? Among those that do criminal background checks, most only perform criminal background checks after making a job offer (62%) or after the job interview (32%).

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small amount of organizations (4%) initiate criminal background checks prior to a face-to-face job interview.

Why do organizations conduct criminal background checks? Organizations conduct criminal checks on job candidates for two reasons:

  1. To reduce legal liability for negligent hiring (52%)
  2. To ensure a safe work environment for employees (49%).

What type of criminal activity could influence the decision not to hire a particular job candidate? The top two criminal activities that influence a decision not to hire a candidate are:

  1. A convicted violent felony (96%).
  2. A convicted nonviolent felony (74%).

Do organizations allow candidates to explain the results of the criminal check?

For a majority, the answer is yes; 58 percent of organizations allow candidates to explain the circumstances of the results of their criminal checks before a decision to hire or not to hire is made; 27 percent allow job candidates to explain after the decision is made.

Background checks can be one of the simplest, and least expensive, pieces of “insurance” a company can get.

Through a hiring services provider, many businesses can call for background, criminal and even motor vehicle licence checks–thereby ensuring a hiring decision is made with all the necessary information, avoiding any nasty surprises.

For more about how background checks can be quick, easy and affordable for any sized business, visit:

Published by @philammann

Put. That coffee. Down. Writer/editor/whatever it takes. @margaretj13 is my (much) better half. Website: Email: Twitter: @PhilAmmann

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