Survey Says: What Types of Criminal Records Disqualify Job Candidates?
March 25, 2013
Earlier this month, we released our official 2013 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey report. The report includes findings from nearly 1,000 HR professionals in various industries across the United States, who responded to our survey on employee background checks at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.
Among this year’s key findings were the types of criminal records found on an employment background check that would disqualify a candidate from employment.
Given the legal and privacy issues that abound in today’s business world, employers continue to engage in a delicate balancing act—juggling the needs and protecting the interests of shareholders, partners, customers and their workforces. As we have reported in past years, criminal conduct (e.g., workplace violence, fraud, theft, sabotage of computer systems, etc.) can have profound effects on an organization’s reputation, its ability to compete for talent and its bottom line.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that respondents showed greatest concern over felony convictions related to crimes of violence, theft and dishonesty. It is worth noting, however, that their concern dropped substantially regarding drug/alcohol felony convictions. This same drop off occurred related to misdemeanor convictions, with respondents showing significantly greater concern for misdemeanor convictions regarding crimes of violence, theft and dishonesty as opposed to drug/alcohol misdemeanor convictions.
Here’s some quick advice for employers when it comes to evaluating candidates with criminal records:
- Avoid to the extent possible any automatic disqualifiers or brightline hiring decisions
- Evaluate how the negative information relates to job in which the candidate is being considered
- Consider the recency and severity of the offense and whether the person is a habitual offender
- Conduct an individual assessment which includes allowing the candidate to provide further explanation
- If you still chose not to hire the candidate, make sure to follow the proper Adverse Action procedures