3/6/2012 Background Survey: Qualifications Are More Important Than Criminal Record (TLNT.com)

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Backgroundchecks

Source: TLNT.com

When it comes to background screening, employers need to continue to “thread the needle.”

That’s the analysis from the 2012 employer survey byEmployeeScreenIQ (the Cleveland-based employee screening company), titled Threading the Needle: Employment Background Screening in an Age of Increased Litigation & Legislation. The research gives a pretty good picture of what employers are thinking about, and, what concerns them now and in the not-too-distant future.

Here are the some of the key findings, with analysis from the survey:

  • It’s not a big surprise that 99 percent of those polled are concerned about felony convictions on a candidate’s arrest record. However, 63 percent also say they would also be concerned by misdemeanor convictions, and 30 percent express concern about infractions. “While employers are interested in felonies for obvious reasons of safety and security, participants’ comments reveal the reason they are interested in misdemeanors: they’re searching for patterns and/or frequency of troubling behaviors related to the jobs they are filling.”
  • Some 68 percent of respondents estimate that 10 percent or less of their job candidates have criminal records. But, “this finding diverges significantly from EmployeeScreenIQ’s 13-year experience working with employers across the globe, who collectively averaged a 23 percent criminal conviction rate in 2011. We believe this discrepancy is largely a result of a misperception on the part of employers about the screening methods and depth of information offered by their screening providers.”
  • A large majority of respondents (72 percent) say that qualifications are more important than a criminal record. ”In fact, this sentiment is borne out in a number of areas within the survey results, including participants’ comments.”
  • Candidates are not hired because of their criminal records less than 10 percent of the time, according to 70 percent of respondents. ”Again, this supports employers’ claims that an applicant’s qualifications, references and interviewing skills are ultimately more important than a criminal history.”
  • A vast majority of respondents estimate that up to 40 percent of candidates distort or exaggerate information on their resumes. And “83 percent of respondents say that fabricating educational qualifications is the most egregious resume distortion.”
  • Employers are split in their feelings regarding their use of social networking websites as part of the background screening process. Slightly less than half (48 percent) of respondents consult these sites as part of their screening process (only 9 percent say they always consult this sites), while 52 percent say they never do. “Despite the potential they might hold, social networking websites are not yet widely accepted as trusted background-checking resource. We anticipate that the trend of those who utilize these sites as a screening tool will only increase in the coming years.”

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