A recent report by the Society of Human Resource Management shows that companies are not doing the same number of credit and background checks today as they were two years ago.

The Society polled almost 550 human resource professionals selected at random from among the membership. More than half of the companies reported that they currently do not use credit checks when hiring new employees. That is up by more than 10 percent  from 2010.

And the number of employers now forgoing criminal background checks has doubled, from 7 percent in 2010 to 14 percent currently.

What is happening, according to human resource professionals, is that they are reevaluating the relevance of these kinds of background checks to actual job performance, and whether they really give any reliable indication of job performance.

So, as a result, when they do conduct these checks, they are more often done now for specific types of jobs and to comply with legal regulations.  In fact, the primary reason now for doing criminal background checks during the hiring process is to comply with the law, according to those in human resources. That was the reason given in nearly one-third of the cases.

Another interesting finding of the survey was that employers are not so judgmental about a negative credit rating. It appears that it is no longer an obstacle to being hired. More than 80 percent of those responding said they had hired a person with a poor credit report.

Moreover, subjecting applicants to credit history and criminal background checks might be upsetting to the job candidate and doesn’t help the company’s reputation among job seekers either. And these kinds of checks often are not used to screen applicants – they are most usually done after a job offer has already been made.

According to recruiting specialist Charles Handler, one of the most effective ways of ferreting out people who may be unfit is through the use of integrity tests. These are questionnaires that ask the person directly or indirectly about their honesty, inquiring whether they have stolen anything, whether they have a problem with absenteeism, whether they have a drug problem, and other issues.

There is plenty of evidence showing the effectiveness of these types of tests, Handler says. And, although people are not exactly thrilled about answering such questions, they are less intrusive than the other kinds of background checks.
Here at Winston Resources, we can provide background and criminal checks, reference checks, and, if applicable license verification, a basic health screening, New York State Nursing Home Nurse Aid Registry (ASI) , EPLS Check, and an Office of Inspector General (OIG) check for either our employees that we send to your Manhattan-area company or on your own. Contact us today!

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