In a survey conducted by background check company EmployeeScreenIQ, more than 500 employers were asked about their attitudes and actions regarding a wide range of employee screening issues. The survey also revealed thoughts about resume falsification, how hiring managers view the social media profiles of potential candidates, and how they screen contractors as well as corporate suite executives.
Employment background checks can be a legal and procedural minefield, with many employers not knowing current laws regarding adverse action letters, check boxes for criminal convictions, and more.
“Some don’t understand compliance,” says Nick Fishman, EmployeeScreenIQ cofounder and executive vice president. “The survey allows us to analyze what others are doing.”
This is the sixth year for the survey, and EmployeeScreenIQ drew from a vast well of 60,000 human resources professionals on its internal lists, as well as gleaning data from email campaigns.
“We have a good cross-section of attitudes and opinions about relevant screening specs, with a focus on trends,” Fishman says.
The survey, conducted online in January and February, provides information about how employers use background checks, how they respond to negative information on background checks, their main concerns regarding candidate screening, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Equal Opportunity Commission practices, and their practices in regards to “ban the box” legislation.
Key findings of the latest survey show the importance of protecting both clients and customers, the challenges of compliance, persistent requests for self-disclosure (despite Equal Opportunity Commission guidelines to the contrary), the prevalence of employers wanting to know upfront any potential problems that could be revealed through the screening process, the importance of applicants having the chance to explain themselves, and the fact that, increasingly, employers look beyond criminal records.
The survey also shows that good compliance in other areas breeds good compliance in the realm of candidate screening.
“It’s a finger on the pulse,” says Jackie Jusko, a consultant who works with EmployeeScreenIQ.
It certainly pays for all companies to keep on top of the most current laws and regulations relating to employee screening, because high legal bills could be the price to pay for lack of knowledge in this area.
“We’ve been seeing lots of litigation regarding background screening,” says Angela Preston, EmployeeScreenIQ vice president of compliance and general counsel. “There’s a lot of action about the adverse action process and state laws about ban the box.”
“This is proving to be a very successful program,” she says, adding that it allows the entire industry to see what other HR professionals are thinking.
“It’s complex,” says Fishman of the employee screening process and its myriad of ever-changing rules. “Compliance is a full-contact sport.”