Background Checks Increasing

Not just big employers anymore but even small companies now are opting for background checks on prospective and existing employees, for driving, credit, as well as criminal records in order to make sure they aren’t hiring people who could be a liability risk.

Overall 96% of employers conduct background checks as of 2005, up from 66% in 1996, about the time, there was a rash of workplace violence.

Big companies are running background checks on 99% of their people while smaller companies are already up to 92%. Criminal records checks make up 87% of background checks. A rapidly growing sector of background checks is credit. Motor vehicle/driving and military discharge are also growing in popularity. Having a clean credit report is now more important for job seekers than ever. 61% of companies are running credit background checks.

The phenomenal growth in employer background checks has raised much debate regarding privacy rights. One of the major issues is accuracy. Some people have been devastated over the loss of a job. Unfortunately, for the employees the courts have tended to favor the employer in the interest of insuring workplace safety.

Most of the big growth in company background checks has occurred after 9-11.

Sex offender checks are growing in demand. Walmart has been running criminal background checks on all workers since 2004, following a big lawsuit. A minor was fondled by a Walmart employee, who had 2 prior convictions.

Most employers ask the job applicant’s permission to run criminal background checks on them, but if one declines, they won’t be hired.

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