National Survey Shows Americans Deeply in Favor of Pre-Employment Screening

The word “safe” has many meanings and can vary per person and the surrounding environment. Feeling safe is to feel secure, protected from or not exposed to danger or risk and out of harm’s way. We all strive to be safe. We drive safely, keep our family out of harm’s way (such as baby proofing a home) and follow safety instructions. Safety in this time of uncertainty is paramount. Workplace safety procedures are necessary for the well-being of both employers and employees.

So, what are Americans saying about pre-employment screening as a safety precaution in the workplace and what does this mean for your organization’s screening program? Read what a national survey from our parent company Sterling Talent Solutions found out.

Promoting Safety by Conducting Pre-Employment Screening

Sterling recently surveyed 500+ US-based employers in 33 industries about their use of pre-employment screening to gain key insights into emerging trends, technology and more. The 2017 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report uncovers details how HR professionals think about components of the hiring process and how they relate to the background screening industry, how emerging technology is impacting the candidate experience and emerging trends in pre-employment screening. The premise behind their 2017 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report was to take the pulse of how companies are using pre-employment screening as part of their hiring process.

A majority of survey respondents (89%) do currently conduct pre-employment checks while 11% do not perform these checks. For those companies who are part of the 89% who currently conduct pre-employment screening, the top four reasons for performing these checks are:

  • To protect clients and customers
  • To enhance workplace safety
  • To identify the best candidates
  • It is mandated by law

According to our survey, approximately 80% of the respondents said that pre-employment checks uncover issues/information that wouldn’t’ have been found otherwise. Therefore, overall employers are finding employment checks worth their time. As the demand for more information about candidates continues to rise, employers are finding strong value in the content of the results they receive.


Support for Pre-Employment Screening

For nearly half of all survey respondents (45%), the primary reason they believe pre-employment screening checks are important to their organization is to protect their clients or customers. Interestingly, only a handful of organizations are conducting pre-employment screening to enhance workplace safety (15%) and to protect their employees primarily (7%). Job candidates need to know the importance placed on safety in the workplace for both the customer and the employee. This increased transparency should help a candidate and employees know that employers value their safety and continue to help build the company brand and help with recruiting efforts.

There is a contrast to how employers are using pre-employment screening compared to how Americans feel about it. According to the 2016 Sterling Talent Solutions Employment Background Check: Survey of American Citizens Report, 78% of Americans surveyed expect to feel safe at their workplace while 81% believed that feeling safe is a right, not merely a privilege. A majority of survey respondents believed that pre-employment screening provides them with a sense of safety, while 59% believed it is essential to safety. In contracts, just 14% believed that pre-employment checks are an invasion of privacy.

The vast majority of Americans support thorough pre-employment screening checks. They support employers who make pre-employment checks a part of their hiring process for the following reasons:

  • They believe these employers are taking steps that are crucial to safeguarding their workers
  • Pre-employment checks help to put employees at ease in the workplace, which in turn impacts their positivity, focus, productivity, engagement and loyalty levels
  • Pre-employment checks also give customers the peace of mind they expect and that will earn their long-term loyalty

For employers, these survey findings validate the use of sound pre-employment screening practices.

Negative Behaviors Affect Safety in the Workplace

Finding the perfect candidate can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. For many employers, it’s tempting to hire people without performing due diligence (but we’ve seen time and again how that works out for the employer) or pre-employment checks on the applicant. Yet, what happens if the job candidates turn out to be different from what you originally thought during the interview and hiring process? It is essential that you identify a bad hire before she or he becomes your new hire and could impact the safety of the workplace. The impact of one bad hire can spread through the entire company and leave behind harmful consequences to the company’s reputation, employee morale and even financial assets.

Determine the Value of Pre-Employment Screening

While pre-employment screening is becoming more common, screening practices and policies vary across organizations. Each company can create their screening policies and programs based on their individual needs. Some may require just simple employment verifications or reference checks while others might include a criminal background check, education verifications, credit history, social media checks and drug and health screenings.

Companies who have not implemented a rigorous pre-employment screening program should take an in-depth look at their business’ safety needs to determine the value they would receive from implementing such a program. From identifying the best candidates to maintaining compliance, it’s good to get a plan in place to understand the reasons pre-employment screening matters to you, your organization and your employees.*

*This blog originally appeared on our parent company Sterling Talent Solutions’ website