Employers are conducting fewer credit and criminal background checks on prospective employees now compared with two years ago, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.
The survey of 544 randomly selected human resource professionals from Alexandria, Va.-based SHRM's membership, found that 53% of the respondents don't use credit checks when hiring employees, SHRM said in a statement. That compares with 40% in 2010, which was the most recent survey.
Employers that do not conduct criminal background checks when hiring increased to 14% in 2012 from 7% in 2010, SHRM said Thursday.
“Human resources professionals are looking more closely at the job-relatedness of these practices,” said Mark Schmit, SHRM's vp of research, in the statement. “As a result, fewer employers are using background checks, and checks are often done for specific jobs or to comply with the law.”
Compliance with state laws was a primary reason for conducting the criminal background checks on job prospects, an 8 percentage point increase from 2010 to 28%.
But more than half of the respondents, 52%, said criminal background checks were conducted to reduce legal liability for negligent hiring, down from 55% in 2010, according to the survey.
The survey also found that an applicant's negative credit information is not a barrier to hiring, with 80% of the respondents saying they hired an individual with a poor credit report.