Blog

 
     

Survey Shows That Majority of Employers Are Using Criminal Checks, Drug Screenings

By Michael Klazema on 8/8/2017
Most employers are conducting criminal background checks on candidates, and most have implemented drug testing procedures. These findings and others were recorded in a recent Employers Resource Association survey.

The ERA is an organization that provides employers with resources on “HR advice, training, compensation data, legal updates, news, and information.” As the ERA explained, the survey looked broadly at recruiting and hiring processes rather than focusing exclusively on background checks. The most common type of pre-employment check remains the criminal history background check. Per the ERA survey, 91% of employers use background checks as a standard part of their hiring processes.

While background checks have the widest adoption rate among employers, drug tests were not far behind with 72% of all survey respondents reporting that they run drug tests on new hires.

That finding runs counter to a 2015 Washington Post article in which a headline proclaimed, “Companies drug test a lot less than they used to – because it doesn’t really work.” That piece detailed the decline of drug testing in the workplace, citing American Management Association studies to back up its claims. The cited studies illustrated a spike of employment drug testing from the late 80s to the mid-90s. In 1987, only 21% of employers were testing their workers. By 1996, the percentage had jumped to 81%, but it dropped down to 62% by 2004.

A 2011 study from the Society of Human Resources Management aimed to confirm that downward trend, noting that only 57% of survey respondents were running drug tests on their job applicants. If the ERA’s numbers are accurate and representative of the overall business population, drug screening may be on the upward swing once more.

The ERA survey found that less than a quarter of employers were spending time or money on things like personality tests (22%) and credit checks (20%). As coverage has explained, a growing number of cities and states do not allow employers to legally request or check a candidate’s credit history, a fact that some experts link with the drop in employer adoption. Per business owners, the EEOC is picky when it comes to credit checks, pushing back against their use when financial history is not strictly relevant to the job at hand.



Sources:

http://www.hrxperts.org/pdf/emailUpdates/recruiting-and-hiring-practices.pdf

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/survey-says-almost-all-employers-use-background-checks-and-other-notes-pre

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/10/companies-drug-test-a-lot-less-than-they-used-to-because-it-doesnt-really-work/?utm_term=.b862e3daf176

https://www.shrm.org/about-shrm/press-room/press-releases/pages/drugtestingefficacypoll.aspx
Industry News

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 20 The #MeToo movement is bringing about legislative changes employers need to know about. We review some of the laws recently passed in California.
  • November 19

    Will a criminal conviction show up on your background check forever? In most states, there is a year limit for how long background check companies can report older criminal information.


  • November 15

    Replacing an inconsistent array of procedures, Ontario's government has passed into law a reform act intended to clarify how police departments should handle requests for information to be used in background checks. 


  • November 14 The federal government has vowed to cut its backlog of security clearance background checks in half by spring. Currently, the backlog is approximately 600,000 names strong.
  • November 12 To ensure the best hires, DFWSPF has implemented a stringent employee screening process—one that includes background searches through backgroundchecks.com.