Study: Americans overwhelming support employment background checks

2016 Sterling Talent Solutions Survey, the largest survey ever conducted among the American population on the subject of employment background checks, provided valuable insights into what employees really think about employment background checks. Employers, take note. The survey data makes it abundantly clear that the American public believes it is the responsibility of employers to take every measure necessary to protect their workplace and their employees – including background checks. There were five particularly interesting results in the survey that we’d like to highlight, each of which is a strong reason in itself for why employees see background checks as a critical component of all businesses.

1. 95% of respondents think criminal background checks should be mandatory for employment

A whopping 95% of the 1,077 respondants from the survey think it should be mandatory to determine whether a person has a criminal background before he or she takes on the responsibilities of a job. There’s no ambiguity here – almost everyone, from your employees to your family to your competitors, believe background checks are an integral part of the hiring process. In addition, mandatory background checks are considered “necessary” for workers who take the lives of others in their hands such as airline pilots (66%), those who prescribe medication (63%), those who represent people in legal matters (56%) and those employed to drive or chauffeur others (44%).

2. 78% believe it is their right to feel safe at their workplace

The belief that citizens have the right to feel safe at the workplace came second only to the belief that they have the right to feel safe at the doctor’s office (83%). 65% believe that background checks provide them with a sense of safety.

3. 52% would be more inclined to support a company that conducts employment background checks

In addition to 52% of respondants being more inclined to support a company that conducts employment background checks, 56% would feel safer interacting with employees at a company that conducts background checks.

4. 84% believe safety is more important than the loss of privacy that results from background checks

The media has written extensively about whether public safety precautions (such as more intensive airport security checks, metal detectors in schools and the like) are reasonable measures or invasions of our privacy. There are strong opinions on both sides of this debate — and no easy answers. However, when it comes to the workplace, the data is clear: the safety that background checks offer supersedes the loss of privacy that they entail.

5. 16% are willing to give up half their salary in order to feel safe at work

Astoundingly, 172 (16%) respondants were even willing to give up half their salary to ensure workplace safety. Similarly, 28% were willing to give up all of their vacation hours and 37% were willing to give up their smartphone. Given the survey’s overall findings, it’s quite clear that the vast majority of Americans support thorough employment background checks. And they support employers who make background checks a part of their hiring process. The survey was conducted between Dec. 28, 2015, and Jan. 11, 2016, among 1,077 Americans, 18 years of age and older, who are statistically representative of the national population.  The survey’s margin of error is equal to +/- 3.0%.]]>

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