We are pleased to see yet another poll supporting criminal backgrounds checks. The latest survey was reported by reported by KOAM-TV (CBS) in Joplin, Missouri.  Sterling Talent Solutions released the results of a survey on employment background checks which overwhelmingly demonstrates that the vast majority of Americans support and expect employers to conduct regular background checks on prospective employees. 

Among the findings is that:

  • 95% of Americans think background checks should be mandatory to determine whether a person has a criminal background before he or she takes on the responsibilities of a job.
  • 81% of Americans believe that feeling safe at all times is their right and the workplace is one of the top two locations where they expect to feel safe. Safety pervades the top-five topics survey respondents identified as “most important to be discussed in the presidential debates this year.
  • 68% of Americans surveyed indicated that they are willing to undergo background checks themselves demonstrating that it is not just something they believe should be in place for others.
  • 78% expect to feel safe at their workplace, second only to their doctor’s office (83%).
  • 65% believe that background checks provide them with a sense of safety in the workplace.

The poll, one of the largest of its kind among the U.S. population on the subject of background screening, was commissioned by Sterling and conducted by Kelton Global, a leading global insights firm which works with more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations.

In 2014, CDIA conducted a poll with GFK Roper to measure the public’s attitude towards criminal background checks in the workplace. In that poll, we asked people if employers should be able to review a conviction history of a job applicant before making a hiring decision.  In response, 91% of people surveyed thought an employer should be able to sometimes view a conviction and 75% said always.

We also asked people what they would do if they were an employer, how influential would certain types of criminal history be to them as employers. 93% of people, standing in the shoes of an employer, felt that a violent felony conviction would influence an employment decision.  86% felt that way for non-violent felonies, 87% for violent misdemeanors, and 72% for non-violent misdemeanors.

We asked how influential would certain criminal events be to an employer when deciding whether or not to extend a job offer to someone based on their criminal background check. The responses showed that consumers also take a balanced view of the issue of criminal background checks because 90% of people felt that the conviction’s relevance to the position would influence an employment decision.  92% also felt the length of time between the conviction and the application would influence an employment decision and 83% felt the age of the applicant at the time of the arrest would also influence an employment decision.

79% of people said that they, as employees would feel safer working for an employer that conducts a criminal history background check on its employees. 79% said that they, as consumers, would you feel dealing with an employer that conducts a criminal history background check on its employees.