By Roma Blackham, Marketing —
Everyone wants to work in a safe environment—after all, it is a place where many of us spend a lot of our time. One of the biggest determining factors of how safe employees feel depends on with whom they work. Because of this, and among other reasons, employers usually screen prospective employees before hiring, conducting background checks, and so forth.
Screening for Crime
While most Americans approve the use of background checks in the hiring process, many are beginning to question whether they are as useful as they seem. Background checks dig into the past, bringing up any felonies, misdemeanors, arrests, or DUIs. Admittedly, this is important for some employers to know when the crime specifically relates to the job performance.
The Problem with the System
Background checks are important, and even mandatory, to qualify for some jobs. Forty-three percent of employers reportedly run background checks on applicants. For many of these employers, if they find a prospective employee with criminal record, they immediately disqualify the applicant from being seriously considered. Sadly, according to the Department of Justice, 60–75 percent of former inmates are not able to get a job a year after release. This inability to obtain a job may add to the reason why so many return to crime—about half of released inmates are re-arrested. These survey results reveal a problem within the system, a problem that may only worsen as increasingly more employers rely on background checks and too-quickly disqualify those with a criminal record.
Some states such as California have recognized this problem and have banned employers from asking about certain criminal history. In these states, there has been no reported increase in workplace-related crime.
An Alternative to Background Checks
Employers still want to provide a safe workplace for their employees, but a background check may not be the best way to weed out dishonest applicants. EyeDetect is a nonintrusive method to screen job applicants to determine trustworthiness, regardless of past crimes.