Compliance and Protection Top Employers' List of Concerns in EmployeeScreenIQ 6th Annual Background Screening Trends Survey

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The survey's 2015 results examine employers' response to "ban the box" laws and self-disclosure of criminal records, the use of social media screening and the impact of marijuana legalization

Employers say the single most important employment screening-related challenge they face in 2015 is compliance with ever-changing laws

Employers say the single most important employment screening-related challenge they face in 2015 is compliance with ever-changing laws, and the primary reason they conduct background checks is to protect their clients and customers. These are just two of the dozens of findings provided by EmployeeScreenIQ's new report, Employment Screening 2015: Background Screening Trends & Practices, which summarizes the results of the company's sixth annual survey of U.S.-based employers.

The new survey and report examine how employers manage the process of background checks, how they respond to adverse findings on these checks, and their opinions and practices regarding Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) responsibilities, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and evolving "ban the box" legislation.

Among the top findings in the 2015 report:

  •     46% of participants said the primary reason they conduct background checks is to protect their clients and customers; 32% cited workplace safety as their primary concern; and 30% cited identifying the best candidates.
  •     Asked to rank the employment screening challenges their companies will face this year in order of importance, participants ranked compliance as their single most important challenge by a wide margin. Their top three responses: compliance (51%); using the most comprehensive criminal record search (14%); improving the candidate experience (11%).
  •     More than half of respondents (53%) indicated that their companies continue to ask candidates to self-disclose criminal histories on employment applications despite the EEOC's guidance against this practice--and despite a growing number of state and municipal "ban the box" laws.
  •     Some four out of 10 participants (37%) said their organizations conduct online media searches as a means of screening candidates in the hiring process, with LinkedIn (77%) by far the most popular site used in these searches.
  •     If marijuana use were to become legal in their state, more than half (54%) of survey participants said their organizations would continue their drug testing programs. However, only 2% said they would discontinue their drug testing programs and just 10% said they would overlook past convictions for minor marijuana offenses.

More than 500 individuals participated in this year's survey, representing well over two-dozen industries including technology, banking, healthcare, government/military, manufacturing, and professional services. Participants also represented a wide range of functional areas and management levels front-line managers all the way to the c-suite. Their candid feedback is detailed in the new report, which is available for complimentary download here.

"Once again, this year's survey report provides a fascinating and educational cross-section of insights from professionals across the country," said Nick Fishman, chief marketing officer of EmployeeScreenIQ. "The findings show that employers continue to conduct background screenings for a number of sound reasons but their overall approach to the process isn't always as sound--or as legally compliant--as they should be. As always, the report is an interesting read for anyone in the HR, staffing and talent management disciplines, and it has become the benchmark many employers use to evaluate their background screening policies and practices."

To download a copy of the survey, visit:

About EmployeeScreenIQ
EmployeeScreenIQ helps employers make smart hiring decisions. We do this through a comprehensive suite of employment background screening services including the industry's most thorough and accurate criminal background checks, resume verification services and substance abuse screening. EmployeeScreenIQ is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction earned by less than two percent of all employment screening companies. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Nick Fishman, EmployeeScreenIQ
(847) 564-5410

Jackie Jusko
HRmarketer for EmployeeScreenIQ
(415) 460-9984

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