2012 has been a good year for us, and we hope that it has been so for you too. We would like to thank you all for accompanying us on this interesting journey and we look forward to having you in the coming years too. As a tribute to this year, we have summed up the five most interesting trends witnessed in 2012.
- Increased EEOC Scrutiny of Criminal Background Checks: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidelines for the first time in 20 years. The new guidelines have become effective as of September 2012 and provide stringent regulations to adhere to while conducting criminal background checks for employees.
- Social Media Background Checks Became More Popular and Notorious: Social media is used to stay connected with friends, as a marketing tool and also for pre-employment background screening. The important factor to keep in mind is that this medium is both private and public and it has delicate boundaries. Employers should tread this path carefully. State governments have intervened and prohibited employers in California from asking for their employees’ social media passwords.
- Credit Reports Often Used in Pre-employment Screening: A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 13% of businesses checked a potential employee’s credit score, and 47% of businesses ordered credit reporting as part of a pre-employment background screening process. This has come into EEOC’s attention and states like Oregon have banned the usage of credit reports for background screening. Other states like California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington have laws that limit the use of credit reports. This trend is expected to spread to other states also.
- Conducting Background Checks for Existing Employees: We all know the importance of conducting pre-employment background checks. This year we saw a lot of employers conduct post-employment checks. This trend makes sure that our client’s employees are still as efficient as they were when hired. This is especially of importance in the healthcare sector.
- Conducting Self Background Checks: Most companies conduct pre-employment background checks and if a candidate has an issue with it, he/she stands the chance of missing out on the job. The trend for individuals to proactively engage a professional company to conduct such background checks for themselves has been increasing. A lot of applicants also provided results of such checks to potential employers. This trend has been received well, as long as the report is genuine and collated by an accredited professional background check company.
We anticipate a closer watch from EEOC in 2013 to ensure all background checks are fair and in compliance with the new regulations. Also, the use of social media in background checks will continue to increase in the coming years. However there will be more formal guidelines both from government agencies and employers so that personal boundaries are maintained.