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Widespread confusion about handling applicants’ criminal history, survey finds

October 24 2013

The vast majority of American executives believe their companies comply with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, but most still ask job applicants about criminal history in applications, according to the first annual Human Resources Compliance Survey conducted by human capital due diligence firm PeopleG2.

Although 94 percent of those surveyed said they believe their companies are compliant with EEOC guidelines, 72 percent ask job applicants about criminal history in applications despite 2012 EEOC guidelines designed to reverse the procedure.

“Most companies are still unaware that questions about criminal history on job applications can be discriminatory and that communication about criminal history should arise as an open dialog much later in the decision-making stage of hiring,” said Chris Dyer, PeopleG2’s founder and CEO.

Additional survey findings:

  • 72 percent said their company actively uses criminal background checks when hiring
  • 74 percent said their company asks job applicants if they have a criminal history at some point during the application process
  • 79 percent said their company’s application process allow for an explanation of any criminal history
  • 94 percent said they believe their company is compliant with current EEOC guidelines
  • 80 percent said they believe EEOC guidelines are fair to their job candidates
  • 63 percent said they believe EEOC guidelines are fair to their employer

The online survey was conducted in September and included 1,493 U.S. human resources executives who work for companies with 25,000 or more employees worldwide. 

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