Employees and Criminal Records

Employees and criminal records. We often get asked “what kind of things do you find when conducting pre-employment screening?” This is usually followed up by “how many of the employees that you screen actually have criminal records?”

Simply put, most employees and potential hires are not criminals and usually the amount of criminal records we locate depends on the employer we are working for and the industry the employee is in.

A quick sample of the last 100 or so employees that we screened shows a variety of charges that are pretty consistent with what we have seen over the many years we have been doing this. Charges of drunk driving, driving while license suspended, drug offenses, assault and retail theft are almost always the most common. These are usually followed by domestic violence, larceny, check fraud and burglary.

It is almost impossible to put an overall percentage on the amount of applicants and employees have criminal records because of the variety of the jobs these people apply for and geographic location where they live. For a particular client who supplies workers for manual labor jobs, it is not untypical to have 25%-30% percent of their applicants turn out to have some type of crime on their record. It should be noted that most of these crimes are misdemeanors.

It is however unfortunate that we rarely see people with more serious offenses applying for jobs. Those with sex offenses and violent crimes on their records are not often seen, which is scary to think because they are becoming employed, which means that they are working for companies who do not conduct background investigations at all. A lot of the time, these individuals seek out these companies because they don’t have to fear the background screening process in order to become employed.