News & Resources

Majority of jobseekers turning against screening practices

Feb 21, 2011 Matt Roesly

Background screening is becoming increasingly common in employment, but the majority of jobseekers are not happy about it. According to Employment Screening Resources, 53.5 percent of consumers are against employer practices of screening credit reports. Meanwhile, only 38.3 percent of consumers are OK with having their financial backgrounds researched. The other 8.2 percent were non-committal about the practice. The survey, which was conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management, found that only 13 percent of employers use credit screening practices, while 47 percent selectively check financial records if the potential employee is being considered for a sensitive position. “The survey may have been much more useful if the question would have clarified that a person’s credit score is NOT used for employment,” ESR founder and president Attorney Lester Rosen, commented. “Most consumers do not realize that when used for employment, there is a special version of the credit report that does NOT have information such as the applicant’s age or credit score.” Currently, only four states have laws on the books preventing employers from screening one's financial history. In 2010, Illinois passed the Employee Credit Privacy Act, which prevents employers from gaining access to consumer credit reports in hiring, except in special circumstances.