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Pre-employment Screening Becomes More Complex

April 28 2008 - The Background Screening division of Kroll, a leading risk consulting firm, has released its annual Hit Ratio Report revealing that employment screening criminal record convictions are continuing on an upward trend:

  • 8.5 % in 2005
  • 9.1% in 2006, and
  • 9.5% in 2007

Kroll's report reveals that construction, automotive and retail industry sectors had the highest criminal record hit ratios, while education had the lowest.

According to Michael Rosen, president of Kroll's Background Screening division:

"Background screening is as important as ever, as evidenced by the trifecta effect of 1) the U.S. job market becoming more competitive for positions, 2) a need to fill positions as quickly as possible, and 3) an increasing trend in criminal hit ratios."

Michael Rosen considers that pre-employment screening is becoming more complex as companies look to overseas job markets. "It is now common for a job applicant to have been raised in Japan, educated in the UK and now seeking employment in the U.S."

"As a result, employers are carefully vetting candidates for entry level, senior management, and positions in between," he said. "Employers are recognizing that screening job candidates at all levels is more complex and vital to the well-being of the organization."

Other findings in the report include:

  • Industry trends originally revealed in last year's report continue to gain ground:
    • Food services criminal red flags grew from 12.1% to 13.4%
    • Manufacturing criminal red flags grew from 11.6% in 2006 to 12.6% in 2007
  • Employers are conducting more thorough, multi-jurisdictional background checks on the individuals they hire; and>/li>
  • Employers are screening a greater population of their staff, as well as temporary employees, vendors, and consultants.

Michael Rosen added, "With data security and identity theft top of mind these days, it is especially important to conduct thorough background checks on employees with access to sensitive personal data."

Rosen cites two examples where Kroll's Fraud Solution's practice helped employers after workers who had not undergone background checks caused data breaches for the organizations:

  • Two employees at an auto dealership copied credit applications, then sold the copies to a number of drug rings. The data breach came to light when law enforcement seized a methamphetamine lab. Hundreds of applications were found along with new driver's licenses for the stolen identities. Kroll's investigation subsequently showed that both employees had prior criminal records and drug charges.
  • In the second example, an accounting firm recruited an employee without knowing about an overseas criminal record. The employee set up expense accounts for employees who did not exist, using the fictitious identities to charge in excess of $250,000 worth of goods and services over a period of two years.

The full 2007 Hit Ratio Report and Industry Analysis can be viewed at:

www.kroll.com/about/library/hit_ratio.


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