The Preying Background
January 9, 2012
Criminal record checks are high in demand for decision makers to predict future unwanted behaviors during employment screening. Employers conduct background checks on job applicants for several reasons. One reason may be to confirm their moral character. Another reason may be the desire to assess their risk of committing crimes that could cause somatic, monetary, and reputational damage to the company. Consequently, if a person has had their record expunged then it isn’t protecting the company at all, it only allows them to see what they would like. Background checks act as a filter for the ideal candidate, for companies that rely on the screening, because you can’t trust what can be hidden.
The Demand for Background Checks
The demand for Criminal Background Checks is only rising in the world around us. As thousands of jobs are applied for every day, more employers are requiring that candidates go through this extensive process. Background Checks are required for positions we may have already been promised but particularly when applying for jobs online. Although, when asked to provide history you are given the option to ignore the section if your record has been sealed or expunged. This allows a person with a record to escape the filter into the pool of hirable employees. Employers depend on background screenings to protect them from future liabilities that result from hiring ex-offenders. On the demand side, employers may be reluctant to hire workers with criminal convictions for fear that an ex-convict may harm a customer or be more likely to steal (Stoll & Bushway, 2011). Employers may place a premium on the trustworthiness of employees, especially when the ability to monitor employee performance is imperfect (Stoll & Bushway, 2011).
The Ease of Access
Consequently, background checks can be accessed by anyone using the Internet. Even though there should be more protection for a person’s record concerning their livelihood, the World Wide Web allows access to it even without your consent. A particular website I’ve found Beenverified.com, allows you to look up the history of anyone knowing their first and last name. It shows complete criminal history, bankruptcies, judgments, liens, current contact information, and billions of other records. This costs the public nothing but a minute of their time, receiving in exchange information you don’t want the world to know.
Who, What, When, and Where are Background Checks Required?
When is a background check required? What is a major alarm on a background check? Why do some jobs conduct background checks and some jobs don’t? People want answers to these questions, but don’t know who to ask. According to Allison Smith, “Jobs that put you around people in any setting and are involved in customer service don’t hire without it,” (Smith, Allison. Personal Interview. December 2011). Additionally, says Allison, “Corporations that employ large numbers of people may have an established relationship with a third-party background checking company or may even use an affiliated company for their employment screening.” Working at a small business or at a mom and pop shop is a total different ballgame than working at a major corporation. “If you get hired at a mom and pop shop they don’t take such procedures during the hiring process," (Jones, Bridgett. Personal Interview. 3 January 2012). Also concluded by Bridgett Jones, “Mom and pop shops usually hire family, or people close to family.” These are the people they trust and know what to expect from, avoiding loss and liability.
The Red Flag
Having a felony on your record is a red flag for some positions especially working in medical, corporate, or human resources positions. It shows a questionable past and presents a risk that most companies are unwilling to take (Cook, Sam. Personal...
References: STOLL, M. A., & BUSHWAY, S. D. (2008). THE EFFECT OF CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS ON HIRING EX-OFFENDERS. Criminology & Public Policy, 7(3), 371-404. doi:10.1111/j.1745-9133.2008.00516.x
BLUMSTEIN, A., & NAKAMURA, K. (2009). REDEMPTION IN THE PRESENCE OF WIDESPREAD CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS. Criminology, 47(2), 327-359. doi:10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00155.x
BUSHWAY, S. D., NIEUWBEERTA, P., & BLOKLAND, A. (2011). THE PREDICTIVE VALUE OF CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS: DO AGE AND CRIMINAL HISTORY AFFECT TIME TO REDEMPTION?. Criminology, 49(1), 27-60. doi:10.1111/j.1745-9125.2010.00217.x
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