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Publication date: 6 November 2018

David McElhattan

Criminal background checks are used widely in the U.S. to screen applicants for employment, licenses, housing, and government benefits. State lawmakers instituted many of…

Abstract

Criminal background checks are used widely in the U.S. to screen applicants for employment, licenses, housing, and government benefits. State lawmakers instituted many of these requirements, ostensibly with the aim of managing criminal risk in various areas of social life. The present study examines the development of this legal form. Drawing from legislative discourse in the Illinois General Assembly, this study puts forward an endogenous account of constructing criminal risk, showing that lawmakers justified new background check laws largely as a means of filling security loopholes created by prior legislation. While the laws respond to identified criminal risks, the process of expanding background checks itself draws attention to other dimensions of vulnerability, necessitating the addition of new screening requirements. Incremental expansions are further justified on the basis of background screening’s low cost, which, lawmakers argue, creates an obligation to extend the requirements wherever vulnerabilities are identified, particularly when children are potential victims and sex offenders the possible villains. The study shows how security and vulnerability are mutually generative in the area of background screening and discusses implications for understanding this legal form in the context of contemporary American penality.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Rex M. Edwards and Brian H. Kleiner

Cites that rapid changes in legislation have put special importance on the careful and effective performance of reference checking. Gives some brief statistics from a…

Abstract

Cites that rapid changes in legislation have put special importance on the careful and effective performance of reference checking. Gives some brief statistics from a survey into this subject. Discusses negligent hiring lawsuits and the requirements for such a valid claim. Provides a list of documents which would help employers defend such a claim. Covers the background check and the type of investigation which may be undertaken before looking at the reference check including how to make contact, what to ask for in references, the documentation of such checks, and alternatives to inhouse checking.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 44 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2000

Susanne C. Doty‐Navarro and Brian H. Kleiner

States the importance of referencing and background checks despite the acknowledged difficulties within the procedure. Refers to research showing many employers give…

Abstract

States the importance of referencing and background checks despite the acknowledged difficulties within the procedure. Refers to research showing many employers give minimal information on reference request for fear of incurring legal repercussions. Provides guidelines to the procedure to help the future employer. Considers the need for personal and academic references and credit reports. Gives suggestions for the correct response to the former employer to minimize legal recourse.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 23 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2010

Richard G. Brody

The purpose of this paper is to explore the various methods available when conducting a pre‐employment screening investigation in attempt to hire honest employees, those…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the various methods available when conducting a pre‐employment screening investigation in attempt to hire honest employees, those less likely to commit fraud against their organization. While many companies perform the most basic type of background check, this paper suggests that companies need to go beyond the basics when hiring its employees.

Design/methodology/approach

By reviewing the existing literature and conducting interviews with experts in the area of background investigation services, the paper makes suggestions for companies to follow.

Findings

Merely relying on the most basic background check may lead to the hiring of the wrong employee, one likely to commit fraud. Companies should consider performing other screening techniques before hiring an employee.

Practical implications

Background checks have become a widely‐recognized method of pre‐employment screening. However, these checks are just one part of the employee selection process and companies should understand both the practical and legal implications of conducting additional testing.

Originality/value

The guidance provided in this paper will aid companies in the pre‐employment selection process. Both basic and more advanced techniques are discussed and companies can choose any or all of the recommended methods.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2021

Md Sajjad Hosain, Ping Liu and Mohitul Ameen Ahmed Mustafi

The purpose of this empirical paper is to identify the role of social networking information (SNI) on job candidates' pre-employment background checking (PBC) process. SNI…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this empirical paper is to identify the role of social networking information (SNI) on job candidates' pre-employment background checking (PBC) process. SNI was further divided into three elements: perceived availability of information (PAI), perceived accuracy of information (PACI) and perceived reliability of information (PRI). In addition, the authors employed two mediating variables: perceived benefit (PB) and organizational branding (OB) to study the influence of each element of SNI on PBC.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used primary data collected from a valid sample of 465 using a structured questionnaire survey selected through purposive sampling. For descriptive analysis, SPSS 24 and for testing the hypothesized relationships, structural equation modeling technique (with AMOS 24) were utilized.

Findings

The results indicated that only PAI had strong positive influence on PBC. The other two independent variables: PACI and PRI had insignificant positive influence on PBC. In case of mediators, OB was found to partially mediate the relationship between PAI and PBC while it did not mediate two other direct relationships. Further, PB did not mediate any relationship at all.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is expected to be useful for the academicians involved in investigating the role of SNI on PBC as a lucrative research topic.

Practical implications

The hiring professionals can utilize the findings of this primary research as the guidelines for formulating effective social media background checking policies.

Originality/value

Using SNI for different HRM practices is comparatively new but a growing practice. However, the empirical investigation covering this area is almost absent in academia. This paper as one of the very initial attempts to reveal the role of SNI on PBC can fill that severe gap to some extent and guide future research attempts. Furthermore, the HR professionals are expected to be benefitted from the empirical results in formulating and implementing an effective media policy that will help them in utilizing the SNI in an efficient and rightful manner.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Frank J. Cavico and Bahaudin Mujtaba

While the words diversity, disparate impact, and discrimination are commonly read and heard by working adults and professionals, they can at times be confusing and fearful…

Abstract

Purpose

While the words diversity, disparate impact, and discrimination are commonly read and heard by working adults and professionals, they can at times be confusing and fearful to some managers. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of a specific aspect of US civil rights laws – the disparate impact theory. The authors provide an analysis based on the statute, case law interpreting, and applying the statute, administrative guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as legal and management commentary. The paper illustrates the requirements of a plaintiff employee’s initial case based on the disparate impact theory. The challenging causation component which requires some degree of statistical evidence is given particular attention. Limitations to the paper are stated at the beginning; and recommendations to managers are explored and provided toward the end of the paper.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a legal paper which covers all the laws related to discrimination based on disparate impact and disparate treatment theories. Actual court cases up until this month and Americans laws related to this concept are reviewed and critically discussed.

Findings

The salient feature of disparate impact is that this legal theory allows a plaintiff job applicant or employee to sustain a case of illegal discrimination without providing any evidence of a discriminatory motive. As opposed to the disparate treatment liability is imposed based on disproportionate adverse results and not discriminatory intent.

Research limitations/implications

This paper deals with the disparate impact theory pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. However, it must be pointed out that the disparate impact theory is also applicable to claims arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Since the focus of this paper is Title VII federal and state constitutional issues, such as the applicability of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause that may arise in disparate impact cases involving government entities will not be addressed.

Practical implications

Managers and employees can protect themselves in the workplace from illegal discriminatory practices. Initially, employers and managers must be aware of the distinction between a disparate impact case and a disparate treatment case with the latter requiring evidence of intentional discrimination. Evidence, of course, can be direct or circumstantial or inferential. Whereas in a disparate impact case there is no intentional discrimination; and as such proof of discriminatory intent is not required. Rather, the employee has to present evidence that the employer’s neutral on-its-face employment policy or practice caused an adverse disproportionate impact on the employee as a member of a protected class.

Social implications

Human resources professionals and managers must become educated in diversity laws in order to provide an inclusive workplace for all employees and candidates. Employers have legitimate areas of concern in hiring and promoting employees; and the courts are cognizant of employer responsibilities; and thus the employers must be able to show how specific knowledge, skills, education, training, backgrounds, as well as height, weight, strength, and dexterity are legitimate qualifications that directly relate to successful job performance.

Originality/value

This is an original paper by the authors.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2019

Kristine M. Kuhn

The purpose of this paper is to explore variation in the responses of human resource practitioners and managers to criminal offenses.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore variation in the responses of human resource practitioners and managers to criminal offenses.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper considers background checks as a personnel selection test. In the first study, 280 professionals with hiring experience indicate how various criminal offenses, described as having occurred either within the past year or several years ago, would affect their evaluation of an applicant for a call center position. In the second study, a separate sample of 109 practitioners evaluates criminal as well as non-criminal transgressions that might appear on a background report.

Findings

In Study 1, both the apparent seriousness of an offense and its recency influence modal responses. Even non-violent misdemeanors from several years ago, however, are judged as automatically disqualifying by some participants. Study 2 shows that a practitioner’s attitude toward criminal offenses is distinct from their attitude to related forms of stigma. Results from both studies find associations between demographic variables and general willingness to accept applicants with criminal records.

Originality/value

This work provides quantitative data on practitioner reactions to several specific criminal offenses for a specific job context. By considering differences among offenses and among gatekeepers, rather than among applicants, it identifies challenges to fair implementation of background checks during the hiring process.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2019

Peace Kumah, Winfred Yaokumah and Eric Saviour Aryee Okai

This study aims to develop a conceptual model and assess the extent to which pre-, during- and post-employment HR security controls are applied in organizations to manage…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a conceptual model and assess the extent to which pre-, during- and post-employment HR security controls are applied in organizations to manage information security risks.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual model is developed based on the agency theory and the review of theoretical, empirical and practitioner literature. Following, empirical data are collected through a survey from 134 IT professionals, internal audit personnel and HR managers working within five major industry sectors in a developing country to test the organizational differences in pre-, during- and post-employment HR security measures.

Findings

Using analysis of variance, the findings reveal significant differences among the organizations. Financial institutions perform better in employee background checks, terms and conditions of employment, management responsibilities, security education, training and awareness and disciplinary process. Conversely, healthcare institutions outperform other organizations in post-employment security management. The government public institutions perform the worst among all the organizations.

Originality/value

An integration of a conceptual model with HR security controls is an area that is under-researched and under-reported in information security and human resource management literature. Accordingly, this research on HR security management contributes to reducing such a gap and adds to the existing HR security risk management literature. It, thereby, provides an opportunity for researchers to conduct comparative studies between developed and developing nations or to benchmark a specific organization’s HR security management.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

Charles Cresson Wood

Suggests a policy for checking the backgrounds of employees incomputer‐related positions of trust, including examination of anycriminal records, lawsuit records, credit…

Abstract

Suggests a policy for checking the backgrounds of employees in computer‐related positions of trust, including examination of any criminal records, lawsuit records, credit bureau records and previous employment.

Details

Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 3 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-5227

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Agnes Lam and Brian H. Kleiner

Discusses the need for criminal checks to be done on prospective employees, providing examples of negligent recruitment. Outlines the reasons for such a policy before…

Abstract

Discusses the need for criminal checks to be done on prospective employees, providing examples of negligent recruitment. Outlines the reasons for such a policy before considering the difficulties involved. Provides recommendations for companies, including a written recruitment policy. Investigates the merits of in‐house security departments and security consultant services. Concludes that the initial expense can easily be outweighed by potential theft, fraud and legislative costs.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 43 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

Keywords

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