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Hiring Managers Often Overlook Indiscretions

deception . / Credit: Liar Image via Shutterstock

Having a criminal record or lying on a résumé aren't quite the hiring deal breakers you might think, new research shows.

A study by background-check provider EmployeeScreenIQ revealed that more than 70 percent of businesses said less than 5 percent of candidates with criminal records are not hired due to their indiscretions.

The research found that employers factor in a number of considerations when deciding whether to hire a candidate with a criminal past, including the age and severity of the records, whether the person is a repeat offender and the relevance of the record to the job opening.

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Overall, felony convictions for violent crimes were the most likely infractions to disqualify a candidate, while misdemeanor convictions for drug- and alcohol-related offenses were the least likely to prevent a candidate from being hired.

The study shows some employers are rewarding job seekers who are up-front about their colorful past. More than half of those surveyed are more inclined to hire a candidate who discloses a criminal conviction prior to a background check. However, most businesses report that criminal convictions are openly reported by less than 5 percent of job seekers.

More and more employers are also looking beyond résumé lies. Although employers estimate that 60 percent of job candidates distort or exaggerate information on their résumés, more than half of those surveyed said less than 15 percent of job candidates are rejected due to such distortions.

According to the researchers, résumé distortion, much like criminal convictions, appear to be viewed as just a single component of the larger “candidate snapshot” that must be taken into consideration.

"The overarching takeaway is that employers seem to be screening and hiring in a responsible, acceptable and compliant fashion," says Nick Fishman, chief marketing officer of EmployeeScreenIQ.

The research also refutes the common perception that employers spend their time pouring over the online activities of workers and potential new hires, with more than 60 percent of employers saying they never review sites such as Facebook and Twitter as part of the background check process.

The study was based on surveys of nearly 1,000 human-resources professionals representing a range of U.S. organizations.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+. This story was originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.