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Credit Reports: What Are They Good for? Absolutely Nothing

Credit scores are being used to assesss job candidate character, but some HR professionals find them pointless for most jobs.

Credit scores are being used to assess job candidates, but some HR professionals find them pointless.

Unless the job involves managing money or investments, a credit check won’t tell a recruiter anything worthwhile about a candidate. That’s the opinion of Kris Dunn, a human-resources expert and founder of the recruiter blog, Fistful of Talent.

For most jobs, a criminal background check is all a recruiter needs to vet a job applicant.

The simple truth is there’s really no clean way to judge the information you get back.  Criminal is much easier – you have a felony, most companies say no until you get way down the food chain of jobs.  However, even criminal backgrounds get HR pros in a sea of gray – there’s always the stray misdemeanor that comes back that says the candidate might have an issue with anger management.  Misdemeanors are left to a judgment call, so you interview the perp and try and sort out the truth…

About 40 percent of companies claim to check candidate credit reports, according to a 2004 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

(Image by jo.yvonne via Flickr CC 3.0)

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