The report, published on Tuesday by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, also found that one in eight companies perform internet searches on candidates or review their profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
“A quick internet search together with looking at a person’s profile in Facebook, for example, can give a completely different picture than what a candidate highlights in a CV,” said the Chamber in its report.
Nearly 20 percent of respondents who don’t currently check Google or Facebook said that including such searches in the recruiting process would increase their peace of mind regarding potential new hires.
About 90 percent of companies polled reported having a specific policy regarding background checks on potential employees, with 70 percent also claiming that background checks will become more important in the recruiting process over the next five years.
Checking with references, former employers, and verifying educational history are the most common types of background checks carried out by Swedish companies, according to the survey.
Around one in three companies also look at criminal records, and about 20 percent perform drug testing or check on candidates’ credit history.
Ninety percent of companies polled also reported plans to hire more employees in the next three months, something the Chamber of Commerce takes as a sign of a healthy economy.
“That is a clear indication that the economy is still strong, especially in large metropolitan areas,” writes the Chamber.
The results come from interviews conducted with human resources managers, CEOs, or other senior managers from 366 Swedish companies between April 17th and April 30th.
Forty percent of the companies polled had between 100 and 500 employees, and about one fourth of the respondents either worked for companies with staffs numbering between 50 and 100, or more than 500 employees.
The companies were located in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, and Uppsala.