Recruiting & Staffing

Why You Should Hire The Applicant With a Criminal Record

By: Mariah Rogers
Aug 19, 2021 • 4 min read

Pros to Hiring The Applicant With a Criminal Record

When recruiting and hiring for your business, it’s important to choose hardworking, loyal, and reliable candidates. You want to hire employees who will be a good representation of your business – this is a goal many managers and business owners strive to achieve. Unfortunately, this can oftentimes lead to candidates with criminal records being rejected from the applicant pool. Almost one-third of the adult working population has been convicted. By not giving applicants with a criminal record a fair chance, you are decreasing a large number of qualified applicants who can be a great asset to your team.

By not looking over the applications of candidates with CORIs, hiring managers are missing out on hard-working, much-needed talent. This can lead to more limited hours of operation and a loss of profit, something establishments can’t afford to endure. In this blog, we will explore the pros of hiring the applicant with a criminal record.

criminal record

Second Chances Can Surprise You

If a candidate who has been convicted is submitting a job application in hopes of being hired, this already shows that they are willing to fully embrace a second chance at life. Getting a job will oftentimes be the first step in re-entering society after being convicted of a crime. Without a job, potential employees will not be able to pay rent, buy groceries, or have a shot at living normally. By interviewing candidates with criminal backgrounds, you are providing someone with a second chance. In return, you can be sure they will work hard and be loyal to your business.

You Could Face Legal Trouble For Discriminating Against Applicants With a Criminal Record

Have you ever heard of “ban the box” laws? These policies help protect applicants from bias and discrimination. Most applicants are navigating their re-entry to society and the workforce solo, as support can be hard to find. The specific laws your business must follow depends on the state you operate in. So, it’s important to do your own research. In most cases, employers will conduct background checks. However, they are not allowed to ask questions about an individual’s criminal background during the preliminary stages of the hiring process. By not following these regulations, you are putting your business at risk.

criminal record

Criminal Backgrounds Are Not an Indicator of Skill

Just because someone has a criminal background does not mean that they lack skill, talent, or dedication. By disqualifying employees with a record, you are missing out on loyal candidates who will help run your operation. Remember that these applicants had a life prior to their conviction. This means that they likely have had experience working at other locations in a variety of different industries. So, they will be able to come in and perform the job duties while teaching others skills they have learned in the past.

Instead of focusing on criminal background history, emphasize skill, previous experience, personality, availability, and dedication. Focus your interviews on what each applicant can bring to the table currently, regardless of past history. This goes for every candidate!

criminal record

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Aside from bringing on an employee who possesses great skill and willingness to learn, your establishment might also qualify for a tax credit. The IRS will handle this on a case-by-case basis. If you give a second chance to an employee who faces certain barriers due to the crime they committed, you might be eligible for this incentive. As a result, your business will gain new talent and financial compensation. Talk about a win-win!

To find out more and read the specific laws that might apply to your hiring process, visit the IRS website.

Make The Hire

Applicants with a criminal record won’t always receive much support when it comes to getting a second chance at life. Welcoming them onto your team can not only give them an opportunity to provide for themselves, but it can serve as a great confidence boost, too. Employment can serve as a growth opportunity and provide a purpose for an individual.

We hope you consider the pros of hiring an applicant with a criminal record next time you begin your hiring process! Best of luck building your dream team.

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