There are many employment opportunities here in the States, but not enough candidates to fill them. It’s a big issue for many employers, and some are starting to hire people with criminal records. There are some advantages of doing so.
It adds a little diversity to the workplace, for a start. Your company will be recognized as forward thinking, too, and renowned for giving people a second chance. But how do you hire felons in a fair way, that will both protect your business and give them an opportunity? We’re going to take a closer look right now – so read on to find out more.
First of all, it is essential that you understand that certain crimes will force the issue when it comes to hiring felons. Two simple examples are as follows. Hiring anyone with a DUI – driving under the influence – is not going to be sensible if it’s a driving job. And, a convicted child abuser is not going to be able to work – or come in contact – with kids. That said, there are a lot of people with criminal records – some are for serious issues and others for petty crimes. And, of course, it’s a sad fact that some may not even be guilty of the charges they were arrested for in the first place. So, while a conviction will appear on a person’s record, it might not be as cut and dry as you think. Take your time to get to know the case, and you will be able to make a fairer judgment.
You have several other responsibilities when you hire felons. First of all, you should avoid hiring anyone that could have an adverse impact on a protected group. And, you should always give your applicants the opportunity to explain their criminal records. A Criminal Background Check is essential, of course, but it can’t tell you the whole story. It will also help you ensure that everyone gets the same treatment, regardless of what their crime was.
If you are going to start hiring felons, expect a certain element of resistance from your HR department. Human resource professionals are, at heart, risk avoidance specialists. Many will be reluctant to start hiring felons because they might believe it is too great a risk for your business. It’s HR’s job to hire great employees, and it will take some persuasion to get their buy-in.
Create an open and honest culture
Finally, be wary that hiring felons can often cause tension with current employees. It is essential that you lay down the law here, and work on your company culture. At the same time, it is vital that everyone still has the same opportunities. You can’t have one rule for some, and another for the new felons that you hire. It can cause a lot of resentment which can build up a great deal. Eventually, things will blow up and escalate. Having an open and honest company culture will give people a platform to air their views, and it should help take any tension out of the workplace.