15 Standards for Hiring People with Criminal Records

March 6, 20202:43 pm1968 views
15 Standards for Hiring People with Criminal Records
15 Standards for Hiring People with Criminal Records

Every employer has the right to employ someone of their own choosing, based on the person’s suitability for the job. However, it is an employer’s duty to treat job applicants and employees fairly. In accordance with legal obligations and anti-discrimination law, employers should stop discriminating candidates with a criminal record by excluding them from the hiring list. 

Hiring someone with criminal records might sound scary considering their dark past. However, employers need to put aside all the negative assumptions to avoid bias. In fact, many businesses are turning to ex-prisoners to be their valuable asset in the company. 

SHRM survey revealed various reasons why leaders are willing to bring in workers with criminal records. Both hiring managers and HR professionals who have hired ex-felons cited that the top reason for extending job offers to workers with criminal records is because they want to hire the best candidate, regardless of past experience. Employers also want to give individuals a second chance and want to make the community a better place. 

See also: Are You Working with a Psychopath? Here’s How to Tell

Best practices for hiring people with criminal records 

If you are ready to join the forces of investing in hiring individuals with criminal records, there should be standards and practices you should learn. Failing to follow standards and procedures might hurt an employer’s interest and increase the risk of discriminating against productive workers of every heritage. 

To avoid unnecessary issues, the National Institute of Corrections suggested the following best-practice standards. 

1. Consider only convictions and pending prosecutions 

There is some risk that any applicant will commit a criminal offence on the job, even when they have no criminal record. That said, your job application process should not focus on eliminating risk completely, but to reduce the convictions to acceptable levels. In addition, if the candidate is being prosecuted for an offence that is relevant to a job for which they have applied, employers should consider the convictions first before disqualifying them. 

2. Consider only convictions that are relevant to the job in question 

An individual who has committed an illegal act in the past might commit a similar act in the future. However, NIC cited that most of them might not commit other offences. For example, an individual who has been convicted of DUI (driving while consuming drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication) might put the public at risk in a job that involves driving, but not in other jobs. 

3. Consider only convictions recent enough to indicate a significant risk 

The risk that someone who has been convicted of a crime will commit another offence decreases over time. Employers should consider available evidence on recidivism rates before rejecting an applicant. 

4. Do not ask about criminal records on application forms 

Delaying learning about an applicant’s criminal record until the interview or later enables the employer to make more informed hiring decisions. 

5. Use a qualified agency to conduct record checks 

Employers should carefully consider the quality standards of all Consumer Reporting Agencies. Price should not be the determining factor in choosing an agency to do a background check. 

6. The agency should report only convictions that are relevant and recent 

Employers should determine in advance the convictions that it considers relevant for specific jobs and the time period during which they are relevant. These determinations should be provided to the agency with instruction to report only convictions that meet these criteria. 

7. Report convictions only when the full name and one other identifier match 

Having the same first and last name in a country with millions of populations is normal. Thus, a conviction should only be reported to an employer when full name (including middle name where available) and at least one another identified match. 

8. Confirm all information from online databases with original source 

Online databases are not always accurate and up to date. All information from such a database should be confirmed with original sources. For example, if an ex-felon candidate had been prisoned in town X, call the authority in town X and ask for confirmation regarding the information you gain from the online database. 

9. Get current disposition of all relevant information 

All information obtained from any source should be updated to ensure that it is current. Updated information could tell you whether the candidate with criminal records is suitable for the position or not. 

10. Provide the applicant with the opportunity to challenge the report 

Employers should provide applicants with a prompt and convenient method of challenging information provided by the agency’s report. 

11. All charges related to a single incident should be reported as a single entry 

Reporting information relating to a single incident in different sections of a report can create impressions that multiple incidents took place. All information related to a single incident should be reported in a single entry. 

12. Consider evidence of rehabilitation 

People change over time, not to mention ex-felons. Some people with criminal convictions change their lives, become good citizens, and serve their society with better respect. Applicants with relevant convictions recent enough to be a concern should not automatically be rejected. Instead, they should be given the opportunity to present evidence of rehabilitation which employers should certainly consider before making a decision. 

13. Minimise conflict of interest by decision-makers 

Employees making hiring decisions regarding applicants with criminal records are in a difficult situation. If a company hires an applicant with criminal records who later committed another offence, the person who hired them might be blamed. In this case, hiring decisions should be made by an employee (or employees) who are in the best position to make an objective decision. 

14. Train human resource staff 

Hiring decisions regarding applicants with criminal records require an understanding of practical steps that an employer should take to comply with federal and state law on background checks and to comply with federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws, without exposing the employer to unreasonable risks. HR staff should be thoroughly trained on these subjects. 

15. Diversity program 

One of the benefits of making sound decisions regarding applicants with criminal records is creating a more diverse workforce. Having a diversity program helps an employer determine how well it is making such decisions. 

Read also: A National Survey on HR Professionals: Hiring Workers with Criminal Records

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)