When you post a job opening, you will find a wide range of applicants spanning across different geographies and backgrounds sending in their job applications. While most of them might possess outstanding work experiences, and decent educational background looking for a great job opportunity and life changing experience. However, sometimes screening across resumes you chance upon candidates, who can only make you think twice if you even need to conduct a telephonic interview with them. Yes, because they are ex-convicts.
When you are looking for a new employee, criminal records usually come as a red flag to warn you of a new hire and companies do avoid hiring such talent. The common argument is, while there are many unemployed in the talent pool with clean track record, why risk business by hiring ex-inmates and scare away other employees? Unsurprisingly, every employer wants to bring in qualified candidates in their talent network. Nevertheless, if you focus only within this limited scope, chances are, you will miss out on great sources of untapped talents.
Ex-offenders, who have paid for their crime by serving imprisonment, usually come back to the community with a great motivational spirit to build a new and better life. Given a second chance, they want to prove themselves and to the community at large, that they can contribute for the greater good. Additionally, they usually possess skills and traits that will make-them excellent employees, such as hard-working, willingness to take risks, and resilience.
If you’re still not sure why you should ban the box and hire ex-convicts, here are some of the strongest reasons why you should take the risk:
When released from the prison, most ex-convicts are aware that they have limited bargaining power in the professional world. For this reason, they are usually willing to work hard to demonstrate that they can move on from their dark past.
Hungry for work to support themselves and their family, ex-convicts are willing to start right from the bottom and entry level. Not only this, they can implement the skills obtained during confinement period that will be useful for your business.
Employee turnover is one of the biggest challenges for business leaders in a volatile economy. Fortunately, chances are less likely and this might not happen soon, if you hire ex-convicts.
Those who have spent their time in the jail usually value their jobs more than other people, because they realise that looking for a new job is not easy. Therefore, once they land the job, they will showcase responsibility and dedication to lead an honest life.
Criminal records often prove to be a major obstacle for former convicts, impeding their chances of securing a job offer, getting called for interview and makes it seem highly impossible for them to return back to the workforce. As life goes on and they need financial stability to survive, when companies ignore such applicants who want to change for the better, they eventually end up returning back to the criminal life.
If this happens, such persons only undergo a never-ending negative lifecycle. Therefore, employers could take a risk after careful evaluation and scrutinizing candidates during interviews to harness potentials of this untapped talent pool. Perhaps a first step in this positive direction, can help both ex-convicts and the society to form a better community.
While you cannot deny or avoid the risks involved when you hire ex-convicts. However, the most critical thing here, is to alter your attention to ‘what positive deeds they can do’, rather than ‘what evil deeds they have done in the past or might do in the future’.
While you should not hastily judge them for their past mistakes, you can always tread a cautious approach by monitoring the ex-convicts, when you decide to hire them. Keep your hiring tap open to all candidates with diverse backgrounds, since you never know if your future top performers happen to be ex-offenders, labelled by the judicial system.