For OJ, and the millions of other ex-felons, transitioning back into society is challenging to say the least. Any hope of building a normal lifestyle often begins with securing a job, but burying a criminal record isn’t easy, even for an ex-felon.
Employers have a difficult time looking past that check box marked “yes” for being convicted of a felony. Although it’s natural to have reservations, hiring an ex-felon might be one of the greatest things an employer can do for their organization and community.
Target, Home Depot, and Walmart agree. These big name organizations are joining more than 100 cities and 19 states in an effort to pass the “ban the box” legislation which prohibits employers from requiring applicants to check a box indicating where they have a criminal record. Here are just a few reasons why an employer might consider hiring someone with a criminal record:
Expand the Candidate Pool
Based on the Bureau of Justice statistics, an estimated 70 million U.S. adults have arrest or conviction records. With employers struggling to attract and retain talent, why not broaden the candidate pool by dipping into this untapped market?
Reliable and Loyal Employees
Ex-felons have a lot at stake and will generally have a high level of respect and loyalty to any employer that is willing to offer them a chance to get back on their feet. In fact, the turnover rate for employees with a criminal record is 13% lower than those employees without a history. The hard truth is that opportunities for ex-felons are scarce and they know that.
Impact on Community
Employers that hire ex-felons are contributing to the greater good of the community by turning a criminal liability into an asset. By giving an ex-felon a purpose, a paycheck, and a place to be, this reduces the chance by 17% that an ex-felon will return back to prison.
Most ex-felons are on parole or probation when first returning to society. Parole or probation officers help to hold ex-felons accountable by conducting regular assessments and drug tests. The fear of going back behind bars is enough motivation to keep ex-felons on the straight and narrow.
Employers can benefit financially up to $9,000 in tax credits for hiring an ex-felon. In addition to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit programs, the U.S. government offers other incentives such as the Job Training Partnership Act and the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.
There are cons to hiring an ex-felon, but that’s true with any new hire. Thinking twice before passing up a candidate with a questionable history can change lives, communities, and an organization’s bottom line.
This blog was written by Ally Edwards, Marketing Guru at PeopleGuru™. This post may not be copied or published without permission.