More American companies, such as Delta Air Lines and McDonald’s, are opening their doors to ex-convicts as part of their inclusion strategy, but ex-prisoners are still struggling to find jobs. With unemployment for ex-felons at 27 percent, you can really help someone in need of a career change. To make the process of hiring smooth, follow these tips.
Ask About Criminal Record or Use a Criminal Record Check
Not all convictions are the same, and some are more severe than others. Many ex-convicts are tempted to lie about their criminal record for fear they won’t get hired, so it’s essential to have some degree of trust upfront.
It depends on your industry, but if a tech firm is looking to hire a programmer, but that new hire is on parole for a bank robbery, it’s unlikely to have a negative impact on their work. Still, it’s always advantageous to know what past conviction they have; you wouldn’t want someone charged with sexual assault to work with children.
On the other hand, some convictions are so minor or so old (possession 10 years ago) that the person has likely changed.
To screen potential hires, ask them to take a criminal record check as Federal law doesn’t prohibit this step. If they’re nervous, explain that you aren’t opposed to hiring ex-convicts.
Keep an Open Mind
It’s tempting to be suspicious of ex-convicts, and many uncomfortable thoughts may arise due to someone’s past actions. If you’re looking to find an inmate in the state of NC for hire, keep an open mind, and expect the best is yet to come.
On average, ex-convicts are more productive, are less likely to quit, and are more confident in the workforce. Many ex-prisoners won’t get the same opportunities as non-offenders regardless of how minor or major the crime was. Many people are required to have gainful employment as part of the conditions of their release.
If you give your new hires the proper training, they are likely to excel at a higher rate than non-offenders.
Don’t Hover or Hound New Employees
Being a micromanager is hardly ever a good approach, so we advise to avoid that management style where possible. We can’t stress this enough when hiring an ex-convict because if they feel like you’re watching them specifically, you could get complaints of unfair treatment.
While you may feel there is a higher risk of criminal activity, the latter is often the case. On average, new hires want to impress you, but ex-convicts have a lot more to lose. If you can’t trust your new employee to get their work done: don’t hire them. This mantra is true of all new employees.
Eliminate Bias in the Workplace
A New York Bakery called Greyston hires ex-convicts by using his own screening process. He allows anyone to put their name on a list for production jobs, and all of them are placed through an apprenticeship as soon as a position comes available. Not everyone makes it, but their training offers valuable experience that will help them during future job applications.
As another positive, it transitions them into working life and culture. All employees have difficulty, at first, adjusting to a new corporate culture because it’s full of new faces, attitudes, and personalities that worked well together prior to their hire.
Introducing your new employee as a person first will help them adjust to their new life at your company. The faster they integrate with other co-workers, the more likely they are to become long-standing, loyal employees.