Career Advice

Should You Hire Someone with a Criminal Record?

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There is a saying that it is hard to find good help these days. Therefore, when you find someone who can do the job well, it is a good idea for you to do everything you can to hang on to them. At the same time, it is also important for you to make sure that you keep everyone in your workplace safe. For this reason, nearly every employer will do something called a background check. A background check is something that is designed to pull up any criminal records that might be present regarding a potential applicant. At the same time, if something pops up, should you hire that person? Should a criminal record immediately disqualify someone from employment? There are a few points that you should keep in mind.

The Two Reasons Why Employers Hesitate To Hire Someone with a Criminal Record

There are two large reasons why employers had to take to hire someone with a criminal record. The first reason is that they are worried that their current employees are going to be placed in jeopardy. Depending on the nature of the crime, someone they are hiring may place their existing employees in harm’s way. In addition to physical, mental, or emotional harm to someone in the workplace, this could also open up the company to potential liability.

Nearly every employer will do a background check. A background check is something that is designed to pull up any criminal records that might be present regarding a potential applicant. At the same time, if something pops up, should you hire that person?Click To Tweet

The other big reason why companies hesitate to hire someone with a criminal record is that they are worried that it will reflect poorly on their company. For example, if word gets out to the general public that a company has hired someone with a criminal record, they are worried this might impact their business. Therefore, should employers actually disqualify someone simply because they have a criminal record?

Not All Crimes Are Created Equal

First, it is important for everyone to understand that not all crimes are created equal. Crimes are broken up into two large categories on a national criminal background check for employment. The lower category is called misdemeanors, which are relatively minor crimes. Even though they are minor crimes, it is still important for employers to take a look at the nature of the crime. That way, they understand exactly what they are looking at.

The other broad category of crime is a felony. A felony is a serious crime that often results in someone spending time in prison. A lot of employers will disqualify someone from the hiring process if they have a felony, but not have to have a misdemeanor. At the same time, not all individuals who commit felonies are necessarily bad people. For example, a lot of people fits my felony will actually spend their time in prison learning new skills that will make them competitive in the workforce. Therefore, it is important for employers to give everyone a fighting chance.

Give the Applicant a Chance To Explain the Circumstances in an Interview

In the vast majority of cases, all employers should at least give an applicant a chance to explain the circumstances in an interview. It is difficult for employers to understand exactly what happened simply based on a line on a background check. Therefore, it is important for employers to bring applicants in and ask them what happened. For example, there might be extenuating circumstances in some situations that could make someone a stronger applicant. If employers do not give someone a chance to explain what happened, they might overlook a talented applicant who could otherwise contribute to the company.

All Employers Should Do a Background Check on Their Applicants

Overall, is important for employers to make sure they do a background check on all of their employees. They are responsible for who they hire. If they end up hiring the wrong person, they could place themselves, their customers, and their employees in harm’s way. At the same time, just because someone has a criminal record does not mean they should be disqualified from employment. It is critical for employers to make sure they get all applicants a chance to explain what happened. Everyone deserves a chance to provide for themselves and their families, even those with a criminal record.

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