What an Applicant’s Criminal Conviction Means for Employers in 2015

It’s a well understood fact that the United States’ population has the highest incarceration rate of any nation. More than 68 million Americans have some sort of criminal history and when it comes to getting employed, many face hurdles that prevent them from being hired and assimilating back into society. 

While several states have seven year reporting rules that limit the amount of information a potential employer can use in hiring decisions, a majority of states don’t confine their employers with those regulations. It’s then important for those states to utilize a discretionary method of ruling out the criminal records that don’t conflict with the required job duties between those that do.

There are some employment opportunities that have obvious histories that conflict with the required job duties. For instance, a convicted sex offender would never be allowed to work with children under any circumstances. If an individual with that type of history were to be hired it would be willful negligence and an endangerment to the children around him or her. It is with that said, it’s important to discern what is acceptable and what isn’t.

When an employer looks to create a listing for a job opening, it’s critical to map out what type of histories are acceptable and can meld with the required employment duties. If you are looking for an individual to do clerical work around the office and in a background screening a one-time offense for shoplifting is uncovered when they were 18, it most likely shouldn’t be an issue, especially if it was some time ago.

If an extremely qualified candidate applies for a job opening and there is only a minor conviction it’s a best practice to ignore if it isn’t too extreme. With the reality of 25% of all available applicants having previous criminal convictions in 2015 it’s a necessary tactic and ultimately could land employers with extremely qualified candidates who have righted their wrongs.

This isn’t to say that someone that has shoplifted repeatedly in the recent past deserves to be hired, on the contrary. An individual who shows a predisposed nature to commit crimes and not reform their ways is someone that is simply unemployable. Creating a mixed method of discerning individual’s quantity of crimes, recent criminal history and severity of crimes is important when looking at an individual’s past.

A criminal history is a more and more common thing in the United States and when approaching applicants with hiring opportunities it’s important to discern the individuals that pose a threat and those that don’t. In 2015 developing the procedure of finding the pasts that meld with the required job duties is the best way to approach any hiring decision.

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