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Discussion: Hiring Someone with a Criminal Record

Discussion in 'General Business and Entrepreneurship' started by Take Career of Yourself, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Take Career of Yourself

    Take Career of Yourself Entrepreneur

    Most of us do stupid shit on a regular basis. Whether your getting upset at some trivial nonsense – maybe there’s not enough mayonnaise on your bologna sandwich and now you’re mad enough to kill. Or maybe you throw a fit when someone starts a sentence with a conjunction, and decide to rob a laundromat.

    Whatever meaningless drivel disrupts your boring life, there are people out there who have followed through and robbed that laundromat. They now live in a halfway house and are looking for work. Will you hire them?

    We all say that everyone deserves a second chance, but when it’s your turn to give one out, what factors do you consider? Some might say that excluding all job applicants with a criminal record will limit the talent pool, while others might consider that hiring someone with a criminal record might increase crime in the workplace or lower the morale of current employees.

    Personally, I’ve hired many applicants with criminal records. Of course, you need to consider the magnitude of the crime itself and how long ago it happened. Some of the ex-cons I’ve hired turned out to be duds, but others are some of the most professional and productive employees in the office. Either way, I can say that I haven’t had any serious problems.

    Give us your thoughts: Do you exclude all criminal record holders from your hiring process? Do you give them a chance and, if so, what are you mindful of? I’d like to hear from hiring managers, as well as job applicants who are in this category.

    Full discussion with poll here: Discussion: Hiring Someone with a Criminal Record

  2. Jade

    Jade Entrepreneur

    This will HAVE to be a case-by-case basis.

    Past behavior is the best prediction of future behavior.

    For example, do you want someone who during a frustrating meeting murders someone?
  3. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Business Owner Entrepreneur

    I would look at it on a case-by-case basis. However, it does depend on the job. If you are hiring cashiers and their have a record for theft of money/products or robbing a bank, then they would not be considered for a cashier position no matter how long ago it was. However, they might be good for cleaning or cooking.
  4. EF-Roger

    EF-Roger Entrepreneur

    Yes case-by-case. I have worked with people on work release, many, many times in the past. I have yet to meet someone that regretted working with
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Entrepreneur

    Well, yes, we all have made mistakes and ruined things in the past. However, having a sudden mood swing isn't an excuse for you to kill someone already. But yeah, it really depends on the person and what kind of case he/she has been accused and guilty of.
  6. briannagodess

    briannagodess Entrepreneur

    I think anyone is capable of change and past behaviour isn't necessarily indicative of future behaviour. As long as the person served time in jail, got rehabilitated and has indications of change, then he or she has a chance to be in my business. That being said, I would be stricter with the policies and rules for him or her. If the applicant is a former robber, then he or she cannot really get a position that is related to money. He or she has to prove his or her worth first.

    A former drug addict needs to show his or her drug testing result frequently and randomly. But for heinous crimes like rape or murder, I think it would be more difficult to hire them. For I will fear my safety and my other employees' safety. I guess it is still depending on the severity of the crime committed.
  7. 111kg

    111kg Entrepreneur

    It depends. For instance, I would hire a former dealer, but I would never hire a person who was convicted for stealing stuff or for anything that involves fraud, violence and so on. People tend to remember the bad apples of the society and wouldn't want my business to be associated with them.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

    I'd have to agree and it will depend on the circumstances and the individual involved. For me you can't have a blanket ban on employing people with a criminal record, and if you find out a potential employee as been charged with theft, while it will be enough to turn the application down, if you then find out it was for stealing a load of bread when he was 16 because his family didn't have enough money to buy food, puts that crime into a whole different context.
  9. 111kg

    111kg Entrepreneur

    In some states, companies that hire former convicts are tax advantaged or they don't have to pay certain taxes. However, not every country has this law.
    But even if I receive certain advantage, I'd still not hire:
    a) a driver that has one or more DUI;
    b) people convicted for rape, stalkers and so on;
    c) people who are in gangs;

    Although some of them no longer want to return to their former life, there a lot of bad apples among these groups, even after doing some time in a prison.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

    What a person as done previously doesn't always mean they will carry on doing the same things in the future. We've all made mistakes, some more than most but if we didn't get given a second, or even in some cases a third and fourth chance, then nobody would amount to anything in life.

    If somebody genuinely wants to turn their life around and I can help them do that then I will. If it doesn't work out then they lose their job, that will be a bad thing for them, but a good thing for you because you've got rid of a bad employee.

    If it does work out though, and that person does turn their life around, you'll have had a big part to play in that, and they'll always be grateful for that chance. Not only is that a good feeling, but you'll more than likely have one of the best employees you'll ever have also.
  11. EntrepreneurialSpirit

    EntrepreneurialSpirit Entrepreneur

    I believe in second chances but would tread very carefully in this situation. As everyone else has mentioned, it depends on the crime and job being applied to.

    This issue does not only pertain to employment, it pertains to college admission as well. I work for a college and have had ex-convicts apply for admission to earn their degree. There is a question on the application (similar to a job application) that asks about your criminal history. If they check "yes" to a conviction, we must do a background check on them to see exactly what they did. I have worked in this role for almost 2 years and have had 2 people check the "yes" box. In both cases they were denied admission because the crime was violent in nature. Violent crimes are very difficult to overlook. Non-violent crimes would be much easier to work with.
  12. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

    When it comes to violent crimes I'd have to know exactly what the crime was and also how long ago it was. There's a big difference between attempted murder and being involved in a fight in a bar because somebody punched your wife in there for example.

    I do take the point though that the severity of the crime, no matter what the reasons behind it would be the first matter to look at.
  13. Cleveland76

    Cleveland76 Entrepreneur

    I don't understand why someone with a criminal record wouldn't be allowed admission into a college, even if it was "violent in nature". To some degree I could understand limiting their access to student housing or not allowing them to live on campus at all. But it makes no sense to deny them from pursuing an education, especially when they are the ones taking on the greatest risk of the financial burden of doing so. Not only that, but many schools now offer classes entirely online, so you could at least offer them that route. I find it hard to believe an ex con, even with a "violent" record, is anything but serious if they are going through the trouble of applying for college and working towards getting their financial arrangements in place to do so.

    The more we deny people with previous records an opportunity to get back on their feet and become productive members of society, the more likely they will be to return to their former ways and be an even bigger burden on all of us. Once people get a "record" and get into the "system" it's a vicious and endless cycle. That person you denied a job to could wind up robbing your store a few weeks later since they are now broke and homeless and desperate.

    My record has some bumps on it as well, but I've been hired by one of the largest insurance carriers in the US as part of their marketing team, as well as the largest online insurance agency in the US (at the time at least) also on their marketing department. I've had two DUI's on my record (one was after leaving a work related function where we were all drinking), as well as a disorderly conduct charge when I was in my 20's (for hooking up with someone in their car after leaving a bar). In fact most of them didn't even do a drug test, only one of them did.

    I care more about a persons skill set and expertise, personally. Just because someone gets hired into a place with a clean record doesn't mean they're going to maintain it, so why deny people without one. There were multiple people I worked with whom ended up getting DUI's themselves while we worked together, including my boss at the time. I would take a truly talented person with a record, over a mediocre employee with no record.
  14. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Entrepreneur

    We all made mistakes in our life and for me there is always a second chance for us to change. Sometimes I cannot understand why in our society if they knew someone who had a criminal record they are already afraid to be with them or to hire them if they are applying for work and they always judged them without knowing first the reason why they had committed their mistakes. In our life we can never tell what is ahead of us and we cannot avoid some unnecessary circumstances to make mistakes that will sometimes will lead us to have a bad or criminal record. Each situation differs with each person. And in a workplace it doesn't mean that the person you hired who had clean record will surely contribute to the success of the company. Sometimes those you did not hire with criminal record might be the right person who are hardworking and productive. Since in a company the human resources department is in charge of the recruitment processes of all the applicants in the interview portion you can already feel and tell if that person who had a criminal record in the past can be someone whom you give another chance and trust that they are worth enough to be chosen among the other applicants. But different companies had different sets of rules and regulations with regards to their recruitment and hiring processes and it depends.
  15. harpazo22

    harpazo22 Entrepreneur

    We just have to use our own personal good judgment on matters such as this. Yes it is true we all have done stupid things, so I think as long as it's pretty far in the past that's a good start. :)
  16. Marlon A. Mariano

    Marlon A. Mariano Entrepreneur

    you really need to check the status of your applicant, they want to work with you because they need money for basic such as food, shelter, education of their child and wanted a new life. If they don't meet these basics with their salary, they will probably get a loan from you, go back to their vices and that is where the problem starts. Have a background check, how many kids do they feed and send to school. If you really want to hire these people because of their skills and capabilities, have them part of your family, After all, they already served their days in jail.

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