Hiring is a process that takes no prisoners — sometimes literally. Those with criminal records are more likely to be unemployed than nearly any other major group, with multiple studies finding unemployment rates around 30-40% greater than those without a record. When nearly a third of Americans have been arrested at least once, this can be devastating.
Fair chance hiring is a type of hiring that allows those with criminal histories to bounce back, and become productive societal contributors. Not only that, there are some benefits to organizations that shouldn’t be ignored. Today, we’ll be going in-depth on the benefits of fair chance hiring.
Benefits of Fair Chance Hiring
Increase Internal Diversity
For young workers, one of the most important metrics to score well on is diversity. In a recent Glassdoor survey, over 75% of respondents said that workplace diversity was key. Having a diverse workplace assures new hires that they’re able to be themselves, and don’t necessarily have to conform to a specific workplace personality. They bring a range of ideas and experiences more openly to the table, increasing profits, and general satisfaction.
Those with a criminal record often bring their own, unique perspective to the workplace. By following through with fair chance hiring, you expand the diversity of your talent pool and improve your productivity as a result.
Hire Top Talent
Misconceptions about the competency of formerly incarcerated workers are standing between many recruiters and superior candidates. These individuals aren’t lazy or unwilling to contribute their fair share, and these generalizations shouldn’t have a place in any hiring process.
Applicants with a criminal history statistically work just as hard or harder than their coworkers. Army enlistees who have been convicted of felonies are 33% more likely than their peers to be promoted to Sergeant.
Raise Retention Rates
After being incarcerated or gaining a criminal record, people look for stability in their life — often through their work. Employees with a criminal background are less likely to quit their job for greener pastures. In a study conducted through Total Wine, they found that previously incarcerated workers were on average 12% less likely to quit than other workers.
If you’re a recruiter or hiring manager, a higher retention rate means a lot of money saved. On average, hiring a single employee in the U.S. costs around $4,400. When you have to hire one less employee for every ten, the saved resources pile up quickly.
More Easily Comply With Government Policy
As every HR team member is keenly aware, workers have rights that protect them from bias. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (EEOC) claims that employers are prohibited from discriminating based on criminal record. This doesn’t mean that employers can’t reasonably determine whether a specific criminal record is relevant, but it means that employers can’t throw out every candidate with a record.
Seriously considering candidates with a criminal history through fair chance hiring helps your company comply with government policy.
Boost Reputation by Making an Impact
Incarcerated individuals are at their most vulnerable right after release — nearly 75% are unemployed after a year of freedom. While that number dips over time, spending too much time unemployed can have serious, life-threatening consequences.
A lack of health insurance or funds can cause health issues to spiral, money can dry up and cause homelessness, and a lack of stability can cause mental health problems. Providing jobs for those who need them is a way to give back to the community and show your customers and communities that your organization cares about more than just money. Fair chance hiring gives your company a fair chance as well — a chance to give back.
Add Fair Chance Hiring to Your Recruitment Strategy
Bias shouldn’t play a role in the hiring process, and being mindful of fair chance hiring is a great way to minimize bias in your recruitment. After dismantling unfair stereotypes, it’s clear to see that fair chance hiring benefits not only your organization but also society as a whole.