Have you ever set up a job posting and been surprised when many of your applicants report that they have a criminal record? Many individuals are hardworking and trustworthy, despite their criminal records. Allowing them to work at your company could turn their life around. Here are a few things you should know when you’re thinking about hiring someone with a criminal record. 

Don’t Write Them Off

First of all, if you hire someone with a criminal record, don’t write them off without significant consideration. Especially if you are a small business owner that relies heavily upon your employees, you might be tempted to disregard their job application without a second glance. However, this can be seen as legal discrimination and could prove to have consequences for you. Instead, take the time to review their past experience and skills, and consider how they could be a great addition to your company. Of course, still have caution due to their past, but give them a fair chance as you compare them to other applicants.

Look into Their References

Next, make sure to look into their references as you’re reviewing their job application. References can serve as an assurance of the candidate’s character. Especially when you’re considering hiring someone with a questionable past, their references can help to verify that the individual has changed and improved over time. Make sure to contact their references and spend time visiting them to get to know your candidate’s background. 

Know the Significance of Their Crime

Finally, when you’re thinking about hiring someone who has a criminal record, don’t disregard them because of that fact. Remember, that can be deemed discrimination. Instead, familiarize yourself with their past. Know the significance of their committed crime and try to see how that might affect your company. For example, if you run a tech company and the interviewee had committed online piracy, stolen private information, and hacked into companies’ websites, that might not be the best fit for you. However, you might not have the same concerns if their criminal record is due to stolen food. You want to be cautious if they might be dangerous for your company but you also want to give them a fair chance. It can be helpful to listen to their side of the story and take into account why they want to change their life by getting a job at your company. 


So, if you are trying to expand your company with new hires and are reviewing the applications of some individuals with criminal records, make sure to keep these tips in mind. Remember, don’t write them off, look into their references, and know the significance of their crime. This can help you make the right decision for your company when you’re interviewing people with criminal records.

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