Should I Hire an Employee with a Criminal Record?

You’ve found the perfect candidate to fill your job opening. He’s qualified, experienced, and nailed the interview. Now, like any smart employer would do, it’s time to do your standard new-hire pre-screening just to verify everything and make sure he checks out. Uh oh – the background check has revealed a fairly substantial criminal record! What do you do now?

Criminal Record

Uh oh – your background check has revealed a fairly substantial criminal record! What do you do now? A criminal record isn’t always a deal breaker.

Your first instinct is probably to turn the candidate down. However, you may be surprised to learn that nearly 51% of employers have hired someone with a criminal record. Nearly 65 million Americans have some sort of criminal background – do you really want to exclude that much of the population from your hiring efforts? A criminal record can be, but doesn’t always have to be a deal breaker. Read on to find out what to keep in mind when considering a candidate with a criminal record. 

Questions to Ask a Potential Employee with a Criminal Record

It can be tricky when a candidate with a criminal record is up for consideration. You want to ensure the safety of your business, but you also need to be careful that you aren’t discriminating against the person. It’s even illegal in several states to consider criminal records when making a hiring decision. However, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission does allow companies to look into felony records when considering applicants. The following questions are good examples of questions it is safe to ask applicants with felony convictions:

1.       What was the nature of the offense? 

If the candidate has a felony conviction, of course you want to know what it was. Pay attention to the applicant’s behavior when he or she answers your question. If they are confident and honest and able to state what they have learned from the experience, you may consider them more than someone who rambles and is uncomfortable or makes excuses.

2.       How long has it been since the offense?

If the offense just happened last year, that makes a big difference than if it was more than 20 years prior. Everyone learns and grows as time goes on and if their last conviction was many years ago, it’s probably safe to say they’ve learned from their mistakes.

3.       How will it impact your job performance?

Ask this question internally as well as out loud to your applicant. If you have firm beliefs that the candidate’s felony conviction will negatively impact their job performance in some way, you may want to go with another candidate. However, remember that everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance to prove themselves!

All About AIR Pre-Hire

AIR Pre-Hire in Reisterstown, MD, conducts accurate and verified universal background screening, so you will have thorough background checks on your employees. Here at AIR Pre-Hire we don’t simply check the basic information, we dig deep to identify inconsistencies and make sure your potential employees (as well as existing employees) are acceptable for hire. This is the human element of our custom pre-screening service. You can count on us for timely, verified pre-screening and employee re-screening.

Learn more by visiting our website or calling us at 1-800-469-4473. Check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest as well.

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