What should you do with a criminal history record?- 30 Nov
The “ban-the-box” movement is a hot ongoing topic circling around through the media right now. But how many of us really understand all the details behind this movement? This movement is working to persuade employers to remove the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record. Its purpose is to help ex-offenders be able to find work more easily, instead of being denied up front.
While many states and municipalities have adopted the ban-the-box campaign, plenty of employers are also opposed to the idea. The National Retail Federation has criticized the movement for exposing companies, customers and employees to potential crime. And others worry that it could expose employers to lawsuits from unsuccessful applicants.
Sterling Talent Solutions conducted a survey in 2017, 2017 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report, that asked what respondents thought about ban-the-box laws.
- 36% stated that they only delay information that an employer will learn anyway.
- 29% said the laws are fair to candidates.
- 24% said they are unreasonable for employers.
- 22% said they are reasonable for employers,
- 22% said that ban-the-box laws are confusing.
The survey also revealed that:
- The majority of employers (59%) disqualify 5 percent or fewer applicants based on past criminal convictions.
- A majority (67%) would continue with a candidate’s evaluation after finding a conviction not originally divulged on their application, with most saying they would give the candidate an opportunity to explain the record.
What should you do?
Karla Gerner, a Total Reporting franchise owner, said that she wants people to understand that we’re not out to exclude people, but simply to find the right fit.
“Somewhere around 1 in 10 people we do background checks on have criminal histories. There is a fear that anyone with anything on their record we’re not going to hire and that’s not true.”
She continued to explain that it’s about finding the best fit for each job. Gerner said she would hire someone to be a caregiver for her father in her home if they had written a bad check 20 years ago or possibly if they had a DUI. But the criminal background check would also protect both her and her father from someone with a problem of repeated theft.
“We just want to help you know who you are hiring. You want to hire someone who is a fit for your organization,” Gerner remarked. “If you have a criminal record, it needs to be appropriate for the job you get.”
“You want to know your potential employee, who is renting your home, who is watching your father,” Gerner said. “And we understand that some things happen when people are 19 that wouldn’t happen when they are 45.”
So while many may think that the only way to stop exclusion is by “banning the box”, we’re here to say that we’re not out to exclude—simply help each company find their best fit.
Consider each case individually and use these individualized assessments to find your company’s best fit.