Hesitant about hiring someone recently released from prison? Here’s why you shouldn’t be.

Stigmas surrounding the hiring of previously incarcerated individuals are being challenged by 21st-century values. Modern hiring decisions are made considering the whole person, not just their history. But old habits and ways of thinking are hard to get rid of, and you may have serious doubts about hiring a background-friendly candidate. However, these individuals can become a great part of your team and add significant value both in the work environment and outside of it. 

Here are a few reasons why you should consider background-friendly hiring practices. 

Fair chance hiring benefits everyone.

Justice-involved individuals face a multitude of challenges in prison and upon their reentry into society. One of those is finding an employer who is willing to look beyond their past and integrate them into their workplace. That’s where Hope 2 Hire’s work comes in two-fold. Our programs prepare people to overcome these challenges by giving them job training in fields where hiring managers are already highly experienced in working with and accepting of those with backgrounds. Those include industries such as construction and culinary training. 

Employment is the single most important factor in reducing recidivism in America. Most crime in America is a byproduct of desperation rather than habit. When people have stability, specifically a stable income, they’re far less likely to commit a crime. 

Hiring the right candidate is about more than a background check.

Let’s say you found a candidate with a great work history. You invite them for an interview, and they seem like a perfect fit. Then, when you run a background check, you notice they spent time in prison. For most hiring managers, this result completely flips the script on an otherwise surefire candidate. But why should it? Hiring the right candidate in today’s society is as much about the person as it is that person’s history. How does that candidate interact with your employees? How is their attitude about the job itself? Do they bring a positive work ethic and outlook to the job environment? These are the questions that matter when selecting the right candidate. 

Justice-involved individuals are just those who’ve made a mistake and learned from it. That one mistake should not automatically disqualify them from the opportunity to have a better life.

People who’ve spent time in prison work just as well, if not better, than those who haven’t.

Studies show that employers are just as, if not more, happy with background-friendly hires than people without a criminal history. This is because they perform just as well in the workplace, and are often willing to put in work that others aren’t because they appreciate the value of the opportunity you’ve given them so much more. They also provide the benefit of shared experience to your workplace culture and can eventually become positive role models for your employees. The insight they bring to the workplace is valuable and can leave a lasting impression on your work environment. 

If you’re interested in partnering with Hope 2 Hire to provide hope to our students for a brighter future, give us a call at 901-272-3000.

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