Give Job Applicants with Criminal Records a Fair Chance

Executive Summary

Business leaders who have recently pledged to improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts can start by implementing a practice called fair chance hiring. It mandates that employers only assess a candidate’s criminal record after the candidate has been interviewed and is considered qualified for a role. Studies show that employment is the single most important factor in reducing recidivism; that people with criminal records are no more likely to be fired for misconduct than people without records; and that they’re statistically less likely to quit, which saves employers a considerable amount in turnover costs. Employers considering building a fair chance hiring program should: 1) Create an intentional hiring plan and make sure that top leadership, HR, recruiting, and legal are all bought in; 2) Connect with local community partners to identify talent; 3) Conduct skills-based interviews; and 4) Fairly assess the charges brought against the candidate by

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