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Over the years you’ve been hiring, you may have updated your interviewing process and your filtration methods. Maybe you’ve even learned a thing or two on promoting wellness and fostering a healthy, happy community in the workplace. But are you part of the rising problem in the workplace that is actively contributing to the unemployment rate across North America? You may be if you are discriminating against candidates who apply for a job with a criminal record.

According to the SHRM Executive Network, to this date, approximately one-third of working age adults across the United States have a criminal history. That means over 70 million people have some sort of criminal history. While we know discrimination and systemic racism are undoubtedly major factors in the criminal justice system, for many, hiring someone with a criminal record is counter-intuitive. Let’s start with what a criminal background check entails.

How to do a criminal record check

There are many ways to perform a criminal record check. The easiest way to have this done is to hire someone who already has theirs done, like someone who has a Workwolf Digital Work Passport with their criminal background verified. In other words,  the candidate already has gone through the steps of getting their criminal background checked. And while they cannot change the details once they have been verified, they can at least know ahead of time what their criminal record will show to an employer. They can keep this information attached to their Digital Work Passport to also save employers time and money in doing so themselves.

We at Workwolf like to emphasize our candidates’ strong points: what makes them unique and special as a worker. We tend to encourage employers to choose the verification items that highlight who a person is as a worker, and what skills and training they have worked to earn. For example, our Alpha verification package includes the following:

  • Packfinder
  • Identity Verification
  • Reference Report (3)
  • Employment Verification
  • Academic Verification
  • Credit Report
  • License / Certification Verification

These items highlight how effective they are at managing their finances, how hard they’ve worked to earn credentials, and so on. However, if a candidate chooses to also verify their criminal background, or if you ask to have it done, they can do so by selecting a “booster” that checks for a criminal background through our credential issuer.

What does it mean to be a second chance employer?

Second chance employment is used to describe any job that is offered to a person who has a criminal record. This applies to anyone with any kind of criminal record, and depending on what the position entails, an employer can offer the employee equal opportunities as anyone else without a criminal record. This means that especially if an individual has a minor, or first-time offence, they may be able to continue on with their lives without discrimination against them in the workplace.

Hiring someone with a criminal record, especially a non-violent one, is the first step in offering equitable work opportunities. Not only are popular companies, like Unilever and The Gap extending job offers to those with criminal backgrounds, there are a growing number of resources starting to help those individuals get the jobs, too. In fact, many states and provinces across North America have locally set up programs, including 2nd Chance in Ontario, that offer second chance employment services for free. And you can take part in helping those looking for a fresh start, too.

Who else supports second chance employment?

Some of the most popular and powerful companies in the world are choosing to diversify their teams by offering second chance employment. These include but are not limited to the following.

  • Starbucks
  • Microsoft
  • McDonald’s
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Facebook
  • Uber
  • Ikea

It’s easy to see why these powerful companies are so successful in their workplaces. They offer employees great benefits, pay, and workplace community, including supporting a diverse and inclusive community. Not only will this improve your organization, it can further make your workplace a highly sought-after place to work. That means you’ll have more choice in who you hire and more opportunities to find the best of the best.

Pledge to make hiring equitable and fair for everyone. Join the Workwolf Business network and start hiring equitably today.


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