In mid-January, 2016, the Society of Human Resource Management weighed in on the “criminal history” discussion, publishing a helpful article on hiring candidates with criminal records. The article points out that in some trades and occupations, a shortage of skilled labor no longer enables firms to hire only the most attractive candidates. Furthermore, some 95% of incarcerated individuals will eventually be released, and laws regarding the fair treatment of those with criminal histories are growing stricter with every passing year.
Among the helpful recommendations the SHRM article makes, we especially like this one: “Look for Partnerships.” Many government and non-profit organizations have workforce development programs that not only train formerly incarcerated persons; they also help them transition back into society more successfully. This type of support is valuable to both the former inmate and his or her new employer.
The article also recommends companies review their hiring policies to ensure they are not unintentionally excluding individuals with criminal histories. Barada recommends organizations review both their official policies and their employee training programs regularly to ensure compliance with both emerging and existing legislation. The Resources section on the Barada site also offers valuable educational information.