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According to The Sentencing Project, between 70 and 100 million people – or one in three Americans have a criminal record. And of those, only about 10 million have been incarcerated. Having a criminal record, even without a conviction, can be a huge barrier to employment.
Regardless of today’s unemployment rate, organizations are continually looking for employees who have skills and want to work. Organizations might want to consider second chance or fair chance employment as a way to find qualified candidates. Here are a few resources to get the conversation started.
If you’re trying to figure out how to sell the organization on the idea of developing a second chance strategy, check out the article “4 Reasons for Organizations to Consider Second Chance Employment”. It outlines who benefits when organizations offer second chances and shares some stories from companies that have seen positive results.
Speaking of resources, the Second Chance Business Coalition (SCBC) is a group of private sector employers committed to expanding second chance hiring. Their membership includes a wide variety of industries including financial services, retail, manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications, and technology. Their website has an interactive map with a way to identify community partners.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers a free certificate program called Getting Talent Back to Work. You do not have to be a SHRM member to participate in this program. This is an online, self-paced program designed to help professionals learn more about second chance employment and how to add second chance employment into your existing recruiting strategy.
I recently did a webinar with our friends at Accurate Background on “How to Build a Fair Chance Hiring Program”. We not only share resources but talk about how to overcome common objections and some steps to consider when developing your program. You can listen to the recording of the webinar on the Accurate site.
There is plenty of research that shows second chance employment programs benefit organizations and individuals. And it doesn’t increase cost per hire. In fact, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring and employing individuals from certain targeted groups who have faced barriers to employment.
Recruiting is going to continue to be a challenge for employers. Whether it’s finding enough candidates or finding enough qualified candidates. Organizations need to consider new strategies to keep competitive. Then take the time to develop and work these strategies to get results.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Salt Lake City, UT42