Is your business considering hiring a candidate with a criminal past? Risks & Rewards

Is your business considering hiring a candidate with a criminal past? Risks & Rewards

Believe it or not, about one-third of the United States population has a criminal past, which generally causes their chances for employment to diminish, regardless of the level of the offense. Rather than generalizing the crimes that have been committed when considering applicants with a criminal record, it is important to take these risks and rewards into account if you are planning on hiring someone who has been caught by the law.


Discrimination of an applicant solely because they have committed a crime can become detrimental to your company. It is crucial to consider the details and type of offense before making a judgment call. In fact, differences in state restrictions can influence this decision. For example, several states have implemented a clean slate law, which gives those looking for a job with a criminal history a second chance depending on the crime’s severity and amount of offenses on their record. If their application is cleared, their criminal past can be expunged, which means that only their skills relevant to your company should be evaluated. Regardless of this sealing of criminal history, it is important to conduct thorough background checks on all your applicants to ensure that they will provide a safe working environment for every employee.


Hiring someone who may have committed a minor crime several years ago can be quite beneficial for both your company and the applicant. If they truly have excellent skills for the role and have proved the expunction of their minor crimes, then it should be recognized that your company is providing a second chance for the applicant and, in effect, lowering the second chance gap. This factor promotes a fair workplace and will make your company seem much more inclusive. As automation of sealing crimes becomes a faster process and the technology continues to develop for it, the sooner that you will be able to hire those who are worthy of the role.