Half of employers have hired someone with a criminal record

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More than 92 million individuals have a criminal history on file in state criminal history repositories, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. Having a criminal past can potentially haunt someone’s future, especially when it comes to seeking employment. Yet a new CareerBuilder survey shows that companies are open to giving people second chances.

According to the study, 51 percent of human-resource managers reported that their organizations have hired someone with a criminal record. The study included 2,298 U.S. hiring managers and human-resource professionals ages 18 and over and was conducted between May 14 and June 4, 2012.

Getting back on the right career path
Even with this encouraging statistic, job seekers with a criminal background may still face hurdles during their job search. But there are steps they can take to show that they’re committed, hard-working and ready to restart their career. The first step? Being transparent about their history.  

“The No. 1 recommendation hiring managers have is to own your past and focus on what you learned from it to grow professionally and personally,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “You also want to stay active. Taking classes, volunteering and tapping into social networks can be good ways to help overcome obstacles associated with job hunting with a criminal past.”

Making themselves more marketable
The survey asked hiring managers to share what job seekers with criminal records can do to make themselves more marketable to employers.

Here’s what they recommend: 

  • Be upfront and honest about the conviction and stress what you learned from it — 68 percent
  • Be willing to work your way up — 48 percent
  • Stay positive — 46 percent
  • Prepare while you’re in prison (take classes, get a degree or participate in vocational training) — 39 percent
  • Don’t apply to jobs where your record would automatically disqualify you — 31 percent
  • Volunteer — 31 percent
  • Take freelance or temporary assignments — 26 percent
  • Consider joining the military — 18 percent
  • Start your own business — 16 percent
  • Monitor what is said on social media — 13 percent

For more information and resources about jobs searching with a record, job seekers can contact their state unemployment office to be connected with a case manager specializing in jobs for ex-offenders. Job seekers should also research local human services organizations in their area for additional programs and support.

4 Comments
  1. What a joke!!!!  So 51% of hiring managers don’t have a problem with a person with a criminal record.  Well, isn’t that just so nice!!!  But 100% of them have a major problem with a person who is long term unemployed and/or over 50 years old!  I guess I should have held up a liquor store instead of going to college!!!!

  2. While surveys are I imagine important they often don’t represent reality especially in an under employed economy.  What in reality is a tough road to overcome in the job search world you have to eliminate approximately 85% of all job opportunities and we have built up such a fear of guilt by association that employers especially if they have a HR department never get that chance to hire because you are disqualified before you ever get started. The result is under employment where by you work for much less than your capabilities would normally demand.  Furthermore, in a Google charged world you almost immediately come under scrutiny by others as they invade your uniquely public world.  Finally this model for employment is driven by a Probation department whose only goal is to fill the file and force you into accepting something that doesn’t meet today’s needs and under-supplies you such that you are not able to survive. Nice article for either bleeding hearts or those who believe that they care because despite it all employers in this market can choose away and do it eloquently such that you never know it happened. So the the survey would lead you to believe that ex offenders are finding their way the real answer is that way is a road to perdition. By the way most programs as supplied by gov’t are run by those who frankly live in a world where under performance is the call word and I found them to be over stating their capabilities and under performing when it mattered.

  3. In developing / under-developed countries it is very common to see police guys taking bribes from opponents and harassing people without following the law. Either the charge is a false case or it would not be what the law says or a wrong interpretation of the law.  When it is false matter or harassment outside the scope of the law, DONT BOTHER. Just ignore it and dont refer to it anywhere since it is ILLEGAL and can unnecessarily defame you. Infact, the victim should take counter action , but counter actions are costly, time consuming and may open up more corruption. TOGETHER THE PEOPLE OF UNDER-DEVELOPED / DEVELOPING COUNTRIES HAVE TO FIGHT TO ROOT OUT INJUSTICE AND CORRUPTION.

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