The majority of human resources professionals and business leaders believe employees with criminal records perform the same or better than other hires.
This is shown to be the case in terms of job performance, promotion potential, dependability, retention and overall quality of hire, according to the survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, the SHRM Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute.
The survey found:
- 85% of HR professionals and 81% of business leaders believe workers with criminal records perform just as well or better in their jobs compared to workers without criminal records.
- 66% of HR professionals indicated they would be willing to work with individuals who have criminal records – up from less than half who felt this way in 2018.
- 68% of HR professionals and nearly half of business leaders who responded reported that their organizations wanted to hire the best candidate for a job regardless of criminal history, and this position played a very large role behind the decision to hire from this talent pool.
- 53% of HR professionals say they would be willing to hire individuals with criminal records, up from just 37% in 2018.
With a skills gap and unprecedented changes in the way U.S. businesses work and operate, the survey shows how employers are thinking about this untapped talent pool, which impacts more than 1 in 3 Americans who have a criminal record, says SHRM President Johnnie C. Taylor Jr.
The positive consequences are many, he notes. “By encouraging employers to recruit, hire, and give workers with a criminal background a chance, we can help close the skills gap and break the cycle of recidivism, positively impacting families, communities and businesses across the country – not just now, but for generations to come.”.