Should You Hire A Criminal?


With nearly 65 million Americans holding some form of criminal record, it might be difficult to avoid hiring a criminal. In fact, the EEOC passed an Enforcement Guidance in 2012 stating that you cannot reject an applicant based on his or her criminal record unless the offense is directly related to the position. So, what do you do if the applicant is perfect for the job, but has a criminal record? There are a few things you should consider before you make your decision.

Time Since The Offense

If you uncover a criminal offense during the pre-hire process, you should consider how long ago the crime was committed. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they’re younger. Try to understand the situation from their point of view or seek advice from a professional. If the crime was committed 20 years ago, it’s probably safe to say the applicant has learned his or her lesson. Of course, it’s always a good idea to double check with a background screening service.

Is It Relevant To The Job?

The most important question to ask if your potential employee has a criminal record is how relevant is the offense to the job? When you’re hiring someone to answer phones and do clerical work, you can’t reject them based on their driving record. If you’re hiring them to be a valet, however, you might want to reconsider depending on how long ago the offense took place.

Many people believe they cannot find jobs as teachers or in law enforcement because they have criminal records. This is actually not true. While it depends on the type of conviction and the industry, these jobs must follow the same guidelines as the rest. Employment disqualifiers vary amongst law enforcement departments. And teachers must pass extremely thorough background investigations before they can work with children.

To guarantee you follow the rules when considering applicants with criminal records, you can hire a background screening service. Background check companies know the rules better than most and give you the best advice on situations like this. If you have any questions regarding criminal records and potential hires, feel free to contact us.

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