Ex-Offenders Can Be Great Employees If You Give Them a Chance

You’ve heard all the reasons why employers shouldn’t shun candidates with a criminal record. Just as a reminder, here are a few:

  1. 30% of Americans have a criminal record; felony arrests, not necessarily convictions.
  2. Filling jobs is harder every day. Eliminating someone solely because of a conviction in their past narrows your talent pool.
  3. Governments are passing laws to encourage the hiring of ex-offenders.
  4. You may qualify for a tax credit for every ex-felon you hire.
  5. SHRM even launched an initiative this year to encourage employers to hire ex-offenders.

Shelley Winner makes some of those points in her talk to a San Francisco DisruptHR group. She mentions celebrity ex-cons Robert Downey Jr. and Tim Allen when she says, “Having a criminal record does not mean a lack of talent.”

But the power in this presentation comes not from the data; it comes from the personal story this computer service specialist tells. As Winner says, “Companies need the best employees. Not just the best employees [without] a criminal record.” The story is about one of these employees.

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In partnership with DisruptHR, TLNT presents some of the best Disrupt presentations from events across North America and now the world. Disrupt talks are modeled on the TEDx concept: Short, to the point talks on all things HR — talent, culture and technology.

DISRUPT is an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower people in the HR field.

Founded by Disrupt's CEO Jennifer McClure, events are organized by volunteer teams working with Disrupt staff who assist in the planning. Events have a maximum of 14 speakers, who get 5 minutes and no more than 20 slides for their presentation.

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