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.

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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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