Second Chance Hiring is An Underleveraged Opportunity—for Employers

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Second chance hiring, also known as fair chance hiring, refers to extending job opportunities to
individuals with a prior criminal history.

We’ve previously discussed the power of second chance hiring to expand a company’s talent pool.
When organizations no longer automatically screen out the approximately 70 million American adults
with a criminal history, there are simply more candidates to choose from—many of
whom might make for exceptionally loyal, capable employees.

What Do Your Employees Think? A New Indeed Study

Now new research from Indeed indicates that there’s even more to recommend fair chance hiring. Not
only does it open doors to candidates who have long struggled to find opportunity, it creates an
environment other employees want to be part of, too. In fact:

  • 91% of workers surveyed by Indeed consider fair chance hiring “essential to society.”
  • 96% say they would prefer to work for a company with fair chance hiring practices and find this consideration very or somewhat important when considering job offers.
  • 72% are of the opinion that companies without fair chance hiring are not truly diverse and inclusive.
  • 73% believe employment applications should not include questions about criminal history (as many “ban the box” laws and regulations in many areas now prohibit)

In other words, people want to work for fair chance employers.

And they’re comfortable working alongside justice-impacted individuals. More than 9 in 10 said they
were fine working with a colleague with a single, nonviolent incident and nearly 7 in 10 were still
comfortable if the individual had a series of nonviolent incidents or a single violent incident in their past.

Takeaways for Employers? 

Despite the attitudinal sea change surrounding fair chance hiring, employers have not fully embraced
the new reality. For example, few job postings (2.3%) mention a company commitment to fair chance
hiring, even as searches for roles that welcome second chance applicants are increasing.

The takeaway—if your organization is a fair chance employer, speak openly about it! You may not only
attract incredible candidates who deserve a second chance, you will also communicate values that hold
sway with other current and prospective employees.

Promoting fair chance hiring can be an impactful talent strategy.

If you need help building a candidate screening process that enables you to make reasoned, fair, and
confident individual assessments based on comprehensive background information, talk to us. Providing
such technology and service is the part we play in this important societal transformation toward offering
second chances.

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