Many business owners bulk at the idea of hiring an ex-felon as they fear such employees will only cause trouble. However, recent studies have shown that employees with a criminal record tend to be more loyal to their jobs, vastly reducing turnover costs.
The debt of gratitude
The vast majority of ex-felons face tremendous difficulties in getting a job when released from prison, precisely because business owners prefer employees with a clean criminal record. The social stigma ex-convicts have to deal with makes their lives very complicated long after their debt to society has been paid in full.
Most ex-felons are grateful for any decent job they can get, and they will repay the chance they’ve been offered by working pretty hard. Certainly, that’s not true of all people with a criminal record, there’s always the odd bad apple, but generally speaking, ex-convicts tend to be pretty diligent and do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
These days recruiting agents for any company would generally ask prospective new employees to present a police check certificate before starting any new job role. For example, in Australia, persons are often referred to obtain an online character check from websites like www.australiannationalcharactercheck.com.au before being admitted into employment. It is also important to note that hiring managers should not be afraid to consider applications from ex-convicts. Even if the job candidate speaks candidly of their past, it’s always a good idea to ask for a background check and see the whole picture. It might happen that one candidate would only admit to one, less serious criminal offence when their criminal history lists several other convictions. Dishonest applicants should be rejected instantly, but those who come clean about their past deserve to be interviewed. In many cases, people truly regret some stupid mistake committed years ago and would do anything to get another chance to start over. Those are often the most loyal employees. That is also why countries like Australia also don’t include spent convictions (convictions older than 10 years) in people’s criminal history check record.
Scarcity of jobs available to ex-felons
There’s a straightforward reason an ex-convict will work hard and fight to keep his or her job. There aren’t many other jobs available to them. Whereas a disgruntled employee will threaten to quit if you dare to criticize their job performance, an ex-felon will thrive to do better because he knows he cannot quit just as easily as his colleague. It took him months to get this job, and he will be facing an even bigger problem if, in addition to the burden of his criminal record, he will be known as a problem employee, a rage quitter who cannot get a letter of recommendation. Might seem a bit cynical, but that’s how things are.
The benefit of hiring ex-cons
Nobody can say all ex-felons are employee-of-the-month material. Many clearly aren’t, but even so, they are still a good investment. A 2014 study among salespeople with a criminal record in the US has shown that by hiring ex-felon, the risk of misconduct is 38% higher than among employees with no criminal record. Many employees in a sales position will steal a bit of cash, irrespective of their criminal record status. As a manager, you probably know this. Given a chance, an employee will pocket some petty cash or steal some items. However, when hiring ex-felons, the cost of theft-related losses rises by only $43. This is quite little when compared to turnover costs, which go down by $746.
In other words, hiring an ex-felon for a sales position will lose you a bit of money if stolen funds or items, but save you over $700 in turnover costs. Do the math, and you’ll see that hiring ex-felons pay and don’t forget that every time you give a job to such a person, you keep them off the street and away from a life of crime.