Today, many companies are still battling with a labor shortage, making it hard to find capable candidates for open positions. However, many employers are significantly limiting their talent pool right out of the gate. It isn’t uncommon for companies to automatically disqualify candidates with criminal records, and that can mean missing out on some exceptional candidates.
Second chance hiring is a strategy that involves not eliminating job seekers with previous arrests or convictions immediately. Instead, those candidates get to move forward through the hiring process if they have the proper capabilities to perform in the role, potentially getting hired if they outperform other job seekers.
There are many benefits that come with second chance hiring. Here’s a look at a few of the most notable.
Bigger Talent Pool
The most significant benefit companies experience with second chance hiring is a far larger talent pool. An estimated 70 million Americans have a conviction or arrest on their record. By not disqualifying candidates immediately due to their criminal history, you’re opening up your company to far more job seekers, many of whom are incredibly capable.
Often, candidates with criminal backgrounds are more loyal to their employers than their counterparts. At times, this is because they appreciate that a company is willing to take a chance on them. In turn, they feel more connected to the employer, leading to longer overall tenures.
Additionally, that loyalty can translate into a stronger overall performance. When an employee values their opportunity, they typically strive to continuously exceed expectations. As a result, a job seeker with a conviction has the potential to turn into a top performer.
In many areas, hiring a felon makes the company eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Under these programs, employers receive tax credits that offset some of the wages they pay to the second chance hire.
Along with a federal tax credit, companies may be eligible for state-level tax credits, as well. What’s available does vary by location, so it’s wise to research the incentive in advance to determine if your company may qualify if it hires a particular candidate and assess the tax credit’s potential value.
Second chance hiring can lead to a more inclusive environment. It’s a demonstration that a company is focused on finding exceptional talent regardless of the person’s background. Additionally, it’s a clear way to support an often-marginalized community. That’s particularly true since felony convictions are more common among specific underserved minority groups.
For companies that are focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity, second chance hiring is a natural fit. As a result, it can enhance your employer brand, all while creating opportunities to find exceptional job seekers for your open positions.
Contact The Advance Group Today
Ultimately, second chance hiring is an excellent way for companies to broaden their talent pools and find highly capable, incredibly loyal employees who often exceed expectations. If you’d like to learn more or are looking for top talent for your open positions, The Advance Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.