One of the biggest myths about the American criminal justice system is that, once a person serves their time, they can rejoin society freely. In reality, most individuals with a conviction in their history face significant barriers to re-entry, particularly when it comes to employment.
Many companies wrongfully assume that every person with a conviction represents a hardened criminal, one who may be dangerous or untrustworthy. However, that isn’t universally so—many were found guilty of relatively minor offenses, posing essentially no risk to employers or the public-at-large.
But the lack of opportunities soon becomes troublesome. Recidivism, at times, is an outcome of that situation. Without successful reintegration and access to job opportunities and housing, formerly incarcerated people may struggle to live a normal life.
When companies are open to hiring individuals with convictions, including felons, they are helping to build a better community. Additionally, they are setting themselves up for some significant gains. If you are wondering why being open to hiring people with criminal histories is a wise move, here’s what you need to know.
The Benefits of Hiring People with Criminal Backgrounds
Some companies assume that hiring a person with a criminal history is all risk, no reward. However, that simply isn’t the case. First, it boosts your community. Convicts who are able to secure employment are at a significantly reduced risk of reoffending. By reducing recidivism, you create a safer, healthier place to work and live.
Additionally, your company may qualify for a tax credit for hiring a person with a conviction. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is available to employers who hire people from groups that face employment barriers, including felons.
Possibly most importantly, when you hire an individual with a criminal history, you’re giving that person a chance to succeed in life. You’re giving someone a fresh start. Often, as a result, the new hire is dedicated to exceeding expectations. They want to demonstrate that they were worth the risk.
Plus, an ex-convict may be particularly loyal to your company. You took a chance on them, and that’s something they will appreciate for the long-term. Couple that with the fact that many have to maintain employment as a condition of their release, and this can lead to substantially less turnover.
Finally, many individuals who spent time incarcerated have valuable skills. They may have participated in job training while in prison or connected with organizations after release that help them acquire job-ready skills that benefit area employers.
How Business Can Work with GSG to Build Better Communities
At GSG Talent Solutions, we help individuals facing employment obstacles achieve their goals, including individuals with prior convictions. Our Staff Support Program provides access to career-development resources, including occupational training and job-readiness coaching.
GSG Talent Solutions is a REDF partner. Our goal is to help a range of individuals overcome barriers to employment while also ensuring that companies get the skilled talent they need to fill their vacant positions, boost retention, and achieve their goals, as well.
If you are looking for exceptional candidates, the team at GSG Talent Solutions can help you find your perfect matches. Contact us to learn more about our employment and hiring services, and see how, together, we can make our community a better place to live, work, and thrive.