A recent article in The Guardian asks this question. EEOC guidance on hiring individuals with a criminal record states that the record must be considered in context. This may be one reason for that line of thinking: more than 65 million people in the United States have a criminal record, and 600,000 inmates are released annually. Couple that with indicators from companies who hire ex-offenders that speak to better performance and lower turnover rates, and it may be worth investigating for your business.

The key is to have a written hiring policy that details exactly what you take into account when hiring someone, including what kinds of background checks you run and what considerations you give to criminal records. This not only allows you to hire from a wider pool of candidates, but it ensures that all applicants are treated equally and fairly.

We’re always here to help. While we can’t provide legal advice, we would be happy to provide some examples and assist you in determining what your company’s hiring policy should look like.