You May Be Overlooking One in Three Candidates — Here’s How to Change That | LinkedIn Talent Blog

Talent Acquisition

In September 2021, I shared a post about a 74-page report by Harvard Business School and Accenture that outlines several barriers that keep companies from considering ‘hidden workers’ as job candidates. Hidden workers “have a desire to work and are actively seeking work, but their regular efforts to seek employment consistently fail because of hiring processes that focus on what they don’t have (such as credentials) rather than the value they can bring (such as capabilities).” Hidden workers range from retirees/post-working age population who could work to people without traditional qualifications. Another segment of hidden workers is people with a criminal record. According to this LinkedIn article, one-third of U.S. adults are being automatically screened out from finding a new job because of criminal records—“ who’ve been convicted for everything from fishing without a license to possession of marijuana (and serious crimes too, of course).” The article presents a few data points that might lead a segment of firms to reconsider candidates with a criminal record for employment. It cites a recent study from the nonprofit research group RAND that found “most who enter the criminal justice system ultimately desist from crime. The risk of recidivism declines the longer a person is in the community and does not commit a crime. Eventually, a past criminal record is no longer predictive of future convictions.” Examples are provided of a few firms that have shifted their hiring practices to consider job candidates with a criminal record. As noted in the article, “while you may not be ready to adopt a policy to hire people with a criminal record, making your policies more inclusive can help you find hidden talent.” What is your position on this topic?

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