Research suggests that generalized fears about hiring people with a criminal history — such as fear they’ll commit another crime — are tough to square with the facts. An expansion of what’s often called “second-chance” or “fair-chance” hiring could drive a triple win for the U.S. economy: Employers get the workers they need, people with convictions get jobs they need, and costs to society decline with the lower rates of re-offending that are associated with holding a job. To get there, employers need to recognize some of the myths that impede progress.
Employers are desperate to recruit hundreds of thousands of workers who seemingly have vanished from the workforce. People with criminal histories represent a large pool of labor that could fill the gap. So why aren’t more managers hiring them?