We've featured several employers on the show with recruiting strategies focusing on hiring people with criminal histories. All of these employers have spoken about the benefits for the people they hire, the benefits they get from reaching new talent pools, and the benefits for society as a whole.
Despite this growing list of case studies, several misconceptions about hiring people who have been involved with the criminal justice system are holding many employers back.
My guest this week is Shawn Bushway, a professor at the University at Albany and a researcher at RAND Corporation. Shawn has built a body of research on the impact of criminal background checks on employment, and his work informed the current standards of the EEOC. He now helps employers revise their background check policies to better reflect the science about re-offending and become compliant with EEOC guidance.
In the interview, we discuss:
- How background checks have evolved
- Ban the box
- How the tightness of the labor market dictates employers' attitudes
- Common misconceptions
- The myth around recidivism
- Overestimating the level of risk
- Why crime type is irrelevant
- Making factually informed decisions
- Avoiding false positives
- Age, time, and number
- The role of government in creating practical, useable incentives to hire people with criminal histories