New York State has a Law that makes it illegal for a company to have a blanket policy to not hire ex-offenders.
In support of this Law, we’d like to first cite a famous philosopher and great man of God. In the Bible, Jesus faced a mob that was eager to execute a woman caught in adultery. He put a stop to it with a simple challenge: anyone who has no sin in their life should step forward and throw the first stone. So pause for a moment and consider your company’s policy that in one full sweep, paints the people who have been caught and labeled by the state, as somehow different from the rest of the folks in your company. Personally, we think that aside from being hypocritical, it’s just bad policy.
When you as a business executive are tasked with screening your own applicants, you may be tempted to profile in the interest of speed and efficiency. No longer is hiring a simple, local task. It used to be that when you put an ad in the local Pennysaver, you would attract folks from your neighborhood. Friends, and friends of friends. It was easy to screen them–easy to check references. Today it is not. You throw an ad on Craigslist and the people who knock on your door could be from anywhere, and have any background. Making a broad assumption that anyone who was caught doing a crime must be a bad person (on the surface) feels like a good enough strategy to winnow a list of applicants.
Since 1998, the Recruiters at Sqrft have interviewed some 35,000 job seekers. You don’t do something 35,000 times without learning a thing or two. Statement of fact: There are a lot of excellent people who happen to have criminal pasts.
One of the benefits of retaining Sqrft Tradesmen to do your screening is that we can spend the time that it takes to separate the good from the bad.
We would encourage you to take advantage of this and perhaps get exclusive access to gold nuggets that your competition is overlooking.
Post Script: As our client, we will certainly always honor your wishes (as long as we are not asked to break the law). Our interpretation of the law is that it is looking for reasonable consideration. The law says that you cannot have a blanket policy–so let’s have that discussion as to what type of crimes, and under what circumstances that you think your customers would or would not lose faith in your organization and we will abide by that.