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Hiring Ex-Sex Offenders

Question:

I am open to the idea of possibly hiring someone with a past record as a sex offender.  Will this be a concern to my employees?  What do I need to think about before bringing them on board?

Answer:

When it comes to hiring ex-sex offenders, companies should walk into the situation with eyes open, educating themselves while being open-minded to the many benefits the hire can bring to the table.  Not only can you bring benefits to your organization, you will be helping the individual by offering employment and stability to those looking for an opportunity in the working world.

While sex offenders should have just as much of an opportunity to employment as anyone else, there are questions that an employer must address before hiring these individuals, based on their criminal past.  It is essential to ensure that they are able to perform the essential duties of the job and ensure that they have no restrictions on their employment.  Some ex-offenders are faced with restrictions such as working with minors, or having access to a computer and/or internet, and employers will need to work with the offender in order to find a suitable position that meets these requirements, if that is possible.  Open and honest communication with the individual will help you to meet these requirements.  Other considerations:

Consider relevant factors

Relevant factors that should be considered include the type of offense, the number of offenses that have occurred, rehabilitation efforts, and length of time it has been since the offense.

 Is the offense job related?

While it is easy to justify not hiring a sex offender “just because”, employers should be open minded and think about if the offense could potentially affect the job to be done. If not, then the applicant should be considered like any other.

Do I still feel like I am providing a safe work environment for my employees?

The most important thing you should consider when considering hiring an ex-sex offender is if you are still providing a safe and comfortable work environment for yourself and other employees.  This answer can vary based on your opinion about sex offenders, but employers should keep an open mind and take into account all of the factors that go into hiring someone with a criminal background. Keep in mind that applicants should always have a chance to explain their criminal background.

Finally, keep in mind that if you do hire someone with a record, your company may be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which is a Federal tax credit that is available to employers who hire and retain individuals from target groups that face considerable barriers when it comes to finding a job, like sex offenders.

 Do you struggle to find qualified individuals that fit your culture and make productive, long-term employees? Finding the right person to “fit” a job is a critical HR function. That’s why strategic HR inc. utilizes a variety of resources to help clients source, screen and select the best candidates and employees. Please visit our Recruitment page for more information on how we can help you effectively and efficiently find your next employee.