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How Fair Chance Hiring Benefits Businesses and Candidates

In a world of gig economies and side hustles, up to 44% of businesses are understaffed. It’s not shocking that hiring managers are facing difficulties finding the right candidate for the job. That’s why expanding the candidate pool is essential to the hiring process. Thankfully, fair chance hiring laws help.

Here’s how Fair Chance employers are maximizing their candidate pool. 

What is a Fair Chance Employer

Fair chance practices mean employers judge candidates based on their qualifications and experience – not their race, age, religion, and potential criminal past. Fair chance practices are mandatory in 37 states. But employers can use these practices to fill empty roles with qualified candidates. One of the main rules for fair chance hiring involves criminal background checks. Fair chance employers must make an offer of employment before reviewing criminal history.

Fair Chance Employment Benefits

Fair chance employers understand that the ideal candidate may not always have an ideal past. And they know how to utilize fair chance to bolster their business. Here’s how.

Boost Business with Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion, also knowns as DEI, ensures that employees have a wide range of ages, cultures, religions, etc in their employment pool. Not only is this becoming increasingly socially relevant, but it also ensures that your company has multiple ways of viewing and solving an issue. The old saying goes, “It takes all kinds to make the world.” The same can be said for businesses. 

For example, a business that hires people with the same background, ethnicity, and similar life experiences limits itself when it comes to problem-solving. Why? Because everyone has the same point of view, which can result in everyone giving similar solutions, even if they’re ineffective. DEI helps bring fresh eyes to every problem, giving businesses a more comprehensive range of solutions. Even beyond that, DEI can result in a broader appeal to a customer. If customers see individuals that look like them, they may feel more comfortable in the environment, making it easier to drive sales and forge positive relations.

Reduces Costs

Approx 70 million candidates have a criminal record that prevents them from gainful employment. Because of their difficulty finding worthwhile jobs, they’re more likely to stay in quality roles once hired. From a business standpoint, this means less turnover, resulting in more production and a stronger team dynamic. And as any hiring manager knows, it costs a lot to source and train a quality candidate. In that regard, a fair chance hiring employer earn a much better return on the investment of a new employee.

Improves Corporate Image

Companies that abide by fair chance hiring and DEI are seen as more welcoming and appeal to a broader consumer base. The idea of an inclusive consumer explicitly seeking out diverse businesses is increasingly socially relevant. Companies that rely heavily on relationship building, such as those in automotive, finance, specialty sales, etc., are often limited in how often they can convince customers to switch to their products or services. A good corporate image, like the kind cultivated through authentic DEI and fair chance hiring practices, increases the chance of getting and keeping new customers. Plus, lousy press travels faster and further than good press. To quote another saying, “It takes years to build a reputation and only seconds to lose it.”

Encourages a Rich Company Culture

Here’s a fact – studies show that employees that enjoy their job are up to 13% more productive. Job enjoyment also boosts retention rates. Fair chance hiring practices contribute by helping create a nurturing, welcoming company culture where employees are committed to their jobs and coworkers. Managers understand that workplace drama and negativity chip away at company and employee morale. Fair chance isn’t just about the hiring process – it’s also about the company culture behind it. Plus, because fair chance practices are centered around hiring for knowledge, experience, and qualifications, you’re more likely to find candidates who want to be in the role they’re in. And that makes a huge difference.

How to Implement Fair Chance Employment in Your Business

As mentioned, fair chance employment is mandatory in most states, but companies that aren’t legally bound to fair chance hiring practices should implement them. You can do this by holding off on reviewing criminal background checks until you’re sure the candidate is a good fit. One of the easiest ways to get background checks when needed is by utilizing KarmaCheck’s API. That way, when the time comes to decide, you’ll have the data you need ready to go. 

Another critical factor is ensuring your hiring managers are aware of fair chance practices and avoid questions centered around race, religion, age, etc. For fair chance employers, the only things that matter are what’s on the resume.

Overcoming Challenges in Fair Chance Employment

The most challenging part of fair chance employment is understanding the rules. The rules and regulations can vary year by year, state by state, etc. Implement quarterly refresher courses for hiring authorities to help curb the chance of error. Another factor is personal bias. We all have them. Ensuring you’re aware of it is the first step in being able to make decisions not based on bias. To begin with, DEI classes, community engagement, and hiring the right hiring manager can help any business make smart, fair chance complaint choices that give them an edge over their competition. 

The takeaway is that fair chance employers experience far more pros than cons by understanding and utilizing fair chance practices.


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