- Lisa Nagele-Piazza of SHRM writes that a screening process that prevents employment barriers for candidates who have sealed or expunged criminal records (non-violent crimes, first-time offenders,and arrests without convictions) can give otherwise qualified candidates a second-chance.
- Each state has its on rules on what criminal histories can be expunged or sealed. Recruiters should familiarize themselves with their state's guidelines and develop a candidate screening process that leaves out sealable or expungeable offenses. This can include giving candidates time to close a recent record.
- Additionally, she advises that all companies use a pre-adverse action letter to protect themselves from potential lawsuits from candidates who receive less than favorable results in a third-party criminal record check.
In the not too distant past, nearly every job application had a section that asked all candidates to indicate if they had a criminal history by checking a box. Just the presence of this mark would cause the recruiter to toss an application into the trash, without a complete review of the candidate's qualifications.
Then came the "ban the box" movement, which sough to eliminate such requirements from applications. Both methods have their flaws, so it has become necessary for recruiters to run thorough background checks on all candidates.
Now, it's suggested that recruiters take a closer look at what criminal records do come up during such checks. Employers need a clearly written policy on this, and this information must be communicated during the initial stages of the recruitment process to ensure compliance.