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Checkr, an HR tech company, conducted a study that examined how people with prison records struggled with unemployment. The researchers found that 82% of the study participants had faced questions in their interviews about their criminal records. This was despite it being illegal in several states to ask the question.

Americans had no issues with employees with records

Fortunately, the researchers found that the attitude of Americans toward people with criminal records was improving. For example, 4 in 5 respondents had no issues with their employees hiring people with a record.

The researchers gathered 1200 employees in the U.S and 400 executives. They then evaluated factors employees considered when hiring. About 90% of employees admitted that certain crimes made it unlikely to hire someone. Moreover, 45% knew people who hadn’t gotten a job because of a previous conviction.

About 1 in 3 employees were okay with their bosses hiring people with convictions regardless of the crime committed. However, 47% admitted they were not comfortable working with someone who had been in prison for a violent crime.

Many of the respondents believed that their bosses were biased towards certain groups of people. About 75% thought executives could be biased towards hiring past convicts. Other biases were hiring women (53%), minorities (54%), immigrants (58%), workers who didn’t speak English (59%), and older people (65%).

Despite their misgivings, about 70% of people believed their jobs had diversity, equity, and inclusion policies that helped people with criminal records. About 66% of people in the transportation, hotel, and retail industries believe this. Others include the finance industry (69%) and the tech industry (81%).

People with criminal records often made good employees

The survey also found that bosses were usually impressed with people with criminal records after hiring them. Approximately 93% of bosses had a good relationship with such workers. Another 9 in 10 said the employees worked extremely hard or even harder than others.

Other employees admitted that workers with criminal records tended to work for the company longer (85%). This study is positive since between 70 and 100 million Americans have criminal records, which forces them to undergo stigma.