Handling Applications from Candidates with a Criminal History

Handling Applications from Candidates with a Criminal History

As a business owner, it is practical to run Criminal History Checks on new recruits and existing employees. Hiring someone whose criminal history undercuts their credibility to perform their role can jeopardise the safety of your workplace, clients and your reputation. However, it is important to handle job applications from recruits with criminal records in a just, unprejudiced manner.

Employers who refuse to hire someone on the basis of their past criminal convictions may be violating international obligations. When making an employment decision about someone with a criminal history, it’s best to tread with caution.

Nowadays, criminal history checks play a great role in recruitment and applicant screening. The process must be handled with sensitivity regardless of whether the check result is positive or negative.

Instead of giving into the knee-jerk reaction, here’s how to deal with such a situation without being perceived as discriminatory:

Advertise the Requirement for a Police Check

Inform potential recruits about the requirement for police checks before accepting applications. By stating it on advertisements and application forms, candidates are made aware than an assessment of their criminal history can affect the success of their application. This helps manage the expectations of hopeful candidates and prepare those with criminal records for the further evaluation that will be applied to their application.

Consider the Nature of the Job against the Criminal Record

Consider with caution whether the candidate’s criminal record is related to the core functions of the job they are applying for. For example, taking in a convicted sex offender for a childcare centre would jeopardise safety, trust and reputation. It would be justifiable in this case to reject their application even if they would be otherwise qualified.

But if someone with a DUI conviction six years ago is applying to work as a baker, rejecting their application would be perceived as prejudiced and discriminatory.  In Australia, it is illegal to discriminate against individuals based on a criminal record if the crime is not relevant to the role.

Get Help from Fast Police Checks

With help from our team, you don’t have to go through the tedious and complicated process of obtaining a National Police History Check (NPHC). We provide accurate and affordable police checking history across all industries in almost all states. Contact us today to get started.



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