You meet a great applicant. After a few interviews, they have demonstrated they have what it takes for the job and have shown a genuine desire to join the company. However, a routine background check reveals a criminal record from a year ago. Is rejecting the candidate the only way to go?
The short answer is ‘No’, although checking candidates’ police records does play an important role in your hiring process. Fast Police Check’s specialised corporate user facility obtains these records to help hiring officers make their decisions.
Balancing of Rights
Many argue that a person who has served their prison term or has taken responsibility for their crime deserves opportunities like everyone else. However, there are unique situations in which a criminal record can pose a serious risk to an organisation. While reintegrating the individual may be important, the top priority for Human Resources (HR) must be to maintain a safe and orderly workplace.
Whether a candidate’s criminal record should affect the hiring decision depends largely on the position and the crime committed. Sometimes the decisions are very clear cut and easy to make. Someone with a history of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, should not be considered for a position as a driver. Those with convictions for violent crimes find it extremely difficult to find any employment, but will never be considered for a position that involves contact with vulnerable people, such as the elderly or children. Often, however, the decisions are not so easy to make.
Less Clear Examples and a Solution
What if your future accountant was involved in bar brawl seven years ago? Does it still matter?
An issue such as this can pose problems for the HR team of any company. The best way to approach it is to establish clear recruitment policies from the start. Since the issue of often not clear cut and may vary from job to job, it is necessary to create rules that govern how criminal records affect hiring.
Ultimately, it is the company who will decide whether to recruit a candidate. However, by having a clear policy, the company can treat each applicant with consistency and fairness. Fast Police Checks is a valuable tool which gives organisations the information they need to make decisions about their applicants.