You’ve received your applicant’s background check results and he has a record. Now you have a decision to make.
Hopefully, not what a municipal government here in Georgia did when they received the results for one of their candidates.
This individual, hired in 2006 as a laborer, had a rap sheet that revealed a total of 23 arrests, beginning in 1986; 10 of these were felony arrests; 3 times he his parole was revoked and he was sent back to prison. His last arrest prior to being hired by the city was in 2004, when he was sentenced to 3 years in prison, but was paroled in July 2006.
After being hired by the city in December, the employee was soon transferred into the utilities department and was given a truck and a route read customer’s utility meters.
As it turns out he was doing more than reading meters. Police arrested him while on his route for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He had $1600 in cash on him at the time.
So this employer had adequate warning to keep an eye on this employee, but gave him the means to continue his criminal career.
How does an employer decide who to hire or not to hire based on the results of a criminal background check?
The test is usually, “Does this person’s record have an impact on the job he is expected to do?” Agreed that the city might have had a difficult time filling the position of laborer with anyone that didn’t have some sort of criminal record. The question then becomes, should that person have been promoted/transferred into the utility department? The answer in this case was obviously “No”.
Violent crime convictions for an employee with customer or employee contact?
Financial crimes for bookkeeper?
Shoplifting crimes for a retail store employee?
Driving Under the Influence arrests for a delivery driver?
In these examples, the search should probably continue for your new employee, but you should always weigh the relevance of the criminal record check with the job to be performed, and not preclude an individual just because he has a record and has disclosed it honestly on his application.