Don't Let Your Past Limit Your Future

How a Recruiter Can Place a Candidate with a Criminal Record

November 3, 2016

Recruiting is not always the easiest job.  Recruiters are constantly looking for the right applicant for the right job and the timing needs to be perfect.  Many salespeople and executives are often contacted (maybe 1x per quarter) from recruiters.  And we have to hand it to recruiters – they are a polished bunch of people – always networking and trying to find the perfect fit for their client.  Once a recruiter has found an ideal candidate, they must work hard on prepping the candidate for the interview process.  The interview process can be a breeze or in most cases quite scrutinizing.  But that’s the job of a recruiter – and that’s why they get paid a lot of money.

One item that is often a deal killer with a company is if the candidate has a criminal record and he/she fails to disclose this to the employer or the recruiter.  Having a criminal record more often than not can ruin a prospect’s chances of getting that job,  as well as the recruiter’s!

In case you were wondering, most criminal records stay on a person’s background check forever unless it’s expunged or sealed.  They don’t “disappear” after 3 or 7 years in many instances.  Anything from a misdemeanor for minor drug possession to a DUI to a felony can show up on a criminal background search. Even a simple arrest can remain on record forever.  Recruiters should understand that this poses a risk for any potential candidate applying for a job.

What should a recruiter do if their perfect candidate has a criminal record?

If the candidate mentions they have ANY sort of criminal record, a recruiter may want to contact a law firm or attorney that focuses on expungements and record sealing whenever their candidate has an interview.  The law firm can then ascertain whether or not the certain offense is “expungeable” and what the candidate’s choices are regarding their background.

What types of records can be expunged or sealed?

While most states are moving towards criminal justice reform, not all states agree on what type of offense can be expunged.  For example, almost all convictions that didn’t result in prison can be expunged in California; whereas only those who had their record result in an arrest without a conviction or their case was dismissed, acquitted or pardoned can expunge their record in the state of Texas.  These variances in state law can make it difficult to ascertain which criminal records qualify for expungement.

All Hope is Not Lost!

The good news is that there is potentially some light at the end of the tunnel if your candidate has a criminal record.  Although some employers may not search your entire background (going back 15 years, for example), your criminal record will still be out there and available.  Recruiters need to know that they have options and should partner with an expungement firm to see if their candidates (who do have a criminal record) can legally expunge their record before applying for a job.  This way, you can be certain as to what information can and cannot be accessed by employers.

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