The Impact of Criminal Records on Employment: Insights From TriStar Staffing

The Impact of Criminal Records on Employment: Insights From TriStar Staffing

Have you ever lost a job opportunity because of your criminal record or background check? If you have, you’re not alone. 

Finding employment is a challenging endeavor in any market. When you factor in screening procedures like criminal background checks, job-hunting becomes a more frustrating affair, especially if something shows up on your record. 

As the internet has made information widely available, many companies have added criminal background checks to their candidate screening processes. Unfortunately, this can result in the disqualification of many qualified and competent candidates like yourself

Read on to learn about the impact of criminal records on finding jobs with TriStar Staffing’s president Scott Fiore. In this article, you’ll find out more about how criminal records affect employee screening and Scott’s other thoughts on screening.

You’ll also gain inside information about screening procedures and how you can prevent a criminal history background check from standing in the way of your dream job. 

How Does a Criminal Record Affect Employment? 

Scott recalls how relatively easy it was for candidates to be eligible for interviews due to the absence of criminal background checks. However, he also observed how the internet has made information about a candidate easy to acquire. All an employer or HR officer has to do now is run a simple search on the candidate. 

According to Scott, employers are now checking every candidate’s PA criminal records. These checks are present regardless of the job or industry. Scott observes that while there’s a place for criminal history record checks, they’re not a must for all types of occupations. 

“There are certain clients who have a bonafide reason to ask for a criminal check. But we have seen some clients adding them haphazardly when they aren’t always required.”

Scott says that this is where educating employers comes in. Educating employers is critical to ensuring they meet the right candidates without erroneously screening anyone out. This is crucial for many employers, especially during the volatile post-COVID job environment. 

Are Employers Today Stricter or More Lenient With Criminal History Record Checks? 

“The pendulum is definitely swinging towards more leniency.”

Before COVID, a PA criminal records check was part of nearly any employer’s candidate screening checklist. However, candidate availability plummeted after the pandemic, as Scott Fiore observed. For this reason, employers are less strict about their screening processes.

According to Scott, more companies are now willing to interview applicants. Before COVID, positive criminal background checks would automatically disqualify candidates. However, with candidates in short supply, companies are under greater pressure to ensure a steady stream of candidates without screening out too many applicants. 

Are PA Criminal Records Checks Done for Every Job? 

The short answer to this question is yes. However, before you get discouraged from applying, here’s the most nuanced answer from Scott Fiore himself. 

According to Scott, there’s growing leniency amongst employers in the light industrial business. The light industry business includes jobs described as low to no-skill work. In other words, think of warehouse or logistics-related jobs involving manual labor. 

Also, criminal record history is becoming less of a bearing in hiring for entry-level jobs as well. As a bonus, many of these jobs pay at least 15% more than pre-COVID rates. Many entry-level salaries pay anywhere from $22 to $25 an hour. 

In short, you can still find work if you have a criminal record. You need to research companies that are hiring, what the eligibility requirements are, and, of course, show up to interviews on time. 

How Can Applicants Maximize Their Chances Even With Criminal Records in PA? 

Scott mentions several ways applicants can improve their chances despite their criminal records. 

1. Know the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony

“Most applications will just ask if you have a felony.”

When you fill out the paperwork on your application, you will often encounter an item or box that asks about prior felonies. Not everything that appears on your record is a felony. Your past offense may be a misdemeanor.

If you have a misdemeanor but not a felony, do not check the box. 

2. Know What’s on Your Record

“You’ve got to know what’s in your record.”

Doing this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone with just one or two past criminal record entries. However, many fail the background checking stage because of misremembering what’s on their record. 

Don’t be a statistic. Know what’s on your record so that you’ll be able to indicate your criminal history more accurately. 

3. Be Open to Other Opportunities

Scott mentioned that whenever he interviews candidates with criminal records, he sometimes has other positions in mind for them than what they’re applying for. These positions will often be jobs where a criminal history won’t be a factor. 

What does this mean for you? It means that if you’ve got a record, be open to other opportunities and positions.  

4. Most Important: Be Honest

Believe it or not, honesty can go a long way during your application process — with or without a criminal history. Scott says that being honest during your application makes the process easier for HR to do a background check. Most importantly, it leaves a positive impression, maximizing your chances of getting hired.  

Criminal Record or Not, You Deserve the Job You’re Aspiring For

A criminal record can leave a dent in your chances of employment. However, your record doesn’t need to hold you back. 

A key part of maximizing your shot at your dream job is knowing what’s on your record and getting it expunged. With a pardon and expungement lawyer in PA, you can. 

Know what’s on your record? If you want us to look up your record for you, click here!

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