Effective Fair Chance Hiring Initiatives take a concerted effort by policymakers, employers, and workforce/reentry organizations to ensure high quality opportunities and candidates who are prepared to succeed in the workforce
Fair Chance Hiring makes business sense -- and the direction of the economy necessitates that employers rethink how they evaluate and consider talent
The partnership between Envoy (formerly Levelset), CCT, and Bojangles has helped spur a broader regional conversation about probation/parole policy and how employers take a more proactive role to recruit and support people with past convictions
In early 2021, leaders from across Greater Charlotte joined to discuss opportunities and learnings from Fair Chance hiring practices. The convening, organized by Patrice Funderburg, Executive Director at the Center for Community Transitions, brought together City, County, State, and private sector leaders to share ideas and commitments to improve access to the labor market for residents with past convictions.
Matt Joyce from Envoy spoke about our partnership with Bojangles and CCT to update policies and practices and develop a large scale pilot to recruit and hire 80+ people returning from incarceration (28:40). The pilot yielded retention and advancement rates well above the company average, and had positive impacts on company culture. In addition, our collaborators from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety spoke about their commitment to the project, helping ensure that employees on state supervision had the flexibility to succeed in the job.
In addition, our collaborator Jeff Korzenik, Chief Investment Strategist for Fifth Third Bank, spoke from an economist's lens about the macroeconomic imperative to make jobs more accessible (32:22). He argued that the perceived risk and stigma keeping talented workers out of the labor force is unsustainable, and candidates with past convictions remain one of the greatest untapped talent pools in the economy. Research has demonstrated that convictions have little bearing on employee's success in a job, and forward-thinking employers should recognize that lifting barriers for candidates' criminal histories provides a competitive advantage.
Other speakers at the convening included Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation CEO Wendy Safstrom (55:38), who discussed SHRM's updated Getting Talent Back to Work site and certification program for HR professionals. In addition Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, and NC Attorney General Josh Stein were among the many public sector leaders making the policy case for Fair Chance hiring. The Charlotte convening was emblematic of the cross-sector motivations and collaborations that are driving Charlotte's emerging national leadership in Fair Chance hiring.