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SHRM releases its 2021 Getting Talent Back to Work Report

Updated: Mar 11

Key Takeaways :

  • SHRM’s research shows that a growing number of HR professionals and business leaders are willing to hire a job candidate with a criminal record

  • While many companies lack the appropriate resources or programs in-house to assist people with past justice involvement, nearly half of all employers who were surveyed agreed that greater supports should be available in their company

  • Since 2018, there has been an increase in the number of companies that choose to remove the criminal history section from job applications. Many companies, however, continue to struggle to recruit individuals with past convictions


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently released their 2021 Getting Talent Back to Work Report to offer resources and data to employers and working professionals with interest in how to develop and implement effective Fair Chance hiring practices.

SHRM conducted research on individuals with criminal records in the workforce and interviewed HR professionals and business leaders to better understand their perspectives and expertise on this talent pool. The report demonstrates how companies can create greater opportunities for individuals with criminal records to succeed in the workplace. It also illustrates how organizations must be willing to learn about this talent group and provide them the chance to do well.

The report emphasizes the high degree of stigma many with criminal records still face when entering the workforce. Interviews with employers and HR professionals, for example, surfaced some concerns about potential legal risks and/or negative impact on a company’s brand. Despite those concerns, SHRM’s research found growing interest and willingness among companies to adopt Fair Chance Hiring practices. It also illustrated how many hiring managers do not align with the negative stereotypes and stigmas commonly assigned to this group. In fact, many employers said employees who have criminal backgrounds are just as capable as or more capable than workers without criminal records in performing and remaining at their jobs.

SHRM’s 2021 Getting Talent Back to Work Report details many exciting developments in the Fair Chance hiring space. With the insights outlined from this research, employers can empower individuals with criminal records to obtain meaningful employment and build a life of prosperity.


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