Discussing Past Shows Personal Accountability

Job seekers worried over how criminal histories and past missteps may prevent them from landing a job should be prepared to honestly address their past — and potentially still land the job, according to a new workplace survey.

A new survey from EmployeeScreenIQ indicates that employers continue to do their due diligence with background checks, but they are not always rethinking candidates when an offense is uncovered.

The vast majority (90 percent) of companies polled have at least once uncovered information that led them to not hire a candidate. However, for those who have revealed criminal convictions, 44 percent said the revelation disqualifies less than 5 percent of their candidates.

So, what types of offenses are more acceptable? Transgressions least likely to disqualify a candidate include:

  • Drug offenses (32 percent)
  • Minor infractions or driving offenses (11 percent)
  • Charges that don’t result in a conviction (4 percent)

Violent crimes, theft, or outright dishonesty to employers are the offenses more likely to disqualify a candidate.

From this study, it’s apparent recruiters and hiring managers are weighing past offenses against what a prospective candidate brings to the table in terms of accomplishments and skills.

While a hiring process should reflect the culture created inside the company, utilizing a system like Talent Management Plus™ (TMP), which measures overall job fit, as well as the technical skills and competencies candidates possess, can be a huge help in navigating this process.

For candidates, being direct and forthright about your past is an opportunity to showcase your personal accountability, which is a highly sought after skill in today’s workforce.

People with a record who have TriMetrix® assessment reports that showcase their behaviors, motivators and — most importantly — skill sets that match to the job should present these to hiring managers and employers.

Then, talk openly about what occurred, placing emphasis on the skills you have built that will put you in a position to excel in the role.

Zach Colick serves as a Content Specialist with TTI Success Insights and specializes in a host of copywriting and marketing strategies that help strengthen the TTI SI brand. Colick has close to a decade’s worth of experience in journalism, editing and marketing, and has held multiple positions within those fields. @ZachColick