Why You Should Ban the Box

//Why You Should Ban the Box

Why You Should Ban the Box

The construction industry faces a labor shortage, and it is just going to continue to be harder to find skilled professionals. One thing contributing to the skilled labor crisis is the “box.” Most job applications ask you to indicate if you have a criminal record. Not only is the box unfair to people who have arrests or convictions, it also severely limits the pool of candidates that a company can hire from. Here’s why you should consider eliminating the box from your applications and stop asking candidates about their criminal history.

You Need Skilled Professionals Working for You

Companies that avoid hiring people who have a record are missing out on an opportunity. It also continues the ongoing stigmatization against people with records. The question is biased. You’re not judging the person based on their skills or qualifications, you’re judging them based on something they did in the past. When there is a huge talent shortage, skills and qualifications need to be the priority. There are 70 million Americans with arrest records and many of these people struggle to find work. That is too large of a candidate pool to ignore.

You Receive Less Applications

Not every person who has a criminal background will reoffend. Many crimes are small misdemeanors that didn’t cause harm to others in the first place. Some have been falsely convicted, while others have done their time and have been rehabilitated. While it isn’t necessarily true that a company that asks about criminal records won’t hire a person who has a record, but the box dissuades these people from sending an application in the first place. They tend to assume they won’t be taken seriously as a candidate, even if they have all the right qualifications. You need to attract as many applicants as possible or you might end up having to settle for someone who doesn’t have the right skills.

You Help the Community

Most people with criminal records have no desire to end up on the wrong side of the law again. They’re just looking for a second chance. Many people with criminal records will work harder because they know how difficult it is to find work. For many people who have served time in prison, trying to reintegrate into society is very difficult. They carry a stigma everywhere they go, and this leads to feelings of hopelessness. When people with criminal records have satisfying jobs, they are much less likely to be repeat offenders. People who break the law often do it out of desperation not because they’re bad people. Taking bias out of the hiring process has positive impact on these people’s lives, as well as the community as a whole.

Major corporations like Target, Starbucks, and Walmart have already removed the box because they saw the economic benefits. Because of the high unemployment rate among those with criminal records there is less money flowing into the economy. By removing the box, you can contribute positively to the overall economy while also helping your own business thrive. The skilled labor crisis is going to shake up the construction industry one way or another. Opening up the talent pool is one way to stay competitive.

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By | 2018-12-19T19:57:42-05:00 December 27th, 2018|Construction Blog|

About the Author:

The Birmingham Group has been serving the construction industry since 1967. Brian Binke took over the firm in 1995 and since that time, he has personally placed over 1200 construction managers and senior leaders, with company revenues ranging from $10 million dollars to the largest ENR 400 companies in the industry. Brian is an industry innovator, with a specialized skillset in construction. His keen understanding of business, the construction industry, and ability to effectively match and recruit top leaders has led to many accolades. He was ranked the #1 International Billing Owner in the construction industry for his own personal production and has been consistently recognized as one of the Top 10 International Billing Owners out of 800 owners worldwide. This includes owners across every industry. In 2013, Brian was awarded the #1 International Billing Owner within the entire network. For over two decades, Brian has been considered one of the most influential thought leaders in the construction industry. His business and construction knowledge are used as a resource for some of the nation’s most prominent publications. In the past year alone, Brian has been quoted in or authored articles for The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, MoneyWatch, Construction Today, ConstructionDive, United Rentals, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, American Express, Builder Magazine, and Human Resource Executive, among others. "I believe companies are a lot like sports teams. The team with the best players usually wins. It is my passion to deliver the absolute best talent to my client companies – the market’s top performers, the talent that every company wants to hire but which seldom seems available. To put it simply, I thrive on helping my clients build their Dream Team." - Brian Binke, The Birmingham Group

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