Hiring Ex-Offenders

I know that one of the groups mentioned hiring ex-offenders as employees for their solar initiative, and this article agrees with the strategy. Eurest, a food-service and hospitality firm in Chicago is working with a nonprofit in order to begin a culinary-skills training program for their new employees, who all will have had a criminal conviction in their past. The article notes that this move was not merely for philanthropic reasons, “With the U.S. unemployment rate at 4.1 percent and 6 million jobs unfilled nationwide, hiring people with criminal records, even those who have served jail or prison sentences, has moved from corporate kindness to corporate necessity.” Hopefully, tapping this new source of employees can continue to fuel economic growth in our country.

I was particularly intrigued by the fact that Eurest will be hiring citizens with past jail time. I believe this is a smart call, as some jail sentences could be the results of strict sentencing guidelines, and may not always correspond with the severity of the crime committed.

5 thoughts on “Hiring Ex-Offenders

  1. This is a very interesting article and I think it brings up a lot of important facts. I am curious though, will they hire ex-offenders, regardless of the nature of the crime? For example, will they hire someone who served their time after being convicted of a rape or murder charge? Or will they only hire ex-offenders who committed non-violent crimes? I think that sometimes businesses advertise that they are hiring ex-offenders and then they pick and choose from those ex-offenders based on the nature of the crimes they were convicted of.

  2. I think this article is extremely interesting. I’ve always thought that companies who hire ex-convicts are doing a social good. No one should be punished for one mistake.

    I am curious how this will effect those that would normally apply for this type of job. Will it create competition or a demand for the jobs? Or will it remain the same as before?

  3. Great article. Love the idea of re-integrating those with a criminal background back into society. I’m glad that current economic factors are increasing the desirability of hiring ex-cons. The article mentions a reluctance on the part of business owners to come out and say that they are willing to or currently do hire ex-offenders. This is understandable for two reasons. First, and depending on the type of business, announcing that you hiring ex-cons could cause customers to not trust you as much. Second, many companies who are willing to hire some ex-cons may not want to advertise this because they don’t want to be inundated with ex-con applications. Perhaps a balance of employees is preferable to hiring too many ex-cons at one place. Just some musings about the issue.

  4. I also found this article very interesting. I believe the premise behind the idea is one that could benefit both society and economy greatly. However, I am not sure of some of the logistics. Would this program hire ex-offenders regardless of the nature or severity of their past convictions? There is a huge difference between someone that has committed a non-violent crime against someone convicted of murder. This presents many liability issues that could possibly result in many negative consequences for Eurest. As one classmate stated, the hiring of these ex-convicts could potentially deter many customers and advertisers away from wanting to associate with the company. Furthermore, other employees at Euros might have strong opinions against working in an environment that potentially poses huge risks to their safety. Eurest will need to sort out many of these logistics before they can successfully implement such a socially conscious yet potentially harrowing experience for both the company and all its affiliates.

  5. It is great that companies are starting to incorporate these techniques. A downside can be the over-exploitation of the ex-felon, now employee workers. I have heard anecdotally from ex-felons that are hired thru these types of programs that they still face discrimination even after being hired. One group, for instance, said that their boss had hired them “under the table” and was not paying them what he owed them and they were being stalemated since they couldn’t find better offers elsewhere. Their choice was to either continue to work over-time without proper compensation, or be unemployed again. Of course, this is something that can be regulated just by proper management and I’m sure that employer was breaking labor laws by doing so. But this practice still went on for several years and may still be going on at that office today.