CareerBuilder surveys employers on their hiring of ex-offenders

Hiring and human resources managers across the nation filled out surveys concerning ex-offender hiring.

Most employers are open to hiring ex-offenders, at least according to a major study from CareerBuilder. In fact, 51 percent of those surveyed reported that their organizations have at one point hired someone with a criminal record.

The online survey of 2,298 U.S. hiring managers and human resource professionals was conducted by Harris International on behalf of CareerBuilder between May 14 and June 4, 2012. CareerBuilder, a company specializing in human capital solutions, is best known for its job-search website, which receives more than 24 million unique visitors per month.

Why the attention to ex-offenders? “CareerBuilder looks at a variety of employment issues throughout the year,” says company spokesperson Michael Erwin. “This was our first survey that focused on criminal backgrounds and based on the positive response to it, we will most likely redo it next year.”

The survey respondents made many recommendations on what job seekers with criminal records can do to make themselves more marketable to employers. Those who work with ex-offenders have no doubt heard most of these recommendations before but may not realize where they rank in importance among hiring and HR managers.

“The number one recommendation hiring managers have is to own your past and focus on what you learned from it to grow professionally and personally,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “You also want to stay active. Taking classes, volunteering and tapping into social networks can be good ways to help overcome obstacles associated with job hunting with a criminal past.”

What things – in order of importance – that ex-offenders can do to make themselves more marketable, according to the survey results:

  • Be up-front and honest about the conviction and stress what you learned from it (68 percent)
  • Be willing to work your way up (48 percent)
  • Stay positive (46 percent)
  • Prepare while you’re in prison by taking classes or getting a degree or vocational training (39 percent)
  • Don’t apply to jobs where your record would automatically disqualify you (31 percent)
  • Volunteer (31 percent)
  • Take freelance or temporary assignments (26 percent)
  • Consider joining the military (18 percent)
  • Start your own business (16 percent)
  • Monitor what is said on social media (13 percent)

Those looking for a job should follow these recommendations and might also want to check out, which includes listings for a wide variety of jobs, from construction and customer service to restaurant and retail and opportunities in countless other fields.

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