HR Virtual Summit Archives leaf image
Hiring Candidates with Criminal Records
Culture Harley Blakeman Oct 08, 2020
Harley Blakeman was a homeless teen and drug addict for several years before being convicted of drug trafficking when he was 18 years old. After spending 14 months in prison, he decided he wanted to go a different direction in life. However, like most Americans with criminal records, his life would be defined by his biggest mistake from that point forward. He decided to pursue a bachelor's degree in business administration believing this would be a great way to improve himself while also establishing a track record he could reference to employers. After four years of hard work and commitment, he graduated in 2017 with honors from Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. He received interviews for nearly every job he applied for, but after disclosing his criminal record, he would always receive the same rejection email. Shortly after he graduated, he began studying how HR approaches the topic and gathering information. In 2018, he created Honest Jobs which is now the nation’s largest fair-chance hiring platform hosting job openings from over 300 companies nationwide. In this presentation, Harley will cover the negative effects that strict background check policies have had on businesses and the community as well as some common yet outdated hiring practices HR should be trying to move away from. Additionally, he will provide guidance on how to create a fair-chance program that benefits your company and your community without taking on unnecessary risk or sacrificing operational efficiency.
Presenter Harley Blakeman
About Harley Blakeman
Harley Blakeman was a homeless teen, a high-school dropout, and addicted to drugs all before he was 18 years old. Shortly after his 18th birthday, he was convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison. Nearly 10 years later he is now the CEO of HonestJobs - the nation's largest fair-chance employment platform - and author of the book, "How to get a job and build a career with a criminal record". Harley is an expert on best practices for employers who want to do their part without taking on unnecessary risk.
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