U.S. Rubber, a manufacturer in Colton, CA, has met the challenge by embracing second-chance hiring. Formerly incarcerated people, hired through their Bounce Back! program, make up about 50 percent of their workforce.
A key benefit of second chance hiring is the ability to fill open positions so your business can grow. While competitors struggled to fill shifts and watched their production suffer, Bounce Back! helped U.S. Rubber grow more than 100 percent during the first two years of the pandemic.
Another benefit of second chance hiring is having a purpose beyond making money and a high-quality product. And, employees who you give a second chance to are exceptionally loyal. People who want to turn their lives around are eager and excited to do so through steady employment.
If this sounds like something you want to explore, here are a few tips to make the journey easier:
1. Know where to look. Second chance job fairs at churches, your county office, parole associations, and nonprofits are great sources for potential employees. Also get to know the staff at local halfway houses, as they can identify strong candidates among their residents. Goodwill also has job training and placement resources for people leaving prison.
2. Hire an HR person who has experience working with justice-involved populations. Thanks to his/her prior work with incarcerated people, they will know the right questions to ask to learn what motivates the person and whether they have a strong work ethic.
3. Encourage managers and recruiters to eliminate preconceived notions about who can succeed. Most people deserve a second chance, especially if they’re committed to building a new life for themselves outside prison.
Jill, What Can I Do? Start the conversation in your organization. If people are open to exploring second chance hiring, it can solve your staffing woes and ensure your company has a purpose beyond making money. Additionally, you’ll create opportunities to help individuals become law-abiding, productive citizens. Priceless.