Criminal Background Checks Hiring Policy: What to Do if a Candidate Has a Record

Posted on 06.26.2019

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Many human resources departments are incorporating criminal background checks into their hiring processes – but what happens if a screening turns up a prior record?

The answer will vary depending on your organization, but there are some best practices to consider:

  • Stay up-to-date on human rights regulations in your area.
  • Consider the role you’re hiring for.
  • Create a hiring policy.

Human rights codes can vary from province or province or country to country. If you’re unsure about the legal requirements, consider looking into them or consulting a lawyer.

Certain roles have certain requirements.

For instance, it may be more important for a bus driver to have a clean driver’s abstract than an employee whose role is in the office only.

When you’re considering your decision, look carefully at the role you are filling and what requirements it may have.

Research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) found that employers are willing to consider candidates with criminal histories if they have good references, a solid performance record and are trained in skills the employer is seeking.

According to the research, two-thirds of managers and three-fourths of HR professionals have hired people who committed misdemeanors or substance-related felonies, such as DUIs. And more than two-thirds of HR professionals who have hired people with criminal histories think their quality of work is as high as or higher than the work of employees who don't have a criminal record.

"A criminal record should never be viewed as an automatic disqualification for employment," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM's president and chief executive officer.

A criminal record doesn’t have to mean an automatic dismissal – but it is good to know how your organization approaches it.

At Triton, we offer quick and affordable criminal background checks and more.

Learn about our pre-employment screening solutions today. Call 1-844-874-8667 or visit

*Note: our police record check services do not include Vulnerable Sector Checks. Vulnerable Sector Checks must be done through your local police station.