Fair Chance For Real Here
That the aspirational vision of previous Fair Chance pledges has had an effect is something all of us Fair Chance warriors and believers should be proud of. We restate, culturally the war is won.The roots of that cultural victory include Fair Chance Pledges, Ban the Box campaigns, and so much more.
But now is the time for real world victories. A Strengthened Fair Chance Business Pledge with attendant Best Practices and Protocols gets it done.
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Until this strengthened Fair Chance Business Pledge the Fair Chance movement was aspirational but inconsistent in its ways and means. Ban the Box, the data has proved, isn’t sufficient by itself to create the needed and desired results. The reasons are clear too. Too many JII job applicants are disqualified not by company policy but by company procedures.AI algorithms or HR standards have the unintended consequence of punishing JII job applicants by a very common side effect of Ban the Box, not looking at a criminal record until a job offer has been made. The side effect is that removing that one filter – no one with a criminal record should be considered – doesn’t remove the other consequences or characteristics of many, even most JII.
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The Best Practices and Protocols that Strengthened Fair Chance Business Pledgers promise to adopt all have the same basis: they are based on data and real world results. More, they are organized to be easy to implement, and save businesses the burden of re-inventing the wheel as a barrier to making good on their Fair Chance goals and benefits. The safety net of Second Look™ to give a rejected applicant a chance to raise her or his hand and say, “Please look at me in context of my experience” will result in up to 1000% more JIIs being considered (because real human beings will be involved, not just unsensible traditional HR standards or AI algorithms that disqualify 9 out of 10 JII without management even knowing).
Among them are lack of job experience since they’ve been in prison, lack of referrals from prior employers because there have been none, gaps in employment continuity, and other traditional hiring criteria that just are not available to JII. It is a contextual look, a Second Look™, that permits a safety net here. One study found that 90% of JII job applicants were disqualified by these other filters that make sense in the context of most candidates, but doesn’t look at a JII in the contextually sensible lens of potential rather than experience. Combined with the additional standards of transparency and data companies are reporting that they are now successfully accessing the enormous pool of talent represented by 70 million former offenders with a 500% or higher increase in actual hires.
The Best Practices and Protocols go further by giving training and contextual awareness to FCHEs in a painless and quickly accomplished on line testing/information system. Otherwise, how can one expect that a person responsible for final hiring decisions could know how to weigh the significance of, say, a twenty year in the past assault, theft, or drug dealing conviction? FCHE (Fair Chance Hiring Expert) information is essential, and now it is available through Best Practices. Similarly, keeping data in the protocol required manner sky-rockets results. The cost of failure of Fair Chance Hiring attempts is enormous to a business in direct costs; and is immeasurably costly in abstract considerations of the productivity lost of potential hirers that were missed. Consider the system waste of applications not given a fair hearing. And the cost to the company of the few who might be hired but were ultimately discounted because there was no one trained in the company in how to weigh current relevance of past criminal conduct. One company’s records revealed that 90% of JII applicants were never given a contextual sensible look, and the few who were were almost never hired because no one knew how to analyze them terms of what weight to give the prior conviction. As a consequence a system had been created that resulted in almost no JII hires, cost the company tens of thousands per year in procedural costs, did no greater good as Fair Chance Hiring should, and hurt the company’s reputation because their results were so far afield from their promises.
To pretend that Fair Chance Hiring, Housing, or any aspect of the Fair Chance Movement is working is irresponsible. To pretend that merely incremental progress, while important, is sufficient, is irresponsible.
Pivoting is what American business is great at. And so, it’s great news: the data are in, so the reasons for the ineffectiveness of the Fair Chance movement are starkly clear, and thus, the solutions have become clear. As clear as that insulin shots help diabetics. As clear as that carbon makes iron steel. As clear as that irrigation makes deserts bloom.
Goal focus – how many JII are actually hired – rather than procedural focus is the key that actually creates effective procedures that achieve goals – businesses successfully accessing this pool of 70 million potentially great hires.
The one prejudice that hurts all of us is an unfounded assumption that years or even decades later a person convicted of a crime has a propensity, a persistent moral defect, a continuing character flaw, that makes it likely that that behavior will re-occur.
The data establishes that is simply untrue. It is untrue in the abstract as applied to the JII population as a whole; basic humanity and moral principles cry out that it is wildly untrue in the particular as to any individual person.This premise ought not continue to be a baseline for approaching how to deal with folks with criminal records. FCHE™ arms HR and hiring responsible executives, owners and stakeholders with the data, making paths to results clear and quantum leaps easier to achieve.