Are you falling behind in the war for talent? Have you ignored a largely untapped labor pool of almost 75 million people, who equate to nearly one-third of adults in the United States? With unemployment below 4 percent, and the GDP losing an estimated $78 billion to $87 billion annually as this group remains unemployed, maintaining outdated employment practices that present significant barriers to the hiring of individuals with criminal records is no longer a viable strategy for organizations.
To be sure, reform is on the way, with the First Step Act signed into law by President Donald Trump in December of 2018. The new law aims to reduce sentences for nonviolent offenders in federal prisons and improve programs to reduce recidivism, including workforce readiness. Businesses that are struggling to fill positions in a job market where there are more jobs than applicants can take the next step and include this population in their recruiting efforts.