Why an Ohio restaurant owner employs job seekers with criminal records


It seems the #1 complaint of employers today is they can't find enough qualified candidates to fill their jobs.

Yet, these same employers reject out of hand applicants who come to them with "alternative resumes." Many businesses are loathe to hire someone who has been through the criminal justice system. They'll say it's for legal reasons, or they'll point to inconsistent work history or a lack of specific work experience--even for entry level jobs--as explanations for why they can't risk such a hire.

But the thing is, once a sentence has been served, a criminal background should not be a barrier to employment. It should not define a person's worth. It certainly has no bearing on one's technical capacity or intelligence.

Yet there is a positive correlation between recidivism and unemployment. When they can't find something productive to do--when they are barred from doing something productive--they often revert back to their old habits and evil ways. Then the find themselves back in trouble with the law.

The opposite is also true: ex-immates that maintain employment after their release from prison are less likely to re-offend. As with the rest of us, a job can change the trajectory of a person's life.

And the positive effects a job (income, stability, pride, self-worth) can spill over to positively impact the person's family and the community. More people working. Fewer people incarcerated.

A couple weeks ago, Hot Chicken Takeover boss, Joe Deloss, brought a couple members of his team to talk to Megyn Kelly about the opportunity HCT has given them to "demonstrate a different story for themselves."

Joe has built his business from a pickup window and a couple of employees three years ago to three restaurants and nearly 200 employees, 70 percent of whom have "alternative resumes" (i.e., criminal records). While the conventional wisdom is these folks would be sketchy at best; on the contrary, HCT employees seem extraordinarily loyal. Joe says turnover at his company is four times less the industry average, which can be 100 percent in a year.

Not only are HCT's employees loyal, but so are their customers, who line up before the joint opens.

Watch the full segment below.


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