Should You Hire an Engineer with a Criminal Record?

Considering the strong demand for technical and engineering talent, it continues to be difficult to find worthy candidates for your company. In this situation, one obvious question arises – what about hiring a talented and experienced engineer with a criminal record? This forces you to weigh the productivity of your organization against the risk of an employee with a sketchy background.

With making the best decision in mind, here is a look at the important issue of whether to hire candidates with a criminal record that is facing companies in a variety of industries. Hopefully, this offers a measure of wisdom to help make the right choice.

Dive Into the Details of the Candidate’s History

Companies with a need for engineering talent must do their research before summarily dismissing a candidate with a criminal record. Perhaps the incident took place years ago? It is important to find out as much as possible before passing judgment.

If the candidate boasts a clean professional history, top-notch tech skills, and comes highly recommended, this needs to factor into any decision on an interview. Consider these points as well as the nature of their crime to make a reasonable choice. A sterling record along with a collection of quality professional references since the incident is also relevant.

Extra Effort Is Required Throughout the Hiring Process

When considering an engineering candidate with a criminal history, your hiring team needs to work harder performing background and reference checks. A long discussion with previous managers is likely warranted. Obviously, this is a situation where any red flags need extra attention.

Make it a point to fully discuss the incident during the interview if it gets that far. Pay close attention to their body language and eye contact when answering questions about their record. Using multiple interviewers is smart to get more than one opinion before potentially making an offer.

The Nature of the Company’s Work Also Matters

Of course, the type of work performed by your engineering firm also matters. If your team works on government projects where a security clearance is essential, a criminal record likely disqualifies any candidate. In this situation, perhaps a freelance contract working on other non-government projects makes sense?

Ultimately, if your company needs a fresh influx of talent, don’t automatically dismiss any engineer with a record. Research their background and see if their skills and experience warrant a closer look.

If you need additional advice on building a great engineering team, talk to the group at Venteon. As one of the top technical staffing agencies in Detroit, we can find the talent to help you succeed. Connect with us as soon as possible.



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