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Fair Chance Hiring: Recruit Group’s Initiatives to Break Down Job Market Bias & Barriers

Recruit Group aims to help 30 million people facing barriers in the labor market around the world get hired by FY2030To an external site*1. One of the job market barriers that we are prioritizing to solve is criminal records. Even in the U.S., where more than 70 million people—or about one in three of the adult population—have some type of criminal record*2, job seekers with criminal history are over 50% less likely to get a call back or offer*3. Recruit Group aims to reduce this barrier so that justice-impacted job seekers with valuable skills and capabilities have a fair chance to demonstrate their abilities.

*1 The initiative as of today includes providing assistance through the Company's online job platform, and through partnerships with NPOs and other organizations with whom the Company collaborates. The Company may also aim to reduce other various barriers, including newly emerging issues in the labor market by FY2030.
*2 Source: The Sentencing Project
*3 Source: Wendy Sawyer, Peter Wagner「Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020」(2020)

Severe and Significant Barriers

In the U.S., fair chance legislation is meant to curb discrimination against job seekers with a criminal record, and to promote hiring based on the qualification of an applicant*4. Despite such efforts having been expanded gradually, the unemployment rate for job seekers with criminal records is about five times higher than the national average*5. However, research indicates that finding a job that pays more than the minimum wage within two months of release from prison cuts the chances of reincarceration by at least half*6.

Recruit Group is working to reduce the bias and barriers that justice-impacted workers face in the job market.

The old practice to screen candidates with a criminal background check still exists.

*4 U.S. legislative actions toward promoting fair employment opportunities for job seekers with a criminal record. With the aim of increasing the rate of employment of qualified workers, actions include prohibiting employers from asking applicants for their criminal record during the hiring process, or before issuing a written offer (source: National Employment Law Project).
*5 Source: Prison Policy Initiative
*6 Source: The Urban Institute

HR Technology SBU: Indeed Initiatives

1. Platform
Indeed is working on a variety of initiatives to improve the UI (user interface) of its platform to make it easier to find listed jobs where criminal records are not relevant to the hiring process — known as "
fair chance hiringsTo an external site."

2. Partnerships
Data suggests that approximately 40% of those with criminal records are eligible to have all or part of their criminal records expunged*7. In February 2022, along with partners such as the Texas Fair Defense Project and Checkr, Indeed launched a program called "
Essentials to WorkTo an external site" to assist in this process.

*7 Source: Chien, Colleen V., America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap (2020)

3. Internal Hiring
Indeed recently reevaluated its hiring policies and processes to promote Fair Chance hiring. They also shared their new hiring standards in
a press releaseTo an external site in the hopes that this new initiative will help other companies reassess how they hire.
Indeed has partnered with Persevere — an NPO that offers coding courses for justice-impacted individuals on parole — and Banyan Labs, a company created out of the need to place Persevere graduates into jobs through an on-the-job training program at Indeed and other companies. This partnership has helped justice-impacted individuals find jobs smoothly after release from prison and has maintained a very low recidivism rate.

A coding education program for inmates and parolees, provided through a partnership

Matching & Solutions SBU: Initiatives at Recruit

"WORK FITTo an external site" (in Japanese only) is a Japan-based program run by Recruit that supports employment and career education. The program started in 2011 and has assisted people from various backgrounds, including those in juvenile detention facilities, children's homes, and young people without employment. In FY2022, Recruit also started a program for justice-impacted women at a prison to help them prepare for life after release, aiming to reduce recidivism.

Staffing SBU: Staffmark Initiatives

Since 2015, Staffmark — a Recruit temporary staffing company in the U.S. — has been working with major client companies active in fair chance hiring to implement a program that allows employees to begin working as temporary staff and then be directly hired. As of FY2021, the program has received extremely high satisfaction ratings from participants, with 95% of those who joined the program continuing to work six months after starting a position.

Creating More Fair Work Opportunities Around the Globe

Criminal records, which are unrelated to job requirements, should not be the deciding factor for hiring. In reality, however, the long-established systemic biases of the job market pose a significant barrier to job seekers with a criminal record. Through the use of technology, partnerships, and its own hiring methods, Recruit Group will promote fair chance hiring while creating more fair opportunities to break down this barrier.

May 12, 2023

This article is based on information available at the time of publication.