How to Convince Your Boss to Hire Second Chance Employees

How to Convince Your Boss to Hire Second Chance Employees

How To Convince Your Boss To Hire Second Chance Employees

As a hiring manager in a small or large business, today’s robust economy can take an already challenging job and make it nearly impossible. Sourcing and hiring qualified candidates in a limited market can turn every day into a test of patience and strength. Trying to balance replacement hiring due to turnover, and new hiring as a result of growth and expansion, can be a deep body of water whose surface you never seem to get your head above.  

Struggling daily and needing ideas to overcome this challenge, you’ve done some very important research around initiatives to solve your staffing issues. You are aware any advantage you uncover could position your company well ahead of your competitors, who are adrift in the same deep body of water with the same problem your business faces: finding and retaining reliable, hardworking, and loyal employees.

Through the course of your brainstorming, you’ve discovered that there does exist a talented, and largely untapped pool of candidates your company should be considering: ex-offenders who have paid their debt and are in need of jobs.

Or, as we like to call these prospective employees, second chance hires.

Seems like a great idea that makes perfect sense, right? You may think so, but will your boss buy-in and sign off on implementation?

Aside from the knowledge that hiring a second chance job candidate helps a returning citizen increase their chances of successful reintegration back into their communities, your diligence in researching this topic has shown you there are many other reasons this initiative could benefit your company.

So, needing to formulate this idea into a solid plan for approval from either the CEO, owner, or HR Director…here’s a few ideas to help prepare you for doing just that.  

There is a basic framework to help convince any boss to adopt an idea, so here are specific facts that will assist you in persuading your boss to adopt hiring practices that include second chance employees.

Emphasize how your idea offers a clear solution to a targeted problem.

The problem of employee turnover and lack of quality candidates should be a clear problem not only for you but for your boss. With unemployment hovering at historic lows, the candidate pool for job openings is extremely thin and very competitive.

This generates significant problems not only in the quantity of applicants but with the quality of candidates available to you.  

Your boss already knows this, witnessing the effects throughout your organization with increased staffing costs due to:

  • Resources spent interviewing unqualified candidates.
  • Expanding the interview process to include more candidates than necessary due to drug screen concerns.
  • Lost productivity due to absenteeism throughout your company.
  • High turnover rate as a result of the lack of quality candidates.


Persuading your manager that your company can better control these escalating costs by including second chance candidates for open positions is key to having your initiative accepted.

You can let your boss know that while unemployment sits at 3.7% nationwide, the unemployment rate for returning citizens is nearly 30%, so including second chance candidates vastly increases the quantity of applicants for job consideration.  

Certainly one of the biggest concerns that may be raised will be the stigma surrounding hiring ex-offenders into your workforce. Can you really improve the quality problem by introducing candidates with a criminal background into your culture?

Many second chance employees took advantage of every educational and personal growth opportunity available to them while incarcerated. Through vocational training and social programming, they developed their job skills and focused on changing the ways of thinking that led to their incarceration.

These candidates fully understand the difficulties and stigmas they face trying to find employment and if given an opportunity, a second chance, they will bring a strong work ethic and positive attitude to your organization. Knowing the odds will forever be stacked against them, their gratitude will drive their success with your business.

With that comes loyalty, and less turnover.

It simply makes sense from a quantity and quality viewpoint to open up job opportunities to second chance employees.

Lean on Emotion (Just a Little…)

Sometimes the best way to get the boss on board is to make him or her feel personally involved.

Research has shown that when we include emotional appeals to help make our points, listeners may be more likely to align their thinking with ours.

After making the compelling argument with facts that justify this new approach to the staffing problems, appealing to an emotional tie around the concept of hiring second chance employees may allow your manager to be more open to your proposal.

It may be as simple as discussing that giving returning citizens a second chance not only solves your staffing cost problems, but it’s the right thing to do. It will give your business a competitive advantage that will make you leaders in your industry, and you’ll feel good getting there.

Most managers love an opportunity to realize their actions have a positive impact not just on the bottom line, but also on the communities they serve.

Considering second chance candidates is a great way to manage the current employment crisis, and a great way to feel good about the impact you are having on lives.   


P.S. is a national fair-chance employment platform that is free to use, helping hundreds of employers connect with formerly incarcerated job seekers. Simply create an account, post your job openings, and you will start to receive applications from people who perhaps previously did not know that your company would consider them.

Visit this link today to get started:


Written By:

Kevin McDowell at Captivate Creative Copy.