Industry leaders and the government are trying to address the challenges job seekers with criminal backgrounds face. Both local and state governments are passing legislation that realizes stronger protections for such job seekers. Illinois, for example, passed a law that prohibits employers from taking negative actions against job seekers and employees based on past criminal activity.
Employers also have begun efforts to alleviate difficulties in the hiring process. The Body Shop stopped and drug screenings and background checks from its job application process, stating that its hiring strategy is an open hiring model. While Arizona-based Televerde, a demand generation services provider, has developed strong ties with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated groups.
Goodwill and Accenture’s tool describes another example of how virtual reality is used to train both potential and current workers. The VR tool enables job seekers with criminal backgrounds to exercise their interviewing skills, interact and communicate with HR professionals and hear from other workers who found a job after incarceration. The project is named Project Overcome, where job seekers learn to speak conveniently about their detention and use the latest technologies.
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