Hireology Blog - Insights for better hiring & HR


Ban the Box? Two sides to the argument

Posted by Erin Borgerson on February 7, 2014

ban_the_boxThe term "ban the box," is showing up more and more on HR blogs, business news sites, and in the minds of franchises.

What is "the box?"

It's the check box asking about a criminal record seen on paper applications and online application tools that some employers use to screen out candidates.

For many industries, the check box makes sense. Our customer, Lenny Verkhoglaz the CEO of Executive Care, made this comment in the February edition of Franchise Times, "We have a responsibility to our clients who put trust in us to provide care, to make sure people going into their homes are not criminals, or batter them, or worse."

But CEO of 18/8 Fine Men's Hair Salons, Scott Griffiths has a completely opposite viewpoint. He believes his friends from high school who partook in criminal activities, if caught, would not be able to get jobs these days.

"That filter is a cruel cruel taskmaster," Griffiths stated in the article titled Ban the Box?.

Nearly 65 million Americans, or more than one in four adults, have a criminal record for either an arrest or conviction, according to the National Employment Law Project. Today, the check-off box is outlawed in seven states and more than 50 counties and cities that have passed "Ban the Box" regulations.

Pros and Cons of Banning the Box:

Pro: Judging by how quickly states are outlawing the box, you can get a head start and remove the box from your hiring process. This will save you a headache and a massive amount of paperwork in the long run.

Con: Own a franchise location or business that provides services to keep people safe? If you "ban the box," there's a chance you could interview and eventually hire someone with a criminal record. This doesn't mean they will harm your clients, but sometimes it's better to know why they have a criminal past.

In the end, the ultimate decision is up to the franchise owner or business owner. Griffiths summed it up for all by saying, "Isn't it far better to make a mistake on that one person than to filter out 50 great people?"

If you are still weighing the pros and cons of banning the box, perhaps you should be doing reference checks? Learn how to do them right by downloading our ebook.

            reference check, how to do a reference check        

Erin Borgerson

About the Author

Erin is the Director of Marketing, Crisis Controller and Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) who joined the Hireology team in April of 2012. As a certified Inbound Marketer, Erin manages Hireology's marketing department, the Hireology Blog, and media relations. She is also a co-leader of the Chicago Hubspot User Group which brings together Hubspot users from around the Chicagoland area. Erin set off to Chicago after graduating from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she can be found shaking it in a Zumba class, reading a bestseller, or drinking a craft beer on her Wrigleyville porch.