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How Ex-Cons, Illegals, and People With Bad Credit Find Jobs

by Shawanda Greene

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Your employment options are limited if you’re a felon, undocumented worker, or financially irresponsible. If you fall into either or all of these categories, it is possible to find a job.

So, how does a malcontent like yourself convince someone to hire you?

It’s easy, really. Hire yourself.

People Who Don’t Pay Their Bills

I was reminded of this while listening to a Marketplace Money segment, Cover letter, resume…and your credit score? Saran Sholar, a jobless human resources professional, expressed how hard it’s been to find a job in the weak economy. As if that’s not enough, Sholar faced another problem: Bad Credit.

According to a 2010 study prepared by the Society of Human Resource Management, six in ten companies review potential employees’ credit reports before making a hiring decision.

That could mean trouble for the unemployed.

If you don’t have a job, you don’t have money to pay your debts. Without money to pay your debts, you get bad credit. But with bad credit, you can’t get a job. And round and round you go.

Sholar seemed to experience this scenario first hand. She recalled an instance when she was denied a job because of her poor credit history. It’s not clear from the interview whether Sholar was turned down for more than, uh, one job. However, she blamed her financial mistakes for her inability to secure work.

Keep in mind a full four out of ten employers don’t use your credit report to make hiring decisions – AT ALL. You should also know that only 1 in 10 organizations perform credit checks on all employees.

Ultimately, Sholar landed a few hours of work as a human resources consultant, i.e., freelancer.

I’m sure if she hangs in there long enough, someone will give her a job.

People Who Commit Crimes

Now, for my felons. Your march uphill is gonna be a bit steeper.Cartoon burglar

When it comes to criminal background checks, employers are less willing to look the other way.

  • A whopping 73% perform criminal background checks for all candidates.
  • Only 19% review the criminal backgrounds of select candidates.
  • And a minute 7% don’t perform criminal background checks at all.

That means, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll be revealed as the lawless, no do-gooder you are.

Nevertheless, hope lives on.

Many years ago, my cousin’s father left prison after serving five years for sellin’ drugs or somethin’. Instead of begging for a low level job upon release, he made a lucrative decision. He created a job for himself. He now makes over $1,000 per project installing cabinets.

I know another guy who does pretty well for himself as a plumber. He spent 3 years in prison.

As an independent contractor, no one asks if you have bad credit. Or if you attacked a female bus driver during a drunken night in Cleveland.

I’m not saying no one cares, just that no one asks. People only care that you can get the job done right, on time, and at a fair price. That’s it.

If you didn’t steal from or kill the person who referred you, people don’t ask about your past.

Is  it prudent to concern yourself with an independent contractor’s criminal background? You betcha.

But, let’s be honest. Unless they’re managing your assets or caring for your young, you don’t concern yourself with these things.

—-Article continued after advertisement—-

People Who Sneak Into This Country Illegally

I’ll let you in on a little secret; I don’t verify the legal residency status of the freelancers I hire. They’re not employees. I’m not required to collect an I-9 from them. And you can’t make me. You may or may not have snuck (it sounds so much better than “sneaked”) into this country illegally from Canada. I wouldn’t know, because I won’t waste time figuring it out.

I’m just glad I don’t have to pay payroll taxes and costly employee benefits for ya.

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Do you know anyone who has employed themselves after being rejected by numerous employers?

 This article was featured in Totally Money Blog Carnival #34 at Canadian Finance Blog.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia September 25, 2011 at 12:10 AM

I belive that ex-cons and and people with bad credit should have jobs or else they will be on the dole and ask taxpayers to foot the bill again. That isn't productive. Illegals are another story and shouldn't be hired in this country and the employer should be fined and heavily.We have so much drugs coming into this country and the illegals are bringing it here to gain passage. We have illegals growing marijuana on Our Lands to sell it to Our people and I think that is deplorable.
Something should be done about that and really soon. This has been going on in this country for decades. I resent that very much. An illegal has no rights and is not intitled to any. Its time for that to stop!

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Shawanda September 25, 2011 at 8:53 AM

You're right.

Illegals shouldn't grow marijuana and sell it to our people.

Americans should be able to legally grow marijuana and sell it to our people.

What needs to stop is this ridiculously expensive and ineffective war on drugs.

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debtfree30 October 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM

I'm in Australia and it would be illegal here for potential employers to check your credit report. (Lucky for me!) But our credit reports are very different to the US anyway, and told give much info. We don't have "credit scores" per se. Criminal record checks happen, you have to sign a document to allow the potential employer to check, but obviously it won't be looked at favourably if you don't sign! Working for yourself may be a solution, but I think it's easier said than done – depending on your skills, competition, etc. And AVOID all the ads you see about "single mum earning thousands per month via the internet"!

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Shawanda October 3, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Working for yourself can be challenging, but sometimes you don\’t have much choice. Unfortunately, past behavior is still the best indicator of future behavior. Employers are iffy about hiring people who are prone to violating the law and getting locked up.

I wonder whether there\’s any verifiable proof that people with good credit are better employees than people with bad credit. I read somewhere that people with bad credit are more likely to file claims against their insurance company, and as a result, are less profitable customers. Employers are paying to pull prospective employees\’ credit reports, there must be some benefit to it.

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JohnsonSmith October 11, 2011 at 6:45 AM

I hope that ex-cons and people with bad credit must have jobs otherwise they will be on the dole and ask taxpayers to base the bill again.
QuickQuid

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Philanthropy Asia March 6, 2012 at 4:37 AM

It is really nice to find that people with bad credit may find the jobs. I really appreciate your hardwork in the post. http://sfoasia.org/

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Chrondale August 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

This article was worthless. It did not say how you can get a job if you have bad credit. It simply said (quite incorrectly) that “only” 60% of employers check your credit. That’s BS. It’s more like 99% in fact, I can not think of a single job which I have applied to that did not require you to submit to credit check. Even Mcdonalds required it. The other thing this article absurdly suggested for people with bad credit is to just “make your own job” WTF? Really? I have bad credit, nobody will hire me so I’ll just start my own business! Great idea. What an idiot. Where do you get money for your business if no one will lend to you? Effing Idiot wrote this article. Another problem is affirmative action. The only time I even get interviews is when I say I’m “Hispanic” (im a white dude) which they always ask for your race.

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Shawanda Greene August 31, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Sounds like you’re hell-bent on whining, complaining and making excuses for your own self inflicted mediocrity. Take responsibility for your life and quit bitchin’.

The statistics I provided in this article were provided by reputable organizations. Not sure you bothered to click on the links. There’s no way in Hades, 99% of employers check your credit. Where’d you get your “facts” from? You, sir, are not a representative sample of the entire country.

You don’t need a loan to start a business, but you could look to your family and friends. If they don’t have the money, you could find people to fund your project (Kickstarter.com) or fund the business yourself with your own savings. I don’t care what you do to get the money. Clean houses, cut grass, pull weeds, walk dogs, paint porches . . . Come to think of it, those are jobs in and of themselves. You can do freelance work like I mentioned in the article. Or hit up your friends and family for paid work. I used to pet sit for a friend who paid me. Go on Craigslist and look for paid gigs. How many people do you think check your credit for a half day’s work?

I know plenty of successful “white dudes.” As a matter of fact, the U.S. has tens of millions of them. I know one in particular who created a software and has made tens of thousands of dollars off of his product. He didn’t need a loan to do it. My mother (not a white dude) started a day care business without borrowing money. My father (black dude) couldn’t even read and he found all types of ways to bring in extra cash for our family. Whatever skills you have use them. If you don’t have any skills, who’s fault is that?

To assert that you can’t get a job unless you’re Hispanic is ludicrous.
Shawanda Greene recently posted..How to Move Without Blasting a Hole in Your BudgetMy Profile

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