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Thousands of Businesses Pledge to Hiring Those with a Criminal Record

Alexandria, Va., April 28, 2020  In recognition of Second Chance Month, today the SHRM Foundation announced that 3,000 individuals and organizations have signed the Getting Talent Back to Work pledge—signaling a commitment to providing job opportunities to qualified people with criminal records.

Every year in the U.S. nearly 700,000 individuals are released from prison and re-enter society only to be met with barriers to rebuilding their lives, including a lack of gainful employment opportunities.  

In support of their inclusion, the SHRM Foundation's Getting Talent Back to Work digital toolkit will help HR professionals, hiring managers and people managers confidently evaluate, hire and develop this segment of the workforce. The toolkit includes guidance and evidence-based practices around workplace readiness, talent acquisition, onboarding, talent development and talent mobility. 

"This is an opportunity for business leaders to look past a criminal record to truly identify top candidates and build more inclusive workplaces," said SHRM Foundation Executive Director Wendi Safstrom. "These individuals are proving to be a viable workplace solution and valuable talent force."

Research revealed that more than 50 percent of managers and nonmanagers are willing to work with those who have a criminal background. HR professionals are well-positioned to provide best practices to successfully employ these individuals and prepare organizations to welcome them.  

In June 2020, the SHRM Foundation will continue to offer a robust suite of educational content by launching a corresponding Getting Talent Back to Work certificate program to strengthen the skills and abilities of HR professionals to successfully offer second chance employment.

The Getting Talent Back to Work Initiative was launched in 2019 in response to the First Step Act to end outdated, noninclusive hiring practices for people with criminal histories.

To learn more, visit

MEDIA: For more information, contact Sinu Patel at and at 540.355.8822. 


About the SHRM Foundation 
The SHRM Foundation's mission is to mobilize the power of HR and activate the generosity of donors to lead positive social change impacting all things work. The Foundation is committed to elevating and empowering HR as a social force through its innovative solutions to workplace inclusion challenges, programming designed to inspire and empower the next generation of HR leaders, and awarding scholarships and professional development grants to educate and develop students and HR professionals. The SHRM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) philanthropic affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. Learn more at or on Twitter @SHRMFoundation.


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