Residents in Florida who have criminal records can still find good jobs but should know how and when to discuss their backgrounds with potential employers.

People in Florida who have been arrested or convicted of criminal offenses have plenty of things to be concerned about. For many, this includes worries about if they can ever get a job again. The good news is that it is definitely possible for a person to be hired even with a conviction on their record, but they should know how to approach their job search.

Prevalence and importance of background checks

Pre-employment background screening checks have become very common steps in the hiring process these days. Forbes reported that the Society for Human Resource Management indicates as many as 96 percent of all companies conduct these checks before finalizing a new hire decision. This means that it may be impossible to hide some information from potential employers.

Another important fact to note, however, is that a criminal record may not have the same negative impact today that it may have once had. A survey conducted by the SHRM and the Charles Koch Institute found that two-thirds of human resources professionals and eight out of 10 hiring managers still believe that a person with a criminal background can be as effective in a job as can their counterpart without a criminal record.

Do your homework

Before applying for a new job, an applicant with a criminal record should run their own background check. Monster explains that this gives people a clear idea of what might be seen by companies. Forbes adds that it may also return some errors, giving a candidate the time and opportunity to have those errors fixed.

Another important thing to research is the law. Every state has its own laws about what can or cannot be viewed on background checks or what may be used to influence hiring decisions.

Prepare for proactive discussions

According to Glassdoor, when a person has gotten to the point in an application process where a background check will be run, it is best to disclose the information to the employer. This is preferable to letting the company find out about it on their own.

When sharing information about a criminal past, the primary emphasis should be on what the person learned from the experience. The reason for this is to reassure the employer that the situation is not indicative of a pattern of behavior and is not expected to happen again.

Talking with an attorney may help Florida residents with criminal histories learn how they can move forward positively and rebuild their lives.