The pilot program in Chicago will be done in partnership with nonprofits in the city with the goal of mentoring, training and recruiting potential hires who might otherwise be dismissed from working in a bank due to their criminal histories. The pilot began about 18 months after the bank adopted a ban-the-box policy, which prohibits its own recruiters from asking applicants about criminal records initially.
A background check is run after the applicants gets a conditional offer. Illinois has required a ban-the-box policy since 2014.
The unemployment rate for the formerly incarcerated individuals is 27%. “We believe this is an underserved group, and that hiring them benefits the community, reduces recidivism,” says Gershom Smith, assistant general counsel in Chase’s human resources department. “All we have to do is give people a shot.”