I've been trying to hire for a technical position for over a year and a few weeks ago had a first interview with someone who I thought was fantastic.  (Just a first interview, lots more stuff to go through.)

Shortly afterwards I googled him and found a very big "wall" of material (blog, photo gallery), all with his name prominent in the url/names.  Nothing odd or off in the content - just a lot of it.  I worked down the google returns and found that on the second or third page, there was a listing in the state sex offender registry - with his picture.

I was stunned and horrified and even weeks later I still am.

I called him to be sure there was no mistake or hacker games going on.  He admitted it was true, it had been 18 years previous, a mistake, known to his current employer, etc.

I'm not in HR just the manager to-be for this hire.  I am surprised that they didn't ask about felony convictions.  I am sure that none of the other staff would want to work with someone with this record.  I also hope that people change and that three years of probation and 15 years of clean record should count for something.


*Do Google

*Don't assume that HR is doing anything useful

*Remember the MT/CT advice that you should be biased against hiring - as a bad hire is so much worse that a good hire is good.


Does this person deserve any further consideration?  Is there a process whereby that might be determined?  What consideration do other employees deserve in a process?


issue123's picture

 I hired, and fired, someone on the sexual registry.  I don't regret either decision.  

A few thoughts:

1)  Make sure HR and your Management are in the loop. If you're not able to personally go to court over these kinds of these decisions, you don't have the right to speak for your company on these decisions.

2)  The easy decision is to reject the applicant.  You'll never run into issues with this decision. The applicant did what they did, they'll suffer the consequences for the rest of their life.

3) Before I hired the person on the registry, I brought the topic up in my all-hands meeting. If ANYONE had concerns, I would not have hired the applicant. I'm sure I violated Labor laws by bringing up their history with my team. But, I did what I thought was right.  Don't just assume that no-one would want to work with someone with their record. you may be surprised. My team was very happy to give the person a chance. History and all.

4) There are over 725,000 people on the registry, in the US more than 1 in every 450.  Not as uncommon as you may think. But alternatively, it's not effective to revisit what they did or didn't do.

Bottom line, you have to do what you feel is right.  Personally, I feel if they've been a good member of society for 18 years, they are a good member of society. But, I'm not in your chair. No matter what, you're responsible for the best interests of your team.

Good luck. Sorry I can't tell you to hire them or not. All I can say, is you are not alone.

PM Me if you'd like to talk.