Author Topic: Not-so-smooth criminals.  (Read 2313 times)

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Offline Rezia

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on: November 20, 2010, 16:47
Not-so-smooth criminals. (The Moscow Times, June 2010)
Criminal records hurt job applicants – even in a country where many run into trouble with the law.
Russia is one of those countries where the number of people with a criminal record is especially high. Finding a job is a challenging task for a person who has done actual prison time or even has a suspended sentence on their record, as many Russian employers are extremely careful about applicants’ past.
     “True, people with a criminal record do face problems finding employment,” Inessa Tsypkina, Training and Development Manager at Manpower, told The Moscow News. “This situation has wide social implications and doesn’t only exist in Russia. ”
     According to Tsypkina, employers placing orders with headhunting companies never specifically mention “absence of a criminal record” as a separate requirement, normally treating it as something that should go without saying.
     A job application from a person who’s had problems with the law is not going to be automatically tossed aside, however, unless they happen to apply for a position in education or law enforcement. “There are some professions that a person with a criminal record cannot take up, and sometimes it is stipulated by the law, as, for instance, in the case of law enforcers, teachers or educators,” Tsypkina explained.
     Natalia Kurantova, Sales Director at Kelly Services CIS, told The Moscow News that employers’ stands on applicants’ past are different in different sectors of the economy. “Industries that pay especially high attention to their prospective employees’ past are banking, telecoms and state-run companies,” she said, adding that a criminal record may not present such an obstacle for people trying to get jobs with small private companies in other sectors of the economy or blue-collar work at factories.
     Meanwhile, employers may or may not pay attention to what exactly an applicant was sentenced for, and sometimes a minor youth delinquency could be treated similarly to a serious offence.
      “There are professional niches that are nearly closed for someone who had problems with the law,” Tsypkina said. “Normally, this concerns areas where a person with criminal inclinations could do the maximal harm to a company’s business, such as, for instance, the banking industry. And employers normally don’t go into details of what an applicant was sentenced for  - a serious crime or inadvertently hitting a pedestrian with their car.”
     And if an employer does go into the details of an applicant’s criminal record, a work-related crime on their record could be especially damning.
     “A work-related offence more often than not means an end of a specialist’s career,” said Kurantova. “Employers don’t even have to make it a special requirement. It is clear, for instance, that if someone was found guilty of property theft while working in the position of a purchasing manager, that person is automatically disqualified for this kind of position.”
     Overall, experts say, the issue of finding employment for people who have served a prison sentence should be dealt with on a governmental level; in the current situation, all they can hope for is a job that requires little qualification in an area where there is a shortage of personel.
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