Checkr Launches Checkr.org, to Accelerate the Fair Chance Movement and Further its Mission to Build a Fairer Future
Checkr.org will be funded through the 1% pledge and led by new hire, Executive Director Ken Oliver
Checkr, a leading technology company powering the future of work, announced it has started its first philanthropic group, Checkr.org. Checkr, whose mission is to build a fairer future by designing technology to create opportunities for all, has funded Checkr.org through the 1% Pledge, devoting one percent of the company’s total equity, time, profits, and products.
One in three Americans has a criminal record—that’s up to 77 million workers who are often eliminated in the hiring process when their background check reports a criminal record to their potential employer. Checkr was founded on fundamentally rethinking the background check space, making the process fairer through education, and eliminating human bias. Checkr.org will share information, best practices and fund new programs to promote fair chance hiring, opening up the talent pool to more candidates in this time of talent shortages.
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“These are talented people, who made mistakes and have paid their debt to society,” said Exe. Dir. Checkr.org Ken Oliver
“Despite the challenges employers have faced both finding and retaining talent over last year, it’s important that they prioritize diversity, including fair chance talent. By making the investment in fair chance talent now, employers can unlock the solution to their talent shortage. Checkr.org will work to educate employers on this opportunity and make the hiring process fair for all,” said Checkr Chief Executive Officer, and Cofounder Daniel Yanisse.
Checkr.org will focus first on San Francisco, Denver, and Orlando, where Checkr has a large employee presence, and then expand across the country. Checkr is working with its customers externally providing best practices and training on fair chance hiring. Internally the company has a goal to hire 5% of its workforce through fair chance talent programs. Checkr has seen first-hand the value that fair chance talent brings to the workplace with these workers having a 79% retention rate and 44% promotion rate. The fair chance promotion rate last year was about 30% higher than the overall promotion rate.
Fair chance hiring is one of the last barriers in DEI hiring. This year, Checkr is on pace to reach its goal to unblock three million candidates through fair chance practices, allowing them to be considered for employment at one of Checkr’s customers. The company will expand that goal even more in 2022. Checkr has also launched an end-to-end solution for job candidates to complete expungements and clear their criminal records. This solution, the first of its kind in the industry, removes the complexities and high legal fees typically associated with expungements and unlocks barriers to meaningful employment. Checkr.org received a $250,000 grant this summer to fund 1,000 free expungements in 2021.
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Checkr hired Ken Oliver, Executive Director, of CROP (Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs) as the Executive Director of Checkr.org. Oliver, who is a paralegal and former state policy director, was convicted of joyriding and spent almost 24 years in prison, more than eight of those years in solitary confinement. Since his release in 2019, he has dedicated his life to servant leadership and fighting discrimination against those who suffer from criminal convictions as they attempt to rebuild their lives and reintegrate back into the community with safe and dignified housing, meaningful employment, and access to economic mobility.
“Through CROP and other organizations I have looked for ways to make meaningful change in the system and to partner with organizations to make policy, hiring practices, even housing fairer for those who are restarting their lives,” said Oliver. “I came to Checkr.org to take this effort to the next level, and hope we can partner with even more companies, non-profits, and training groups to reach even more hearts and minds. These are talented people, who made mistakes and have paid their debt to society. They want to be given a fair chance at life – and a promising career is the cornerstone of that.”
“We are thrilled to announce that Ken has joined our team to design and implement the strategy of our new philanthropic arm,” said Checkr Chief Financial Officer, Naeem Ishaq. “Ken has walked in the shoes of those we are committed to supporting and is uniquely positioned to lead Checkr.org. He knows how challenging it can be for the recently incarcerated to find opportunities for employment and he will be instrumental working to eliminate bias and help promote fair chance.”
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