We have a client who called us. Some of their top sales producers are ex-felons. Now, they are not violent ex-felons. They are usually professional people who made a mistake along the way in their life….white collar type crimes and maybe even paid their dues in prison. Some of the best salespeople this company has hired have come from having made a mistake.
It’s so interesting that this company called us because they are looking for salespeople and mentioned in the process that some of the best salespeople they have had been felons. And now, they can’t find any of them. They basically stumbled into the ones that they have hired who have been phenomenally successful. So, they intentionally went out to try to seek the admittedly, rare felon who is capable of doing their job… and they can’t seem to find any of them.
They went online to look for organizations that might help these kinds of people. One place, they said, was in New York but only worked in New York City. The other two or three, they said, either couldn’t be reached or never returned a voicemail or ever called back. The company offers a decent base salary and a hefty commission. They are very disciplined and really don’t put up with much nonsense. It’s inside sales, over the phone, but it is a very sophisticated sell, takes a lot of intelligence and making $100,000 to $200,000 is very reasonable to do. They told us that they have run ads on line and gotten absolutely nothing.
So, they called us. Now they’ll hire other kind of folks with sales experience, obviously. It’s not a requirement that a person be an ex-felon to work at the company. But what struck us as so odd is that this organization is willing to give lots of people a second chance. Now, the parameters of what they look for are very narrow, they give in-depth psychological surveys to see if an individual has the kind of personality that is successful at what they do. They do an extensive background check and, as I say, violent people won’t be considered.
What’s amazing about this and struck us as so odd is that they’re having almost an impossible time even finding these kinds of candidates. Now, we have provided them a number of very good sales candidates for them to choose from. But they are very picky. They are even willing to pay us a fee to find any kind of candidate, even an ex-felon, to fill their sales job.
Why is it so hard to find these kinds of people to hire? Our society is supposed to be a very forgiving and understanding one. We’re supposed to give people second chances and yet this company can’t seem to find hardly anybody to give a second chance to.
The vast majority of people who are employed by this company, according to the manager we spoke with, aren’t ex-felons. But the mere fact that this organization is willing to give a person like that a second chance was phenomenally enlightening. And yet, this firm can’t seem to locate those kinds of people. Now, they will admit that their interviewing and hiring process is going to eliminate most candidates, ex-felons or not. But just the mere fact that they are willing to consider folks who have made mistakes deserves credit. I don’t know if it works out well for them all of the time. I didn’t really get that far with them. But just to find a business organization that was willing to consider people who have made mistakes under the right circumstances this tremendously gratifying.
Where are the ex-felons? If you know of any who can sell and are disciplined enough to work a very strict system, have them call me 214-515-7613.