It’s understandable that some employers might be leery about hiring recovering addicts. After all, if a person’s struggles with drugs or alcohol become overwhelming enough that they had to seek help, who’s to say those struggles won’t return someday? With many businesses placing a high emphasis on maintaining a drug- and alcohol-free workplace, inviting a former addict into the ranks may seem like an unacceptable risk.
While it is of course critical to maintain a professional, compliant drug-free workplace policy at any business, a blanket ban on hiring people in recovery is not recommended to achieve this goal. Millions of people of all ages in the US alone deal with alcoholism and/or drug addiction, and millions contribute value to the national workforce every day. Some of the world’s most successful businesspeople, after all, are addicts in recovery.
Not convinced? Here are three great reasons to take a chance on hiring recovering addicts:
- Many have extensive experience and knowledge in their fields.
The truth is, there are many recovering addicts looking for work who would otherwise be unavailable for you to hire had they not experienced difficulty stemming from their addiction. Poor performers are not the only workers afflicted. Top performers and talented executives are just as susceptible. A recovering addict may have exactly the mix of talents and skills your business needs to achieve its goals, so keep an open mind.
- They have a higher level of commitment.
Many recovering addicts fear they’ll never get a good job again. When someone is willing to take a chance on them, they’re grateful, which leads to a higher level of commitment in the workplace and loyalty to their employer. These can be invaluable traits in an employee. Many employers have reported that hiring recovering addicts and alcoholics has had a beneficial impact on their business.
- The unemployment rate is very low.
With the unemployment rate at a historic low currently, there are few “perfect” candidates looking for work. In such times, it’s a great opportunity for business owners to tap into an untapped workforce. Typically, former addicts work just as hard as anyone else, and there are also tax incentives available for businesses who hire felons and people who have complete drug rehabilitation.
If you have concerns about drug addiction in the workplace, KRESS can help. We customize drug-free workplace policies for our clients that deliver the right mix of talent and compliance for any industry. Contact us today to find out how!