As seen in Waste Advantage – November 2023
Effective second chance hiring programs provide job seekers with a clear pathway to meaningful employment.
Setting the Stage for Success
Leadpoint faced significant challenges in maintaining their workforce, during the tumultuous year of 2020, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to these challenges, Maiko Joslin and her recruitment team embarked on a business trip to Denver, CO, where they engaged with dozens of different organizations, businesses, and programs. These interactions spanned from homeless shelters and churches to domestic violence shelters, aimed at helping individuals reintegrate into society, and even correctional facilities. The mission: to promote the availability of entry-level positions within Leadpoint. The outcome was nothing short of remarkable, with a substantial surge in advertisement views and job applications, resulting in new hires. This monumental endeavor marked the inception of Leadpoint’s Local Sourcing Program.
Under the Local Sourcing Program initiative, every Leadpoint site is encouraged to collaborate with local programs, promote available entry-level positions, and support second chance hiring efforts. Partnering with local re-entry services at the site level has been particularly advantageous because these entities possess a deep understanding of the local landscape. Sites work with parole offices, work release programs, and community groups such as The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Volunteers of America. The objective is to establish enduring partnerships with these organizations, enabling them to maintain a consistent and accessible collaboration.
“Fair chance hiring unlocks a huge and unique pool of qualified talent. As we support our customers’ environmental sustainability efforts, it is vital to ensure the same social sustainability in those communities we serve. We do this by focusing on hiring based on experience, talent, and skill instead of criminal records,” Maiko emphasized.
The exceptional abilities and tenure of this talent pool are evident in the fact that approximately 15 percent of Leadpoint’s current workforce has prior justice system involvement. The entry-level position of Sorter also reflects longevity, with 33 percent of Leadpoint’s Sorters having been with the company for more than a year, and 6 percent for over five years. Notably, 38 percent of site managers and administrators began their careers in entry-level positions, highlighting the talent within these roles and the potential for upward mobility within the organization. Leadpoint’s commitment to second chance hiring extends beyond entry-level roles, encompassing positions across the spectrum from the frontlines to management roles at the corporate office.
Empowering Second Chances and Breaking Down Barriers to Employment
Maiko Joslin, Talent Acquisition Manager
Reflecting on her personal journey, she encapsulates the transformative power of fair chance opportunities: “I was given a second chance and started my journey to a better-quality life. The mindset I had for making bad choices transformed into excelling with good choices. My job gave me a sense of purpose, and I hope to inspire others to achieve as much as I have.”
Mike Nunez, Operations Support Manager and Onsite Manager, San Luis Obispo, CA
Early in Mike’s life, he messed up, got into drugs, and was in the county jail more than once. He was down to his last $300 when he found work as a sorter. He joined Leadpoint as an Onsite Manager in 2019. Mike is passionate about hiring individuals who have come from a rough background, providing them with the same kind of second chances he received. “They are my best workers,” he said. “We have a smooth-running site. It’s hassle-free, and that goes back to the people. I don’t look down on anybody,” he continued, “and make sure everyone enjoys coming to work.”
Joe Ortiz, Recruiting Specialist
“Sorting is not easy; it requires rhythm and dedication. Leadpoint recognizes that seizing this opportunity can lead to a fulfilling career. Many of our second chance employees, often new to the workforce, prove to be some of our most dedicated and committed employees. We do not discourage anyone from applying, recognizing potential in every candidate. Whether dealing with staffing challenges or launching new site operations, Leadpoint consistently prioritizes second chance hiring as a key strategy that strengthens our workforce.”