Updated: Mar 3
Rayfield says that he wouldn't have found a fair-chance employer if it weren't for Honest Jobs. In fact, the job he found is one of the best he's ever had, even before having a criminal record. Hear his story in the video below:
What experience do you have with the criminal justice system?
Rayfield: “It was battery. It’s a misdemeanor. Nobody wants to work with anybody that has that, even though I'm nowhere near a violent person and never have been. It's just one night out of my 34 years of life and it changed a whole lot for me. Even something little like that on your record can really mess up a lot of stuff."
What was your experience looking for a job before you found Honest Jobs?
Rayfield: “I’ve been looking for work for seven months. I've been working little jobs here and there through temp agencies or helping people move. Just trying to bring some kind of money into the house. I couldn't even get an interview. And when I did get interviews, once they saw the criminal record pop up on their screen, it was onto the next candidate. You go for your interview, and they're like: Okay, we're gonna do a background check.” I try to be up front with them, and then they would say: “Well, we're just gonna run it anyway, just to see.” And then once it comes up, and it is what I told them it is, they basically just toss it to the side. Basically, they wasted my time because they could have just told me that at the beginning. And that was when it hit home for me. Like, this is serious."
What was your experience looking for a job after you found Honest Jobs?
Rayfield: “Honestly, it was literally like maybe two to three weeks. I was on Honest Jobs applying everywhere. I think, a day after that the company sent me an email saying they wanted to interview me, I did the interview and literally the same day they offered me the job at an extra pay rate than what they were actually offering. I would've never found Georgia Pacific if I had not found you guys' website. Also, when I was searching for the jobs, they had this little rating on the side to show how many people with backgrounds they actually hired. So I think that was very unique. We kind of want to know if you have ever hired anybody like us before. Seeing that also helped me ease my mind a lot.”
Tell us about your new job!
Rayfield: "I work for Koch. It’s called Georgia Pacific, it’s a power plant. On my first day they offered me benefits. They offered me PTO, vacation, and I have a 401K plan that starts soon. It made me feel special, like I was actually wanted and not just another candidate that they're gonna throw in there. The company is a great company and they're very family-oriented. I’m still able to spend time with my family. I didn't want to work crazy hours just to make ends meet. I just want somebody who's gonna take a chance on me so that I can give them a hundred percent of myself and somewhere that I can just stay long-term. Honestly, one of the best jobs I've had."
Would you recommend Honest Jobs to other formerly incarcerated job seekers?
Rayfield: “I definitely will. Honest Jobs is the website to go through. It is legit and is very quick. Honest Jobs has the best jobs out there. It's not just any jobs. The pay rates were higher than the ones I was finding that did do background checks. Yeah, Honest Jobs really saved my life. Honestly, I finally feel like myself again and big weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I'm happy. I’m at peace.”
Do you have a message to employers?
Rayfield: “There's always two sides to a story. The justice system is really not fair for a lot of people, depending on the situation at hand. How young the person was. I know a lot of jobs let you go seven years back, but things can happen at any given time. Just one mistake that the person makes, does not make them a bad employee. And I believe everybody has a right to have a second chance to make a living.”
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