If you're willing to take a chance on a new employee with a shaky past, a government program can reduce your risk.
Through the little-noticed Federal Bonding Program, you can receive a free bond to protect you from theft, forgery, embezzlement and similar risks, usually for $5,000 for the first six months.
The program, run by the U.S. Labor Department, covers hard-to-place applicants, including convicts, people with poor credit records, ex-military with dishonorable discharges, former welfare clients, former drug addicts, and people with no work history. You sign no papers and keep no special records, and there's no deductible.
After six months of being honest, the worker becomes "bondable" for life under commercial bonding from Travelers, the insurer the government uses to run the program. Find out more at www.bonds4jobs.com, www.doleta.
gov/employ.asp or through your state employment office.