For millions of U.S. job applicants with a criminal record, just making it past the screening stage of the hiring process is a challenge. New research shows that could be the employer’s loss. Using the U.S. military — the nation’s largest employer — as a test case to evaluate the work performance of felons upon re-entering the job market, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst found they were no more likely than other enlistees to be discharged for the negative reasons employers often assume, such as misconduct or poor performance. What’s more, they were actually promoted at a slightly higher rate and to higher ranks than those with clean criminal records. The study is one of the first to assess the actual performance of felons in the workplace, according to the authors.