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4. Marketing your vacancies appropriately and strategically

Approve and utilise ex-offender specialist and social sector recruitment organisations

Collaborate with vetted social sector organisations that focus on quality candidates and support your organisation's needs, while ensuring trial periods and processes are in place. Access a list of recommended organisations for candidate referrals, and consider compensating them for their efforts.

What does success look like?

  1. A network of trusted social sector recruitment partners.

  2. Improved access to quality candidates from socially excluded backgrounds

  3. Support for the sustainability of social sector services

How would Offploy do it?

  • Research and identify reputable ex-offender specialist and social sector recruitment organisations which align with your organisation's values and objectives. See Hays Skills , Bridge of Hope Careers | Home and Employers - Clean Sheet

  • Contact the ones that seem to resonate with you the most. There are a number of good organisations in the sector who can help you develop your recruitment and onboarding process to a level where you are an exemplar. Only you can decide which organisations seem to fit with your needs and ethos but recommendations from trusted contacts will carry a lot of weight.

  • Ensure the calls and advice will be confidential. There are many consultancies offering advice and they will have different approaches to sharing information from one client with another. You are recommended to seek a confidentiality agreement around potentially sensitive information about your company that you may be sharing with a third party.

  • Establish relationships with these organisations, discussing mutual expectations and the terms of collaboration, including compensation for their services. Most ex-offender specialist organisations are charities or CIC’s and have a mission to help their candidates achieve work and progress in life. However, some exclude categories of ex-offenders from their programmes and you will need to ensure that their scope and values align with your own.

  • Connect with your local prison. Many prisons now have Employment Hubs or Employment Advisory Boards. They include local employers and are seeking to build long-term relationship where prisoners can be released into employment which may have been arranged prior to release. You may find that prisoners can get a flavour of your company and you of them while they are still in prison, through the Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) programme. See More prisoners will be allowed to take outside jobs - BBC News

  • Develop a clear process for candidate referrals, ensuring smooth communication and streamlined trial periods for potential hires. Ex-offenders are often cynical and used to being let down. It is important to ensure that their contact with your partner organisations and yourselves is as efficient and smooth as possible.

  • Train your HR and CSR managers to work effectively with the selected recruitment organisations, enabling seamless collaboration and maximising the benefits of the partnership. It will be important to make your intentions to hire ex-offenders clear from the outset. You may wish to review your selected organisations’ procedures and processes in order to ensure that they do not contradict your own.

  • Regularly review and evaluate the success of your partnerships, making adjustments as needed to ensure ongoing support for the sustainability of social sector services and access to quality candidates.

  • Identify organisations that can provide this support. Obtaining support from a specialist third party organisation will help you to benefit from a broader base of experience. This should guarantee that your ex-offender applicants have a positive experience of the interview and onboarding process. See Employers' guide to recruiting and supporting people with convictions - Russell Webster

  • Go back for clarification on any points you don’t understand or after you have spoken with your team. The Criminal Justice System is complex and balancing your desire to get things rights while effectively managing identified risks will take a little time. Don’t be afraid to ask your specialist advisor if you are unclear or unsure. There really is no such thing as a stupid question!

  • Consider donating to or contracting these organisations if you will think you will need their advice in the future. Whilst some advice and support is free of charge, most organisations rely on donations or contracts to survive. If you are interested in building a longer term relationship any contribution will be appreciated.

Examples in Practice

Nothing to see here... yet.

We're still putting the finishing touches on our new Employing With Conviction Guide.

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