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2. Recruitment procedures and policy development

Create a digestible, stakeholder-led Ex-offender policy

Develop an easy-to-understand Ex-offender policy, designed with input from stakeholders such as colleagues and applicants with convictions, to ensure widespread understanding and adoption.

What does success look like?

  1. A concise and accessible version of the Ex-offender policy

  2. A policy designed with input from relevant stakeholders

  3. Wider understanding and adoption of the policy across the organisation.

How would Offploy do it?

  • Get colleague buy in: Ensure that existing colleagues and Trades Unions are included in the creation of the policy, listen to their concerns and ideas, and take them with you. This is sometimes easier said than done but clear leadership with an explanation of the positive reasons for employing ex-offenders should set the tone for the discussion. You may initially need to exclude certain offence types if these are a red-line for colleagues. Better to get the policy in place and evolve towards a position of considering all on a case-by-case basis than to fall at the first hurdle.

  • Make the policy easily digestible with a clear statement of purpose and an easy to read format. There are templates available online but avoid cut-and-paste documents. This should be your policy, written for your company and circumstances. See: Why using a "sample policy on recruiting ex-offenders” is bad for business - Recruit!Recruit! (unlock.org.uk)

  • Include a clear statement that where a disclosure has been asked for and received, the company will stand by an ex-offender colleague even if there is unwelcome internal or external publicity. It is important that if someone has disclosed fully to you, that you are prepared to ride out any internal or external storm arising from their employment. Such events are extremely rare but if an employee has been open and honest with you they deserve your support. If however, an employee is found not to have disclosed to you something that should have been disclosed then normal disciplinary procedures should be followed, up to and including dismissal.

  • Include the policy in the policies and procedures that are read and signed by colleagues annually. It is important that all colleagues are aware of your policy on hiring ex-offenders and the benefits that they bring. Annual signing of policies is common practice in many companies and will ensure that all colleagues are aware of the policy, the Inclusion Champion, and where they can raise any concerns in an appropriate way.

  • Publish the policy on the company website and include a digest (or link) in any job ads published. Making the policy fully accessible to colleagues is important but it is also important that potential applicants understand your attitude to hiring ex-offenders. Publishing your policy on your website is a public statement of your stance and may also influence contractors and other partners to follow suit.

    In the ideal world be an advocate, not just a good practitioner!

Examples in Practice

Nothing to see here... yet.

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

But wait, there's more!

We've got even more content designed to support your journey into hiring people with convictions, exclusively for Offploy Members.

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Longer, more in-depth video content

Downloadable templates, expert-written copy-and-pastable content and example documents

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