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5. Interviews, disclosure, vetting and saying ‘no’

Offer applicants an independent disclosure service

Implement a comprehensive disclosure service for applicants, including support for understanding disclosure requirements, presence in interviews, and opportunities for feedback.

What does success look like?

  1. Independent and secure handling of applicant disclosures

  2. Guidance for applicants on disclosure requirements.

  3. Continuous improvement of the interview

How would Offploy do it?

  • Ensure that applicants are aware of what is required to be disclosed prior to any request being made. Being clear in your job ad and on your website about what (if anything) is required to be disclosed and how the disclosure will be taken will give reassurance to potential applicants with criminal convictions. Specify whether “spent” and/or “unspent” convictions will be required to be disclosed and consider providing a link to an organisation like Unlock which has useful advice pages. See: Is it spent? (Poster) - Working out when your convictions are spent - Unlock

    Many people with convictions automatically avoid any job which requires disclosure based on bitter experience and previous disappointment. If you combine openness about the procedure with warm and welcoming language you will be more likely to tap into the ex-offender talent pool. See: Redesign the recruitment process around disclosure

  • Consider using an independent third party to handle disclosures and assess them against the needs of the role and company. You may decide to make the disclosure and checks completely independent of your HR and hiring teams. This ensures that the minimum number of people necessary know about a criminal conviction and may give additional assurance to an applicant that they will receive a fair hearing. You can reach out to a specialist third-party to handle disclosures and build a trusting relationship with them that benefits all parties. See: Hire an independent organisation to review or approve risk assessment decisions

  • Remove disclosure from the interview process completely and only ask for it when an offer has been made. In most cases there is no need to ask for a disclosure or DBS check until the offer stage is reached. Many applicants will self-screen if a DBS check is stated as required in the job ad.

  • Ensure that applicants receive appropriate and prompt feedback after a disclosure has been made whether or not it leads to a job offer. Be honest and open about the reasons. Many people with convictions are used to either hearing nothing and assuming it is because of their conviction, or being given platitudes. Honest feedback will be welcomed especially if it is accompanied by some good advice and guidance. See: 7 Tips for Giving Feedback to Rejected Candidates (

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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