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2. Recruitment procedures and policy development

Redesign the recruitment process around disclosure

Create a clear, consistent, and positive candidate experience by mapping out the stages of disclosure during the recruitment process. Ensure candidates understand what to disclose, when, and to whom, as well as how their disclosure will be assessed and handled.

What does success look like?

  1. A redesigned recruitment process that considers disclosure requirements

  2. An enhanced candidate experience for those with convictions

  3. Clear guidelines for candidates regarding disclosure, covering what and when they should disclose

  4. Consistent handling of disclosures within the organisation.

How would Offploy do it?

  • Sign up to “Ban the Box” and publicise the fact. This shows a commitment that you will not include a tick box about convictions on your application form. Making this commitment will add you to the list of registered employers and will encourage ex-offenders to consider applying to you. Ban the Box is run by Business in the Community and they have a handy toolkit here: Ban the Box Employer's Guide - Business in the Community (

  • Ensure that all roles are risk assessed prior to advertisement so that everyone is aware which level of DBS check (if any) is required. It is important to consider the role to be advertised initially so that appropriate decisions may be made about the level of DBS check and that this can be included in the advertising of the role. It is a criminal offence to insist on a higher level of DBS check than is necessary and doing so will deter applicants with convictions. The UK government website has a useful guide here: Find out which DBS check is right for your employee - GOV.UK (

  • Include in the job ad a positive statement of welcoming applicants with lived experience of the criminal justice system and a digest of, or link to, your ex-offender recruitment policy. Language is really important here. A positive statement will go a long way to encourage ex-offenders to apply rather than the rather negative “having a criminal conviction will not necessarily be a bar….”.

  • Consider using an independent third party to receive any disclosure that may be required. If your company does not have much experience of receiving and weighing up a disclosure statement, you may wish to outsource this to an expert third-party organisation. This would keep the disclosure separate from the standard HR element of recruitment and provide an expert appraisal of the significance of any information that is disclosed.

  • Inform all candidates what happens to any disclosure received whether offered a job or not. This demonstrates that you have considered all aspects of receiving a disclosure and should reassure all applicants of the confidentiality of their information.

  • Ensure that successful candidates are briefed as to who needs to know about their disclosure and where they can turn if they experience any negative reaction in the workplace. This is important for building trust with your new employee and helping them to avoid disclosing to someone who does not need to know. Where you have appointed an Inclusion Champion it may be a key part of their role to be a supportive presence outside of the line management chain. See: Appoint an Ex-offender Inclusion Champion

  • Ensure that the decision on hiring (or not) is promptly communicated to each applicant together with any constructive feedback that may be relevant. Many ex-offenders are used to applying for dozens of jobs per week and hearing nothing back. They will naturally assume it is because of their conviction(s) even if they have not actually had to disclose. Whilst you may not always chose to hire someone, a call with relevant feedback will be a very welcome part of the process, even if it is bad news. See: Effectively handling the rejection of an applicant with a conviction

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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