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

Review your existing interview questions to outline any bias against applicants with convictions

Reviewing your existing interview questions to outline any bias against applicants with convictions can help eliminate discrimination and bias in your recruitment process. It can also help ensure that your interview questions are fair, unbiased, and legally compliant.

By taking this action, you can demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility and creating a more inclusive workplace culture that values diversity and supports people with convictions.

What does success look like?

  1. Removal of any bias towards applicants with convictions in your interview questions.

  2. Increased understanding of legal requirements for hiring people with convictions and compliance with equal opportunity and diversity laws and regulations.

  3. Improved policies and procedures that support social responsibility, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

  4. Enhanced understanding and knowledge of your recruitment team on how to conduct inclusive interviews that are legally compliant.

  5. A more diverse and inclusive workplace culture and enhanced reputation of your company as a socially responsible employer.

How would Offploy do it?

  • Create a list of all the interview questions you currently use in your recruitment process.

  • Analyse each question. Go through each question and evaluate its potential for bias towards applicants with convictions. Ensure that your questions are precise and focussed on asking what you need to know to ascertain any risk and the legal position. Remember that in law, unless you are recruiting for a role which requires regulated activity you have no right to ask about legally “spent” convictions.

  • Remove any questions that have potential bias against applicants with convictions such as, “why did you do it?”, “Do you feel remorse for your offence?”, or “How do I know you will not offend again?”. Also consider how you will ask about gaps in a CV which may have been a result of time in prison.

  • Redefine or rephrase questions that may have unintended bias. Consider how you will adapt these to handle different circumstances such as a candidate disclosing matters to you that they do not legally need to disclose, as well as a candidate leaving you with the impression that they may not have provided an honest disclosure.

  • Seek feedback from experts to ensure that your interview questions comply with equal opportunity and diversity laws and regulations. We have previously discussed how many third party specialists may be able to advise you or even take over the whole disclosure section of your interview process. See Free 30 minutes: Discuss with Offploy how we can keep your policies compliant

  • Pilot test the interview questions with current employees or stakeholders to evaluate their effectiveness and any potential for bias. See: Hiring manager focussed training sessions around the needs of applicants with convictions

  • Modify questions based on feedback from the pilot test.

  • Train your recruitment team on the new questions and ensure they understand how to use them correctly. See Bias and prejudice training for hiring managers

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the new questions to ensure that they are unbiased and supporting social responsibility, diversity and inclusion. You may wish to include questions around your recruitment process in your annual colleague survey. See: Conduct independent research on the experiences of people with convictions at your organisation

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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