Ex-Offender Recruitment: Let’s Hear From The Employer

Ex-Offender Recruitment: Let’s Hear From The Employer

Posted 27th June 2023

Social Value in Perspective: Driving Equality to Solve the Workforce Shortage

As part of our workplace equality campaign we have been sharing insights into hiring ex-offenders successfully, as a means of both solving staffing issues and creating social value in the community.

Below is a brief Q&A with an employer that has been doing just that.

Catch22 is an organisation that designs and delivers services that build resilience and aspiration in people of all ages within communities across the UK.

What were the main reservations you had surrounding employing ex-offenders?

The practicality of recruitment in certain settings, i.e., vetting being a barrier.

Our biggest concern was that vetting may prevent us from hiring inclusively. However, it is about finding ways to work around this as opposed to automatically assuming people can’t be recruited due to the vetting procedures.

Has hiring people with convictions helped you to reach a greater talent pool?

Yes, for example we hired a former gang member to assist us with our Gangs and Violence Reduction Service. We found it beneficial to use their lived experience to engage with young people and encourage them to exit gangs. The person in question used their expertise and journey to help empower young people to turn their back on the lifestyle. Their experience meant they had a deeper understanding of the issues at hand, and they were personally requested to speak with certain young people by schools who had worked with the individual before and seen their impact.

Have your customers/consumers responded well to this?

In relation to gangs and violence reduction, yes very much so.

What would you say to a company considering this more inclusive recruitment style? 

Do it – People with lived experience bring so much value and dedication. The risks are low, people want to change their lives around and will dedicate themselves to the work.

If you’d like to be further involved with our Social Value In Perspective campaign, please email our Advocacy Lead, Matthew Mckew via [email protected] 

Matt Eamer, founder of me&you said; “I’m excited that my creative agency can support Social Value UK in its mission to raise awareness and understanding of social value. We’ll be creating visuals and graphics to help bring Social Value in Perspective to life, making the themes accessible for new audiences.“