Release of Beta version of Recruit!

Today, we’re pleased to be releasing a Beta version of Recruit!, our new website for employers.

With the strapline “supporting the fair treatment of people with criminal records”, Recruit! is a website that supports employers to recruit people with convictions and deal with criminal records fairly.

The aims of the site are to:

  1. Promote good recruitment practice (such as our principles of fair chance recruitment and the Ban the Box campaign)
  2. Provide free, accurate, reliable guidance, resources and updates to employers
  3. Share news and examples of good practice

The site is part of how we support employers and a key strand of our fair access to employment project.

We want to keep it simple – we don’t want employers being put off by thinking that it’s too complex or confusing to bother employing people with convictions. So we’ve developed the site with that in mind. However, we’re also making sure we’ve got detailed guidance available for those responsible for recruitment and that need that kind of support.

Why is it unique?
  • Recruit! is the only website in the UK that’s dedicated to providing free, accurate and reliable guidance and resources to employers on recruiting people with convictions and dealing with criminal records fairly.
  • We are not promoting ‘charged-for’ training or seeking commercial income from employers, nor do we have a vested interest in encouraging greater use of criminal records by employers.
  • This site is part of a broader aim of Unlock to achieve long-term change in employer attitudes and practices.

Our long-term aims are that:

  • People with convictions are not discouraged from applying for jobs due to their criminal record.
  • Employers recognise the limited value of criminal records and reduce their reliance on them for recruitment purposes by critically questioning their effectiveness.
  • Employers that continue to use criminal record information improve their policies and practices so that they are fairer and more inclusive towards people with criminal records.
What we’ve developed so far

The Beta version of the site includes:

  1. The principles of fair chance recruitment that we’ve published after consultation with a wide range of employers, people with convictions and other key stakeholders
  2. Why employers should ban the box
  3. Simple guidance on asking, assessing and checking
  4. Detailed guidance for those that ask about criminal records about when to ask
  5. Detailed guidance on the wording of questions that ask about criminal records and the use of self-disclosure forms
  6. Detailed guidance on assessing criminal records that applicants might disclose
It’s not finished yet!
  • As part of the development of the site, we’re releasing it today in a public format, but it’s far from finished.
  • We’ve produced some initial core guidance for employers, alongside other ‘good practice’ information such as our principles of fair chance recruitment and details about why employers should ban the box.
  • We’re continuing to develop the site behind the scenes – so we’re keen for feedback on the site as it stands.
  • We’ll be producing more guidance on a broader range of areas, and once we’ve got the core structure of the site, we’ll be looking to add more case studies and examples of good practice.
  • We’re planning to feature more news and developments that take place that link closely to the aims of this site.

Finally, we’re not really promoting the site at this stage. We’re hoping to ‘go-live’ in the summer, and we’re keen to develop links in the meantime to help us raise awareness at that stage, so please let us know if you have any ideas.

In the meantime, we hope you find the site useful and informative. Please let us know what you think!

Useful links

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Christopher Stacey