Humres Engineers – a blanket ban on applicants with convictions

Unlock’s Helpline received a call from an applicant concerned with the wording on a job advertised by Humres Engineers, a recruitment agency specialising in engineering roles.

The job description, for a Lighting Protection Mate, included this statement:

Some of the clients are schools/educational establishments so candidates MUST be happy to go through a full DBS (no criminal record will be tolerated) and they should also have a clean UK Drivers Licence.” 

There is no such thing as a ‘full DBS’ but we interpret this to mean an enhanced DBS check will be carried out on the successful candidate. On the available information, it’s unlikely that the role would be eligible. Even if it was, it’s not necessary to exclude a candidate because of any criminal record.

We looked at other roles advertised on the Humres Engineers website and found another advert which stated: 

“Sales Estimator, Security System – No criminal record or CCJ’s” 

Concerned that Humres were unnecessarily discriminating against applicants with criminal records, we tried to engage with them to understand why they were unwilling to consider the applicants with convictions, regardless of their skills and abilities. Despite contacting them three times, we received no reply.

We believe Humres’ approach is short sighted and out of step with both the recruitment and engineering sectors.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) published guidance on inclusive recruitment. They are a Ban the Box employer and encourage their members to sign up to the campaign. The Royal Academy of Engineers have published a toolkit for inclusive recruitment in engineering.

The restrictions on these jobs show the work that needs to be done to address the policies, procedures and practices that some organisations have that unfairly exclude people with convictions. 

For more information 

Principles of Fair Chance Recruitment 

Supporting & challenging employers 

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Rachel Tynan