More employers see the benefits of hiring people with criminal records

Working Chance helps women with convictions to develop the confidence, skills and self-belief they need to overcome any barriers to their employment, find jobs and build careers. Their latest report, Progress and Prejudice, explored employer attitudes to hiring people with criminal records.

The research reveals an encouraging shift in employers’ perceptions on hiring people with criminal records. Researchers compared data from 2010 and today,  finding that more employers would recruit someone with a criminal record than before. This was borne out in practice, too; not only were employers more willing in theory, the actual number of employers recruiting people with criminal records has doubled since 2010.

The report shows that more and more employers recognise that people with criminal records comprise a substantial talent pool. This shift is beneficial for applicants, reducing barriers to fulfilling, stable employment. It is also beneficial to employers who may have previously overlooked an important talent pipeline, especially when 47% of UK employers are reporting hard-to-fill vacancies.

Those surveyed explained that they saw the benefits of recruiting people with criminal records in tackling labour and skills gaps. But it’s important to note that this wasn’t the only reason employers were interested; they also recognised that recruiting more people with criminal records improved the diversity of their teams and brought new perspectives to their organisations. We notice a similar pattern, too, when we support employers to be more inclusive of people with criminal records. Often, it’s the increased recruitment opportunities that are initially of appeal. Over time, employers then find that their teams and their work improve in other ways.

Crucially, the employers surveyed were not only asked about their approach and their practice; they were asked how they had found the experience for their business. Unsurprisingly, a huge majority (86%) found the experience of recruiting people with criminal records to be a positive one. This is important evidence that employers have a lot to lose, and little to fear, when considering recruiting people with criminal records.  

Read the report in full here.

To start making recruitment more inclusive of people with criminal records, find our practical resources here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email