The CIPD Trust has unveiled a comprehensive guide aimed at assisting organisations in recruiting, employing, and retaining individuals with convictions or lived experience within the criminal justice system.

This initiative aims to tap into a significant talent pool, as approximately one in four people of working age in the UK have a conviction.

The Guide to recruiting, employing and retaining people with convictions offers practical recommendations for employers to diversify their talent pool and foster inclusivity. It highlights various business benefits, including cost reduction in recruitment, addressing skills gaps, building diverse workforces, enhancing company reputation, and contributing to social responsibility.

Official data reveals compelling statistics regarding the employment landscape for individuals with convictions. Despite comprising a substantial portion of the population, only 17% of ex-offenders secure employment within a year of release. However, 86% of employers rate employees with convictions as proficient in their roles, with high levels of loyalty and retention. Moreover, 92% of employers attest that diverse recruitment has bolstered their reputation and facilitated winning new contracts.

Practical Recommendations

Sally Eley, Head of Trust at the CIPD, underscores the importance of tapping into the talent and potential of individuals with convictions. The CIPD Trust aims to support these individuals by leveraging the expertise of HR professionals to create sustainable talent pipelines and drive social change.

Dawn Moore, Group People and Communications Director at J. Murphy & Sons, shares insights from their experience with a national offender employment programme. They have successfully provided over 100 job opportunities to prison leavers in the past two years, highlighting the importance of treating every individual equally and fostering clear communication plans within organisations.

The guide offers actionable recommendations for employers, including transparent communication of recruitment practices, training for recruiting managers on relevant legislation and inclusive practices, seeking mentors or champions to support individuals with convictions, and implementing clear strategies for employing prison leavers both internally and externally.

As organisations strive for inclusivity and diversity in their workforce, initiatives like the CIPD Trust’s guide provide invaluable support and resources to facilitate meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with convictions, contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society.

You can find the guide here.