Is it better to know or hire in the dark?

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That is the question!

We find ourselves pondering this a lot, we promote open and transparent recruitment, believing that when an employer fully understands the journey that a candidate has been on and the barriers that they have faced and dealt with then they can be more ready to support them, and look past the conviction.

We have had a number of occasions where we have talked to an employer about our work, how we support our candidates, ensure they are ready for work and continue to mentor them after they have started employment for the employer to say that they do not want to work with us, as they felt they could not employ someone they knew had a conviction – which is fair enough, we always expect this to happen to some extent. The surprising thing that happens on a reasonably regular basis is that we then find out that some of our candidates have applied to these companies independently and been offered the jobs as the ‘question has not come up’.

So, it boils down to the employer preferring not to know and live in ignorance, rather than having the information – and that is the question on my mind at the moment – why is this and what is the benefit?

I suppose the question to answer is why do we think it is important to know?

Firstly – it removes the biggest anxiety that anyone with  past conviction has in any situation – ‘Are they going to find out’ you may think that by not asking during the interview you have removed this anxiety, but if anything you have heightened it – every day at work there is the possibility that someone will google them, or a friend of a friend will know – it will come out – so every day they are worried that when the manager calls them into the office, that is the reason why and they are going to lose their job.

Secondly you can actually complete a risk assessment and do it properly – the main reason we get told no – is because of ‘the risk to the business’ however if you work with us, we will complete a risk assessment, work with the candidates to help them to understand what led them to their conviction and surround them in protective factors to reduce the chance of it happening again. If you just don’t ask it doesn’t reduce the risk – it simply ignores it.

An example of this is a candidate who was referred to us, and through our assessment period we discovered he was a functioning alcoholic – functioning well, but still drinking on a daily basis – so we put a plan in place of the journey that we would need him to go on , before we could place him into work – as being clean and addiction free is one of our many criteria before getting in front of one of our employers, however 5 days later he rings us to say he has got a job with an employer (that had previously said they didn’t want to work with us) and he will be on heavy machinery. I am truly worried for his safety.

And finally you can make sure you are supporting the candidate fully and making sure that you are putting in any additional requirements they may need….maybe you don’t buy everyone a bottle of wine for Christmas this year, because now you know that your new employee is a recovering alcoholic, and it was alcohol that got them into the situation that led them to their offence, maybe when your new employee is looking a bit unkempt – because you know they have just moved out of supported accommodation – instead of simply disciplining them, you would ask them if they have managed to get their washing machine hooked up or if they need you to ring Clean Slate Solutions to offer them sone extra support, maybe when they are quiet and distant – because you know they have a history of mental health problems which previously they didn’t ask for help with and then that brought them eventually Infront of a judge – you talk to them about the mental health support that is available as part of your company.  Maybe…you can truly impact this person’s life.

Now it is obvious from this post what our views are on this – if you want to be a high-quality employer who values your people and does not merely see them as cogs in a machine – then understanding their past and present challenges is a vital part of this – but what do you think? Is there an argument for not knowing?

Find Us At:

The Trinity Centre
Market Square
North Ormesby
Middlesbrough
TS3 6LD

Our Numbers

01642 989669
07749 523154

Email

admin@cleanslatesolutions.org.uk

Charity Number

1190630

Find Us At:

The Trinity Centre
Market Square
North Ormesby
Middlesbrough
TS3 6LD

Our Numbers

01642 989669
07749 523154

Email

admin@cleanslatesolutions.org.uk

Charity Number

1190630

He Concludes, I’ll Forever Wipe The Slate Clean Of Their Sins

Hebrews 10:17-27 .17

He Concludes, I’ll Forever Wipe The Slate Clean Of Their Sins

Hebrews 10:17-27 .17

©Clean Slate Solutions 2021

©Clean Slate Solutions 2021