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Time to ban the “do you have a criminal record” tickbox?

Charlotte Woodward

As it is estimated that one in three adult males between the ages of 18-52 have a criminal conviction, it shows that a large portion of society is vulnerable to unfair recruitment practices. Contributor Charlotte Woodward, Director of People Services – Guidant Global.

Banning the Box offers businesses a winning edge by providing access to a wider, more diverse talent pool, access to valuable employees, reputational benefits and responsible business credentials.

Job adverts for roles at Guidant Global do not ask about criminal convictions and clearly state that they recognise the value people with previous convictions can bring to society and an employer. Instead, candidates will be invited to declare their unspent convictions at the interview stage in the form of a written disclosure or, if they feel more comfortable, a verbal disclosure. 

The Nacro’s guidelines, which promote finding out more about the nature of the conviction, is a much better way of recruiting. This initiative is, so far, not extended to roles that Guidant Global recruits on behalf of its clients.

Commenting on the move, Charlotte Woodward, Director of People Services for Guidant Global said: “We believe in attracting and securing a diverse workforce that represents the community around us. We are incredibly passionate about all aspects of diversity and inclusion and we believe that the current talent shortage and skills gap in the market can be resolved by recruiting a more diverse workforce. People with criminal convictions are often unfairly overlooked and we believe that attracting and recruiting these people not only aids with the talent shortage but also supports our communities by assisting to rehabilitate individuals who are committed to positive change by introducing themselves into a mainstream working environment.”

Jacob Hill, Managing Director of Offploy said: “It is fantastic to see an employer being proactive in creating a fair and equal hiring process for all. There are roughly 11 million people in the UK that have a criminal conviction, and these individuals often face unjust discrimination before even being given a chance. Recruitment firms have such a big influence with employers and it is important for them to be onboard as they have the power to drive a positive societal shift.”

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