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​HSS Hire Film

Sophie O'Sullivan, about 2 weeks ago

In our first instalment on the blog, we learnt about HSS Hire's inspirational journey as a forward-thinking employer toward inclusive recruitment.

This piece will focus on our film, made in collaboration with HSS Hire.

Last month, we visited their distribution centre in Beckton. On the day, we had the pleasure of meeting Lisa and the hardworking HSS team onsite. One team member had just begun his ROTL placement and another started his career journey with HSS after having been referred by a charity.

The film shows HSS Hire's commitment to a partnership approach. As an employer, it can be extremely daunting to build the foundational measures needed for inclusive recruitment. Here Lisa speaks about how HSS attended a Corbett Network event and then went onto consult Dominic Headley from Mind the Gap, Recycling Lives, DHLand Timpsons for advice on best practice and guidance in order to shape their own programme:

It was about drawing upon experiences and learnings and these organisations sharing what they do to enable us to do the same. To allow us to build relationships, go into prisons, speak to people and look at how we can benefit from this group of people that we have not tapped into previously. Relationships with businesses and charities are important.

Here at The Exceptionals, we advocate working alongside charities and organisations who already have experience hiring those with convictions. Sharing resources, knowledge and expertise is fundamental. HSS have been outstanding in this area and have recently won an award for Effective use of Employment 2019, recognised by The Employer's Forum for Reducing Re-offending.

In the film, Lisa mentions the initial planning stage and how her team logistically went about adopting this new approach to recruitment. They created their own resources and secured approval from senior management from the get-go:

“Colleagues have taken the recruitment of ex-offenders really well. At the beginning of the process, we really thought about people's reactions and perceptions of someone coming to employment who either had a criminal record or were still in prison. We did work around this from a managerial perspective by creating a manager's pack which centred around the value for society and for the business. It's gone well."

Furthermore, Lisa praises the passion, engagement and motivation of the candidates. As a result of hiring people from this disadvantaged cohort, they have seen significant improvements in retention rate and overall functioning of their business:

“We are always looking to attract great people. We hope longer term that we will get more natural applicants through our recruitment process as people find out that we are open to people with convictions. That's why it's important for companies to speak about what they are doing so that people know that they can apply for a role and they won't be judged based on their past."

Stay tuned for a final blog at the end of this week, which will focus on Mark's experience as part of the HSS Hire family.