Prisoners Become More Employable with HGV-driving Lessons

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HMP Standford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent has launched a scheme that allows its inmates to learn how to drive HGVs and forklift trucks.

The initiative is designed to reduce re-offending and make ex-offenders more employable once they have served their sentence. Developed with Mainstream Training, the courses will either be held at the Category D open prison or the company’s base in Sittingbourne.

Just like on standard training courses provided by, the course starts with classroom time to learn the theory before moving onto practical driving lessons.

Paul Tolley, senior operations manager at Mainstream, explained that the course isn’t a “freebie.” Donations from the Royal London Society and Salvation Army fund the course, but once the prisoner finds work, they are required to pay it back.

“These aren’t free driving lessons for personal use,” he said. “What we have done is put a programme in place to help get them trained, get a CV together and help them get a job.”

Mr Tolley also revealed that 15 of the 30 people that been trained so far had found employment, suggesting that scheme is already helping ex-offenders rejoin society.


The Ministry of Justice said that this was the first time this type of training had been offered to prisoners. A spokesperson for the Ministry said: “Our priority is to rehabilitate prisoners and this scheme helps prepare them for work at zero-cost to the taxpayer.”

However, it isn’t the first time that the need to find employment for ex-offenders has been championed. Business mogul Sir Richard Branson actively encourages the managing directors of companies within his Virgin group to employ ex-prisoners.

Sir Branson has been promoting the employment of ex-offenders for the past two year since being invited to visit a high-security prison in Australia by Comic Relief creator Jane Tewson.

He also met representatives from the Australian transport company Toll, which has employed hundreds of ex-prisoners, none of whom have since reoffended.

Sir Branson revealed that he then contacted the bosses at his Virgin companies “and said to them that we must do the same; to try to take on as many ex-convicts as possible”.

While it is early days for both Virgin’s change in recruitment policy and the HGV training at the prison, Toll’s model suggests that both could be future success stories.

As Branson said, “Everybody deserves a second chance.”  And with job prospects for ex-convicts low, training schemes such as these offer great ways for prisoners to contribute to society and make a fresh start with thriving career opportunities and a new lease on life.

About the Author: Marie Wright is a freelance writer from London who is passionate about former inmate rehabilitation programmes for the betterment of society overall.

TalentCircles Talent Community Tapped For ResCare Workforce Service

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (June 12, 2014) – ResCare Workforce Services – America’s leading provider of workforce services – has established a working relationship with TalentCircles that will improve the way employers and job seekers are matched together in more than 300 Career Centers throughout the nation.

The recently formed business partnership will leverage a new ResCare Talent Market technology that will assist veterans, adult and dislocated workers, people with disabilities, welfare-to-work participants and America’s youth in developing career profiles that are perfectly aligned with thousands of online job postings from large and small businesses.

“Our staff is constantly searching for alternatives to improve the way we connect businesses with the talent needed to strengthen their bottom lines,” said Mike Hough, Executive Vice President and Operations Officer for ResCare Workforce Services.  “Our new relationship with TalentCircles provides us a unique tool that greatly enhances our ability to ensure job seekers and businesses are appropriately matched in the hundreds of Career Centers we manage across the country.”

ResCare Workforce Services provides training, education and employment assistance to more than a million job seekers every year.  The company will use the entire month of June to launch youth programs that utilize the TalentCircles platform.

TalentCircles provides ResCare staff with powerful capabilities such as email campaigns, webinars, job matching, video interviews, etc. in a coherent platform that enables ResCare to manage the end-to-end process from intake to placement.

“It is very easy and gratifying to work with a client whose commitment to social responsibilities is so closely aligned with our own values,” said Marylene Delbourg-Delphis, CEO of TalentCircles states. “It is an honor to help address one of the most important aspects of any person’s life, having a job. ResCare Talent Market combines the many features and functions of our platform with the exceptional experience of an organization that has over 45 years of helping the unemployed fill company needs.”

About ResCare                                                                                                                                 

ResCare Workforce Services is the nation’s leading workforce services provider with more than 45 years of experience in successfully matching job seekers with the needs of employers. With operations in more than 300 locations, their national footprint has allowed them to build an expansive staff of workforce experts who use the industry’s best practices to help reduce poverty, crime and unemployment in the communities they serve.

About TalentCircles

TalentCircles, a technology firm based in the Silicon Valley offers a transformative approach to talent acquisition by enabling organizations to create and manage their private branded talent pools. Hiring is a huge problem for large, small and midsize businesses. TalentCircles solves it with a solution adapted to the needs, behaviors and expectations of the 21st century. We offer an outstanding experience to potential candidates and we give recruiters the capability to proactively manage the needs of their organization.

For additional information, contact: DeVone Holt- [email protected]  or Susan Magrino- [email protected] or see the press release published on PRWeb

51% Of Your Employees Are Active Job Seekers

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This week’s infographic comes from our friends at Jobvite. I’ve talked several times about how the entire application to interview process is drawn out and seemingly a blackhole. This infographic shows how on-brand interviews can help decrease the chances of an applicant getting bored or frustrated with your interview process.

Key Takeaways:

  • 46% of candidates say your company’s brand plays a huge factor in their decision in applying for a position
  • 79% never receive any updates or information
  • 68% would take up to a 5% lower salary if your company makes an impression on them.

6 Elements to the Perfect Job Posting

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Welcome back to Infographic Thursday! 

This week’s inforgraphic shares the 6 elements of a perfect job listing. With thousands of job requisitions open for even more candidates it’s important to capture the right candidates so you aren’t wasting your time interviewing unqualified people.

6 Elements to the Perfect Job Posting


Branding is one of the most important aspects of a job requistion because it introduces your candidate to your company. First impressions are key when you’re trying to attract the perfect candidate.

Job Description

Have you ever clicked on a marketing job and it’s really a sales job? That will frustrate a job seeker more than anything. Learn to describe your listing perfectly so the candidate is 100% aware of the job when clicking on the listing.


Another way to find the best candidate is to dumb down the requirements and list out in bullets what exactly you’re looking for.

The Perfect Candidate

Know who your perfect candidate is before you even post the listing. That way you have a benchmark to see who aligns better.


Everyone loves perks and knowing perks upfront might persuade them to apply.

Closing the Sale

How are you going to close the sale? This could potentially be the most important aspect of the entire job posting just because it’ll make or break hiring the candidate.

Over on Blogging4Jobs, Mary Wright, discusses how good job descriptions make good hires in a two part series. If you’re struggling on writing out the perfect job description it’s a good read.

What elements of your job listings have you found most effective in sourcing the best candidate? 

Thanks to our friends at OpenReq for this inforgraphic.

How to Engage Instead of Alienate Your Contract Employees

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Have contract openings you need to fill? Connect with me, and quickly tap into my amazing contract talent network in HR, recruiting and sourcing communities. 

Earlier this week, I received an email from a contract recruiter who asked me to explain why the onboarding process was so damned complicated for short term contract recruiters and employees. My immediate response was, “Welcome to the corporate world where we take an incredibly easy process and make it complicated and filled with process because it’s what we’ve always been doing.”

How to Alienate Your Contractors with Bad Onboarding

I hired my first contract recruiter in 2007. The onboarding process that my Fortune 200 company put him through delayed me bringing him on board for nearly a month. He had drug tests and a background check for a 12 week position just like my long term and perm employees. The problem arose with his reference checking. I’ve known him forever. He has fabulous experience but the bosses at his last 7 years of contracts were not at their former companies. My company couldn’t go forward bringing him on board because no one could be contacted to verify his past work history. Adding fuel to the fire was that I wasn’t made aware of this issue by my reference check vendor until over two weeks had passed. I was overwhelmed with requisitions and backlogged as we had just opened the staffing flood gates for 75 new positions for the division in which I was working.

The independent freelance and contract employee market is exploding. Sites like elance, crowdflower and other freelance communities and websites are growing in popularity as workers pick up side projects or leave their traditional corporate jobs altogether demanding the control and flexibility of working for themselves on their own terms and time. I can attest it’s happening because I did the same thing.

Contract employees are in demand. They help fill gaps hopefully quickly in our staff. Maybe someone is out on maternity leave, FLMA, vacation or a need like mine where temporarily the workload in recruiting or HR had grown due to quarterly headcount numbers and sales projections shifts at my company.

The Rise of the Candidate Experience for the Contract Employee

In addition to the candidate experience, companies must begin courting and engaging their contract candidates in the same way. Build relationships, create points of contact and consider what it’s like for their own contract experience in recruiting, hiring and engagement before, during and after the project to continue keeping the lines of communication open just in case that need for a future project might arise. We need to create a candidate engagement process and community for our contract workers instead of just treating them like an invoice and sending them to the complicated and lonely world of vendor, accounts payable and accounting.

Lately, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. I think it’s important to create an experience for our contract and temporary employees. Community and relationships are also really important as I know first hand how important having the right contractor in a pinch can be. Last month, I took it a serious step further and created the Blogging4Jobs Contract Community. We have a nice cross section of candidates including recruiters, HR practitioners and sourcers, but now I need to find contract homes for these awesome independent consultants and project based employees.

Have contract openings you need to fill? Connect with me, and quickly tap into my amazing contract talent network in HR, recruiting and sourcing communities.