Resourcing | Why a homeless person might be the best hire for your business

Why a homeless person might be the best hire for your business

You’d be forgiven for thinking this article was clickbait. It’s not.

You might be expecting us to ask for charity, but don’t worry, we won’t. Instead, we’re going to tell you a story that will challenge your prejudices and preconceptions (as it did CA3’s when we heard it). And, should you read to the end, you might just discover a talent pool that has exactly the right skills and strengths you’re looking for.

This story starts when COVID struck. An awful year for many people: mentally, physically and emotionally. We can’t downplay the enormity of the pandemic, the lockdown, or the repercussions that we are all still experiencing. Now replay that year and imagine you’re a homeless person. A homeless person trying to escape the streets and start work. Where would you turn? What support could you expect?

Step in Radical Recruit, a new, not-for-profit recruitment consultancy on a mission to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds into employment. They’re not here to pull on your heart strings. They’re here to change the way you recruit and, quite possibly, help you deliver on your D&I objectives too. So why should you hire from this very unique talent pool?

  • Radical’s candidates come from a huge variety of backgrounds that will totally change any misconceptions you may have about homeless people. We’ve been privileged to meet some of these candidates and they could easily be you or me: some are people who had a chaotic upbringing and/or went through the care system, some had escaped domestic violence and many were victims of COVID job losses at the start of the pandemic. None of them had chosen to be homeless and were aware of the stigma and marginalisation that comes with being labelled ‘homeless’.

  • Everyone we met displayed extreme resilience, grit and a determination to make things work that only comes with surviving a desperate situation. The thing that stood out amongst all the candidates was the kindness and openness to which they were prepared to tell their stories in order to help others in the same situation. The jobs that Radical have placed their candidates in range from hospitality and admin to groundskeepers, chefs and finance professionals. The majority of people they work with have many years of work experience behind them and just need employers to look beyond the label.

Radical Recruit - Andrei - Edit 1.3 from CA3 on Vimeo.

Andrei, a recently-placed Radical, talks about his hopes for the future and how he's using his experience to challenge misconceptions around homelessness with employers.

And the best thing? With the help of Radical Recruit, this talent is preparing to apply for a role at your business right now. No special treatment. No bespoke hiring process. Just a great CV, hard work and the support they need to prepare. The team at Radical work in a different way to other recruiters, in that they help their candidates to build their confidence, recognise and sell their skills and will offer support right the way through the onboarding process and for as long as the candidate needs it. They have had an average 90% in-work retention rate at up to six months post placement which is pretty phenomenal, so whatever they’re doing is working.

And let’s not forget about diversity and inclusion and corporate social responsibility. These guys walk the talk and work with employers to show them how to do it too. Radical want to ensure equality of hiring for all.

So, a lot of ticks to a lot of boxes from the most unexpected of places. And, right now, Radical are crowdfunding to help even more homeless, unrepresented people off the streets, out of hostels and back into work, helping to reduce homelessness, poverty and spend from the public purse.

They’re coming to the end of a project, working alongside homelessness charity St Mungo’s, to get up to 100 people into work in 100 days. Sadly, their funding runs out in December, but rather than hang up their hats and retire into furlough, they’re launching a crowdfunding campaign so they can continue to help even more people in 2021. So, don’t think of this as charity, think of it as hiring the very best talent on the market today.

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