Homelessness

Busy croud blurred

Employees recruited from disadvantaged groups, such as people facing homelessness, have demonstrated lower turnover rates than the wider workforce. The higher value placed on having a job for such groups often leads to higher level of loyalty which, in turn, reduces recruitment overheads, read the government's See potential information pack

Learn more below about how best to attract, recruit and retain people facing homelessness. 

Did you know?

  • In December 2016, it was reported that 75,740 households were in temporary accommodation (ONS, 2016).
  • Individuals can become homeless for many reasons and could experience multiple instances of homelessness for several different reasons. 
  • Homelessness does not purely refer to those who are sleeping rough. You could include those who are at risk of homelessness, those who are living in temporary or unstable accommodation and those who have had to leave households due to safety reasons.
  • Many people who are currently experiencing homelessness may have held high-level and senior positions previously.

Attract 

Things to consider:

  • Clearly showcase your organisation's commitment to providing flexibility and valuing diversity. 
  • Demonstrate your commitment to the local community, explore opportunities with local homelessness service providers or partnerships with Jobcentre Plus (JCP) who could help you attract a wider and more diverse range of applicants.  

Recruit 
  • Read this case study from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust on how they developed on-site living accommodation through a partnership with a local homelessness charity, which allowed them to widen their recruitment pool and retain their apprentices.
  • It is highly likely that homelessness will affect some aspects of your local community, so you may want to consider whether tackling homelessness could appear in your organisational priorities. 
  • JCP can also support your recruitment processes. They offer support such as personal statement support, sifting and guidance on application
  • Ensure that you are clear on why you are asking about criminal conviction and that it is relevant to the role you are recruiting for. Take a look at our employment checks web section for advice.

  Retain     

  • Explore whether your organisation's current pre-employment or apprenticeship programmes could be made more accessible to those at risk of or experiencing homelessness. 
  • Consider allocating some on-site living accommodation already in use to these candidates. Read about the success Sandwell and West Birmingham had with offering accommodation to their apprentices. 
  • Offering a first month’s salary weekly could allow people to get back on their feet and purchase essentials.
  • Providing spare uniforms or a place to wash their uniforms at work could be helpful as a washing machine is a large financial investment. 

Further reading

  
Homeless Link Homeless Link has produced two useful resources which will help you understand the benefits of supporting those facing homelessness into employment and how working in partnership with your local Jobcentre Plus can be an effective way to engage with potential pools of talent in your local community.                                     
Supporting homeless people to start, stay in, and thrive at work The Department for Work and Pensions, Business in the Community and Trust for London have produced this guide, which supports you in the retention of those  facing homelessness. 
See Potential and Business in the community See Potential and Business in the Community have developed a step by step guide on open recruitment for employers.  Access this to find tips on recruiting people at risk of, experiencing or who have experienced homelessness.

Find out more about other community groups you may want to engage with and recruit into your organisation. 

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Log In