Is Open Hiring right for your business?

22 Nov 2022
Imagine a world where anyone who wants to work can get a job quickly and easily, regardless of their experience or background. Open Hiring may be a quick way to fill vacancies – but is it right for you? Julie Graham, CEO of Ingeus’s employment services, discusses the pros and cons of this all-inclusive method of recruitment.

It’s a relatively new concept in the UK, but Open Hiring was pioneered 40 years ago in New York by Greyston Bakery. The bakery’s founder, Bernie Glassman, wanted to reach people who had been excluded from the job market due to life barriers. The Greyston mission is similar to our own – to help people fulfil their potential – and I recommend anyone to read the company’s inspiring story. If you enjoy Ben & Jerry’s, you might already know Greyston Bakery as they make the brownies for Chocolate Fudge and Half-Baked ice cream flavours! 

Under the original vision, which continues to this day, anyone who wants to work can get a job. There are no formal interviews, no background checks, and no need to provide a CV. Imagine that…This approach has since gained recognition with household names, including cosmetics and skincare giant, The Body Shop, who have now adopted its own Open Hiring model.
This summer, Ingeus joined forces with The Body Shop to help the retailer deliver Open Hiring in the UK and it’s proving a big success already. Just see how it transformed Martina’s life here. 

Ingeus pre-screens candidates across its employment programmes, ensuring they’re ready and willing to work. The Body Shop send us details of their vacancies, and we submit our candidates, who are then offered jobs on a first come, first served basis. All they need to do is answer three questions to prove their eligibility for the role. If they answer yes to all three questions, they are offered the job. 

Sound interesting? 
Could your business benefit from Open Hiring too? 


A speedier process
When you’re looking for swathes of temporary staff to meet soaring seasonal demand, time is of the essence. Lengthy application processes, three-stage interviews, background checks and reference requests can really be a case of overkill. You’re looking for temporary, casual staff, so why slow everything down unnecessarily? Open Hiring is a swift, efficient method to recruit those all-important staff – and it allows them to start work almost straight away – within 24 hours in some cases.

Breaks down barriers
Open Hiring is a lifeline to disadvantaged groups who may struggle to find work through traditional recruitment methods. Many traditional barriers such as health conditions; disabilities; a lack of previous experience or relevant qualifications; childcare responsibilities or other caring duties; homelessness; or a criminal record can mean that an application is diminished. Open Hiring is all-inclusive; it doesn’t judge someone for their past, it looks at their future potential. With a flexible approach to hiring, you can tap into a pool of undiscovered talent that can bring many rewards to your business.

Boosts your brand
Actions speak louder than words. You might be banging the drum for diversity, equality and inclusivity, but are you actually doing anything about it? Simply saying the right thing is not enough to convince your customer base and the wider public of your intentions. By adopting Open Hiring policies, your company is taking positive action to promote an inclusive and caring culture. By getting people into work, you are improving their quality of life and making a difference to the wider community. Work gives people a sense of purpose and pride which is good for their mental health and wellbeing.

A more diverse workforce
Open Hiring means that all bias, whether conscious or unconscious, is eliminated. People are accepted into jobs regardless of their gender, race, culture, sexuality, ability, or background. If they are eligible to do the work, they are in. This makes for a more diverse workplace, reflecting the many different types of people you serve.

Creates loyal employees
Imagine you’ve been out of work for 20 years, or you’re fresh out of school with no previous work experience and just can’t get that first foot on the ladder. If an employer offers you a lifeline, it’s likely that you’re going to be extremely thankful for the opportunity. Grateful staff will reward employers with their loyalty. Staff retention can be challenging – so to have loyal employees who want to stay can only be a bonus.    


Trust is everything
One of the biggest potential pitfalls of Open Hiring is the risk posed due to the lack of background checks. Knowledge of an employee’s past can help you ensure there are no safeguarding issues for colleagues or customers. Taking on any new staff can be a gamble so mitigate this risk with a probationary period for all recruits. That way, you can check they’re the right fit for your business before deciding whether to take them on permanently.

Inexperienced staff need support
Someone who has never worked before, or who has been unemployed for a long time, may need extra support.  A manager, mentor, or buddy colleague can help with on-the-job training, and the additional in-work support Ingeus provides to both new employee and manager can help make sure all parties are helped as people settle into their new role

Only suits some roles
Open Hiring is not a one-size fits all approach, it’s going to work better for some positions than others, – it works best for entry-level roles; basic and/or temporary positions where previous qualifications or experience are not essential. Once someone is recruited and trained on the job, they can of course progress in your company and develop their career.

Flexibility is essential
Candidates with life barriers may not be able to work the same patterns as other employees. For example, a single mother with childcare responsibilities will need a job that fits around school hours. You may need to take a look at your working practices to ensure new recruits have the flexibility they need to succeed for your business.

Ingeus offers free recruitment services to employers, enabling you to find, and keep, the talented staff you need for your business: 

Recommended Articles