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Using semi-structured interviews to explore employer attitudes towards recruiting ex-offenders

Dar, Alishba (2018) Using semi-structured interviews to explore employer attitudes towards recruiting ex-offenders. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The current research aimed to explore attitudes of employers towards the employment of ex-offenders. The research also aimed to provide an insight into the underlying causes of specific negative views and how they can be challenged. A thorough literature review revealed that research in this topic was predominantly quantitative. A lack of research exploring the causes of attitudes highlighted a gap in literature, which provided a rigid rationale for the current research. Seven participants (five females and two males) were recruited through purposive sampling and interviewed using semi-structured interviews (SSI). Thematic analysis (TA) was used to extract five main themes from interview transcripts. These included: employers’ perception of ex-offenders, perceived risk, desistance from crime, willingness to hire and a need for social change. The identified themes indicated that negative attitudes were held due to offence-specific characteristics and employers’ concern regarding re-offending. Employers reported that negative attitudes could be challenged through policy change and increased awareness. A unique relationship between employers’ experience of crime and attitudes towards crime was found. Further research into this relationship can provide contemporary ideas of reducing the stigma around ex-offenders within the workplace.

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