Widening your recruitment pool: Support for small businesses

Blogs 8 Aug 2023

Advertising a job vacancy? Find out how you can attract a diverse range of candidates during the recruitment process with support from a range of organisations and charities.

Finding the best candidate for your business can be difficult, which is why we’ve curated a list of organisations and charities that can support you through your recruitment journey and help you to find your next team member.

Jobcentre Plus help for employers

  • The Employer Services Line can give you recruitment advice, such as writing job descriptions, promoting vacancies in local job centres, and interviewing candidates
  • Get help with organising work trails for your business

Government Equalities Office Returners Programme

A ‘returner’ is a someone who left paid employment for at least a year to take on a caring responsibility and would like to return to paid work at a level in line with their skills and experience. Returner projects support those with caring responsibilities back into the job market.

You can find more information about the benefits for your business and how it works on the government website.

Labour Xchange

Millions of excellent and experienced people willing to work are often excluded by the recruitment industry, such as those who are underemployed, parents or carers. Whether you’re looking for cover for next week or a permanent hire, LabourXchange could help you to find the right people for your business.

Employing disabled people or those with long-term health conditions

FSB’s Business Without Barriers report and hub includes helpful resources for employers hiring disabled people or those with long-term health conditions. For example, watch an on-demand webinar with advice for making your business more inclusive or read our employment experts’ guide.

First Step Trust

First Step Trust charity provides work experience, on the job training and salaried employment to people excluded from working life because of mental health conditions, learning disabilities, drug and alcohol and other disadvantages. Work placements are in sectors including catering, admin, gardening, finance and more.

New Futures Network

The New Futures Network helps create partnerships between prisons and employers in England and Wales to help businesses fill skills gaps and prison leavers find employment.


Working in partnership with local education providers, agencies, charities, employers and educators, Novus delivers a local service that meets the needs of local learners and prisons. By partnering with employers, they are able to curate our education and training services to the needs of the job market, providing the best opportunity for learners to succeed on release.

The Clink

The Clink Charity aims to reduce reoffending through the training and rehabilitation of prisoners.  It provides prisoners with an opportunity to gain new skills and qualifications in catering and horticulture. There is also guidance for employers interested in taking on a Clink Graduate.             

Employing service leavers

A one-year employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday for small businesses to employee Armed Forces veterans was introduced in 2021, following successful campaigning by FSB and X-Forces Enterprise.

Immigration support for hiring from outside of the UK

If you’re looking to employ someone from outside the UK, our guide includes the steps you need to take to ensure your applicants have the right to work in the UK under new immigration rules.

Visit our Skills Hub

Hiring the right people is challenging. At FSB, we’re helping you to build a skilled team, whatever your sector. Discover free resources, advice and guidance tailored for small businesses.

Visit the hub