The study describes a 20-year criminological follow-up of a consecutive series of 348 male ex-offenders seeking white-collar employment who were offered the services of a specialist employment agency (APEX) in the early 1970s. At the end of the 20-year follow-up, 36 per cent had been reconvicted. While only 30 per cent of those placed into employment were reconvicted compared with 42 per cent of the ‘unplaced’ group, this variation is explained by differences in the criminal history of the two groups. Hence, there is no evidence that the intervention of finding a job by APEX had been beneficial in reconviction terms. However, persons with three or more convictions on whom considerable placing effort had been expended—whether or not they were actually placed—did particularly well in avoiding reconviction. The interpretation is that placing effort is an indirect measure of an ex-offender's general motivation to stay out of trouble.