When millions were forced to work from home because of the pandemic, it required employers to quickly assess whether their technology was fit to enable employees to work off-premises. By April 2020, as much as 40% of the UK workforce was working from home.

As our working lives changed, so did candidate compliance and screening with everything moving online. Initially as a temporary measure, the Home Office shifted from in-person Right to Work (RTW) checks to allowing documents to be scanned digitally. On April 6, 2022, new legislation regarding RTW checks took effect that allows for screening to be carried out permanently online. This shift will be facilitated by certified digital identity service providers (IDSPs) using Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to carry out digital identity checks on behalf of employers and recruiters.

This decision by the Home Office to continue to allow online checks cements the notion that hybrid working is evidently here to stay.  Digital RTW checks enable businesses to access a geographically wider talent pool and onboard candidates more quickly so as to avoid missing critical hires.

What Are IDSP and IDVT?

The change in regulation allows job applicants and existing employees to send digital, scanned copies for RTW and Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks on live British and Irish passports through an app or email, rather than via sight of original documents (although this is still permitted if preferred).

Recruiters are required to use a certified IDSP using IDVT to ensure full compliance when checking documents. Access Screening, a long-standing provider of automated compliance software to staffing firms and HR professionals across all industries, is working with its integrated partners in the certification process of their technology.

Why Automate Screening?

The requirement to understand, document and maintain compliance as an employer around identity checks is paramount, especially with increasing compliance burdens of programs such as the EU Settlement Scheme. With new visas to help attract talent from overseas in sectors like academia, science and tech, there is an additional layer of complexity alongside many other background checks that calls for effective management of candidate screening to avoid fines or reputational damage.

For recruiters that need to undertake a host of additional sector specific background checks, such as in the healthcare and construction industries, automating screening with all data visible within one platform will improve efficiencies and mitigate risk. It is also likely to be a more cost-effective solution by implementing certified screening software in-house.

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Transforming Candidate Onboarding

The new legislation is forcing the digital agenda. However, aside from being able to continue to perform digital RTW checks, there are numerous added benefits of automating screening processes.

Speed and accuracy are both proven to be improved with onboarding times reduced by up to 50%. Alerts for ongoing document updates keep both the employer and candidate compliant. Plus, given the prevailing candidate short market, the quick validation of documentation and references allows for a smooth candidate experience, decreasing the risk of counter job offers.

Every business will have its own specific requirements, and the technology can be easily configured to meet these needs and accommodate the employer branding. Not least, screening software makes the application of any new or changing legislation much easier since the rules will be already set up within the technology.

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