The current skills shortage is well documented, with demand for non-permanent talent in particular growing rapidly. As recruitment teams fight for the best skills, the reliance on gig and temporary workers to fill immediate gaps will only increase. However, as firms look at welcoming these flexible workers en masse and at speed, compliance can become a real concern.

Often, temporary workers are needed on a “just in time” basis, so compliance can be an issue for employers looking to bring workers on board on scale in a short time frame. When it comes to practices for screening contingent talent, businesses can benefit from following these simple steps.

Start with identity. When Covid struck, many companies had to quickly pivot to both remote work and remote hiring. At the same time, a 2020 global survey revealed that 29% of respondents reported a significant increase in identity theft risk. This concern is further supported by 2020 research that found that almost one in five organizations have experienced instances of employee or candidate identity fraud. With this in mind, the importance of identity verification within the onboarding process is clear, and contingent workers are no exception.

At a time when remote hiring is now commonplace, digital ID verification technology offers both greater flexibility and accuracy. UK Right to Work (RTW) verification illustrates just one example of how this can be done to great effect.

Since remote RTW checks were introduced, organizations have built digital and biometric identity checks into their screening program, which has decreased the potential for identity fraud, and any steps to drive compliance should certainly be welcomed and embraced.

With in-person RTW checks not expected to return until April next year, we hope the home office uses the time to develop a more permanent solution that utilizes the digital processes that work so well now.

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Maintain consistent screening practices. The pressure to facilitate fast hiring comes at a time when resources are stretched thin, but cutting corners is never the answer. Limiting screening to just full-time staff may present a risk: Many temporary hires receive the same access to organizational tools and proprietary information that a regular full-time employee receives.

Whether organizations need to screen one applicant or 1,000, maintaining a consistent screening practice helps to ensure the well-being of your most important asset — your people. Compliance in hiring is a moving target, so be sure to keep abreast of legislative changes and set a policy for handling complicated background records, identifying next steps when a background check flags an issue.

Streamline your workflows. One valuable business lesson learned from the global pandemic is that organizations which have embraced digital transformation are reporting measurable productivity gains – and hiring is no exception. Technology can transform organizations’ recruitment processes for the better, and integrating digital tools to accelerate identity verification and background screening can help put organizations on the fast track to filling job openings with the right candidates.

When evaluating existing workflows, firms should consider integrating background screening within their hiring process with their staffing software. A pre-built integrated solution can maximize recruiter efficiencies and streamline your hiring process.

Focus on candidate experience. Candidate experience matters – particularly when competing for skilled people in a tight market – and temps should be no exception. Today’s leading consumer brands have carved out success by delivering convenient, efficient and personalized experiences. They’ve also raised the bar in terms of what people expect — and that extends to the hiring process. If candidates feel like the recruitment process is burdensome and slow, organizations could lose potentially great hires to more agile competitors.

The use of independent contractors and contingent workers is a growing trend: By 2022, it’s predicted that 7.25 million people will work this way in the UK alone. In today’s skill-scarce market, engaging talent through non-standard working arrangements enables businesses to not only plug immediate gaps, but also access specialist skills they would be hard pushed to acquire on a permanent basis. However, in order to feel the true benefits of engaging with this vital segment of the workforce, it is crucial that individuals are onboarded both swiftly and securely.

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