Digital hiring: The future for employers

Digital hiring: The future for employers

Our recent webinar “Digital hiring: The future for employers” brought together speakers from the DBS and Konfir, as well chair of the Better Hiring Institute and our own Director Keith Rosser to speak about the upcoming developments in digital hiring and how these can affect employers.

Reed Screening’s approach to digital hiring

Recent months have seen huge steps forward in the digitalisation of the recruitment process, and at Reed Screening we’ve been working with other organisations to make this happen. Following COVID-19, the need for flexible, digital hiring methods is more urgent than ever, and the benefits to implementing technology into the recruitment process in terms of convenience and security have the potential to be huge.

In April 2022, Digital ID verification for Right to Work checks became a permanent option for employers, after the pandemic made it a necessary part of the recruitment process. This development was achieved through our work alongside the APPG on Digital Identity, including securing parliamentary questions, events, and sent briefings to No.10.

The introduction of Digital ID for DBS checks was also a key moment for the move towards a fully digital hiring model and secured digital hiring as a viable option. However, there are still a number of steps in the recruitment process that can benefit significantly from digitalisation.

What changes are in development?

September Right to Work changes – The government has deferred the end of the temporary adjusted checks to September 30th 2022, to allow employers sufficient time to form partnerships with identity service providers.

Digital careers – A tool that allows jobseekers to build a digital career history, using bank payment details to verify employment history, meaning that new employees can begin work pending references while employers can be sure of their honesty.

Digital Credentials – A system whereby qualifications such as first aid training, for example, are digitised, meaning that employers don’t need to rely on easily reproduced paper certificates to substantiate a candidate’s qualifications.

Digital driving licence – An alternative form of digital ID that can feed into the digital hiring process, set to come into play in 2024.

With all of these new developments, the issue of fairness needs to be addressed.

The Fairness Agenda

Digital hiring is faster and delivers benefits to employers, but in order for it to be adopted as the new hiring method, it also needs to be fairer and safer.

1 in 5 candidates do not have a valid passport or visa, meaning 20% of the work seeking population will only be able to gain employment via in-person meetings to confirm their identity for Right to Work screening. This statistic is taken from the UK as a whole, but census data shows that the number of people without ID that can be used with ID Verification Technology increases with the distance from London, and in unemployment black spots can be as high as 1 in 3.

This has the potential to lead to a 2 tier employment market, where employers prioritise candidates who are in possession of a valid passport as it makes their hiring process less costly. It’s therefore important that the developments in digital hiring processes and the practices adopted by employers do not discriminate against those who are either without an in-date passport or are unable to interact digitally.

In response to this the Better Hiring Institute has created the blueprint for better hiring, which looks at each stage of the hiring process and works to make them fairer and safer.

Additionally, DBS are undertaking research and analysis to understand more about the people who do not have valid ID and find ways to support them to be able to verify their identity in other ways.

Insights from our attendees

45% of attendees stated that a CV would still be needed if employment history could be validated automatically, 20% said that a CV would not be necessary, and 33% stated that an alternative would be needed.

80% of attendees stated they were planning to use digital identity for DBS once Right to Work was implemented, with 12% already using it, and only 7% stating that they would not.

94% of attendees stated that they would implement the use of the Digital Careers tool, with 14% saying they would use it instead of referencing, and 80% saying they’d use it alongside referencing.

This indicates that employers can appreciate the benefits that upcoming developments in digital hiring can bring, but also see the need to ensure that fairness is maintained throughout and avoid a two-tier hiring system which works against those without the required documents for digital ID or those who are digitally excluded.

Barriers to digital hiring

Analysis of focus groups brought together by Britain Thinks identifies five conditions that influence the likelihood of participants saying they would be willing to use a digital identity service:

  • Ease of use
  • Reliability
  • Personal control of data
  • Clarity about the business model
  • Safety and security

Research conducted by Reed Screening showed that 64% of employers said that referencing was the biggest part of the hiring process that now needed to be modernised.

Additionally, 53% of employers don’t think they have enough information about the new Right to Work regime.

This shows that more information about digital ID services needs to be made more readily available, as well as the rules and guidelines around the new Right to Work processes.

In terms of referencing, Chris Milligan from Konfir spoke about how their tool connects information from Open Banking and Payroll integration to confirm employment history data, in a quicker, more secure, and more reliable way. With 81% of references received back by employers containing dates only, this can greatly improve and streamline the referencing process.

What’s next?

Following on from this webinar, Reed Screening are hosting a number of other events throughout 2022 to explore more areas of digital hiring:

The blueprint for the future of better hiring - Thu, Jun 09, 2022

The future of hiring: Plans to transform the way the UK hires - Thu, Jul 07, 2022

Qualified for the job? How to spot fake qualifications - Thu, Aug 04, 2022