Digital recruitment: your responsibilities to work seekers

Digital recruitment: your responsibilities to work seekers

In recent years, innovations in digital recruitment have provided a wealth of benefits to employers in terms of efficiency and extended talent pools, but it’s important to ensure that your responsibilities towards work seekers are not neglected.

While digital processes are developing all the time to ensure a smooth and compliant experience for both employers and candidates, there are still pitfalls that employers can fall into and risk failing in their responsibilities to work seekers.

We’ve gathered a list of areas that are vital to consider when building and developing your own digital recruitment procedure in order to maintain a fair, secure, and efficient process for applicants and candidates.

Digital exclusion

Recent estimates cite around 9 million people in the UK who are unable to use the internet and mobile devices without support, which is the equivalent of 16% of UK adults. It’s important to ensure that, while digital innovations are being integrated into your recruitment process, there is always alternative access for work seekers who are digitally excluded. Digital exclusion can be caused by:

Financial matters  - those on low incomes might not have access to digital devices or the internet due to their related costs. Broadband prices, mobile data expenses, and the price tag of the devices themselves all pose barriers for those living on lower incomes. 

Age – many older work seekers might not be experienced with digital technology, or have the means of learning ITC skills.

Disability – while innovation within digital technologies has enabled many disabled people to access online resources, there is still a large proportion of disabled adults who are unable to access digital technology on their own.

Therefore, it’s important to ensure that if your recruitment process makes use of specific apps, or requires access to mobile technology, that non digital routes are also available.


As with any process that harvests personal data, the secure and permitted storage of that data requires robust systems and processes. This means from both external threats such as hackers, and internal data breaches, too.

Ensure that all candidate data is stored in an access controlled place, meaning that only authorised members of staff can retrieve it, and be certain that consent has been given by candidates to store the data once the hiring process is complete.


With digital recruitment innovations, some elements of the process are fairer than a manual process. For example, when using AI to sift applicants, unconscious bias is less likely to affect the results as the machine learning system is simply following its programming. Because of its lack of critical thinking, however, AI can also increase the risk of unfairness within your hiring process, as depending on the parameters it is set, the software can overlook applicants with non-standard qualifications or experience.

Fairness is also important when using digital right to work processes. As it stands, ID Verification Technology can only be used if the employee has a valid, in-date UK or Irish passport, or Irish passport card. However, 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.


With the speed and ease of digital hiring processes, it can be easy to overlook important factors such as consent. Any screening and referencing processes need to have authorisation from the candidate before they take place, to ensure compliance with privacy and data protection laws.

This includes checks on employment history, education, and professional qualifications and memberships. It also includes conducting checks for employment and character references, as well as any specialist checks required for specific roles, including criminal record checks, credit checks, sanctions checks, directorship checks, and adverse media checks.


It’s important to remember that your digital recruitment process needs to cater to the needs of the candidate as well as the needs of the employer. For example, it’s important that any online application is designed to be quick and simple to submit, as well as efficient to sift.

Ensuring that the digital recruitment process is convenient for candidates and work seekers is not only important for accessibility, but also helps you to build a strong employer brand, enhancing your recruitment process and boosting your efforts to fill vacancies.

How can Reed Screening Help?

Ensuring your hiring process is a fair and responsible process is paramount to maintain compliance as well as attract the best talent.

At Reed Screening, we have years of experience in providing fast, smooth, and thorough employee screening and background checks, to bolster your candidate experience.