Event roundup - a year of change, looking to the future in 2023

Event roundup - a year of change, looking to the future in 2023

Our latest webinar marks the end of our 2022 events season, so we’ve taken a step back to look at the progress we’ve made over the course of the year, as well as the change we expect to see next year.

Reed Screening’s Corinne Peart and Keith Rosser highlighted the biggest changes in hiring over 2022, as well as the things to look out for in 2023.

A year of change in digital hiring

2022 has been a year of significant change, moving the UK towards a more digital approach that’s set to make hiring faster, fairer and safer. Here are our highlights for 2022:

Digital Right to Work and DBS

The year started with a big announcement – the introduction of digital identity verification technology for right to work and DBS checks, as well as the retirement of the COVID-adjusted remote checking regimen that had been in place since 2020. This broad change was a huge advance for digital hiring in the UK, driven largely by the societal changes as a result of the pandemic. While digital right to work checks were under discussion before this, the explosion in remote working, and the increasing proof that it’s here to stay, made the case for a permanent digital solution and accelerated the introduction of technology.

Better Hiring Institute Toolkits

2022 also saw the start of greater standardisation in hiring processes with the launch of the Better Hiring Institute’s first hiring Toolkits. The launch of the BHI’s hiring standards blueprint for local authorities has reached over 325 councils and 6,000 members, providing a standardised set of processes for hiring and vetting new employees. The more we can standardise hiring processes, the easier it will be to modernise, digitise, and make them faster and safer for employers and work seekers alike.

What’s in store for 2023?

Further reforms to digital identity for right to work and DBS

Admittedly, there’s still progress to be made in digital identity checking. The checks for DBS and right to work don’t fit together as seamlessly as they could, meaning that more work needs to be done to better align these two systems.

The digital identity system is in need of further refinement to address security concerns. There’s evidence that those attempting to secure work using false documents are opting out of the system entirely in favour of in-person checks, knowing that the digital process is far more likely to identify their application as fraudulent. Addressing this loophole will be a priority to ensure that the system is as secure as possible.

At the same time, it’s important to ensure that digital identity checking is as inclusive as possible. Digital right to work checks require an in-date UK or Irish passport, something which one in five work seekers don’t have, and research by Reed Screening suggests that this has led to a decrease in job applications and an increase in drop-outs since the 1st October.

In December, Reed Screening delivered a briefing document to the Home Office highlighting the challenges and suggesting potential changes, including allowing out-of-date passports to be used to confirm identity as well as introducing more flexibility around the type of documents which can be used, which we believe could resolve the majority of these issues. The government is keen to listen to employers and make the necessary changes to increase security and improve inclusivity, and we expect to see further progress on this through 2023.

Digital careers and digital credentials

With digital identity up and running, the focus is now shifting to the digitisation of other elements of the hiring process.

Referencing is a particularly exciting opportunity. 81% of references only contain a work seeker’s dates of employment and no further information, and this data could be collected automatically using Open Banking data to confirm an applicant’s salary history, significantly speeding the referencing process.

Digital qualifications checking is another area with potential to streamline and modernise the hiring process, saving employers and work seekers time, money and hassle.

Greater standardisation of hiring processes

Through 2023, the Better Hiring institute will continue to publish guidelines for a range of sectors, starting with a Toolkit for the care sector in January, and continuing across sectors until at least 80% of the UK workforce is covered.

The launch of the Toolkits represents a broader shift in hiring – now we have digital identity, there’s a need to digitise the entire hiring process. In February, Reed Screening will be taking part in a joint event with DCMS and industry representatives focussed on fully digitising hiring in the UK, from hiring, referencing and onboarding, through learning and development and through to offboarding processes. Our conversations with DCMS suggest that they’re keen to push through a number of legislative reforms in the next year to achieve full digitisation, and we’re proving case study and evidential data to support this and drive the next stage of evolution in the labour market.

How the Reed Screening community has helped

Our latest webinar marks the end of our 2022 events calendar. Over the course of the year we’ve hosted 21 speakers across 13 events, with an average of 170 attendees at each session.

Our community, made up of our webinar attendees alongside those who interact with us via email, is now thousands strong, and the feedback and insights we’ve gathered from you over the course of 2022 have had a tangible impact on the future of hiring.

When Digital right to work was announced in January 2022, the initial launch of the scheme (and the retirement of COVID-adjusted remote checking measures) was scheduled for April. Feedback from our event attendees showed that this deadline was not going to be achievable for the vast majority of employers, and we sent this feedback to the Home Office in a one-pager which prompted a change in the deadline from April to October. It’s insights like this which help us to make hiring faster and safer for everybody, and we couldn’t be more grateful for your support.

Next year’s event calendar

With 2022’s events season complete, we’re also excited to announce the launch of our 2023 Reed Screening webinar series. We’ll be hosting a range of speakers on a variety of important topics, including:

Thank you for being part of the Reed Screening community, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2023!