Onboarding and Pre-employment Screening in a Remote World

CLARE RYDER • 20 Oct 2020

In this week’s HOW Talent Webinar, Giles was joined by Lee Hughes, Sales Director at global identity data intelligence specialist, First Advantage. Lee and the team at First Advantage support organisations who are recruiting and vetting candidates through their data and technology services.

With many of us now working from home, successfully managing pre-employment screening and onboarding remotely is critical.

Giles and Lee discussed:

  • Which pre-employment checks are available, and the checks you may want to consider using
  • Tips on how to manage remote onboarding and referencing virtually whilst ensuring compliance
  • How identity verification rules have changed and are evolving as a result of COVID-19

Compliance has been a perennial challenge in several ways. Understanding the changes in legislation and making sure checks are completed in a reasonable amount of time to ensure we do not lose candidates in the process is essential.

Prefer to watch it back? Watch it below 👇

How does remote onboarding and vetting work in the current climate?

Across our range of customers there is a lot of reliance on remote activity now. This includes video interviewing, psychometric testing and online new starter processes. With compliance checks, a lot of this is verifying identities, ensuring people are who they say they are and looking at their background history etc. Pre Covid, this would be done when you are bringing someone physically into the organisation, but there is now a lot more reliance on doing these checks remotely and earlier in the process using technology.

Some organisations are now starting to use mobile app-based technology to capture and validate documents, answer Home Office key questions that you need to meet around right to work.

What are the latest changes to the rules around ID verification?

Earlier this year the Financial Conduct Authority allowed organisations to relax the criteria for verifying consumer identity. Following this, the Disclosure Barring Service, who manage criminal record checking in England and Wales, enabled organisations to verify someone's identity as part of those two checking processes remotely. This means that you no longer need to see the person face to face to view their original document, which might be a passport or a biometric residency permit or a visa, you can now show a document to someone over a screen share or by sending an electronic scan or copy over.

Whilst there is now a little bit of leniency in terms of verifying a document and making sure it belongs to the person you are hiring, the key part about the rules is you still need to see that person and their original documents when they are able to attend their place of work in person.

What types of checks are available to support organisations that are vetting remotely?

The market has noticed an increase in the demand for basic criminal record checks outside of the roles which are heavily regulated e.g. teachers, nurses etc. Organisations now recognise that it is best practice to look at a person's background and get a feel for their history.

As an example, we see delivery organisations doing background, criminal and credit checks on delivery drivers. If they have an adverse financial history or there may be issues with them delivering packages to vulnerable people, then a role as a delivery driver might not be suitable.

Identity is at the forefront of a pre-employment checking package. Most organisations want to check that a new hire is who they say they are. There are manual ways of verifying a person's identity by viewing documents but a lot more organisations are now starting to rely on data to verify that someone has a footprint in society.

Right to work checks must completed on a person’s first day of employment with a company. Depending on the role you are recruiting for you might do standard or enhanced criminal record checks, financial checks or driving licence checks where relevant.

The government are looking to embrace digital a lot more, what are they looking to do?

The Government Digital Service (GDS) have a project around digital identity which is looking at a framework of how organisations can use digital identity in a compliant way and create a framework for the minimum level of assurance that you need to have to verify a person's identity. We don’t know timescales on this project, but it could be a really positive step forward.

What are your top 3 points for people to feel confident about bringing new hires onboard?

1 The most important point would be to ensure you understand the legal compliance requirements for each role you are recruiting for and that your processes to meet this compliance are robust.
2 Understand your processes and look at how to streamline them using data and technology.
3 Keep an eye on the government project and think about how this might work for your organisation. The government are aiming to make the overall process of vetting and compliance easier for everyone so it's exciting to see how this will progress.


How our applicant tracking system works with First Advantage's DBS Checking


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