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October 13th, 2020 | Sterling

Practical Considerations for a Frictionless Hiring Programme

Employers, and HR professionals in particular, have had a lot to think about throughout 2020. From Brexit, to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a paradigm shift in the workplace, resulting in some major changes to the balance of hiring. A global study conducted by Adecco supports this notion, finding that the pandemic alone has impacted the world of work more radically than any other event in our working lifetime.

To help create a seamless hiring programme for both candidates and recruiters, it’s important to firstly gain an understanding of the hiring landscape. Catchup with our recent webinar “Background Checks and the Practical Steps to a Frictionless Hiring Programme” to hear more from some of Sterling’s leaders on this topic.

The New Hiring Landscape

While the general uncertainty around Brexit doesn’t seem to be settling anytime soon, we can add the considerations of a new immigration system into the mix, which are expected to come into play in 2021. That’s without mentioning the outcome of the transition period. For an overview of the new immigration system, you can revisit our “Beyond Brexit: The UK’s plans for a new immigration system” blog, which features expert insight from Fragomen.

As we all continue in our fight against COVID-19, our attention has also been drawn to the fight against racism. Diversity and inclusion have been an increasing part of the agenda for many organisations across the world, but now the spotlight of recent events across the United States and beyond has made businesses reflect and consider diversity programmes in greater detail.

Even before 2020, as Steve Smith highlights in our recent webinar, the hiring landscape was already shifting in a number of ways. This includes the growth in hiring programmes into new markets and across borders, which in turn presents further opportunities and challenges. Not to mention, the rise in the contingent workforce, which is likely to be influenced further in the short to medium future due to the pandemic. Often in times of uncertainty, or as the result of an economic downturn, the hiring of full-time employees may be reduced in favour of a higher proportion of contract workers. This can prove advantageous for organisations looking for less financial commitment in relation to permanent headcount, or in order to capitalise on changing market conditions and skills shortages.

Whilst this may all seem overwhelming and merely scratches the surface, the good news is that there are some practical considerations to overcome hiring barriers in this ever-evolving landscape.

Barriers to Hiring in The New World and How We Can Overcome Them

Interview process: In a world that seems to be more virtual than ever, how can the employer and candidate get to know each other better? Rather than leaving candidates to their own devices, and searching your organisation online, give them some information about your organisation before their interview – so they have time to understand who you are as a business. In addition, a welcome or introductory note before the interview process can help solidify your employee value proposition.  It’s important you communicate well in advance, and in a structured manner, perhaps by sending them the interview schedule prior, along with who they’ll be speaking to, so applicants have a level of expectation. Don’t be afraid of getting creative!  Ask the candidate to answer some questions in advance via video (this can be filmed on their smartphone), and can be a great talking point at the start of the interview. Be sure to send clear directions on how to access the virtual interview, such as a Zoom link. Technology can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so be sure to have a back-up plan in case anything goes wrong.

IT and Equipment Logistics: In the switch to a virtual-first workplace, how does your organisation manage the effective and timely provision of hardware? To answer this question, it may prove advantageous to partner with the IT department. This could involve having systems in place that list the requirements of each role, allowing you to know the equipment needs automatically, without requesting this from the hiring manager. Doing so will then empower your IT teams to start preparing tech before the individual starts. It’s also vital that day one  and day two  check-ins are made with IT and that they are available during this period to answer any questions or troubleshoot potential issues for the recruit.  This will ultimately set new hires up to succeed in their new roles.

Onboarding and Culture: A challenge many HR professionals across the globe face, is how company culture can remotely be integrated as part of the onboarding process. Getting this right can be incredibly important in the quest to find the best candidate. One way of doing this is by asking questions based on your organisation’s values. This get  candidates thinking about the values and how they’ll eventually live these out within the working environment.  Once the interview is out of the way, you may wish to get a senior member of your team to lead the induction process and provide guidance through the culture and values early on. In a physical office space, accessing these individuals (that are the drivers of the culture) may be a lot easier than in a virtual world.

Why the Candidate Experience Matters

With all that in mind, these considerations lead to a greater candidate experience. This is a topic that truly resonates with the Human Resources function and one that was shared with our recent webinar attendees, with 30% agreeing that creating an even better candidate experience was the most significant opportunity for their hiring organisations right now. This candidate-centric approach to hiring has become a key consideration for many, and takes an empathetic and conversational approach, which places the candidate as a central figure throughout the process. This can become a key differentiator for your organisation if done in a true and authentic way and can give your business the best chance of attracting the right people to the right roles.

Making Background and Identity Checks Seamless and Frictionless

Once you make the decision on who you are going to hire, its crucial to set expectations for the background checks to help speed up the process and ensure this is as seamless as possible. This may relate to how long it will take, which documents are needed, and who to contact for more information. A key consideration at the start of this process for your company is how you’ll verify the identity of the candidate before work commences. In this remote world this can be a big challenge for many. An easy way of doing so is to partner with a trusted organisation such as Sterling to support this step.

On our recent webinar, Sam Vaughan, Sterling’s Director of Product for EMEA, walked through just two examples of innovative background and identity solutions that can help to reduce friction in the hiring process. Here’s a quick summary:

UK Right to Work ID Verification – Our solution integrates ID technology seamlessly at the start of a Right to Work Verification and leverages revolutionary facial recognition and fraud detection technology for greater accuracy and fewer screener errors. Whilst also providing candidates with a simple and convenient way to verify identity from anywhere, anytime.

UK Post Office Identity Verification – A new seamless, automated identity process removes deciphering a complicated set of document rules – resulting in fewer errors. Candidates can easily visit any one of the 2,000 post office locations at their convenience and lean on the trusted expertise of over 3,700 trained specialists that provide in-person guidance, if needed.

While there’s a lot to consider, creating a seamless hiring process is very much a realistic goal. Tune into our webinar on-demand, to hear Sam Vaughan and company guide you through these unique identity solutions and the steps to frictionless hiring.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.