Call to Continue Hiring Diligently

Vacancies continue to decline, but firms must not allow for complacency

With the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data revealing that the number of UK job vacancies in June to August 2022 dropped by 34,000 from the previous quarter – the largest quarterly fall since June to August 2020 – leading background screening and identity services firm, Sterling has stressed that firms must not get complacent in their hiring efforts.

According to the firm, while vacancies are on a downwards trajectory, demand for talent remains rife, with the jobs market still very much in the candidate’s favour. While skills remain in short supply, firms hoping to secure top talent should avoid cutting corners. Data from Sterling strongly suggests that neglecting screening methods can be damaging to long-term hiring. The firm’s latest research report ‘Hiring Reimagined’, revealed that 22 per cent of job applicants considered dropping out due to issues with the background screening process.

While performing correct and thorough screening methods on candidates is mandatory in most roles, recent news of Jon Andrewes, a former NHS chief executive, who was jailed after lying about his PhD and previous experience suggests that basic screening requirements may be getting overlooked.

“It’s crucial that we do not lose sight of the basics when it comes to employment screening regardless of the hiring trends across the UK,” said Steve Smith, President of International at Sterling. “As we have seen from recent news, the implication poor screening can have on businesses is significant. In fact, the Supreme Court recently ruled that one particular CV fraudster must pay back at least part of their wages having been caught falsifying qualifications and experience to their employer. While this may target those caught committing the act, it is also extremely detrimental to the employer. With the skills gap continuing to widen and competition for talent increasing, now is definitely not the time to risk damaging your employer brand through incomplete or inefficient hiring processes.

“Making the switch to Digital Identity will be a critical component towards speeding up the screening process and making it simpler for all parties,” Smith adds. “It’s essential that firms familiarise themselves with digital Right to Work checks, especially as from October 1st, all UK businesses are advised to use government certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to complete digital Right to Work checks.”

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