Trends That Will Impact Screening and Onboarding in 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented organisations throughout the world with new hiring challenges and demands. In addition, we now operate in a world where remote working and hiring is commonplace (if not the norm).

One new hiring challenge we have seen happen since the pandemic begun concerns screening and onboarding. In particular, how we as companies, recruiters, and HR professionals deal with this compliantly and effectively.

2021 has presented its challenges and now, we are preparing for 2022.

Based on dialogue with our clients and data obtained from various resources, we have put together screening and onboarding trends that you should expect in 2022.

More emphasis on faster screening and onboarding

The UK is suffering a significant labour shortage, which is expected to continue well into 2022. Experts and industry professionals state these reduced numbers are caused by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic (we discuss this in more detail here).

As a result, recruiters and employers will struggle to fill vacancies in 2022 and will have to compete more aggressively with other organisations to acquire workers. This will lead to an emphasis on faster screening and onboarding in 2022.

It is recommended that organisations and recruiters implement processes and systems that, not only increase speed, but also prevent non-compliance and unlawful/poor hiring decisions.

Background checks for gig workers

There has been a significant increase in the number of gig workers and freelancers in the last five years. Within the last couple of years, this number has skyrocketed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the aforementioned labour shortage, coupled with an uncertain economic future, the number of gig workers is expected to rise in 2022.

Therefore, it is important employers take a note of this trend and screen these types of workers. Whether the candidate is part time or full time, a lack of vetting can impose a significant risk to an organisation’s finances and reputation.

Periodic checks for existing employees

Whilst pre-employment screening is a vital component for most organisation’s hiring process, there is still a lack of periodic checks on workers in sectors ungoverned by certain laws and regulations.

Retention of staff will be a firm focus for many organisations and HR professionals in 2022. However, if there is a lack of periodic background checks on existing employees, then the risk of legal, financial, and reputational damage will increase.

With this emphasis on retention, periodic checks will not only trend in 2022, but will become a staple part of recruitment operations for all businesses.

Increase in digital ID verification

HR professionals and recruiters have been facing the significant challenge of verifying ID documents remotely in 2021. This is due to continue well into 2022*. What adds to this challenge is the need to get this right and the potential increase of fake ID documents circulating in the UK next year.

As a result, we can see an increase in demand for digital ID verification. With this in mind, it is highly recommended that employers and recruiters utilise digital functions to verify ID documents to prevent right to work check non-compliance.

*Note: whilst physical right to work checks are expected to return in April 2022, it is highly anticipated that a digital process will replace the need for physical, in-person document checking. It is recommended to follow the EBC Global blog for updates on this matter.

Supplementing criminal record checks

There have been significant delays with criminal record checks in most countries within the last 18 months. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen government bodies work with skeleton workforces and reduced resources.

This is a lesser problem in the UK, but there are still delays to DBS checks. The solution for many has been to supplement criminal record checks. Some organisations have asked candidates to ‘self-certify’ and answer questions about their criminal record history as a short-term solution. Others have implemented global sanctions checks, which have proved effective if a criminal record check is unavailable.

It is highly recommended to supplement criminal record checks where possible and to do so with a system or software in place that connects to DBS directly.

Screening and Onboarding Trends 2022 – Takeaway

In short, it is vital that organisations anticipate the following in 2022:

  • The need for faster screening and onboarding will increase (and solutions, systems, and processes, must be put in place to anticipate this
  • Gig workers and freelancers must undergo a background process, despite how many hours they work
  • Periodic checks must be implemented on existing employees to protect your staff, clients, employees, etc
  • Implement a digital ID verification process, which may require sourcing software
  • Supplement criminal record checks to protect your organisation legally and financially

Further Reading

The Future Job Market In The UK Post-COVID

Screening and Evaluating Candidates | A How to Guide

What is pre-employment screening? | The employer’s guide

Right To Work Checks – The Latest Employer’s Guide

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