Remote identity checks – a new normal for HR teams

Remote identity checks – a new normal for HR teams

As the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we all saw an overnight switch from face-to-face to online. For some organisations, this presented a huge challenge around recruitment and compliance checks and left them facing a seismic shift in their processes. For others, already familiar with electronic identity checks, it just involved a small shift in the way they use and access that technology…

In March 2020, verifying identity remotely became a new and unique challenge for many recruiters. Without now being able to meet a candidate face-to-face to see and hold an identity document presented by its owner, they suddenly needed a new way to confirm that the candidate they were dealing with  they were planning to employ was actually who they claim to be.

The Government adjusted Right to Work guidance in late March 2020, meaning that recruiters could now:

  • accept scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than originals
  • carry out checks over video calls
  • So, this gave an opportunity for recruiters to make robust, compliant identity checks, albeit in a new, remote environment.

    The landscape for our customers and prospects at the start of lockdown varied enormously. Some already had a remote identity check process and service in place and added our Guest Links functionality which allows the candidates themselves to upload their identity documents remotely for checking by the TrustID service.

    Others were used to meeting and recruiting staff face-to-face. They looked to move to online checks as a short-term measure or as an alternative tool to their usual on-premise checks. One such organisation was Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

    The Trust have been using TrustID services to verify employee identity documents since 2018. In March 2020, with their HR team forced to work at home and unable to access their on-premise ID scanners, they turned to their online TrustID Cloud account, scaling up their use of the service as the pandemic continued. Pauline North, Medical HR Manager at the Trust says: 

    “Thank goodness we already had TrustID scanners and could get access to Cloud scans! The Coronavirus pandemic meant that my team were all working from home and we couldn’t do face to face checks. The Cloud facility meant that we still had assurance that the identity and Right to Work documents we received were checked thoroughly and any anomalies could be highlighted for further investigation. I simply cannot think how we could have had that level of assurance without TrustID.” 

    The recruitment team has the flexibility of both on-premise and online checks for applicants and is not solely reliant on a face-to-face recruitment process. Even with their remote validation service, every member of the team can easily run reliable candidate checks.

    For many organisations, could this enforced change of process herald the start of a new way of working? Of course, it’s not yet clear when, or if, Right to Work guidance will return to its pre-Covid state. However, there’s no doubt that, whilst many recruiters have been forced to rethink their processes, many have found a new, efficient way of working. They have seen that both their recruitment teams making checks and candidates having their identity checked are happy to accept and embrace online validation services.

    One thing is certain: investing in smart, flexible identity verification tools today will set your organisation up to effectively check applicants, whatever the future brings. 

    Tony Machin

    Tony Machin, CEO

    Our CEO since 2013 has led our business through a program of significant upgrades in technology and services and has huge experience helping businesses introduce the right processes for identity document checks

    Want to find out more?

    Why not get in touch to find out how our online identity document validation services could help with your remote checks?

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