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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

How email negatively impacts the candidate experience - Amiqus

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The recruitment and staffing industry is experiencing the strongest candidate market in recent history.

According to Forbes, “it’s common to have final candidates with multiple offers, or passive candidates who, within the span of a week, become very active in several processes.“

Forbes argue that speed has become the most important factor in getting candidates across the line and, “speed can only come from being well-organized and having a crisp process.”

One of the most overlooked aspects of the candidate experience is our primary means of communication; email.

Losing candidates to slow processes

Email can significantly delay time to hire, creating a poor experience for candidates and a lot of hassle for employers and recruitment agencies.

Scottish Government recently digitised their staff vetting and onboarding process and said of their previous process, “The correspondence and discussions with candidates and colleagues could take many weeks, or even months, to complete; all depending on the length of time it took candidates to respond to emails”.

And during this lengthy back-and-forth exchange, employers risk losing talent to those who have taken steps to reduce this friction and delay.

Email cannot be relied upon for the critical onboarding steps of candidates, such as sending passports and other sensitive data.

And not just because of the length of time it takes to gather the information we need.

91% of cyber attacks start with an email

Emailing a passport or driving licence is common practice when it comes to remotely verifying candidate identity or right to work status.

It’s also common practice in many of the other areas of our lives, whether that’s buying a house, seeking legal advice or renting a car. And thanks to the pandemic, many businesses pivoted to using email as their primary means of transferring information.

Unfortunately this means that we have likely never had more financial and identity information sitting in email inboxes. This has created a perfect opportunity for cyber criminals.

Emails are stored in clear text, making them easily readable by third parties and most email service providers do not provide end-to-end encryption.

4500 small-medium businesses are successfully hacked in the UK every single day*. And 91% of cyber attacks in 2020 started with an email.**

By asking candidates to email their secure documentation and data, we are putting them at risk. And it’s important that we ask ourselves what kind of candidate experience this creates.

The risk to recruitment firms

The risk doesn’t stop with candidates. The fast-growing number of data breaches has created an opportunity for legal firms. Victims of data protection breaches are now able to make no win, no fee compensation claims, even if it hasn’t resulted in any direct loss or damage.

A simple human error, such as emailing a client’s documents or data to the wrong person could result in hefty fines.

Reducing friction and risk from the candidate experience

Email isn’t going away anytime soon. But we need to find faster and more secure ways to verify candidate identity and right to work status to keep hold of top talent.

You may be aware that the Home Office recently extended the ability to complete right to work checks digitally until April 5, 2022.  But you may not be aware that UK Government is also undergoing a review of how using specialist technology could turn this into a permanent change.

This review is ongoing and we expect that changes will be announced before the next deadline.

This means that going forward, the entire candidate process can be carried out online. And using a tool like Amiqus, you can reduce weeks of back-and-forth emailing into minutes of secure, online activity, speeding up your time to hire and creating a candidate experience to be proud of.

But being able to do this remotely and digitally for the long term means new standards are needed. Standards that keep candidates and businesses safe and make all of our lives easier.

And these standards are coming.

Say hello to the Digital Identity Trust Framework

Amiqus are consulting with UK Government on the Digital Identity Trust Framework, a new set of digital standards that will be introduced UK-wide over the next few years to all sectors.

The idea is that businesses that meet those standards will get a trust mark, much like the ISO certification. And the Government has plans to ensure that everyone knows what this trust mark means.

This is a really positive step. It will create a competitive advantage for employers and agencies that meet the standards. Candidates will know they’re going to have a hassle-free experience and that their data will be kept safe. And the great news is that it will significantly reduce the administrative burden of candidate vetting for employers too.

If you’re considering a technology partner to remove the friction and risk from your candidate vetting and onboarding process, it’s important to choose one that can prepare your business for what’s coming and give you a competitive edge. Choose a partner that can help you to meet the new digital standards.


**Barracuda spear phishing report 2020

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