Pre-employment checks are vital for maintaining the integrity of public sector recruitment, but the length of time they can take is a cause of real frustration for recruiters and candidates alike.
On average, the Scottish Government needs five and a half weeks to complete pre-employment checks before presenting a candidate with a formal offer of employment, by which time many candidates, and particularly those applying for competitive IT and managerial roles, will have accepted offers elsewhere.
Currently, public sector recruiters receive original copies of candidate documents by post or in person before copying sensitive candidate information across multiple filing systems. Candidates choose between making the journey to government offices or risking the loss of their documents in transit and can be left in the dark for weeks about the status of their file.
This lack of efficiency, and the amount of talent lost to the current system, is what inspired CivTech 4.0 Challenge 9, sponsored by the Scottish Government’s People Directorate.
To answer the challenge, Amiqus put forward a cross-company team of user experience experts, engineers and product designers, as well as experts in human resources, marketing, customer success and public affairs, to demonstrate how our technology could make it easier to hire the right person at the right time.
Working with user personas
“Why does it take so much time to go through this process?
“I have no idea what’s happening”
It’s in everyone’s interests that the public sector be able to compete for top talent, but with UK unemployment at a record low candidates aren’t competing for jobs, employers are competing for candidates. Maintaining candidate engagement throughout the recruitment process is therefore more important than ever.
To meet this challenge, the Amiqus CivTech team started by trying to understand the real impact on candidates and recruiters when existing procedures fall short; interviewing real people and coming up with the user narratives that guide our engineering and product design.
I’m a candidate
“Working in the public sector would be a major career move and I know I can make a difference, but it’s stressful and frustrating to put your life on hold when you’ve no idea if an offer is on the way.
“Will I be able to pay the rent in two months time?
“What if my birth certificate gets lost in the post?
“Should I turn down that other offer? Can I afford the wait to find out? What if I’m unsuccessful?
I’m a public sector recruiter
“I’ve found the perfect person to hire, they could really take the pressure off their new team, but I’m limited to the time-scales of our recruitment process and I’m burdened by the amount of paperwork I’m constantly pushing.
“What if the offer doesn’t arrive in time and the candidate’s circumstances have changed?
What am I going to say to colleagues when there is yet another delay?
Surely there must be an easier way to conduct pre-employment checks than checking documents face to face or waiting for them to arrive by post? What if I make a mistake? Image for post
We could have taken the challenge literally and simply put the Scottish Government’s current paper-based pre-employment check process online, that may have created one or two efficiencies, but that’s not how we operate at Amiqus.
Instead, we saw an opportunity to work collaboratively with the Scottish Government’s People Directorate and to explore how far we could advocate new, simpler ways of doing things, while still listening to ensure we weren’t placing our own ideas and approach above our client’s needs.
We believe the public sector can and should demand better technology, and for much better terms than have traditionally been on offer, not only because technology can make public sector recruitment easier, but because software providers should aspire to do more than take a fee for replacing civil service bureaucracy with the digital equivalent.
The result of our work with the People Directorate is an accessible solution that removes the need for candidates to travel or send all of their documentation by post, while providing recruiters with an overview of the status and reporting on each candidate file from one secure online account.
The candidate is notified of the progress of their file and the recruiter no longer has to wait weeks for documents or to copy information across multiple filing systems.
The recruiter sends a request for pre-employment checks via secure link by email.
From their own device, the candidate submits their information and documents for verification within a secure online environment.
Once submitted, candidate documentation and a verification report is received within the recruiting team’s Amiqus account, with access controls, for their decision.
All candidate information is securely stored and encrypted within Amiqus. Additional checks and information can be added at any time.
This process greatly simplifies the Scottish Government’s pre-employment check workflow, while improving security and user experience, and leaves enough flexibility to meet the needs of individual teams. There are no hidden in-product fees, public sector clients can benefit from training and ongoing technical support and Amiqus can scale to any size of department or directorate or even the entire corporate body.
Interested in procuring Amiqus?
Photocopying candidate passports is now a thing of the past. Request, verify and review all public sector pre-employment checks from one secure, online Amiqus account.
Turn weeks of pre-employment paperwork into minutes of remote vetting by enabling candidates to undergo checks from their own device.
Benefit from our end-to-end encryption and privacy of information by design. Scalable Scale to any size of public sector department or directorate.
Join the thousands of checks already performed by Amiqus every month.
Visit our #CivTechDemoDay table in the Strathblane Hall exhibition area, Level 0
Book your free consultation at amiqus.co/meet
Find out more at amiqus.co
We’re committed to understanding your needs and the needs of your candidates, so that you can get to work on the things that matter faster.