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New survey reveals slow Right to Work checks hold back recruitment ambitions

While most companies understand the importance of securing candidates with the right to work in the UK, only 60% use technology to secure the best talent ahead of the competition.

TrustID, a leading expert in identity document verification, has revealed the findings of its survey into Right to Work (RtW) guidance. Over 130 HR, compliance and business professionals answered questions about recruitment challenges and priorities for 2023, the impact of post-COVID RtW changes and using technology to check a candidate’s right to work in the UK.

The majority of respondents considered their biggest recruitment challenge to be the availability of new talent in a competitive market, and their main recruitment priorities to be attracting higher quality recruits and improving the candidate experience. Nearly all respondents (96%) see RtW checks as essential or very important for their business. However, almost half (46%) reported that RtW checks currently take over a week to perform, running the risk of losing out on new talent to other, faster-moving competitors.

Tony Machin, CEO of TrustID said, “Identity validation technology means that Right to Work checks can be done on the same day as an interview or when an offer is made. This helps companies that use an identity service provider (IDSP) to avoid missing out on their choice of candidate.”

Changes to RtW guidance to accommodate a remote approach under COVID regulations were seen by most respondents (62%) to be easier to perform than pre-COVID. A majority of people (89%) were aware of the additional adjustments to the rules that came into force on October 1st, 2022, but 31% were not fully prepared for them.

The survey also showed that 69% of respondents thought it was likely that they would come across a candidate who didn’t have the right to work in the UK. Also, 42% of people thought it likely that a candidate could present a fake document as part of the hiring process. However, only 20% of respondents were very confident that they could identify a fraudulent document.

Most respondents (84%) were familiar with the idea of a third-party IDSP, with the same number considering it important to use a certified IDSP. 60% of people said they currently use technology from an IDSP or an applicant tracking service (ATS) linked to an IDSP, with a further 17% considering using technology for their RtW checks. The primary benefits of using technology were listed as confidence in compliance, faster onboarding and the security of hiring only people with the right to work in the UK.
Tony Machin said, “Right to Work checks have been subject to many changes over recent years. Using a certified IDSP that keeps pace with regulatory changes gives an employer confidence that it is compliant and streamlines staff on-boarding for faster recruitment.”

To download a copy of the research survey, visit