Insight 27/07/2021

Lifting lockdown: Don’t let urgent recruitment demands increase risks

The lifting of the remaining lockdown restrictions sees the UK economy enter a critical point in its recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We outline how organisations could face urgent recruitment demands and why it shouldn’t increase risk to safeguarding standards.

  • All legal restrictions were lifted in England on 19 July.
  • Scotland moved to Alert Level 0 with some requirements for face coverings in certain settings and limits on outdoor meetings.
  • Wales has remained at Alert Level 1 with plans to ease restrictions like its neighbours on 7 August.

Over 16 months of disruption and uncertainty isn’t going to fade away overnight, nor will the country’s natural caution. COVID-19 certainly won’t disappear. Put simply, the economic recovery from the pandemic doesn’t have a quick fix but there is reason for optimism.

There was an increase of 197,000 payroll employees and the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in June, according to the Office for National Statistics. Both figures are linked to the gradual easing of restrictions and economists expect to see similar results for July.

Overall, the UK Government is forecasting GDP to grow by 6.9% in 2021.

Recruitment – an exciting yet challenging time ahead

After being stuck in survival mode for so long, all types of organisations will optimistically look to upscale the size of their workforce as part of the recovery to return to pre-pandemic levels of trading.  However with this growing need for staff and July’s reported ‘pingdemic’, with the NHS Track and Trace app telling millions of people to isolate after coming into close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, employers will face increased pressure to try and recruit staff quickly.

Whilst 37% of businesses said they’re able to implement the UK Government’s ‘Working safely’ guidance and restart fully, according to a survey from the Chamber of Commerce’s Coronavirus Business Impacts Tracker, unprecedented stresses have been placed on organisations across public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

As the UK starts to reopen, the hunger for the economy to return to its pre-pandemic levels is growing, however the urgency of staff required must not (and doesn’t need to) surpass the obligation to safeguard employees and customers.

Safeguarding – maintain high standards

Some organisations may be tempted to ignore background checks in order to speed up their recruitment processes and meet urgent demands.

For example, the Welsh Government’s insistence that 2021 is the year to ‘holiday at home’ could see a surge of recruitment activity if the hospitality sector restrictions lift as planned on 7 August. We understand the pressure the sector is under, especially as the furlough scheme winds down, but bypassing vetting checks in the recruitment process to meet staff shortages would be short-sighted.

At Checks Direct, we strongly believe organisations can make time critical recruitment decisions and carry out effective background checks. In fact, our business is based on that principle. Our fastest turnaround time for a Basic DBS Check is just 15 minutes, so this isn’t an either/or situation.

Maintaining high standards of safeguarding shouldn’t be compromised for anything. Background checks that look into the criminal history of applicants and employees are essential for protecting our communities. That’s why we’ve made these checks as accessible as possible.

Thousands of organisations use our services to conduct DBS and vetting checks. Our online system and fast-track application process is an efficient and effective way to reduce risk. Organisations can set up an account in a matter of minutes, submit applications and manage checks on their personalised dashboard.

Register your organisation

Our team of expert advisors process thousands of independent and verified DBS Checks. For us, these checks are far more than a tick box exercise. To start making every check count, explore our services or register with Checks Direct today.

The information in this post is for general information purposes only. While Checks Direct has made every effort to ensure the information is as accurate and current as possible, Checks Direct gives no guarantees or warranties of any kind, explicit or implied, for any losses or damages caused in connection with use of this information. This information does not constitute legal, professional or commercial advice. Checks Direct is not liable for any actions taken that are based on the information in this post.