The current fuel and food supply crisis, brought on by a lack of HGV drivers, has put recruitment in high-compliance industries firmly in the spotlight. While short-term solutions have been actioned, such as the issue of temporary visas for HGV drivers based abroad and giving delivery duties to military personnel, this does not solve the issue of employing fully compliant staff in the long-term. This must be discussed and addressed to ensure shortages like this do not happen again.
The key to the solution here lies within the employment process. With the sheer number of job vacancies currently available, the candidate has never been more powerful in the job market. This makes a fast and comprehensive employment process essential in the hiring of staff. This means that the process must be three things:
Remote: A remote process means all employment checks can be completed without needing to meet the candidate first-hand – ideal if you are hiring from abroad. Having a remote process also enables the candidate to fill in their details, saving valuable time and resources on all sides.
Simple: If the candidate lives abroad, then it is not impossible to have the candidate fill in their details while still away, for them to begin work as soon as they arrive in the U.K. – a significant boon for many in stretched sectors such as driving, who have enough to think about without also having to take care of their employee’s employment status.
Fast: With vacancies rising, candidates have a wider range of choice when it comes to job opportunities then they have had in a long time. This means that there is not time to waste when it comes to the employment screening and hiring process if you want to attract the best talent for your business.
While there is not a lot that can be done about making the training process for HGV drivers less stringent, there is a lot that can be done about removing administrative barriers during the employment vetting and hiring process.
This is not the first case of staff shortages recently and it will not be the last – a clear solution is needed to ensure the impact is felt for as short a time as possible. Removing as many of the time-consuming elements of the vetting and hiring processes is one way to get candidates started in roles quickly, especially when, in industries such as HGV driving where specialist skills are required, the training process is costly and takes time.
It is inevitable that a system of using pre-existing candidate profiles, detailing their vetting status (for example, whether they have the appropriate licences and qualifications for a role), before beginning the hiring process will become normalised in the not-too-distant future. The saving of time and money from the vetting and employment process, while also getting the worker started in their new role more swiftly, means it is beneficial to both the employer and the candidate.
It is clear technology is a large part of the answer to the issue of not just the HGV driver shortage, but other staff shortages in high-compliance industries (such as social care). The pandemic has shown that the technology available to conduct employment checks remotely works – let’s start using it to make everyone’s lives easier.