Uptick in remote working exposes inefficient screening processes

Screening expert Sterling warns rise in remote working has increased the need to effectively screen candidates.

New research from the CV Library reveals that remote working in the UK has more than doubled in the last four years, global background screening expert, Sterling, has warned that this evolution has increased the need to effectively screen candidates.

According to the firm, as this flexible working option becomes the norm, organisations need to ensure they have a robust background check process in place to limit the risks of potential unscrupulous behaviour within their firm.


Steve Smith, Managing Director, EMEA at Sterling, explained: “There’s no doubt that remote and other forms of flexible working are becoming the norm – and for good reason. As diversity and inclusion continue to grow in value for organisations and their staff, being open to different ways of working is crucial. But for those firms worried about how to control or monitor the fluid workforce, the first step should be taken at the hiring stage, rather than once an individual is in employment.

“Robust and relevant background checks can provide employers with the necessary information to make proper hiring decisions. Identifying these considerations to remote working early on is crucial for employers to not only make informed hiring decisions, but also provide the required support to candidates to ensure they are able to do their job efficiently – no matter how they choose to work.”


Meanwhile, according to a new survey by ETZ payments, around 18 million Brits think that the most popular method of working in the future will be flexible working.

However, due to inconsistent and late payments that are rife in the gig economy, many are dissatisfied with the freelance market, according to a research of over 2,000 Brits commissioned by  ETZ Payments, a back-office payment solution for recruiters.

Key statistics

  • 13 million Brits – 43% say at flexible hours are the most important thing to them when choosing a job 
  • Three in 10 Brits think that they would earn more if they worked as a freelancer, but they choose not to due to inconsistent payment structures (7.5 million)
  • 22% of Brits switched to working freelance from working 9-5 to achieve a better work/life balance, and now feel happier
  • 17.9 million Brits – 58% – think that the most popular method of working in the future will be flexible working (17.9 million)
  • 15% of Brits think the biggest issue they’ve faced as a freelance worker is chasing invoices 
  • 4.3 million Brits – 13% – spend 4 hours and above a week chasing invoices (4.3 million)

The gig economy is often thought to be limited to delivery and taxi drivers, but this is not the case. Freelance working has become a lucrative life-choice of the middle-classes, brandished under sophisticated terms of consultants, project managers, data scientists and specialists – the world of flexible working is far from the confines of low-skilled workers. Prominent sectors to support flexible employees include technology, finance and medicine – all requiring highly skilled, highly resourced professionals. 

One burden that is shared by these workers in the gig economy arena is the common thread of inconsistent and late payments. ETZ Payment’s research supports this as 15% of Brits think the biggest issue they’ve faced as a freelance worker is chasing invoices. Unfortunately, this is dissuading many from working in a freelance capacity with 7.5 million Brits and over a third of middle-class workers thinking that they would earn more money if they worked in a freelance capacity, but choosing not to due to the inconsistent payment structures.

Nick Woodward, CEO of ETZ Payments, provides the following commentary: “Freelance working has increased rapidly in the past decade with more demand for skilled workers as contractors than full-time employees and freelancers looking to strike a better work-life balance, but many appear to be let down by the payment structures in place for freelancers.

“The fact that over four million people are spending 10% of their week chasing invoices in a huge waste of time and productivity to the economy, and recruiters and companies need to work harder to ensure that freelancers concentrate on the job that they are doing, rather than chasing invoices.

“If the skilled gig economy is to grow at the pace expected, these issues need to be dealt with sooner rather than later, and that is why at ETZ Payments, we are working with recruiters to offer same-day payments to ensure that flexible workers are getting paid for the work they do in a timely manner.”

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