Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

15th Jan, 2024

Craig Lewis
Craig Lewis
Job Title
Senior Content Writer

A new toolkit for local authorities will make recruitment faster, fairer and safer than ever before. 

The Better Hiring Toolkit for Local Authorities has been created by the Better Hiring Institute, with input from the government and other advisors, including Reed Screening. 

This toolkit is the most comprehensive ever produced, giving local authorities guidance and enabling them to hire against best practice standards. 

It aims to prevent the employment of staff who are not honest about their personal circumstances, achievements, or identities, and does so at the same time as demystifying legacy rules to move away from bureaucracy that isn't needed anymore. 

Director of Reed Screening and Chair of the Better Hiring Institute, Keith Rosser, revealed how the toolkit will be vital in an increasingly digital future. 

Q. What is the Better Hiring toolkit for local authorities? 

A. The Better Hiring Institute, which was set up between government and industry during the pandemic to modernise the way that the UK hires, became the facilitator of a best practice guide for employers that was a collaboration between Skills for Care, the Disclosure and Barring Service, and other experts. 

Within that, Reed was invited as one of those experts to give its opinions, thoughts and knowledge to help shape the guide, alongside those other experts, to make it an all-round comprehensive, first-of-its-kind guide for employers. 

It started in the care sector, but since then it's been launched in the financial services sector, it's been launched in the education sector through the Department for Education, and it's now been launched for all local authorities as well, in line with the Local Government Association. 

Q. What are the benefits to local authorities of using the toolkit? 

A. The benefit of this is it's the most comprehensive guide on hiring and onboarding that exists for local government organisations. It's completely free to use. It can be downloaded via the Better Hiring Institute website, and it includes case studies, template documents and forms. 

And because it's an online document, it can be used as a comprehensive guide, or it can just be used section by section on particular points in the hiring process employers want help with. 

What's even better about it, is because of its collaboration and joint work with government, it also provides employers with advice on things like where to get further help and where to report issues that might happen within the hiring process. 

So, for example, it provides information on how to select and choose recruitment agencies, which recruitment agencies are accredited externally as a sign of quality, but also should things go wrong where to report recruitment agencies to regulators. 

It also contains lots of information about how to see the signs that workers may not be being treated properly and where to send workers for further help and advice should they have issues as well. So, it really is a full 360 guide for employers. 

Q. How does the toolkit make hiring safer and faster? 

A. What's really neat about the Better Hiring Institute is they work with thousands of employers. All the time they're working with employers across all the major sectors in the UK, they're imparting, absorbing, and sharing best practice, the latest news and information, and the latest thoughts and trends.  

All that thinking is then going into these toolkits. So, it isn't just the UK government that is looking at the toolkit and providing extra information, but it's also the Better High Institute and other partners, like Reed. 

It's also all that latest thinking and knowledge across employers, not only in the same sector like other local authorities, but also employers from all manner of other sectors where there's crossover themes and best practice that are useful across sectors. 

Q. Why did Reed Screening get involved with the toolkit? 

A. Reed were delighted to be asked to help provide information into the toolkits alongside lots of other really key advisors in the public sector and third sector, as well as inside government. 

It benefits Reed in many ways. Firstly, it helps Reed to see the latest thinking and knowledge and practice from other advisers. It helps to build Reed’s knowledge. 

It also allows Reed to give something back, and to share some of our thinking and best practice with employers in a way that is doing good for the economy. Ultimately, the more we can help employers to innovate, safeguard, and improve the hiring process then the better it is for the UK economy. More people will find jobs more quickly - but also the bad actors that are out there are hopefully more easily seen by employers who are using this best practice and advice. 

Q. What is the ultimate goal of these toolkits? 

A. The Better Hiring Institute has got a vision to make hiring faster, fairer and safer. It wants to make UK hiring the fastest and fairest in the world. It then also wants to help create a ‘live local, work anywhere’ philosophy where once organisations can do fast, digital hiring in a safe way. 

Then it can transform some organisations because they can think differently about their business models and then suddenly it helps the UK as a whole, because more jobs can go to the regions, more people that are looking for flexible type working are more easily able to do so.  

So, there's so many big benefits but the Better Hiring Institute exists to make hiring faster, fairer and safer.

Q. How does this fit into the wider aims of the Better Hiring Institute? 

A. This work is a really important part of making UK hiring the fastest globally, because what we need to do across the UK, is to standardise hiring. There's a real challenge in this country where there's lots of cottage industry type rules, systems and processes. It's been really fascinating for me, being so close to this work, to see just how many legacy rules there are in place that are stopping innovation from really taking off. 

The toolkit does several things. One, it demystifies the legacy rules of certain sectors, and it helps to move away a bureaucracy that isn't needed anymore. The second thing it does is it helps to standardise. So, while every industry is different and all the toolkits reflect those differences, a lot of hiring can actually be standardised.

The importance of standardising hiring and breaking down those rules is that the more we can get to some broad strategic principles, that are the same across all hiring, the faster as a country it'll be to then release the innovation that really powers the UK forward.

We recently did some research with 120,000 people who had got jobs since the first digital hiring system came in and 83% had chosen to go through the digital route, which is fantastic. And then by extrapolating those numbers across all industries and across future years, we worked out that by 2030, 25 million people in the UK will have got a job through a form of digital hiring. If we think about it, by 2030, 25 million people would have been able to get a job faster, more remotely and digitally, and more safely than was true just a year ago.

If you are looking for help with onboarding and preemployment screening, find out how we can assist you here. 

Two circles with mini circles inside

Ready to discuss your unique workforce requirements? Let's talk them through.

Speak to an expert