TALiNT Partners Insights provides invaluable information that enables businesses to make informed, strategic decisions. Our curated insights are your tools for problem-solving, fostering growth, and achieving success within talent acquisition and staffing.

163% increase in global right to work checks in education sector, as talent shortages and regulations tighten their grip

The spike coincides with record numbers of teachers quitting in 2022-23

Content Insights

Research highlights a failure rate of over 15% in background checks within the sector.
Educational institutions find themselves navigating conflicting priorities.
The urgency of expediting hiring processes is particularly pronounced in the education sector.

Table of Contents




The United Kingdom’s education sector has witnessed a staggering surge in global right-to-work checks, more than doubling since 2021, as educational institutions strive to bridge talent gaps with international hires while navigating regulatory compliance.

Recent research from Zinc, a background checking platform, unveils a remarkable 163% increase in these checks over the past three years. This surge aligns with the escalating fines for employing undocumented migrants, with penalties set to triple for violations.

The Department for Education’s report of a record 40,000 teachers exiting the profession last year has spurred institutions to explore overseas talent pools to meet their staffing needs, despite the complexities associated with recruiting internationally. However, the process cannot be expedited recklessly, as Zinc’s additional research highlights a failure rate of over 15% in background checks within the sector. This statistic underscores the prevalence of ineligible applicants, posing risks to institutions.

Yet, the intensified scrutiny on hiring processes paradoxically exposes recruiting teams to the risk of losing top-tier candidates to competitors capable of swift vetting procedures. This challenge transcends the education sector, with only a meagre 9% of businesses across industries able to complete checks within a week, while 79% of large employers take up to a month, according to industry data.

Luke Shipley, CEO and co-founder of Zinc, commented, “Educational institutions find themselves navigating conflicting priorities: the imperative to secure talent amidst a diminishing pool while confronting escalating penalties for inadequate due diligence. Recruitment teams must ensure that stringent vetting requirements do not impede their ability to attract and retain the talent essential for student success.”

Shipley emphasises the significance of maintaining timely communication with applicants throughout the hiring process, highlighting the risk of losing candidates due to prolonged periods of uncertainty, even if delays are attributed to necessary vetting procedures.

The urgency of expediting hiring processes is particularly pronounced in the education sector, where attrition rates between offer acceptance and commencement can reach up to 10%. Without the requisite technical infrastructure and expertise to streamline hiring, organizations risk exacerbating this figure.

For further insights on accelerating talent acquisition in the education sector, interested parties are encouraged to refer to Zinc’s comprehensive whitepaper.


Deel MPU 1