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Digital Trust and Instant Employment: Are we ready?

Emmanuell Allsopp from First Advantage talks to TALiNT Partners Editor Debbie Walton about how digital trust gives employers the opportunity to dramatically speed up hiring.

Content Insights

Digital trust is creating the electronic version of the information we trust on paper today.
Instant employment verification is unlikely to work for every role in every sector.
There was huge momentum when digital Right to Work was launched in the UK.

Table of Contents





Debbie Walton

TALiNT Partners


Emmanuell Allsopp

Vice-President of Product Management & Head of EMEA Product at First Advantage
Imagine if there was a button you could push to hire thousands of staff in seconds, completely confident that all of their employment records are bona fide. No cross-checking with previous employers, no mountain of information to sift through, no forms to file, no waiting for people to return your calls or emails. How much faster would this make your onboarding? How much time and money would it save your company?
The “button” actually already exists in the form of digital trust. However, there are significant barriers to adoption, including concerns about data privacy and security, as well as winning buy-in from employers and employees.

Emmanuell Allsopp, Vice-President of Product Management & Head of EMEA Product at leading background screening organisation First Advantage, talks to TALiNT Partners Editor Debbie Walton about how digital trust initiatives are shaking up recruitment.

Debbie Walton: Digital trust can mean different things to different people. How would you define it?

Emmanuell Allsopp: Digital trust is creating the electronic version of the information we trust on paper today – your proof of identity, employment history, educational attainments, drivers’ licence – and putting this data 100% under the user’s control. It’s about delivering a more convenient, frictionless user experience, so with services from background screening organisations like First Advantage, employers can quickly verify a candidate’s employment history at the touch of a button, and employees can apply for a job whenever and wherever they want using their phone or tablet.

DW: Both hiring organisations and candidates will need to buy-in to the concept to make it work. Which group is more of a challenge?

EA: Currently, it’s an even split. There may be a need for education among employers, employees, and recruitment agencies about what the technology can deliver and how digital trust services such as ‘Digital ID’ actually work; this is changing as adoption grows but there is a need for continued and sustained education. Many people think a digital wallet is about tapping on a smart device app to purchase goods and services. That is a digital payment wallet, but it doesn’t allow you to do much else, yet there are so many other use cases in various stages across the globe.

Take for example a driver’s licence. You can already get one added to your wallet in various states in the US. The UK plans to offer a digital driver option by 2026, and I expect it will be widely adopted rather rapidly.

The biggest challenge we observe is convincing users that they won’t lose control of their data when it becomes digital. The user is always in control – they decide who they share that data with and when.

‘’Employers embracing and supporting digital trust journeys, such as Right to Work, can transform their hiring experience. It allows a candidate to prove their eligibility or experience/skillset with a new employer immediately, no chasing, no paper, no delays. Translate that into productivity, improved experience or cost savings and it’s a win-win for the employer and the applicant.”

DW: What are the advantages of digital trust for employers?

EA: Instant employment verification, faster onboarding, and peace-of-mind that you are relying on trusted data to make your hiring decisions, providing a huge recruitment advantage. When you are making a hiring decision, do you really want to wait two weeks to verify the candidate’s employment history? What if you could find out in seconds where they worked and when, and be confident that information was backed by a trusted source?

A digital wallet enables a candidate to share their identity with a potential employer immediately without the employer having to do anything else – no witnessing documents or storing details – the employer will receive trusted verified information. Translate that into productivity. If the hiring cycle is 6 to 8 weeks to interview and onboard, and you remove eight business days from the process, that new employee is now productive faster.

DW: Do you think instant employment will become the norm across every industry for every role?

EA: Today, it’s relevant to every employee in the UK but not always contractors or the self-employed. It will be particularly useful for companies under pressure to hire fast at volume, for example, retailers in the lead-up to Christmas. We need to start challenging the narrative that “I must have 15 pieces of data to make an employment decision”. You could hire that person on the spot because you could verify on the spot. There’s no limitation, whether it’s one hire or 10,000 hires. Your decision is going to be based on your answer to the question: “Is there enough hiring data for me to make a decision? Am I comfortable, yes or no?”

There is a split in demographic – instant employment verification is unlikely to work for every role in every sector, for example, financial services or other highly regulated industries. However, regulated companies could still use digital trust based services to speed up recruitment. They may use the services to quickly validate a candidate’s assertion that they worked at a particular bank, and for how long, and then at least be able to remove candidates from the process if they find discrepancies.

DW: What other advantages are there for employers and recruiters?

EA: Mitigation of possible subconscious or unintentional bias in recruitment. One of the biggest challenges we have in recruitment today is the return of over-50s to the employment market. If I have to give you my passport, you know not only who I am but when I was born, my generation, and my ethnic origin – all information that’s not relevant to my suitability. If the hiring manager is 25, and they are presented with the credentials of a 25-year-old and a 50-year-old, both of whom are equally qualified, they are more likely to hire somebody the same age as themselves. But if you can prove your identity without having to reveal datapoints such as your date of birth, sex, or ethnic makeup, and the employer can still verify you, that digital wallet allows us to eliminate possible datapoints for these biases from the initial stages of the recruitment cycle without a reduction in trust.

DW: Where do we go from here?

EA: There was huge momentum when digital Right to Work was launched in the UK but it didn’t get a lot of traction because, while it solved a major problem for recruiters, it was a single use case for applicants. The applicant doesn’t care about how much work the employer has to do to employ them; they just want a frictionless experience. What’s going to move the needle on this is we’re going to go from single or limited use case to dozens very quickly. A digital wallet can not only be a source of identity verification but also a driver’s licence, a passport, and proof of your employment and educational history, but possibilities are rather without limit.


For employers:

– Instant employment verification

– Digital ID

– faster onboarding

– trusted data

– competitive advantage

– convenience

– savings in time and resources

For job applicants: 

– convenience – apply anytime, anywhere

– no more filling in the same information over and over

– control over what data you share and with whom