HiredByMe, a specialist provider of pre-employment screening (PES) and onboarding for contracting professionals, has announced the launch of “Portable PES,” a new platform enabling Umbrella Company Employees and other contractors to complete their checks before finding their next assignments. It will also allow these workers to carry this data from one role to another, saving huge amounts of time in the process.

The platform is designed particularly for contracting professionals who work in financial services, the technology sector and government, all of whom have to contend with the unique double challenge of entering and exiting roles swiftly while simultaneously undergoing a rigorous – and frequently lengthy – screening process because of the sensitive nature of their work.

The time taken to hire contractors in these sectors is pivotal: many of the roles are not simply short-term but exceptionally urgent. The platform is designed to move through the screening process rapidly and prevent the current delays, which could make the difference between the success and failure of a project.

Delays in the hiring of financial services contractors, HiredByMe states, cost them upwards of £180 million a year collectively, as they spend weeks of unpaid time waiting for screening to be completed.

A large number of professional recruiters belonging to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) are supporting the launch of Portable PES on the grounds that it provides multiple benefits to contractors and end-clients alike. The process is cheaper and involves considerably less effort for contractors (and fewer days of unpaid waiting “on the bench”), while for end-clients, it permits considerably faster onboarding. Contractors are thereby enabled to do what they do best: hit the ground running.

Chris Bryce, the CEO of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), said that hiring managers need their contractors to be productive as soon as possible after selection, adding: “Twenty years ago it was commonplace to have a contractor on board the day after that decision had been made, but nowadays it can take up to three weeks to complete the screening, that’s three weeks the client’s not getting the work done and three weeks the independent professional isn’t billing for their work.”

The platform was also endorsed by Oliver Harris, the CEO of Resource Solutions, a specialist in Recruitment Process Outsourcing and temporary Managed Service Provider solutions, who said: “As an industry, recruitment outsourcing needs to support solutions like this which allow us to marry our clients’ objectives and rapidly deliver outstanding workers, coupled with a robust compliance process.”

Portable PES encompasses credit, criminal, directorship and employment history checks, which typically take 2-4 weeks to complete in the financial services industry.

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