Children are using iPads in schools, artificial intelligence is changing the way we work, and nobody can seem to look up from their smartphone, ever. We are in a golden age of transformative technological advancements. As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the technology workforce is pacing for a 13 percent growth by 2026, creating high demand for tech talent. Building a talented and qualified tech force that mitigates risk for the misuse of data and technology is no small job, and the competition has led many technology companies to adopt a unique approach to conducting background checks. Here’s what makes the industry different and why you might want to consider a similar approach, no matter what industry you’re in.
Why are background checks for technology companies different?
In the competitive tech world, companies are constantly looking to make the next big breakthrough. The potential monetary value of technological advancements could attract bad actors. According to the 2019 Verizon Data Break Investigation Report, roughly a third of data breaches are caused by people inside the affected organization, not outside hackers. So, to make sure proprietary technology and intellectual property stay protected, companies often utilize robust background check packages.
But tech companies also have to take extra precautions because of who they work with, both in terms of their corporate partners and end users. Technology systems are often interconnected. So, if two companies are sharing a network or are digitally connected in some way, any breach at one company could impact the other. Tech companies can also hold a lot of personal data about their end users, and can often interact with those users in ways other companies can’t. Think about the personal information stored on a social media platform, or the ability for tech support to remotely access someone’s laptop. Bottom line, the technology industry can be risky but hiring qualified and trustworthy employees help those companies avoid issues.
Expansive background checks
So how do technology focused organizations make sure they are hiring the right candidates? One approach they take is by using more expansive background checks than almost any other industry. For comparison, most industries have three to four products that are highly common (meaning over half the industry uses that specific search). But for technology companies, there are upwards of 12 products that fit into the highly common category. That’s triple the number of sources in their screening packages! The products most commonly used in background checks for technology companies include:
- Country Criminal Search
- Federal Criminal Search
- National Criminal Database Search
- National Sex Offender Registry Search
- Statewide Criminal Search
- ID Trace
- Government Watch List
- Academic & Employment Verifications
The list doesn’t end there. Technology companies also regularly utilize driving records, credit checks, drug testing and other global services. And they also tend to use a broader approach to their criminal searches, expanding the scope of most to search all names and locations found using an ID Trace. It’s really an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to screening. But the result is a background check package that is robust, in-depth, and helps alleviate concerns for hiring managers who know how important it is to keep company information protected.
Government watch list searches
One of the most unique things about how technology companies conduct background searches is their use of watch list searches. These searches generally use the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) check as a source, which may help reveal any specially designated nationals, terrorists, traffickers, and blocked persons and parties who are forbidden from conducting business in the United States.
Technology companies rely on these searches more than almost any other industry, and in fact, 23% of all global watch list searches are done by technology companies. The reason for this is likely due to the sensitive nature of company data and the growing threat of foreign hackers looking to infiltrate U.S. information systems.
In the end, it all comes down to data. Technology companies have access to so much potentially sensitive data that they need to do everything they can to keep it protected. While companies in other industries also have to take measures to ensure data security, it’s of particular concern in the tech world. But by implementing robust background check procedures, technology companies can feel more confident that they’re bringing the right people on board. And hiring the right people is something HR professionals in any industry can appreciate. By following the lead of the technology world and developing an expansive background screening strategy, organizations might get a step closer to securing their ideal talent.
Want to approach your company’s background checks the same way that major technology companies do? Contact Verified Credentials to learn more about our cutting-edge solutions, or to schedule a consultation.