Background checks are an important security service, especially in the information technology industry where companies are more prone to data breaches.
Data breaches can happen through negligence: the 2019 Facebook and Cultura Colectiva data breach, for example, accidentally exposed detailed information from 540 million Facebook accounts. Other breaches are planned cyberattacks, like the 2013 Yahoo! breach in which information from all 3 billion Yahoo! accounts was stolen due to poorly encrypted security.
These breaches can expose a wide variety of information, from email addresses and phone numbers, all the way up to social security numbers and voting records. They also cost companies roughly $3.5 million to fix per breach.
Security breaches can be detrimental to a company’s clients, its coffers, and its image: they are not something to be taken lightly.
15-20% of the time, a data breach is caused by a trusted employee or insider. In a Ponemon Institute Survey from 2013, an even larger percentage—43%—of respondents had experienced at least one malicious, deliberate insider incident in the previous year.
Background checks minimize threats like data breaches by screening each candidate before they are hired. Competent, reliable employees are less likely to make massive security mistakes or attack their company from within.
With good background checks, time, money, and other resources that companies usually divert to threat management can then be spent elsewhere.
Types of Background Checks
Some of the most common background checks in the IT industry include:
- National Criminal Search: A national database of criminal convictions.
- County Criminal Felony & Misdemeanor (F&M) Searches: Returns records from multiple courts detailing any felony or misdemeanor charges.
- Sex Offender Search: Scans national sex offender databases.
- Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR): Provides driver’s license, vehicle and registration, conviction, violation, and accident information.
- Employment Verification/Education Verification: Confirms your candidate worked or was educated where they say they were; returns dates employed/ educated, position, termination type, and more.
- Worksite enforcement, or the legal eligibility to work in the U.S.: Completes an I-9 on your candidate and runs it through E-Verify to check for accuracy.
- Drug tests: There are many types (urine, oral fluids, breath alcohol tests, etc) that test for different substances; they can be rapid or lab-based, self or conventional collection.
If you plan to hire internationally or if your candidate has lived in a foreign country, it may also be beneficial to run an international background check. It’s important to consider that different countries require different documentation to search criminal records and authenticate a candidate’s information. Because of this, international tests generally take longer than others, so be sure to take that into consideration.
It is also very important to comply with laws specific to your state and city, as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a national law that protects the accuracy and privacy of personal credit reports, and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act/ FACTA), which mainly adjusts the FCRA to ensure that consumer credit information is disposed of in a secure manner.
Other considerations include equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), both of which are designed to prevent discrimination in the hiring process.
There are many types of tests to choose from and plenty of legal factors to keep in mind when screening a candidate. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your background checks, you should create a custom plan that works best for your company.
Employment Screening Packages
A trusted screening company will help you create such a plan while keeping all of the above into consideration. It’s their job to reduce monetary, security, and reputational risks in and after the employment process while using your organization's resources as efficiently as possible.
Good screening companies will search web-based files like the above tests and hard-copy records that must be obtained in-person through a clerk.
Your plan will include which tests are the most relevant to your company’s needs, how your HR department should operate or integrate, and the monitoring of its success, adjusting the plan as needed. Designing and maintaining a package like this is much easier if you work with a dedicated screening company.
How ScoutLogic Can Help
ScoutLogic will assess your company's needs to make an employment screening package that best serves you. You will receive updates in real-time with each test and report.
To do this, we pair you with professional background screeners or a “Scout” team. Our Scout teams integrate into your HR department, ensuring accurate, fast results and keeping a direct line of communication open between us.
Our services have the ability to be integrated with an applicant tracking system (ATS) like iCIMS, Oracle, Greenhouse, and more. It’s our job to make the screening process as easy as possible, helping you find the best candidates for your company.
There is a lot to consider when running background checks. Let us help.