Background Checks for IT Professionals – What Matters Most?

When it comes to background checks, every industry has different items they want to emphasize to provide a holistic picture of an applicant. For some, it might be as minimal as needing to know if they are a sex offender and for others, it could be as in depth as knowing about specific details on a resume from a reference or conducting an international background check to ensure their time in another country didn’t come with problems.

For the IT industry, the practices of hiring are very important to the integrity of the job and the candidate that is chosen. Not only is it about knowing the compliance laws of the specific state, but it is also important to have a very clear understanding of an individual that quite literally could put a company out of business if things go wrong.

Here are some thoughts about the hiring of IT Professionals and what background checks are important to ensure a quality hire.

“As CEO of Gillware, I’m heavily involved with every hire and the bulk of the staff have IT backgrounds. By the time we’re looking for background checks, a candidate has interviewed and been put through a series of questions that will affirm their core competency. What you can’t judge in only a couple hours, is a person’s ethics, and that’s really where the background check comes in. Confirmation they achieved the educational degrees and certifications that they put on their resume is a huge. Not very many people will lie about graduating, but it isn’t zero. And, if I can spend a small amount of time or a small amount of money to confirm they really are Cisco certified or Java certified and did graduate with honors like their resume said, that would be a tremendous value. Employment history confirmation, especially verifying the dates are accurate and there aren’t any hidden time gaps, is also big. Many people would put a place they worked for 6 weeks and got terminated on their resume. If they had it on their resume, and had a good explanation of what had happened, even if they were at fault and learned from it, it would not be a deal-breaker. But omitting it completely is a lie by omission and is a clue their personal ethics may not be strong.” Brian Gill, CEO at Gillware Data Recovery

“As an IT firm, we do hair and urine drug screening, and a background checks on all new hires before they start with the company. The drug tests are vital because an IT professional has the power, intentionally or unwittingly, to put a company out of business. Why take the risk when all three screens cost us less than $200?” David Bourgeois, President & CEO, My IT

“Integrity in data matching against their resume – i.e. dates of employment, salary data, etc. Employment history needs to be confirmed against what is stated and in comparison to the resume. Criminal history is checked. Usually no felonies permitted within the past 7 years; misdemeanors will not rule someone out, however someone may be kept from working for a Financial institution if they have a misdemeanor for theft, for instance. Education background must be confirmed against the candidate’s claims for highest degree. References, both behavioral and work references are generally a pre-requisite. We also compare any LinkedIn profiles against data stated.”  Bethany Plaza, CEO, Conscientia Corporation