Transformative and innovative. That’s today’s technology industry and it’s powering the world as we know it, keeping us connected and digitised at every touchpoint, from our phones, homes and vehicles to our supply chains and even our healthcare systems.
Short supply and in-demand. Unfortunately, that’s the state of today’s technology workforce. Within the Asia Pacific (APAC) region specifically, one report forecasts a deficit of 47 million tech employees by 2030.
So how can APAC tech employers close the gap and hire the skilled talent they need to keep pace with today’s warp-speed technology and innovation? Two words: background checks.
Skilled workers needed
Forbes recently listed Information Technology as a top five growing career field, second only to healthcare. Likewise, the top three jobs that are “increasing in demand” according to the 2020 Future of Jobs Report are all high-skill tech roles: 1) data analysts and scientists; 2) AI and machine learning specialists; and 3) Big Data specialists.
However, experts warn that filling these roles will be difficult. In Gartner’s 2021 – 2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap for Large Enterprises, 64 percent of responding IT professionals across hundreds of organisations say the lack of skilled tech workers is among their top challenges. Drilling deeper into APAC, nearly 50 percent of CEOs within the region say its somewhat difficult or very difficult to hire digital talent with the right skills. In another study, 83 percent of senior executives are concerned about necessary digital skills levels in their organisation, and further, a shortage of technology skills is seen as a more significant barrier to successful experience delivery in APAC than anywhere else included in the study.
Given the growing supply-versus-demand gap for skilled technology workers, employers need new tactics for identifying, hiring and retaining talent. Incorporating background checks into the hiring process can help and here’s how.
Background checks as a secret hiring advantage
Background checks can help businesses hire skilled technology workers in two important ways. First, they can help accelerate hiring when used strategically. In competitive hiring situations—i.e., more open positions than available candidates—speed is your friend. The faster you connect with candidates and keep them engaged, the less likely they are to drop out of the hiring process.
Knowing this, try a two-step background check strategy.
- First, perform a basic, preliminary background check on all candidates who engage with your organisation, whether online, via mobile app or in person. This way, they’re immediately involved and invested in the hiring process and can be onboarded faster. For example, a basic background screen can be as simple as two or three quick checks, like an identity check, global sanctions search and right-to-work check, or whatever searches are required to meet the minimum hiring standard for the business or industry. This helps speed hiring and onboarding, while providing a consistent baseline of risk protection for the business.
- Then, as a second step immediately after the candidate is hired, perform additional checks to better understand how to leverage their talent and skills within the business. Likewise, by only performing the more in-depth background checks on a smaller, select group of candidates, the employer saves untold time and money.
Background checks can also help increase an employer’s hiring ROI, at a time when every technology hire counts. This involves using background checks to responsibly research candidates and ensure they’re a good fit for the business. For instance, background checks can help technology businesses:
- Identify candidates with right skill level, training and experience
- Ensure candidates have the required education and certification(s)
- Hire and retain “good fit” employees who are less likely to leave
- Place new employees in jobs that position them, and the business, for success
- Increase hiring ROI by reducing turnover rates
- Protect against internal fraud and risk by revealing prior criminal history, workplace infractions
Think of it this way. When making large investments in equipment or software, most businesses extensively research their options to ensure the best return on their investment. The same principle should also apply to hiring decisions, since a company’s technology workforce is often it’s most necessary and strategic investment.
At First Advantage, we’re here to help. Get in touch to discover the many ways our background check solutions can be tailored to fit the unique hiring needs of your business and help you hire the top technology talent. For a list of specialised background check packages for the technology industry, download our Background Screening Solutions for the Technology Industry Tip Sheet.