February 22nd, 2022 | Ken Schnee, General Manager - Technology, Media, Entertainment, and Hospitality

How Tech Companies Can Navigate “The Great Resignation”

By now, you’ve probably heard of the phenomenon known as The Great Resignation — the massive, voluntary, and unprecedented exodus from the workforce that’s taken hold in recent months. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 38 million US workers quit their jobs from during 2021. 

If you’re in the tech industry, you’re likely feeling the effects of The Great Resignation more acutely than most. Resignations in tech are the highest of any industry — up 4.5% year over year. Perhaps even more worrying, 40% of employees in computer and IT fields have either already quit or plan to leave their jobs by the end of 2021.

What’s Behind The Great Resignation in Tech?

Workers were understandably hesitant to quit their jobs during the pandemic, so a surge in employee turnover is hardly surprising. But that doesn’t explain why the tech industry is being disproportionately impacted.

Experts believe that “tech burnout” may be the leading driver of resignations. During the pandemic, tech workers labored around the clock to support the sudden need for virtual and remote in every facet of life. Workloads increased to a level that was simply unsustainable and now that the pressure has subsided, tech workers are ready for new opportunities.

Another factor to consider is that employees in tech may be less averse to change than their counterparts in more traditional industries. These are people who enjoy being on the cutting edge, so they’re naturally inclined to seek out the next big thing. Gig work and job-hopping are also common in tech, so changing jobs doesn’t carry the same stigma (or stress) as in other fields.

Hire with Confidence Amid Unique Challenges

The shifting employment trends of the past few years are enough to make anyone’s head spin. After several years of near-full employment, hiring freezes and downsizing swept the nation in 2020. Today, companies are ready to ramp up hiring once again, but candidates are in short supply and employers face stiff competition for top talent. In fact, a recent study from Jobvite found that a lack of qualified candidates and competition from other employers are the top concerns among recruiters today.

Talent acquisition teams and staffing agencies are under pressure to fill open roles as quickly as possible so tech companies can continue to innovate and keep pace with their business objectives. The current labor shortage puts candidates in the driver’s seat, but this is no time to cut corners when it comes to critical hiring practices like identity verification and comprehensive background screening.

Hiring without a thorough background check puts everything at risk: your employees, your corporate assets, and the reputation you’ve built among your customers. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice speed or efficiency to thoroughly vet your chosen candidates. With the right background screening partner, you can fast-track screening and hire the right fit — quickly and with confidence.

Start with Identity Verification

When it comes to background screens, you need good foundational information to get the most accurate results. Verifying a candidate’s identity before the background check helps to ensure they are who they say they are so you can be confident in your background screen process.

Even something as simple as an informal name change (like a hyphenated last name that’s never legally registered) or an altered birthdate can lead to identity variations that cause records to be missed in a background screen. By incorporating identity verification into your hiring workflow, you can make informed choices that support a culture of safety and trust.

Virtual hiring practices are driving new advances in identity verification, from facial recognition and SIM card matching to verification of scanned documents. And incorporating identity verification doesn’t mean adding significant time to the hiring workflow — Sterling’s identity verification process can take as little as five minutes.

Follow Up with a Thorough — and Fast — Background Check

While background screens are a critical part of the hiring process, they may look different from one company to the next. The most common elements of a background check are employment verification and criminal history, but it may also include court records, drug testing, motor vehicle records, licensing, and more.

Your screening partner should be able to tailor their services to deliver the information that’s most relevant to your business needs — and they should be able to deliver it quickly. For criminal background searches, Sterling completes 60% in less than 15 minutes, 70% in less than an hour, and 90% within the first day.

In the tech industry, companies often struggle to confirm that new hires have the knowledge and skills to successfully fulfill their job requirements. In fact, research from Blind found that 1 in 10 tech pros lie on their resumes to get a job. And according to Jobvite research, technical skills and work experience are the most commonly misrepresented items on candidate resumes. To feel confident that your hires have the skills and experience you need, it’s best to partner with a screening provider that understands your industry and adapts quickly to changing conditions.

Don’t Neglect Social Media Searches

Social media is part of everyday life for most people. In 2020, people spent an average of two hours and 25 minutes on social media each day — up from just 90 minutes a day as recently as 2012. With all of this online activity, social media profiles can offer insights into a candidate’s background that employment verification and criminal history may not reveal. Yet just 30% of employers leverage social media to learn more about job candidates.

That said, simply scanning a candidate’s social media accounts can lead to conscious or unconscious bias based on what you see online. And keep in mind, there are legal and compliance considerations related to social media searches. Using a third-party tool like Sterling’s Social Media Screening can help you detect candidates with problematic behaviors such as illegal activity, violence, drug use, or other factors — while helping you avoid unintended discrimination. These searches not only help minimize risk of a bad hire, but can also help you identify positive attributes that align with your company’s culture and values.

Work with a Screening Partner You Trust

Even when tech talent is scarce, a quick, thorough, and compliance-focused background check provides confidence that the candidates you choose are the right fit for your workplace. Today’s candidates expect a seamless hiring experience — and they can afford to be selective — so partnering with an experienced, innovative background check provider is key. If you have questions or just want to brainstorm how our tech-specific background checks can work for you, we’re here for you. Just click here to start a conversation.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.