Science And Technology Employment Screening Solutions

Accurate Australia gives you the edge in the competition for talent by providing actionable information for smarter hiring decisions.

Why Should You Screen Your Potential Science and Technology Employees?

Employment screening helps to verify the integrity, identity, credentials, and trustworthiness of job candidates, in accordance with Australian legislation (Australian Standard AS 4811-2022 Employment Screening). A thorough package of background checks tailored to the role being hired for is an essential for any business, but they are especially crucial for companies and organisations in technology, science and innovation areas.

Protection of Intellectual Property

Not only do these industries require employees who are skilled and knowledgeable in their line of work, but they must also protect their intellectual property and trademarks. From patents to trade secrets, organisations in STEM fields rely on their intellectual property to maintain a competitive edge. Unfortunately, this valuable information is often left unprotected during recruitment, making it vulnerable to theft or misappropriation.

There are some additional costs involved in either running an employment screening in-house or in collaborating with an external partner such as Accurate Australia for this role. That being said, the nominal extra cost per preferred candidate is miniscule in comparison to the potential costs associated with IP theft, which can be significant and can have lasting reputational impacts.

Workplace Health and Safety

A thorough employee screening program achieves more than IP theft and fraud prevention. It also helps to support the well being and safety of your existing staff and demonstrates due diligence in working to prevent future harm.

As an example, if the role being hired for requires the operation of heavy machinery, it’s important to ensure that any claimed experience with that machinery or qualification related to its operation is legitimate. Apart from the potential damage that could be caused to property or the machinery itself there’s also workplace health and safety ramifications, not just for that particular employee but for other team members who may be effected.

This due diligence extends not just to matters of practical experience but also to credential checks. Accurate Background’s qualification and professional membership checks can help your organisation ensure that your candidates have the qualifications and memberships that they say they do, which can be a direct health and safety issue if those qualifications relate to skills and experience required to engage in potentially dangerous activities.

Competition For Talent

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) found in its 2022 annual survey that 20% fewer Australian companies are attempting to recruit into tech fields from Australia, instead looking to hire from international markets. This is just one example of a marketplace grappling with a talent shortage in science, technology and innovation fields.

An important point to note in this context is that highly skilled roles are not easily replaceable. Hiring at a senior level requires a heavy investment in recruitment, onboarding and training. According to HCA Mag, recruitment costs for professionals can range from $18,982 to $34,440 at an executive level. This makes recruitment efficiency and a process that includes safeguards such as recruitment screening a necessity.

Because of the likelihood of needing to look overseas for talent, it’s also important to have the ability to review international credentials. Accurate Australia is a member of the Professional Background Screening Association and has partners who can do checks on our behalf in over 150 countries.

Trusted Insider Threats

While IP theft can come from a range of sources including corporate espionage, it can also be part of a ‘Trusted Insider’ attack. According to the Australian Federal Government, “A ‘trusted insider’ is anyone who has been given access to a business’s systems and physical premises. This includes past and current employees, contractors and visitors”. In the context of recruitment this can also include new hires in their initial probationary periods, if they have been given access to any digital resources or physical areas that would otherwise be secured.

In addition to screening preferred candidates during the recruitment process, it’s also important to periodically rescreen existing employees who may have become compromised during their time working with the organisation. If an employee has access to Intellectual Property or other secure business assets, they can become a target for threat actors who wish to gain control of the trusted insider for the purposes of coporate espionage, terrorism or even just to gain competitive advantage.

The reason why periodic re-screening of team members with access to these systems can help prevent fraud, is because threat actors will take advantage of problems in these employees personal lives in order to blackmail them. An example of this type of coercive control could be a private loan given to a team member who has developed a gambling addiction. When the loan is unable to be repaid, the employee could be threatened with having their secret addiction revealed if they don’t provide access to secure assets. This issue and the strategies you can use to combat it are outlined in our article: Identifying Fraud In The Workplace

Accurate Background’s Recommended Screening Checks For Science and Technology Employers

As the process of seeking and hiring talent becomes increasingly competitive, businesses need to be aware of the importance of protecting their intellectual property. This is especially true in the technology and scientific fields, where a company’s intellectual property can be its most valuable asset.

By taking appropriate pre-employment screening measures to protect their intellectual property during the recruitment process, businesses can make sure that they are not putting themselves at risk.

To ensure that your recruitment process aligns with Australian standards and the Protective Security Policy Framework, we work with you to create a package of screening checks that meet your legislative requirements and best practice recommendations. The following probity checks are an example of some of the popular checks carried out as part of a Science, Technology and Innovation recruitment process:

Identity Verification

Identity verification is one of the most fundamental screening checks in this industry. Not only do we recommend verifying identity, but also checking if the individual appears on a host of watchlists.

Qualification Check

For some positions within the science and technology industry, formal training, licensing, registration, or professional membership may be required. In those instances, a qualification check may be necessary to confirm the validity of a candidate’s qualifications.

Employment History Verification

Verifying employment history helps establish who the candidate worked for previously. These checks should be used to assess whether an earlier role has impacted their suitability for the position they’re applying for.

Entitlement To Work

Is your candidate entitled to work in Australia? Is their visa valid? As a registered organisation, we help employers check the work rights of visa holders who are either prospective and/or current employees.

Referee Checks

Referee checks are highly recommended for any Science, Technology and Innovation employee, to ensure that the candidates integrity and reliability can be verified. The Attorney-General’s Department recommends conduction professional referee checks covering at least the last 3 months.

National Police Check

Innovation industries such as IT, technology and science are facing more security issues than ever. It’s vital to protect your intellectual property, trademarks and other insider data, and police checks can be a critical part of this process.

Conducting Employment Screening During The Recruitment Process

We believe that all scientific, technological, and other innovation organisations can improve hiring quality and protect themselves from intellectual property theft by implementing appropriate probity checks.

Having a well-planned employment screening framework in action, complete with probity checks, can deliver benefits by:

  • Decreasing reputational risk and improving hiring quality;
  • Minimising risks associated with certain positions;
  • Reducing the threat of financial loss to your business.

To determine the appropriate checks to conduct, you need to conduct a risk assessment. A strategic approach to employment screening is best.

The practice is a prudent one. Investments in a consistent and strategic risk management approach are significantly outweighed by benefits.

Employers need to understand why they need employment screening, what and when it’s required, and how it will be handled and stored securely. In addition, it is crucial to disclose who will conduct the screening and how the hiring process will proceed based on the results.

To determine the appropriate checks, you need to conduct a risk assessment in addition to performing the screenings mandated by law.

Employment screening is best approached with a strategic framework. Essentially, it’s a prudent business process. The benefits of a strategic, consistent risk management approach far outweigh the costs.

Organisations should be clear about why they need employment screening, what and when it is required, and how personal information will be collected and securely stored. It’s important to disclose who will conduct the background checks and the next steps in the hiring process based on the screening results.

Safeguard Your Organisation with Accurate Background

Contact our specialists today.

Accurate Australia believes that by introducing employment screening services, the innovation sector can improve hiring quality and protect itself from intellectual property theft and identity fraud.

Accurate Background’s employment history verifications help you make smarter hiring decisions by providing accurate and unbiased information about a candidate’s background and credibility. Our mission is to help organisations like yours build a trusted workforce.

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