Global Hiring Guidelines

One of the things we love most about Automattic is that we hire so many amazing people from around the world. As a company based in the United States, however, we are required to comply with suggested hiring practices in sanctioned countries. This involves a vetting process/background checks on people that we hire from a list of sensitive countries.

We cannot hire from the certain countries because of the US’ countrywide embargoes banning any business with anyone in the country, including North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Crimean region of Ukraine. Although not subject to the same type of US embargo, there are other practical and legal considerations barring us from hiring or contracting with a resident of mainland China.

For other sensitive countries, sanctions programs are not countrywide, and instead prohibit us from hiring certain listed individuals. Individuals end up on the sanctions lists for human rights violations, terrorism, international narcotics trafficking, and genocide. We’re receiving more applications from candidates in some of these countries, and will comply with the requisite screening processes.

We evaluated best practices for hiring from sensitive countries with sanctions lists specific to individuals, which minimize risk while still being mindful of our effort to promote a global culture and inclusive environment at Automattic. We group countries by risk level and match the level of screening to the level of risk.

Under this process, we vet candidates against sanctions lists before the trial process. The extent of the vetting is dependent on the applicant’s country of residence and/or citizenship. For some countries, vetting is conducted by our Human League team (HR Department) by screening sanctions lists on websites maintained by governments. For other countries, we engage specialized vendor to perform a comprehensive vetting processor.

We inform applicants that a screening will be performed as part of our internal process and compliance guidelines before we offer a trial.