Today’s workforce is abundant with employees and applicants who have lived, worked or been educated outside of the country. We operate in an environment with an increasingly globalized workforce, increasing the need for international background screening to ensure consistent hiring policies are adopted across your organization.
For this reason, many organizations continue to expand their screening programs to accommodate globalization, recognizing potential security “blind spots” in their screening policy if they employ individuals in locations around the world or those with international backgrounds without performing background checks. Others strive to minimize risk by screening their entire workforce as similarly as possible – no matter where they are located. International screening is a vital necessity since workforce risk is universal.
For many companies, checking the local backgrounds of employees is a standard process, however, adding global screening to the program brings new complexities and requirements to navigate and manage. Further complicating matters, this challenge is not limited to full-time employees alone since many organizations now rely on a diverse workforce that includes contract, part-time and temporary workers.
The approach your organization currently uses to implement its domestic screening program may not work for screening globally. Reason being, there are more than 200 countries and territories worldwide and each has its own laws, regulations, cultural norms and procedural requirements regarding employment background screening. Fortunately, any organization can expand its existing screening program to include international backgrounds, foreign workforces and more by taking a few key steps.
1. Focus on Your Desired Outcome
Review the value that your current screening program provides to your organization, and then update your screening policy to become global-ready by defining strategic outcomes rather than tactical methods.
For example, a global-ready policy might include a risk management requirement such as ‘does not present a safety threat to co-workers’ instead of ‘perform a seven-year criminal search.’ Achieve your objectives by fitting screening requirements to your policy.
This is necessary since each country has unique regulatory requirements and privacy concerns, plus local screening services that differ remarkably. In other words, you can achieve worldwide compliance with a policy to determine safety threat to co-workers using country-specific methods, rather than relying on a seven-year criminal search, which is not common outside the U.S. In short, ensure that your policy is globally encompassing and local friendly.
2. Strengthen Your Program’s Foundation
Review your current program for efficiency, tuning-up any processes that are not optimized. Maximize integration and automation to reduce manual tasks. Replace paper-based forms and physical documents with electronic versions wherever possible. It is vital to build a strong foundation for global screening to avoid any potential obstacles that a geographically dispersed staff, different time zones and multiple languages could accentuate.
Your organization isn’t the first to embark on global screening, so be sure to review the best practices of others to understand how they have successfully advanced their programs for global screening. One good source of information is the HireRight Benchmarking Survey.
3. Be Pragmatic and Get Help
Do not try to implement every country at once. Start by determining which countries are most critical based on your workforce, or those that expose your organization to the greatest risk. Successfully deploy one country or a group of targeted countries before moving to the next. Be sure to ask your screening provider for help.
The success of your global screening initiative depends on the expertise and capabilities of your screening provider. Make sure your employment screening provider has the experience and capabilities necessary to successfully support your global needs.
There is no reason for your organization to accept unnecessary risk by limiting its screening program to domestic backgrounds or local workers. By partnering with a global screening provider like HireRight, and following these steps, you’ll be on your way towards global screening success.
HireRight strives to make organizations around the world more successful by providing intelligent solutions for smarter employment decisions. We offer background screening solutions and services that reach more than 200 countries and territories and have experience helping organizations of all sizes go global with their screening programs. Contact HireRight today to learn how we can help your organization achieve global screening success.