Going Global: Tips for Checking Backgrounds Outside the U.S.

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When interviewing people who were born in one country, educated in another and have lived all over the world – the task of verifying employment, education and criminal backgrounds may seem so overwhelming that some hiring managers may skip the non-U.S. part of the background check altogether – a practice that is expedient, but inconsistent.

To protect the integrity of the workplace, it is more important than ever for companies to conduct thorough background checks on every employee, from the janitor to the CEO, regardless of the countries in which they have lived. However, running background checks on candidates with education and work histories outside of the United States is much different from running checks on candidates with domestic credentials.

In order to protect your organization, consider the following best practices when initiating an international employment screening program:

Establish a Standard International Policy – It is important to establish a standard international background verification policy for your company. This will assure consistency in the type of verifications conducted and provide for sound employment decisions. It also protects your organization by ensuring compliance with FCRA requirements for hires made inside the U.S.

Position the Program Appropriately — The objective of any background check is to verify information provided during the application and interview process. In general, this takes a little more legwork and identifying information when checking facts outside the U.S. (the information required varies by country). The need for additional information from applicants will require understanding from hiring managers that it may take more time than domestic background checks to complete the search.

Use Reliable Service Providers and Researchers – It is not only important to make sure that the background screening provider you are using is reliable, but it is just as crucial to confirm that your provider is connected with the most reliable researchers overseas that can provide accurate and complete information. Each country has its own security and privacy measures that are often hard to understand and bypass. Using local researchers in the countries where searches are being conducted, who are knowledgeable as to each country's unique security and privacy laws, is highly recommended.

Conduct Education and Employment Verifications – Education and employment information may be the most relevant background information that you'll have the ability to confirm in many cases. Because of this fact, it is highly recommended that education and employment verifications are done on all applicants with education and work histories overseas.

Verify Facts in the Resume — Many times, a candidate will state they attended school overseas or worked for a large corporation in another country because they feel confident that no one would be able to verify the information. Make sure that you obtain some form of verification from each school and each company to determine if the applicant's background is accurate. Be sure that "start" and "end" dates, "job titles", "majors", as well as "salary" and "degrees received" are verified.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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