5 Reasons employers may not be performing global background checks

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In a recent industry survey, nearly a third of employers reported that they do not verify the education or experience of their candidates who have lived, worked, or studied in other countries. This trend persists despite a growing trend of more organisations hiring people with foreign backgrounds.

While employers may have diverse reasons for not background screening this segment of their employee population, there are five commonly cited excuses for not engaging in this critical aspect of an overall hiring program.

1. Global background checks are only for organisations that have locations in other countries or hire lots of foreign workers. 

Global background screening isn’t just for organisations that have offices or locations in other countries—it also refers to performing background checks on domestic-based candidates who have lived, worked, or studied in another country. 

2. It’s difficult to know where to start.

Unlike purely domestic employment screening, in which employers likely have established processes and/or ingrained policies that make the screening effort pretty familiar, there can be some unfamiliarity with international background screening. 

After all, there are many more countries’ laws to consider and, many times, different types of background checks than what can be performed domestically. But before you start addressing these considerations, the most basic—and important—starting point is to establish what it is your organisation is hoping to achieve by background screening candidates with foreign experience. Capturing these goals will help guide you through the entire process and better ensure that you stay on track as you consider global background screening.

 3. Global background screening is just too complex.

Indeed, global background checks are probably not as straightforward a process as they are in the UK, but how much of this perceived complexity is a by-product of a lack of familiarity? 

As you become more comfortable with screening in other countries, you may come to find that doing so employs a similar patchwork approach—one that someday will become much more familiar to you.  

4. A global background checks takes too long.

Many employers believe that background checks in other countries take far too long and could negatively impact the candidate experience. Global background screening, however, can be a powerful tool in improving that experience, since it demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to such important issues as workplace safety and employee integrity. 

So while you’re awaiting the results of a global background check, keeping your candidate in the loop as to its status could actually go a long way in fostering a better overall relationship. While background checks in countries outside the UK could potentially take longer than the average domestic check, this is typically well-invested time.

5Background screening globally costs too much.

Though a global background check may be more costly than a domestic screen, usually it represents a wise allocation of your budget.

After all, undertaking the cost of a background check could potentially prevent such expensive endeavours as replacing an unfit hire (if the candidate misrepresented his or her experience), defending against a negligent hiring claim (if the new employee demonstrated violence against a fellow worker), or reimbursement of depleted accounts (if the employee committed embezzlement). Additionally, the typical costs of specific background checks vary greatly, depending on the type of service as well as the country in which it was performed. A global background check could be much more affordable than you think.

It’s important to remember that with the rapidly changing demographics of the workforce, any organisation regardless of size, location(s), or industry should, at the very least, be prepared to perform a background check outside the domestic location. This preparation represents a significant risk mitigation measure, and proves your organisation’s commitment to integrity and security.




HireRight is here to help guide you through the biggest screening challenges so you can focus on what’s important to you; attracting top talent. HireRight provides employment background screening services to organisations of any size, in every industry, and nearly anywhere.

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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any statutes or laws cited in this article should be read in their entirety. If you or your customers have questions concerning compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations, we suggest that you address these directly with your legal department or outside counsel.

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