By now, many experts understand that using technology in any given field can be either beneficial or harmful, depending on the use we give to the tools. Background checks are no exception. For the last few years, many employers have invested a lot of money in the implementation of technology that can aid human resources departments in the recruiting process, with no impressive results. It is understandable that employers want to strengthen all the company’s processes, but it is essential to realize how automatization can affect the outcome, especially in international cases.
All background “checks” are not created equal. There is a huge difference between searching public records and databases compared to actual background check investigations conducted by trained investigators. In international cases, database searches have even less value.
John Wallace, Director of Background Checks at Wymoo International, explains that employers from developed countries like the U.S. have a great dependency on technology. “Some people think they can login to a system and click search, and have an individual magically verified. Companies and clients get what they pay for, and many hiring managers have to learn this lesson the hard way, after hiring a fraud or someone with criminal connections. Hiring internationally or doing business internationally requires professional background check investigations and due diligence for true risk mitigation”, says Wallace. Databases are convenient but are only a very small part of a proper vetting process.
There is no such thing as a global database
It would be great if we could just enter a name and a date of birth in a system, and then get back the full history of anyone in the whole world. But this is not even close to reality. There is a lot of confusion regarding the real extent of technology. The truth is that most countries do not have anything like unified databases that can throw information on a particular individual. Many countries do not even have birth records on a national level, not to mention criminal records, or other public records. Need to verify someone’s reputation or background in India, Africa or China or Latin America? Good luck doing that with a database. Only local trained investigators on the ground with access to local records who speak the language can truly verify an individual or entity in a foreign country.
How reliable is the information?
We have all seen in the news how someone got rejected from a job because the people responsible for screening the candidate failed to verify the person. This can easily happen when all you do is enter a name in a system, and get an instant computer generated report from a database. Tools and technology are great, but there is still no replacement for the experience of a real investigator.
The risks increase when the employment background check needs to be conducted in a foreign country. As mentioned before, the most common scenario is that there are no databases available at all, but if you are lucky to find one, chances are it is not reliable. Databases in most of the developing countries are outdated, have only partial information, and can contain many mistakes. It is very unlikely that a negligent hiring would happen if a professional conducts a real background check investigation. While real investigations may be more costly upfront, in the long run, they are the least expensive, saving companies from bad hiring, potential lawsuits, and problems from hiring a fraud.
Not everything you need will be found in an automated system
This applies to both domestic and international hires. We now know that employment background checks need a wider scope. Checking for criminal records in a system won’t be enough. Other very important information sources must be considered, including social networks. Wymoo International investigators verify CV and resume, employment and education history, address and public records, media records and reputation, date of birth and identity, documents and passport, and screen each case for fraud. We identify red flags and verify so clients can make an informed decision.
Need to verify someone or a company overseas? Contact us today!
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