International employment background checks should be considered by employers more than a mandatory requirement. There are companies that hire international employment screenings just to comply with the national laws, but they are not really aware of how important it is for the safety of their business to hire a professional and thorough investigation. It is in the security and talent acquisition field that proactive businesses thrive by incorporating the best talent to their teams, not only in terms of experience and knowledge, but also people that can be trusted with the valuable information and resources that every organization holds.
“Multinational and global scale companies have realized that conducting thorough international employment screenings is a proactive way to mitigate risk, instead of reacting late to a bad hire,” says John Wallace, Director of Background Checks at Wymoo International.
The damage that a bad hire can make to a company is serious, even if the employee does not violate the company’s codes or national laws. Recently, the media published a case of an Uber driver that was found to be a war criminal in Somalia. The employee had been through a screening process, which proved to be blatantly insufficient given that he was hired despite a history of torture.
The background check that was conducted included only criminal history in the U.S., and a database search on international sanctions lists. Although this is certainly part of what a background check should include, the case is an example of two extremely important things that were missing: 1. an international approach (an investigation in Somalia in this case) given that the subject is from and lived in another country, and 2. the need for a real private investigation instead of a meaningless database search.
International background check investigations and international screenings for employment purposes require real investigators with offices or investigators in the country or countries where you need them. Real background check investigations should uncover reliable evidence. Searching databases or public records for an international case is negligent and not risk management.
Cases of convicted criminals and terrorism supporters who passed a background check aren’t new. The London Bridge attacker had passed the screening process to work in Transport for London as a customer service assistant, despite the fact that he had publicly supported terrorism and had appeared in a television documentary called the Jihadis Next Door, which aired months before the attack.
A wider scope and the legwork and expertise of a real professional investigation team would have detected the subjects’ history in both of the cases mentioned above. Sadly, some organizations stick to poorly conducted employment screenings and database searches to reduce costs while complying with the law. But we all know that it is not enough, and is a high risk gamble.
Real investigations are not an absurd expense. They represent an investment in a company’s safety, in the security of the rest of the employees, the community, and even in the reputation of the business. It is a wise insurance policy, and a safeguard to make sure you are hiring and investing in people who are who they claim to be, who can benefit and grow your company.
The ultimate responsibility of hiring and demanding professional employment screenings is in the hands of employers. Even though a background check investigation is not a silver bullet, if conducted well and thoroughly by actual investigators with proper training, it can protect your business from a lot of risk. Use your resources well and make sure you are hiring a real private investigation.
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