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How to Properly Lower Risks in the International Hiring Process

How to Properly Lower Risks in the International Hiring Process

Employment background checks are a necessary step in every hiring process nowadays. According to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, up to 95% of employers require candidates to undergo some type of background check during the hiring process -even current employees are now being screened periodically-. The fact is that employers have understood that addressing hiring risks since the very early stages is an effective method to avoid costly consequences.

In an increasingly global economy, employers are also opting for international candidates. Technology allows people to work from different locations, as long as they have an internet connection. Businesses of every size are also expanding their frontiers to other countries, generating an increasing need for international employment background checks.   When hiring internationally, the risk for fake resumes, fake identities and fraud increases exponentially.  Chances are, like most companies, you don’t have any trained investigators in the candidate’s home country to verify the subject.

What aspects are key to addressing the risks of international hiring?

Hire professional investigators to screen your international candidates

There is no way to mitigate risks if you rely on a database search. Databases are not good enough on their own, especially outside the U.S.  Searching public records and databases may be cheap, but they are not investigations and they do not mitigate or even minimize your risk.  When used properly, they make up only a very small part of a proper background check investigation or due diligence.   In some developing countries, databases are non-existent, and records are checked manually.

In most countries, databases are outdated, have countless data input mistakes and cover just a portion of the information and the people in the country. So, your John Doe comes back clean after a criminal records search, but can you rely on that data?  Criminal records searches do not verify if a person is who he or she claims to be, they do not verify that individual’s reputation or identity, background, etc. A light database search can contribute to the investigation, but it can never replace the work of an experienced investigator.  Real background check investigations to properly verify an individual cover criminal and court records searches, but more importantly, verify identity and birth records, address, travel and reputation, employment and education history, ID and document samples, and more.

Local expertise from real investigators

The access to information is very limited if you are located in the U.S. and are trying to screen a candidate from India, China, Russia, Africa or South America. There is only a certain much that can be checked remotely, but in most cases very little can be done from thousands of miles away and without knowing the language, the proper authorities and the laws and procedures of the country. Is an HR officer really lowering the hiring risks when they speak in their broken Spanish to the candidate’s previous employer? No. If communication is a problem, and there is no certainty about which is the right source of information or government authority, then the verification is worthless. There is no point to try to work with limited resources when you can hire an international private investigation firm with local expertise. Investigators on the ground where you need them can access the information, they know where to look, they know which are the reliable sources, they understand the laws, and can transmit all the information without errors.  Get the facts and evidence right the first time.

Global coverage is an additional security level

If your hiring needs are in different countries, the best option is to find a background check investigation provider that can assist in all of them. How does this help? Having one provider means that only one company will be handling confidential data, so there are less possibilities of leaks or hacks. Also, having one international background check company or private investigation firm ensures a certain level of consistency and standardization in all of the investigations, regardless of where they are conducted. This is an effective way to make sure that the process is the same everywhere.

It is pointless to try to spare resources in an international background check and to hire a cheap service just to comply with internal or government requirements. The real reason why a solid screening process is considered and important is because mitigating risks is worth every penny, on many different levels.  Don’t try to save a few dollars and go cheap on verification an international candidate.  The results can be devastating.  Thinking of investing overseas, or have you met someone in a foreign country or via the internet?  Get the facts and evidence with a real background check.

Contact us if you need assistance with lowering the risk in international hiring.

C. Wright
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