Global Background Checks & Private Investigators

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International Employment Background Checks 101

International Employment Background Checks 101

Outsourcing, or hiring people from foreign countries, could really help your company’s bottom line and be a financial benefit. It also allows you to have employees available nearly around the clock; this is a great feature for the customer service experience you offer your customers. Foreign presence will help bring your company more global recognition as well.  It can drastically reduce your cost when done right.

But hiring people across the world may be more difficult than finding someone right in your backyard. Fortunately there are professional services that offer international background checks. As with any domestic employees you may hire, a background check can help you find the best people; ones without a criminal background or other possibly undesirable pasts. Don’t find yourself wasting time and money on bad employees — do your research and screen all candidates before hiring them.

Here are some tips to properly screen potential international employees properly.

Consistency. In order to protect yourself and your business from potential lawsuits related to hiring practices you need to maintain a consistent approach when it comes to conducting background checks. You must treat all potential employees fairly and where possible utilize the same criteria. Individual states and countries may have differing rules that limit the information you can gather, so be mindful of this and carefully understand the various guidelines to avoid violating anyone’s personal rights.

Identity. First and foremost confirm that people are who they say they are. International background checks not only help to uncover criminal activity, but detailed checks can also verify the person’s identity. It is also important to review and confirm their previous work experience as indicated on their resume. With communication being somewhat limited to emails and phone conversations you want to utilize other methods to ensure the employment candidate is being truthful. It is also advised to verify education history if it applies to the job opening. Several countries have high incidents of fraudulent information on resumes; this is where professional investigation services will be invaluable to your business.

Interviews. If possible schedule a trip to meet those individuals you are planning to hire. This can be especially important if you hope to keep them employed long-term, as opposed to as temporary or seasonal work. Enlist the help of professionals familiar with each country, ones that speak the native language and can help with any translation issues. They may also be a valuable resource for navigating the area and keeping you safe while traveling abroad.  See the subject in his or her own environment.

Foreign Jurisdiction. Depending on the country you are hiring in, the local government may reign supreme over yours. Not only is it important to screen future employees, but become knowledgeable with labor and other laws in the country your employee will reside in. Make this part of your hiring process to ensure you are asking the right questions and implementing appropriate employee guidelines. Remember that regardless of the governing body for various employment practices, you are still obligated to maintain a safe and positive work environment for your employees, wherever they may be.

Criminal History. A crime abroad may not necessarily be illegal in your country, and vise-versa. Be as detailed as possible in your search for criminal background information and look for issues in the individuals’ past that could potentially hurt your business or jeopardize your overall success. In addition, don’t immediately write someone off as a bad hire without first investigating his or her circumstances. You don’t want to pass up on a good employee or violate hiring laws based on a potential misunderstanding. On the other hand, checking criminal records alone is not a prudent method of mitigating your risk, but only a small part of a proper background check investigation.  After all, most criminals and people committing fraud and faking resumes have no criminal record, and this is especially true in developing countries.

Fraud Screening. A competent international investigation company should have highly trained field investigators on the ground where you need them.  They speak the language, have access to local records, can obtain independent references, have contacts in local agencies, and so on.  They can verify documents and passports, verify addresses, check references, verify education and employment, check birth and court records, and screen the case for fraud.  A proper background check is comprehensive.

What business practices have you implemented to mitigate your foreign hiring risk?

C. Wright
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