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International Employment Background Checks – The Plain Truth

International Employment Background Checks – The Plain Truth

Technology is in today´s world one of the most important production factors. Part of the greatest assets a company holds today is determined by their technology infrastructure. And maybe this is the reason why many people today tend to think of automated as a good thing always. As companies continue to embrace technologic advancements in performing business activities, they move towards automating and streamlining processes like employment background checks. But automated is not always good, especially not in the international employment screening services.

Technology firms are now providing pre-employment background screening services via applications for mobile devices and software that is compatible with other recruiting or human resources systems. Being able to link an employment screening software (database) with the company´s existing hiring system does seem very tempting as it allows automating the background check process. It seems very simple and fast. But be careful! Easy and fast is not any close to ideal or professional when it comes to investigating someone. Not only is this type of screening a bad idea, it can lead to unnecessary risk and liability for your business.

International employment background checks are not an easy task, and certainly no database or software in the whole world will be able to provide you with the quality of information that a real background check investigation conducted by professionals will. It is no secret that a customized investigation performed by real professionals will take more time than just consulting a name and date of birth in a system. But the accuracy of the information is definitely being compromised when an employer decides to rely on an automated system only, increasing the chances for a company to be at risk for hiring the wrong people or for not complying with regulations and international standards.

Providers of automated services and databases could also be failing to comply with regulations. Every country has its own standards, but for instance in the United States background screening providers are responsible for assuring the maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning each individual being screened. It is nearly impossible for providers of automated screening services to comply with these regulations, given that the information changes constantly and there are thousands –millions- of sources of information that may not be taken into consideration. Not to mention that names can be mistaken for other people, and very serious mistakes can happen.

In developing countries around the world, databases are of little to no value.  Think you can verify a person in India, China, Russia, Philippines, South Africa, Brazil or Romania by searching a database?  Think again.  First off, you’ll need someone who speaks the language and who has access to local records in the country where you need them.  Second, some proven investigation experience will make all the difference in the world.

International employment screening services should be thorough investigations, and every case should be reviewed and handled by a professional private investigator who can verify directly at the sources. Background checks overseas can be particularly challenging because there are language barriers, different institutions and agencies, different ways of reporting and different procedures. And that is why having a local investigator on the ground is crucial.  Our trained investigators in Moscow, for example, can verify individuals in Russia on a comprehensive level, and obtain information and evidence that no person outside the country can.   Don’t be fooled by a website or company selling “background checks” that are nothing more than a generic database search, or worse still, a person being paid to search the internet for you!

Professional pre-employment screenings and background check investigations are not equivalent to checking criminal records.   Real background check investigations for employment often include employment and education verification, CV or resume verification, address and birth records, passport and document verification, criminal and court records, obtaining and checking references, and screening the case for fraud.

Most criminals do not have criminal records, especially in developing countries with limited electronic or database infrastructure.  Second, most people submitting false resumes also have no criminal record.  Letting a fraud into your company can have serious consequences.

Hiring overseas or hiring candidates with experience in various foreign countries is a high risk venture.  Don’t go it alone.  Speak to a professional investigator about how to mitigate your risk, and be sure to hire the right person for the job.

Thinking of hiring internationally?  Contact us today for a free quote!

C. Wright
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