When it comes to international background screenings and investigations, the range of services offered is vast. There are many services that call themselves background checks, but use no investigators and never conduct any investigation. A real background check investigation, especially an international one, requires trained investigators in the country where you need them! Not everything can be considered a background check investigation. There also many misconceptions as to what a proper verification entails, and how to conduct it. Here are some of the tips that our international private investigators have put together to help you distinguish the good, the bad and the ugly.
Global background checks do not exist
Investigators are often inquired about global background check investigations. There are many employers and HR staff that when presented with an international candidate for the first time believe they can pay for an international employment screening that covers the entire world. However, there is not such thing as a global database with information on every living person on the planet. As a matter of fact, many developing countries still struggle with keeping updated records of their own citizens. Big brother and databases and government and corporate surveillance is a major problem, and offers no benefit for experienced investigators. International employment screenings need to be conducted on a local level in the countries where the candidate has lived and worked, and for such duty you will need investigators on the ground in that country. With the help of local experts, a proper employment check can be thorough and cover all the employers needs for relevant data.
The right way to verify is with real investigators
The need for professionals on the ground, with investigation experience, takes us to another important fact. Without access to the official sources of information there is no way to verify a candidate. Professional investigators in every country have to know what is the right government office to search for data, they have to be able to communicate with previous employers in the same language they speak, they need to know the laws to understand what can be verified and how without crossing any lines. We know a lot of people expect the internet to be the primary source of information for all, but an internet search is no way to conduct a proper employment verification. For developing countries, many records need to be checked manually, people need to be questioned and interviewed, references need to be checked, identities and passports need to be verified at the source, etc.
How far does the verification need to go?
A thorough background check investigation will provide evidence to an employer without invading the candidate’s personal life. An employer needs to know that the international candidate (whom they might not be meeting in person yet) is who they claim to be, so verifying the identity is the first step. Then, private investigators will have to verify that the claims of employment, education and any additional certifications that the subject claims to have are real. Verification of name and date of birth, documents and professional background, and reputation is key. After 15 years of experience with international background check investigations with highly trained investigators on the ground in over 100 countries, we have encountered many fake resumes, thousands of fake ID’s and passports, and many people who lie to increase their chances of landing a job. This represents a serious risk for an employer, but a fairly simple one to avoid with a thorough international screening conducted by a professional. Some employers verify someone on paper only later to learn the foreign candidate who arrived was an entirely different person with no experience! These are costly mistakes to make.
The wrong way to verify an international candidate
There are infinite ways in which a poorly conducted background check can fail. One of them is focusing on criminal records only. Criminal records make up a very small part of what an employer needs to know. The company also has to verify the employment history, experience, education and references of the performance and behavior of a candidate. A bad hire does not necessarily have a criminal record, and many criminals have never been charged or prosecuted, and therefore have no criminal or court record. By putting together other pieces of the puzzle, such as employment, education, address, name and date of birth verification, passport and ID verification, references and so on, employers can greatly reduce their risk by hiring a professional to conduct an international investigation.
The other common mistake is to underestimate the work of a professional investigator and try to conduct the verifications without the access to the information or the expertise. There are some many things you could miss or misinterpret, that at the end the effort would be done in vain. Let professionals with global reach and local expertise take care of it, and you can hire safely.
Contact for us a free quote if you are planning to hire overseas! We cover employment investigations in over 100 countries, and have the necessary experience to lower your risk.
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