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Global Background Checks: Creating an Efficient Program

Date Published: August 14, 2019 | Last Updated: September 15, 2023 | By Andrew Hellman


When it comes to screening candidates, it is important to consider conducting global background checks. Today’s global economy has critical ramifications for pre-employment background screenings. Whether your business is ready to expand into other geographies and your hiring practices need to follow suit or the stellar candidate sitting in your office lived and went to school overseas, it’s clear your background check services need to go global.

Screening your employees regardless of where they have lived or worked helps mitigate risk within the workplace. An experienced international screening provider has the experience, tools, and skills to address your concerns and simplify the process so that, from your end at least, an international background check is no more difficult than domestic screenings.

That said, from the perspective of the screener, an international check is much different. It’s important for you to understand why global screenings are different so you can know what’s going on behind the scenes. The following is an introduction to the basics of international background checks.

The Importance of Screening

Background screening is important. Effective and consistent pre-employment background checks provide the following benefits:

  • They protect your business from onboarding candidates that do not actually have the education or experience they claim on their resume or CV.
  • They protect your business from exposure to criminals that may harm your customers, your assets, your employees, or your reputation.
  • They protect your business from negligent hiring lawsuits.

Ignoring the non-U.S. history of a candidate can quickly create a work environment where candidates have not been thoroughly screened and may result in missing information, such as unverified credentials or past criminal activity. Although there may be concerns about the complexity of global screening, it is always best practice to make sure all candidates, domestic and international, are screened appropriately.

All candidates applying for the same position should experience the same depth and breadth of checks, as much as local laws will allow. Many countries outside of the U.S. have stricter requirements related to background screening due to privacy laws. In addition, background screening may not be as common in the employment process as it is in the U.S., which may result in some information being more difficult to obtain. And be careful about assuming that a work visa means an individual is safe to hire. Yes, work visas have some security built in, but they do nothing to guarantee that an applicant has told the truth on their CV. Partnering with Accurate, an experienced global background screener, makes it possible to collect as much information as possible so you can thoroughly screen all your candidates and keep your workplace safe.

The Critical Information

No background check process is infallible; even domestic searches can miss important information. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the information. Using information provided by the candidate, including names, birth date, education, work history, and previous addresses, international background screeners can generally accomplish the following:

  • Education verification
  • Professional license verification
  • Employment verification
  • Personal and employment reference interviews
  • Foreign Asset Control and terrorist watch list searches
  • Motor vehicle records searches
  • Limited criminal records searches

In the US, screeners can accomplish much of this via online social security number searches or searches of other databases, but this approach simply does not work internationally. Getting this information from outside the US requires knowledge of the local language, personal phone calls, and often on the ground, in person, physical research. Understanding local laws and regulations also helps, as many countries are much, much tighter with their information than the US. As a leader in global background checks, Accurate offers comprehensive solutions to the diverse challenges of international background screenings.

Criminal History Checks Outside of the U.S.

Checking criminal histories outside the US is vastly different from US searches. Accurate has the necessary resources in place to capture all necessary information for the criminal history component to help ensure important information is not missed. Accurate’s expansive multinational criminal record coverage is accomplished using all available and permissible searches in countries where your candidates lived and worked. We have an extensive global footprint with local, in-country professionals and relationships we trust to deliver reliable, comprehensive criminal record information. We also have the expertise to help you decipher the complexities of differences in criminal records and charges across borders so you can establish clear, fair hiring criteria.

The Candidate Experience

The candidate experience for global screening is more complex than the U.S. as it requires more data from the candidate, more document collection, and typically a longer processing timeline. Additional data may include address history, family names, supplementary documentation, and more complicated international consent forms. The average timeline to complete a global check typically takes longer than the U.S., frequently averaging 5-10 days.

With all of this in mind, when moving forward with a global screening program, it’s essential to work with a reputable provider who can walk you through the process to ensure that your screening program runs successfully and smoothly. Accurate’s candidate portal streamlines the process and ensures a positive experience. We offer multi-language support around the clock so we can lend an ear or a helping hand any time of day or night.

Global Experience for Your Global Business

The apparent complexities of international background checks reinforce the need to partner with an experienced background check provider. Accurate helps conduct international background checks and provides valuable insights into what is possible in certain areas of the world. Accurate’s global suite of screening services offers you a one-stop shop for compliant international background screenings. Contact us today to learn how we can get your hiring global.

*The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied. Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations.