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Top 10 Things To Consider When Background Screening Globally

Date Published: April 18, 2019 | Last Updated: February 16, 2024 | By Georgina Wilson

Pre-employment screening is designed to recruit the right people into the business. Once a relatively new concept, background checking programmes are now prevalent in both regulated and non-regulated sectors with employers seeking to mitigate risk and respond effectively to increased pressure from the public to ensure ethical and legal practices.

At the same time, as the economy moves to a more compliance-focused model, background checking continues to be subject to expansion and global growth. Employers increasingly maintain a physical presence across multiple jurisdictions and hire from a global pool of talent that moves across borders from country to country. With this comes a related upturn in international recruitment and the complexities associated with employment screening outside of the UK.

There are some major considerations to have on the agenda when you are thinking of implementing a global screening process. Issues such as varying local legal requirements, availability of data and local permissible checks are all key to understand before progressing.

At Accurate, we have a huge amount of expertise in international employment screening and a large amount of local knowledge to complement that.  Here are our top 10 considerations when background screening globally –

1)    Local Data Protection laws – Are there local data protection laws which will impact on the screening process? Most EU countries have legislation that is similar to the UK Data Protection Act, but there is a lot of variation globally.

2)    Permissibility of checks – Just because a background check type is available, it doesn’t automatically mean its use for employment screening is legal.

3)    Direct subject access – Some countries place great emphasis on data subjects having enhanced levels of control over pre-employment screening information and procedures.

4)    Works council consultation – some countries require employers to seek works council approval prior to implementing an employment screening programme.

5)    Data storage – Where is screening data stored? If an external provider is being used, where are their servers located? Be aware that some countries will have a restriction on the transfer of data and where it is held.

6)    Global consistency – although consistency in processes and procedures is important, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to employment screening should not be taken; adjustments must be made to ensure employers are not in breach of local legislation.

7)    Language – Where appropriate local language speakers should be used to ensure timely responses from referees and a positive Candidate experience.

8)    Documentation – Key legal documents such as consent forms should be tailored to reference the legislation of the hiring location.

9)    Cultural considerations – understanding local culture is critical for ensuring a compliant process does not compromise a positive Candidate experience.

10) Regulatory requirements – Screening programmes should consider any local regulatory requirements e.g. financial services companies in the UK must ensure they comply with the guidelines set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

If you are thinking of expanding your pre-employment screening programme internationally, contact us today and let our experts guide you.