People
Fact-checked

At PublicPeople, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is an International Background Check?

An International Background Check is a thorough screening process that crosses borders to verify an individual's history, including criminal records, employment, education, and credit history. It's essential for global employers to ensure a trustworthy workforce. How might such checks impact your international ventures? Join us as we explore the implications for businesses and individuals alike.
Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

An international background check is generally used by potential employers to screen candidates who may be hired by the company. Public and private records may be searched using various international databases in order for the employer to learn about past criminal charges a person may have, along with their credit history. This procedure is especially important when screening potential childcare workers, police officers, and government officials.

Companies may perform an international background check when they either have operations in more than one country, or a job candidate has lived in more than one country. This allows them to find information about the person's criminal past in various locations. Most times only felony charges will be noted or held against the person, but this is not always the case. Some employers have more stringent guidelines than others.

Sometimes a person's credit history will be checked during an international background check.
Sometimes a person's credit history will be checked during an international background check.

Specific things may be looked for when doing an international background check, depending on the industry in which the person may be working. For example, someone who is applying for a job in childcare will likely be looked over to ensure he has no history of violence or abuse with children. Similarly, someone who wishes to work in government may have to have a record completely clean of any criminal convictions.

An international background check is especially important when screening potential childcare workers.
An international background check is especially important when screening potential childcare workers.

Sometimes a person's credit history will also be checked during an international background check. This is primarily important if the person will be hired to handle money, such as in the case of an accountant. If an employee can't handle his or her own money effectively, then it's likely the company's funds would not be handled much better.

In order to perform an international background check, a company may hire an outside source. There are professionals who do criminal screenings and credit checks using large databases. These databases generally require a fee for membership and access. Hiring someone to perform the check is often a less expensive option for companies that do not hire employees frequently, or who do not run background checks on all new hires.

For those who do frequently have to do background checks on employee candidates, it's generally possible for the employer to subscribe to each database and do the check himself. He may also choose to hire someone in human resources to handle all background checks. Databases are generally accessed online through a specialized website and the cost for subscribing to each one may vary based on the site.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is an international background check?

An international background check is a comprehensive review of an individual's history that spans across multiple countries. It typically includes criminal records, employment verification, education confirmation, and credit history, among other checks. This type of background check is essential for employers who are considering hiring candidates who have lived, worked, or studied abroad. It ensures that the information provided by the candidate is accurate and that there are no legal or ethical concerns that could impact their suitability for a role.

Why might someone need an international background check?

Individuals may require an international background check for various reasons, such as applying for a job, seeking a visa, or engaging in international business dealings. Employers often request these checks to verify the credentials of potential employees who have international experience. According to a survey by HireRight, their 2020 Global Screening Benchmark Report indicated that 49% of employers uncovered issues with candidates' international backgrounds that wouldn't have been found through domestic checks alone.

How long does an international background check take to complete?

The duration of an international background check can vary widely depending on the countries involved and the extent of the information requested. Some checks may take a few days, while others could take several weeks or even months. Factors such as the efficiency of foreign record systems, international holidays, and the responsiveness of past employers or educational institutions can all affect the timeline. It's important for employers and individuals to plan accordingly and allow ample time for these checks to be completed.

Are there any legal considerations to be aware of when conducting an international background check?

Yes, legal considerations are paramount when conducting international background checks. Different countries have varying laws regarding privacy, data protection, and employment. For instance, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes strict rules on the processing of personal data. Employers must ensure compliance with these laws to avoid legal repercussions. It's advisable to consult with legal experts who specialize in international law to navigate these complexities effectively.

Can individuals perform an international background check on themselves?

Individuals can indeed initiate an international background check on themselves, which can be useful for understanding what potential employers might see. This proactive approach allows individuals to address any inaccuracies or issues in their records before they become a problem during a job search or application process. There are specialized agencies and online services that offer self-background checks, but it's important to choose a reputable provider to ensure the accuracy and legality of the information obtained.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

jpmorgan

A background check is not just checking criminal records, and to suggest this would be negligence.

A professional background check investigation goes far beyond the simple world of Human Resources. International background checks and due diligence services are used by corporations, investors, governments and individuals to verify and investigate factors ranging from criminal records, credit and civil records, marriage and divorce history, travel records, character and reputation, document and travel and passport verification, employment and education history, etc, etc.

A professional background investigation is a comprehensive service and checking criminal records is only a small piece of the puzzle for any professional international background check firm or reputable international private investigator.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Sometimes a person's credit history will be checked during an international background check.
      By: karam miri
      Sometimes a person's credit history will be checked during an international background check.
    • An international background check is especially important when screening potential childcare workers.
      By: diego cervo
      An international background check is especially important when screening potential childcare workers.