International Background Checks 101


Don’t let the complexities of international background checks stop you from following safe hiring practices. If you need to hire individuals outside the United States or if great talent walks through your door and an international screening is required, don’t hesitate to call on your screening partner to assist with an international check. Yes, it will take more time, but peace of mind is always worth the effort. 

When is an international check necessary?

International background checks are typically done during pre-employment screenings. If you are hiring individuals to work for you outside the US or if your candidate has lived, worked, or studied abroad, you’ll need to request an international background screening. The need for international checks is increasing as global travel becomes more commonplace.

What is different about international screens?

While the guiding principles are the same, the logistics are very different. Every country is different. The language is different. Their classification of crimes is different. Education and credentials are different. The laws governing the collection and use of personal information are different. All these differences mean that international employment checks must be handled by professionals who have the skills and experience to navigate the nuances found in each and every country. These complexities also mean that global screens can take three to four times as long as domestic screens. 

What is covered by an international employment screening?

Employers have the option to screen for basically the same things that are covered in a domestic screen, including the following:

  • Criminal records. Each country has its own way of making criminal records available and of regulating how that information is used. There is no single database for criminal activity, so it must be collected country by country. 
  • Education verification. Background screeners will contact international schools and universities to verify that the individual studied there and earned the degrees they claim. 
  • Employment references. Experienced screeners that speak the local language are able to verify international employment references. 
  • Credit history. Credit histories can also be obtained internationally, if necessary for the position. Screening agencies with international expertise understand the laws governing the use of credit information and the intricacies of how each country reports credit, debt, and overall financial responsibility. A skilled firm will obtain the information and help you make sense of it to use it for hiring decisions. 

Talk to Your Screening Partner

If you need an international background check, talk to your screening partner. Safe hiring means thorough screening. Don’t leave anything to chance; make international screening part of your standard hiring procedures.