Two Perspectives on Background Screening in a Global Business World
The word “global” can be misleading when talking about pre-employment screening. Large companies that have facilities in other countries are the obvious customer for these services, but did you know your small to medium sized company might need global screening as well?
If you are thinking about hiring someone who lived, worked or went to school overseas, global screening should be in your repertoire. This is especially true if you put all of your candidates through background checks. If the applicant was an adult during their time living abroad, you cannot ignore that part of their life.
Global background checks do cost more than the ones done domestically because every country has different laws and regulations. But that cost will always be exponentially less than replacing a bad hire or defending against a negligent hiring lawsuit.
Global background checks mean consistent hiring practices for any potential employee of the organization, regardless of country of origin.
Large multi-national corporations operating overseas understand the importance of screening the workforce, but for a long time in the Asia Pacific region (APAC), those were the only employers concerned with much more than education verification. Now, local companies in this region are realizing the benefits of having a good screening program in place. While attending the NAPBS annual conference in Austin, TX, we had the opportunity to sit down with screeners from India and the Philippines to talk about the evolution of pre-employment screening in their regions. Their interviews are below.
Tejas Sanghvi / Supersoft Consultants / Mumbai, India
India is a big diamond hub and companies never do even a reference check. It’s just understood by trust that you recruit someone, you are paying them a salary, and they would be honest to you, and that is how it has been for the last 50 years of doing business in India. But now, in the last 5 years it’s really changing rapidly.
If a few companies are doing screening in a particular industry and others are not, the guys who don’t get employed in the companies where there is a screening program, all of them end up going to the companies that don’t have a screening program!
The companies that are at the forefront of the industry, who are ahead of the curve, who got in early on the value of it, are able to retain and get good talent that is more dependable and with high integrity, and those that don’t are getting those bad apples.
Employment and education are the two most important and the two most preferred background checks by companies.
In year two and three they start adding address verification and criminal record searches. As they have progressed in maturity and understanding the value they have added more services in their portfolio.
Now in India, the challenge is, unlike in the states, the records are not digitized, so you are depending on a country like India with a massive population, 1.2 billion… the number of records is massive, you know. Universities have records, that’s a good thing, but they have to be manually searched. Now when you have to manually search it is going to take time and time is a luxury that most companies do not have. You recruit someone; you want them to join you yesterday. Literally, as quickly as possible.
Jan-Michael Espino / Vanguard Screening Solutions / Manila, Philippines
Most of the Philippino companies say we do it in-house, which is code for 'we’re really not doing it,' right? So now, we have a lot of requests for pricing or for meetings so hopefully the demand from that side of the business sector increases soon.
Now, increasingly, more local companies, especially those in the more traditional industries, increasingly recognize the benefits of background screening.
In the Philippines the trouble with doing criminal checks is that the government records are not computerized.
For drug testing, it’s mostly the BPOs, the outsourcing companies do it, but for the traditional industries, we don’t encounter a lot of them doing drug checks. It’s mostly education and employment credentials.
Hopefully in the next 5 or 10 years the demand there will also increase.
Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security. EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company to hold both an ISO 27001:2013 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.
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