Why is an International Criminal Background Check Important? What You Need to Know

More employers are recruiting skilled workers from all over the world. This poses numerous advantages for organisations, but at the same time also presents some challenges and complexities. International recruitment is a tricky process and companies need to ensure that they conduct international background checks.

What’s Involved with an International Criminal Background Check?

At Eurocom CI, we offer international background screening for companies in Europe and beyond. Each criminal record check we carry out is designed to make it easy for employers to hire prospective candidates while being simple for the job seekers themselves. We conduct these checks to meet the individual requirements of each country while making the whole process as easy as possible. Every check is submitted online.

The international criminal record check process varies from country to country. With Eurocom CI, we aim to make it easy by condensing all the required information into one application form. On some occasions, we may require further information, such as our consent form which must be scanned and uploaded as part of your criminal record check process.

International job seekers will need to apply in their country of origin, or with the relevant embassy in the UK. Criminal record certificates must be supplied by candidates applying to work in specific roles such as healthcare, social care and education. 

The job seeker must be aged 18 or over, and apply in their home country (or in the relevant embassy in the UK) if they have lived there for longer than 12 months in the last 10 years. If you do not provide the relevant criminal record certificate, your application will be refused. Please refer to the gov.uk guidance on applying for a criminal record check, or alternatively, contact the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

How Long Does an International Background Check Take?

Background checks can be complex and difficult to conduct in a timely manner. Not to mention the laws that vary from country to country, but some countries won’t even let third-party agencies conduct criminal record checks. With Eurocom CI, we aim to have each international search carried out within 15 days, though sometimes there are issues out of our control which cause delays to the application.

Data Protection and Data Privacy Laws

The international screening process is also impacted by data protection and privacy laws. The legislation that is in place across different countries varies, but when you factor in international employment laws as well, there are even more obligations to meet when conducting an international criminal record check

Take the European Union’s universal data protection and privacy legislation, the GDPR, which came into effect in 2018. This legislation applies to all countries within the EU, even if some countries do not have their own data protection laws. 

When creating a background screening programme there are many hoops to jump through depending on the countries that your organisation operates in. Therefore, companies should ensure that the checks they have to conduct are relevant to both their industry and geographical location. Therefore, they should think about developing a comprehensive strategy behind their background checks.

Background Screening Strategy

When it comes to sourcing workers overseas, companies that implement a thorough strategy behind their process can benefit greatly. Using a third party company like Eurocom CI can help companies hire the right candidates overseas, with them having been vetted and checked successfully, having followed the correct procedures for the relevant countries.

But that’s not all. A background check strategy can help companies in the following other ways.

  1. They can have other relevant checks conducted at the same time (such as industry-specific ones like credit checks, right to work in the UK, sanction search, employment history and so on), which of course helps to save time and minimise delays to the application process. 
  2. Companies have validation that their umbrella organisation is respecting the privacy rights of all current and future employees. 
  3. They avoid conflicts of interest by doing, for example, directorship checks where senior management candidates are (or have previously been) residing. 
  4. They can mitigate risks that are associated with hiring unlicensed and uncertified professionals in certain roles. 

If this is something you need assistance with, speak to Eurocom CI today. We’d love to hear from you and see how we can help.