A guide to running background checks on a globalized workforce

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In today's rapidly globalising world, the workforce has become more diverse and interconnected than ever before. Companies are no longer limited by geographical boundaries when it comes to hiring, and employees are increasingly finding themselves working alongside colleagues from all corners of the globe. As the world becomes more interconnected, the need to ensure a safe and secure work environment is of paramount importance. To this end, running employee background checks on a globalised workforce has become a crucial aspect of the hiring process.

The process of conducting background checks on employees is not new, but with the globalisation of the workforce, it has become a more complex and intricate task for employers. It is now essential for businesses to understand the various legal, cultural, and logistical challenges that come with conducting background checks on international employees. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the world of global employee background checks effectively and efficiently.

The importance of conducting thorough background checks on employees cannot be overstated. Employers have a duty of care to their employees and customers, ensuring that they provide a safe and secure work environment. This includes verifying the backgrounds of employees to prevent the hiring of individuals with a history of criminal or unethical behaviour that could pose a risk to the company, its employees, or clients. Background checks also serve to protect the reputation of the company, which can be severely damaged if it is discovered that an employee with a criminal or unsavoury past was hired without proper due diligence.

In the context of a globalised workforce, conducting background checks becomes even more critical, as the risks associated with hiring employees from different countries can be higher. Employers must be diligent in their background check processes to avoid potential legal liabilities and ensure compliance with various international regulations. Furthermore, the cultural differences between countries can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations of background check results, which underscores the importance of a well-rounded approach to employee screening in a global context.

This comprehensive guide will cover several essential aspects of conducting employee background checks on a globalised workforce, including understanding the legal landscape in different countries, respecting cultural differences, handling data privacy concerns, and choosing the right background check provider. By the end of this article, you will have gained valuable insights and practical tips that will help you implement a successful global background check program that is both efficient and compliant with international standards.

In the sections that follow, we will delve deeper into each of these critical aspects of global employee background checks, offering expert advice and recommendations to help you navigate this complex process with confidence. With a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with conducting background checks on a global scale, you will be well-equipped to ensure the safety and success of your international workforce. So let's begin our journey into the world of global employee background checks and discover how your company can benefit from a robust and compliant screening program.

Understanding the Legal Landscape in Different Countries

One of the most significant challenges of conducting employee background checks on a globalised workforce is navigating the complex legal landscape across various countries. Laws and regulations regarding background checks can vary significantly between nations, and employers must be aware of these differences to ensure compliance.

Research Local Laws and Regulations

The first step in conducting background checks on international employees is to research the local laws and regulations in the country where the employee resides. This will help you understand the types of background checks that are permissible, the information you can legally request, and any restrictions or limitations that may apply.

Partner with Local Experts

Partnering with local experts, such as employment law attorneys or human resources professionals in the country of interest, can be invaluable in helping you navigate the legal landscape. They can provide guidance on the specific requirements for background checks and help ensure that your screening process complies with local laws.

Be Mindful of Cross-Border Data Transfers

When conducting international background checks, it's essential to be aware of the regulations governing cross-border data transfers. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data privacy laws can impose strict requirements on the transfer of personal data between countries. Ensure that your background check process complies with these regulations to avoid potential legal consequences.

Respecting Cultural Differences

When conducting employee background checks on a globalised workforce, it's important to consider the cultural differences between countries. Different cultures may have different expectations and standards when it comes to privacy, personal information, and the background check process.

Adapt Your Screening Process

Adapting your screening process to respect the cultural norms of the country where the employee resides can help you build trust and goodwill with international employees. This may involve adjusting the types of background checks you perform, the way you request information, or the manner in which you communicate with employees during the screening process.

Communicate Clearly and Transparently

Clear and transparent communication is key when conducting background checks on international employees. Make sure that employees understand the purpose of the background check, the information being requested, and their rights under local laws. Providing this information in the employee's native language can also help to ensure clear communication and demonstrate respect for their culture.

Handling Data Privacy Concerns

Data privacy is a crucial consideration when conducting background checks on a globalised workforce. Employers must take steps to protect employees' personal information and comply with data privacy laws in different countries.

Develop a Robust Data Privacy Policy

Developing a robust data privacy policy that outlines how your company collects, stores, and uses personal information is essential. This policy should include procedures for obtaining consent from employees, managing data access and storage, and responding to data breaches or other security incidents.

Train Your Team

Ensure that your human resources team and other employees involved in the background check process are trained on data privacy best practices and local laws. This will help to minimize the risk of data breaches or non-compliance with data privacy regulations.

Choosing the Right Background Check Provider

Selecting the right background check provider is critical to ensuring the success of your global employee screening program. A reputable provider with experience in international background checks can help you navigate the complexities of the process and ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

Look for Industry Experience

When evaluating background check providers, look for companies with industry experience and a proven track record in conducting international background checks. This can help ensure that they have the expertise and resources necessary to handle the unique challenges of global employee screening.

Verify Provider Compliance

Ensure that your chosen background check provider complies with international data privacy laws, such as GDPR, and any relevant local regulations. This will help protect your company from potential legal liabilities and ensure the security of your employees' personal information.

Evaluate Customer Support and Resources

A background check provider with excellent customer support and resources can be an invaluable partner in managing your global employee screening program. Look for providers that offer dedicated account managers, multilingual support, and educational resources to help you navigate the complexities of international background checks.

Assess Provider Scalability

As your company grows and your global workforce expands, it's essential to choose a background check provider that can scale with your needs. Consider whether the provider has the capacity to handle increasing volumes of background checks and adapt to changes in local laws and regulations.


Running employee background checks on a globalised workforce is a complex and challenging task, but it is essential for companies operating in today's interconnected world. By understanding the legal landscape in different countries, respecting cultural differences, handling data privacy concerns, and choosing the right background check provider, employers can effectively screen their international employees and ensure a safe and secure work environment.

The importance of conducting thorough background checks on employees cannot be overstated, as it helps protect your company's reputation and mitigate potential risks. With the insights and practical tips provided in this comprehensive guide, you are now better equipped to implement a successful global background check program that is both efficient and compliant with international standards.

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

10 Biggest Problems Recruiters Face and How to Overcome Them

What are the ten biggest problems recruiters face?

Recruitment is one of the most challenging processes a company faces, but if done well, it can pay off well in the long run. As the resignation wave rises, the competition for top talent will only intensify in the future.

In such a competitive recruitment landscape, the talent acquisition teams face many challenges in their hiring processes.

A recruiter plays a vital role in the entire recruitment process and is key to ensuring a good candidate experience. Moreover, he deals with each phase of the recruitment process, from attracting the most suitable candidates to screening, interview scheduling, final selection, and onboarding. Even though the most critical success criteria for a recruiter is to fill the open position within a minimum time, they also must ensure cordial relationships with candidates who have not been successful in enhancing the employer brand value of the company. A good recruiter can handle rejection gracefully and convert the denial into a fruitful relationship.

The recruiter has to give equal focus and effort to each stage of the recruitment process and move along with successful candidates until the onboarding stage. Moreover, they must confront challenges along the recruitment process, and the ten most significant problems they face are covered in this paper.

In this report, we discuss:

- Attracting the right talent

- Hiring efficiently

- Engaging quickly and warmly with qualified candidates

- Getting selected candidates on-boarding on time

- Recruiting accurately and fairly

- Ensuring diversity in hiring

- Meeting client briefs

- Value creation for the client

- Data-driven recruitment

- Create an efficient recruiting process

- Methods to overcome problems

- Creating a talent pipeline

- Upskilling and Reskilling Internal candidates

- Ensuring a good candidate experience for enhanced employer brand value

- Multiple tests to improve hiring accuracy

- Leverage multiple sourcing channels to diversify your candidate base

- Human Resource (HR) Technology Implementation

- Application Tracking System (ATS)

- Artificial Intelligence and Automation in Hiring

- Conversational AI for improved candidate experience

- Digital reference check and background verification

- Video Interviews

- Blockchain in hiring

The future of work is still in progress and it will continue to evolve as organisations adopt newer workplace models to meet emoloyee expectations. The remote work model, along with the great resignation wave, has made recruiter tasks challenging, as they have a limited talent pool from which to fill open positions.

The challenges will continue to persist as organisations must reimagine the future of work to overcome the challenge of this great resignation wave, and other changes in demand for improved candidate and employee experiences.

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