A Guide to Background Checks for the BPO Industry

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The Growing BPO Industry

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, also called “Outsourcing and Staffing”, continues to gain traction globally. 

While India remains the largest BPO market by size, the Philippines is well-known to have the fastest growing BPO industry of the last decade. It is estimated that the country holds 10-15% of the global BPO market, and projects over 10% revenue growth annually. It is primarily driven by tech, healthcare, finance, retail, and telecommunications clients. 

Why do background checks matter for BPOs?

The BPO industry is highly competitive. BPOs famously employ high volumes of workers on round-the-clock shifts in order to serve different countries, from western markets like the US and Europe, to eastern markets like Japan and Australia. Hence, the amount of workers to hire, vet, and manage can be much more overwhelming compared to other industries.

Recruiters and Human Resources teams play an important role in maintaining a healthy work culture in this industry. They make sure that there is an adequate number of candidates who have the skills and experience required for the jobs available. 

Why is it important for recruiters and HR practitioners to integrate background checking for BPO hiring?


To select the best candidates from thousands of potentials

BPO providers need skilled workers who can advocate two business objectives at the same time - that of the BPO itself, and that of the BPO’s clients (who might be from different countries and industries from all over the world). BPO workers must be highly trainable, and high performing.

But the sheer volume of workers applying for BPO jobs makes it difficult to identify who the best candidates are without a well-designed hiring process, including background checks, in place. Knowing a candidate's number of years of experience or word-of-mouth reputation are not enough. Checks allow recruiters and employers to know the truth about a candidate beyond their CV. Whether they are truly skilled enough to carry out the work; whether they have any history of crime or other issues that the company must know about; and most importantly, whether they are trainable, and a good culture fit for the company.

Background checks mitigate physical, financial, legal, and reputational risk caused by workers who might be unqualified, or have criminal or violent tendencies, among other possible issues.

To create an efficient, fair, compliant hiring process

Background screening does more than just validate a candidate’s credentials. It also provides the company with a standard and efficient process that all candidates must go through. This makes the process fair and replicable for all applicants.

This is particularly true if the BPO partners with an experienced Background Checking service that specializes in the local market. Market specialists will not only carry out fast and efficient candidate checks, but most importantly, they will do so in compliance with all local market regulations. 

To distinguish your company

An organization that goes the extra mile to secure well-vetted, high-performing employees certainly shows that it is a high-caliber company. This attracts not only higher quality talents, but more business as well.

Organizations that choose shortcut hiring run the risk of financial losses or legal issues due to critical oversights about their hires. As such, most offshoring companies use background checks as part of recruitment.

What checks are included in BPO background screenings?

Different markets have different legal requirements when it comes to hiring, regardless of industry. It is important to be familiar with the laws and regulations in the country your company operates in.

Some of the most common background checks for BPO candidates include:

Checks for skill, productivity, and work ethic

  • Employment history - Identify whether a candidate’s past jobs helped them develop the skills needed for the role. This also shows if they have any gaps in their work history that may be important to investigate.
  • Education History - This shows relevant educational qualifications for the role, as well as extracurricular activities that may shed light on a candidate’s capabilities in leadership and other soft skills. These may be valuable to the company in the long-term.
  • Reference checks - This allows employers to validate candidate claims against people with whom they actually worked in the past. It is a great way to verify relational skills and attitudes of a potential hire. Learn more about Reference Checks here.


Checks for security & reliability

BPOs, especially call or contact centres, handle critical business functions for organizations such as customer service and tech support. They help customers with tasks such as placing orders, order fulfillment and tracking, resolving product issues, etc. These tasks may therefore include frequent interactions with customers, as well as processing of personal information and other sensitive data. 

This is why background checks for call center employees may include the following:

  • Criminal record checks - This identifies whether a candidate has any public history of crime, and convictions, spent or unspent. This is important not because criminal history automatically disqualifies a candidate for a role. In fact, it does not - such automatic disqualification may be discriminatory. Nonetheless, it gives the employer the opportunity to further investigate whether there is enough evidence to fairly conclude that a candidate would be unfit for a role. Here's more information on Criminal Records Check.
  • Adverse financial history checks - Verifying a person’s financial history will reveal any bankruptcies, debts, or other financial or credit issues. Similar to criminal records, these issues may not automatically disqualify a candidate. But they do allow employers to further investigate a candidate’s ability to handle high-value transactions, money, and interactions with 3rd parties. Learn more about Credit Checks here.
  • Social media checks - Especially in countries like the Philippines with high social media usage among the general population, a quick check of a candidate’s social media accounts can reveal a lot about their communication styles and behaviors. This helps you identify who might be a risk to your company’s reputation if they are unable to practice restraint on social platforms.

There are cases when companies also include health and drug tests, and psychological evaluations if deemed necessary for the role.


How to conduct Background Checks on BPO Employees

Companies can carry out background checking in different ways, but the following basic steps are a good place to begin:

Step 1: Preliminary information gathering

The first step in this process is usually an online form, which will ask for general information about the candidate's identity, work history, education, criminal record, etc. 

This form must also inform the candidate that they will be subject to background checks, and must secure their free and willing consent to this process. 

Step 2: Communicate the process

The next step would be for HR to contact the candidate with instructions for how long it should take to complete the background check, and any current or next steps that are needed. Candidates’ expectations must also be set as to how the results of the hiring process will be communicated to them, and how they can make appeals.

Step 3: Carry out the checks

HR departments can then conduct background checks in two ways:

  1. Manually, by directly contacting the potential candidate's previous employers, references, schools, and other necessary institutions.
  2. Through partnering with specialist background check services that can carry out the process on behalf of the company, regardless of how many checks are involved.

In a lot of cases, BPOs use third-party background check services to verify their applicants’ information before hiring them.



BPOs that intend to operate successfully for a long time must consider comprehensive background checks as part of their hiring process. 

The BPO industry continues to grow worldwide. With more competition on the horizon, BPO companies must be responsible for mitigating risks to their own organizations, while also providing candidates and employees with the best onboarding and work experience.  

The most efficient option for BPOs is to, in fact, outsource - To give the background checking to a third party company which has local market expertise, and resources and manpower to perform screenings for a large volume of candidates.

Veremark helps fast-moving enterprises like BPOs hire specialist talent with speed & flexibility. It provides customised employment background checks across all industries, sectors, and scales. Veremark’s agile and custom background checking solution, including strong ATS, CRM, and HRIS integrations, helps businesses hire and rehire effectively, and scales with the needs of very rapidly growing and hiring tech and outsourcing & staffing businesses.

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What is included in BPO background checks?

Different markets have different legal requirements when it comes to hiring, regardless of industry. It is important to be familiar with the laws and regulations in the country your company operates in. Some of the most common background checks for BPO candidates include: Employment history, Education history, Reference checks, Criminal record checks, Adverse financial history checks, and Social Media checks.

How far back do background checks go?

There’s no straightforward answer to this question as it depends on the law, the type of check, the position, and sometimes, even the candidates themselves. For instance, the FCRA does not allow reporting of civil information beyond 7 years if the position’s salary is $75,000 or below. On the other hand, looking into a decade of working history may be necessary if a candidate has a huge employment gap.

How long does a background check take?

While “background screening” refers generally to the process of vetting a potential hire, the process itself is actually composed of many different types of “background checks”. Each background check looks into a unique aspect of the potential employee’s personal or professional history. The process can take anywhere from a few minutes (some checks can be requested online and received immediately), to a few weeks (some checks involve lots of data gathering and contacting 3rd parties) depending on types of checks, complexity of each, and the country you are checking in.


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.

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