Background Checks

Seamless Global Background Checks: Navigate Talent Borders with Confidence!

  • October 4, 2023
  • Shannon Fortner
  • Approx. Read Time: 4 Minutes
  • Updated on November 26, 2023

In this Cisive Product Highlight series, we review key tools to consider when screening your workforce, as well as top benefits and features when ordering them through Cisive and our family of brands.

This month’s highlight is Global Screening, helping employers screen in over 200 countries and territories around the world.

Key Takeaways

  1. Most employers should be prepared to run global background checks.
  2. Global background check requirements are different than the background checks you run in your home country.
  3. With global checks, there are different applicable laws, different types of background checks available, and there may be higher turnaround times.
  4. There are quite a few common misconceptions around global background checks.


Table of Contents

  1. What is a global background check?
  2. What do I need to run a global check?
  3. How is it different than a background check in my home country?
  4. Common Misconceptions
  5. Best Practices


What are Global Background Checks? Why are they important?

A global screening program includes background checks from many countries around the world. The searches on an individual’s background check will vary depending on many factors including your location, your applicant’s current and previous locations, local law, job responsibilities, and industry.

Global screening may include:

  • Criminal background checks
  • Education Verifications
  • Employment Verifications
  • ID Verification
  • Credit checks
  • And more


Global background checks are important so you can be sure you are making the best hiring decisions and alleviating any risks you might have with a potentially bad hire, no matter where in the world you are hiring from, or where your candidates may have lived previously.


Recommended Reading: 4 Ways Employers Can Navigate Global Hiring Challenges

Who uses Global Background Checks?

Global background checks are for:

  • Any employer who hires globally
  • Any employer who hires candidates who have lived outside of their current home country
  • Any employer with a low tolerance for risk, including regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare


What do I need to run a Global Background Check?

When you order background checks from their home country, you typically just need basic identifying information.

However, for global background checks, you may need:

  • A form of ID
  • Additional identifiers such as mother’s maiden name or father’s name
  • Country-specific data collection forms or consent forms


For example, if you’re based in the U.S., a Social Security Number is a common identifier. However, since it is only an identifier in the U.S., it cannot be used for non-U.S. background screening packages.

There is very little flexibility in requirements when conducting global background checks, so you will want to be as prepared as possible by collecting all required information from candidates.

Your background screening provider will be able to guide you through each of these requirements, so you don’t have to worry about knowing all of the ins and outs for each country on your own.


Recommended Reading: Increase in Global Hires Makes International Background Checks More Important Than Ever

How is the ordering process different?

On Cisive’s platform, the ordering process is the same as if you are ordering a background check from your home country. Simply let your Cisive representative know that you will be conducting global screening, and the Cisive team will work with you to set up the best packages for your program.

Cisive offers country-specific workflows, multiple language capabilities, ID/document upload, and dynamic form collection.

The main differences will be:

  • The additional information you may need to collect from your candidates
  • Increased turnaround times for global background checks (so make sure to plan accordingly when it comes to your hiring timeline)
  • The applicable laws in each jurisdiction (FCRA and pre/post-adverse laws are U.S.-specific, for example, and only apply when a candidate lives in the U.S. or will be working in the U.S.)
  • Less information provided on Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) and credit reports
  • The types of criminal records available


Common Misconceptions

“Background screening is illegal in some countries.”

Some type of screening is allowed in every country. While criminal record and credit checks may be restricted, other types of background checks are available.

“It’s impossible to know what is allowed.”

It’s not impossible! Cisive provides a list of available searches along with sources to review for each country, along with our own guidance.

However, it is important to note that guidance by your background screening provider should not be construed as legal advice, and we recommend you always work with legal counsel to determine which searches you should order.

“All background checks are the same.”

Sources and results from background checks vary by country, provider, and process.

For example, for employers in the U.S., many countries don’t have an equivalent criminal search as what is available in the U.S., and vice versa. A U.S. “county criminal” search is the equivalent of a “criminal local” search outside of the U.S.


Recommended Reading: How to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Hiring Remote Workers Internationally

Best Practices for Global Background Checks

Don’t be intimidated

Your background check provider is here to help you. If you don’t know much about ordering from a specific country, you have a team of experts at your fingertips to guide you through it.

Each country is a different

The background checks you typically run in your home country may be different from the background checks you’ll want to run abroad. Over time, you’ll familiarize yourself with what background checks are available in other countries, and what you should be searching.


Ready to gain confidence in your global searches?

Speak with a Cisive expert today for an assessment of your current global screening program, and how we can give you the confidence you need to screen internationally.


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