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International Background Screening and Employment Verification - What are cultural barriers?

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

International background checks for employment

To find employment opportunities in today's modern world, any respectable company carries out a background screening or background check for prospective employees.

But what exactly is background screening and why are employers so eager to do rigorous background screening? A background screening is a process conducted by a company or individual to verify the claims made by the prospective hire about their education, background, criminal record and other qualifications. Why a background screening? Because organizations want competent and morally upstanding employees that they can retain over a long period. But as the world is quickly being globalized and organizations look outward to other parts of the world to find their employee workforce, the cultural aspect of international background screening seems to have gone unnoticed.

Employee Verification and Background Screening:

Employee Background Screening

Conducting a thorough and rigorous international employee verification enables the company not only to hire upstanding employees but also provides them the following advantages: 1. Finding competent qualified employees. 2. Performing an accurate character profile of the hire. 3. Reduce company liability and waste of company resources. 4. Ensuring a safe workplace.

Cultural Barriers for Employment Screening:

1. Difference in Regulatory Policies across the Globe: Every nation has their own internal policies that govern the quality, authority and the thoroughness of background screening. Overseas companies that want to employ foreign nationals must make use of an international background screening company to facilitate the screening process. 2. Language Native language is preferred while performing background checks in many countries, official documents and forms. These can be in regional languages at certain places and that can be a challenge to verify for international companies as well as potential employees for not knowing the languages required for background check, which can result in delayed response or even failure in the international background screening.

3. Availability of Technology

Technological differences can also be a big challenge considering different countries have different infrastructure and not all of them keep digital records of their citizen's details and documents as well as criminal records.

4. Cultural Festivals

While being open to hiring people from different cultures is a great thing, it should be taken into consideration that officials from India might not be available during a festival like Diwali or Durga Puja. These cultural festivals play a vital role in their lives and work schedules so this can be challenging and cause delay in the background check for employment.

5. Social Behaviours

Considering people from different cultures look at things differently, what can be seen as a common practice in some places can be offensive in others. In this case organizations should maintain their faith in the local team, understand the local cultures and proceed accordingly.

6. Local Practices

There are different processes and methods of verification in different jurisdictions. In some places it doesn't require much effort but in certain areas it might require work deep in the field. These differences can complicate the process and cause delay in the process of verification.

A Path Forward:

A few things that can be done to overcome these cultural barriers:

1. Maintaining a local team and making sure they're up to date with local & cultural differences with the international standards of the organization.

2. Maintaining support groups.

3. Maintaining alternative ways of verification.

4. Understand limitations occurring such cases across the different geographical locations.

5. Maintain proper communication with the verification partners by sharing regular updates on the process, laws and regulations for international employment verification.


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