Trust & Safety
The Importance Of International Background Checks
A comprehensive employment screening program should include International Background Checks for candidates living abroad, and those living in the US who have previously lived, studied, or worked in other countries. International Background Checks help your company:
- Make informed decisions based on reliable results from foreign databases
- Ensure your candidate’s international employment history is accurate
- Confirm your candidate has the skills and experience required
What You’ll Learn From International Background Checks
International Background Checks are used to screen candidates currently living outside of the US, or for candidates currently living in the US who previously lived, worked, or attended school in another country. Employers can run international checks to learn about:
Provides details about international criminal records, or returns clear results.
Verifies international employment history provided by your candidate.
Verifies international education history provided by your candidate.
GoodHire’s Suite Of International Background Checks
Designed for candidates who have global backgrounds, GoodHire’s International Background Checks are available as add-on services. The following table shows International Background Checks offered, what they search, what each is best used for, and what the results show.
International Criminal Records Search*
Records in one of 223 countries.
BEST USED FOR
Residents who have lived or worked outside of the US.
Any felony or misdemeanor criminal convictions, and pending criminal cases.
International Education Verification*
The secondary school, college, or university specified in one of 223 countries.
BEST USED FOR
Current international residents, or US residents who have previously studied outside of the US
Attendance dates and degree, diploma, or certificate earned.
International Employment Verification*
Any employer specified in one of 223 countries.
BEST USED FOR
Current international residents, or US residents who have previously worked outside of the US
Dates employed & job title(s).
* International background checks for candidates living outside the US are currently only available for our sales-assisted customers.
FCRA & International Background Checks For Candidates Living In The US
Employers using a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), like GoodHire, to run background checks to assess US-based candidates during the hiring process have important responsibilities to comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), including following the adverse action process. Ban-the-box compliance, targeted screens, and individualized assessments apply only when taking adverse action due to criminal records.
When running International Background Checks, it’s important to know:
- Each country requires specific documentation to search criminal records or verify credentials
- International Background Checks often take longer than US-only checks, but won’t delay US-only results.
Data Protection Laws
GDPR & International Background Checks For Candidates Living Outside Of The US
International data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulate the transfer and processing of personal data from a country to the United States. Employers who run background checks on candidates living in a country where international data protection laws exist must use a screener that complies with data protection requirements.
- GoodHire meets the requirements of the GDPR and international data protection laws. Learn more about GoodHire’s commitment to privacy compliance.
- Where applicable, GoodHire requires organizations running international background checks on candidates living outside the US to sign a Data Processing Agreement (DPA).
- Companies who do not comply with the law are subject to fines.
Learn More About International Background Checks (Frequently Asked Questions)
International background checks can help employers screen candidates that currently live abroad or previously lived, studied, or worked in other countries. Conducting an international background check can help employers make better informed hiring decisions and mitigate potential risk.
What is an international background check?
An international background check for employment may include multiple screenings that can help an employer learn more about a candidate’s history. Similar to domestic background checks, a global background check reveals basic information about a candidate – including criminal convictions, past employment, and education history. In addition, an international background check may also include adverse media or global watch list searches. Employers may also run an identity document validation check to confirm a candidate is who they say they are.
What shows up on an international background check?
While there are several types of international background checks, there are generally three main screenings that employers will conduct. Let’s take a closer look at what typically shows up on each kind of global background check.
Employers may use an international criminal background check to search global criminal records. An international criminal search reveals any felony or misdemeanor criminal convictions, and pending criminal cases in the candidate’s current country of residence. International criminal searches may also be conducted for candidates who have previously lived internationally, but currently have a US work location.
An international employment verification can help employers confirm the work history of a candidate that currently lives internationally or is a United States resident that has previously worked abroad. An international employment verification confirms the previous international employer, dates employed, and job title(s) held.
Employers hiring candidates that are international residents or who previously studied outside of the United States may choose to run an international education verification. This background screening confirms schools attended, including secondary schools, colleges, and universities, and dates of attendance. It also verifies degrees, diplomas, or certificates earned.
How to run an international background check
When conducting pre-employment screenings on candidates that have lived, worked, or studied outside of the US – including Canada – employers have the option to conduct checks themselves or partner with a qualified background check company, like GoodHire, that provides international background check services.
Working with a consumer reporting agency (CRA) not only streamlines the background check process, but can help you comply with international laws as well as federal, state, and local regulations in the US. A CRA can also help speed turnaround times, which vary depending on the type of global background check.
What laws and regulations do you need to know?
In addition to applicable federal, state, and local laws, employers must comply with additional global regulations when conducting international background checks.
Fair credit reporting act (fcra)
When using a CRA to conduct international background checks on US-based candidates, employers must comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Under this act, candidates must be notified of the employer’s intent to conduct a background check and employers must receive the candidate’s written consent. If an employer decides not to hire a candidate due to the results of a background check, the employer must follow the adverse action process. Local ban-the-box and fair hiring laws may also apply if taking adverse action due to criminal records.
international data protection laws
When conducting international background checks on candidates that live in countries with data protection laws, international regulations may also apply. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates the transfer and processing of personal data to the US from Europe. Some international data protection requirements are country-specific, requiring specific documentation to search criminal records or verify credentials. In some cases, organizations may be required to sign a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) before a global background check begins.
How much does an international background check cost?
The cost of an international background check varies based on who is conducting the search, the scope of the search, and the search volume. Employers that conduct background checks on their own will require the manual work of their human resources team, while possibly spending more on individual searches. On the other hand, employers that partner with a trusted CRA, like GoodHire, can simplify billing by taking advantage of multiple searches, bulk ordering, and volume discounts. The cost of an international background check may also include additional pass-through-fees depending on the requirements of the country.
Get an international background check with GoodHire
Whether you’re opening new offices globally or recruiting candidates abroad, international background checks may be part of your employment screening program. GoodHire offers global background checks in 200+ countries, including Canada, to screen candidates living abroad and those living in the US who have previously lived, studied, or worked in other countries. Our user-friendly platform provides accurate reports and built-in tools to simplify legal compliance. Get started.
The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.