There has been a recent uptick of emergent background check APIs claiming to have “solved” international background screening. However, if you look under the hood, many of these services have little or no experience in actually conducting international searches – leaving much to be desired in terms of compliance and understanding of each country’s screening nuances. This should be especially worrisome for participants in the trust economy who are quickly expanding their global presence.
Many companies assume that other countries share commonalities with U.S., but each international market has varied privacy laws and access to reliable information. In India, for example, there are multiple ways a vendor can perform a criminal record search – and each poses its own risks. Data from the local police station may not always be usable due to changing regulations and a history of unethical data gathering practices; a district court search could be based on an incorrect address provided by an applicant; and India’s criminal database is incomplete and non-exhaustive. To overcome these obstacles there must be a combination of searches and the resources of local, in-country partners to paint a complete picture of a candidate’s criminal history.
To do international background screening correctly, you need more than access to a country’s court systems; you need a network of trusted, regional and in-country partners who you can leverage for their local experience, regulatory knowledge, language skills and data expertise.
3 Questions to Ask of Your International Background Checks:
- Can I access International Background Screening through an API?
If you will be background screening through an API or applicant tracking system integration, this may be one of the first questions you will want to ask. Efficiency and candidate experience will suffer if you cannot access all of the background screening services you need through a streamlined system.
- Does it service the markets I need?
Make sure your provider has true experience background screening in the regions common to your workforce. They should be familiar with the pain points of that region and the requirements necessary to conduct a thorough background check. It is important that the API you choose actually has real-time access to local data and expertise and isn't essentially an aggregator on top of a distended, out-of-date and error-prone supply chain of aggregated data.
- Is it compliant?
Background screening outside of the U.S. is complex from a compliance standpoint. Not only do you have to abide by U.S. and FCRA compliance regulations (if you are a US-based company), but each country has its own privacy laws that you must navigate. A background screening partner like Accurate Background with a full time international compliance staff helps give that assurance.