May 13th, 2016 | Sterling

Your Top 5 Questions on Global Criminal Record Checks Answered

Your Top 5 Questions on Global Criminal Record Checks Answered

Hiring candidates who currently work or previously worked in other countries adds a layer of complexity and mystery to criminal record checks. Compliance with foreign privacy laws, the type of information available, budget, turn-around-time, and how to interpret results are key considerations for most recruiters.

We recently conducted a webinar on global criminal record screening, where Sterling Talent Solutuions’ global expert Chris Glencross, Associate Vice President of Global Product Services and Natalie Watson, Manager, HR Quality and Vendor Management from W.W. Grainger Inc. were joined by moderator Iain Murry, Regional Executive to talk about best practices for global background screening and analyzing global criminal record check results.

In this webinar, participants were provided with an opportunity to ask their questions about global criminal background screening. Here is a recap of 5 commonly asked questions – from HR and compliance leaders:

Question 1:

What alternatives, if any, exist if a candidate is unable to produce required data to process the global checks (i.e., proof of address, etc.)?

In many countries there is more than one way to get information on an individual’s criminal convictions. Each method to access this information will have a difference in turnaround time, the set of requirements (e.g. data, documents and forms), and price point. It is more than likely that a requirement for one method of access, in this example “proof of address”, may not be a requirement of another method. Even if this not the case, a criminality search (such as Sterling’s GlobeX™ search,) is an excellent alternative.

Question 2:

What would be a an example of an illegal question that may be asked that would give a person the right to lie?

In Germany and some other countries in Europe, an employer’s general right to obtain information about job applicants that does not directly relate to the professional qualifications and experience of the applicant entitles the individual to lie. For example, questions about an applicant’s previous salary or general health, unless directly relevant to the role, would be considered illegal. Generally, questions about whether an individual has ever been convicted of a crime would be illegal as the individual may only be required to provide evidence of convictions on his or her Certificate of Good Conduct and only then when the individual’s role so requires.

Question 3:

Can you explain in more detail what types of information are included in the criminality category of search?

The criminality category of search is a very broad category and different suppliers to the background screening industry all have their individual concept of what this search should include. Generally there are three distinct areas that may be included:

  • Watch lists and sanctions
  • Politically exposed persons
  • Adverse media

Question 4:

Is it realistic to establish a Global Background Checking Policy given all of the many variables? What is the best practice? Establishing minimum standards and then add “where applicable by law?”

If your background screening policy requires a background check to be performed on an individual, it is imperative that – no matter where that individual has lived, worked or studied – you build a program that satisfies your policy. Your background screening provider should be able to help you navigate through the many variables by suggesting a general “best practice” search for every country and providing tools to tailor that best practice suggestion to a best fit search for your background screening program.

Question 5:

What is Sterling doing to keep compliant with global legislation as it relates to background screening?

Sterling has a team of certified compliance and privacy professionals who are tasked with tracking developments in the legal landscape so as to ensure that Sterling and its clients remain compliant. This is achieved in multiple ways, specifically with access to a network of local lawyers and compliance solutions and tools.

Criminal Record Checks, Part 2: Global Screening

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.