One of the most common questions we hear when it comes to international background checks is “how long do they take.” Companies considering international candidates are no less eager to bring them aboard than locals, and anything that slows you down the finalization can be a major stumbling block.
While we know this is the case, there’s no easy answer that applies across the board. It’s critical, however, that you don’t rush or skip the process. Here’s what you need to know.
If you’re hiring internationally, candidates will have to go through some sort of immigration process to enter the US, if they are going to be a domestic hire. However, that process can vary greatly from country to country, and it’s worth researching US immigration requirements before you even start the hiring activity. Limiting your search to countries with lower requirements can speed things up significantly.
Once the process has started, and you or your screening agent are attempting to access information, the country or countries in question will once again be a factor. It can be notoriously difficult to access information in some countries, while others are hotbeds of corrupt governments and bureaucratic red tape, all of which slow down the process.
What Comprises Global Screening Services?
The good news when hiring from abroad is that US immigration and customs will do some of the work for you. However, if you’re appointing a foreigner before they apply to enter the US as an employee, you might choose the perfect candidate, only to find they’re ineligible.
Here are a few of the things your international background check should cover, to help prevent this problem:
- A criminal record check from every country they’ve lived in for more than six months, and from their current country of residence. This will be required by US immigration officials, and any negative information here (even if it doesn’t prevent you from hiring them) might very well bar them from entering the country.
- Education verification, for all the institutions they have credentials from. This can be tricky too, as there are different policies in different countries, and in some cases, credentials are only available in foreign languages, and need to be translated before they can be assessed.
- Credit reports for each of the countries that they have lived in.
- Work related references, for at least a few of the companies they’ve worked for, as well as checks into the companies themselves. It’s not unheard of for prospective employees to provide false references from companies that don’t exist, and even if they do provide bona fide references, there’s often the issue of translation too.
International hiring is certainly not without its challenges, but with the global pool of talent out there, it’s an attractive prospect for companies looking to fill highly specialized or technical roles.
The best thing you can do to speed up the process is to work with a company who is experienced in this area, and who can get things done as quickly as possible.