Background Screening Expert Returns from World Tour with Enlightened Vision of International Background Investigations

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As short as five years ago background screening was virtually exclusively a tool used by businesses in the U.S., however, as multinationals, offshoring and global businesses continue to grow so has background screening. Today there are flourishing background screening industries emerging in India, United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore and Australia.

while the U. S. market will continue to grow albeit at a slower pace, the international background screening marketplace will be where the real growth will occur well into the next decade.

With the spectrum of terrorism worldwide continuing to be ever present and the unprecedented rise of employee fraud, identity, information and property theft as well as the usual suspects of workplace bullying, harassment and violence, the 21st century business community is under siege. Not surprisingly due to the above affront on the business world background screening has grown geometrically to the point that over 25 million checks are being done annually.

As short as five years ago background screening was virtually exclusively a tool used by businesses in the U.S., however, as multinationals, offshoring and global businesses continue to grow so has background screening. Today there are flourishing background screening industries emerging in India, United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore and Australia. Recognizing the worldwide growth of the industry the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS which is the trade association that represents background screening firms) tapped the expertise of renowned workplace violence prevention and background screening expert, W. Barry Nixon, SPHR to lead an effort to establish an international network of background screening firms from around the world. He is the creator of the leading sites on the web on workplace violence and background screening - http://www.workplaceviolence911.com and http://www.PreemploymentDirectory.com.

He is also the author of the Comprehensive Guide for Selecting a Background Screening Firm and the soon to be published book, Background Screening and Investigations: Managing Risk in the Hiring Process. In 2007 he made presentations on 'The Emerging Practice of Background Screening in the International Workplace' at the Singapore HR Congress and the Background Investigators India Conference. Earlier he spoke at the ASIS International conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In his effort to establish this international network, Mr. Nixon recently traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands to attend the Business Forums International's 2007 European Pre-employment Vetting & Screening Summit and the Background Investigator's India Pre-employment Screening Conference in Bangalore, India. The knowledge and insights gained from dialoging with members of the international background screening community has expanded Nixon's understanding of the challenges of conducting investigations in countries around the world.

"Barry Nixon believes that we are in the midst of the birth of a global marketplace for background screening that will impact hiring practices around the world." At a time when companies around the world are faced with expanding their search for talent in key skill areas they are also being faced with the need to put extra scrutiny on individuals being hired from outside of their country borders. The true challenge that companies face as they embark on this background screening journey is to balance the need for standard practices with the unique requirements that are present in each country. The following are some of the top challenges that business must address to be successful in the international background screening arena:

1.Legal system, definition of crimes and access to records - International criminal checks require an understanding of each country's court system, how criminal records are created and maintained, where searches should be conducted (court house, police station, central records bureau, etc.), the type of records that are available and what the records mean. It is critical to understand the definition of crimes in every country which vary significantly. It is also important to stay within legal guidelines that are applicable in both the home country and the foreign country.

2.Data Protection, Privacy laws and other legal regulations - Many countries have a Data Protection law that regulate who has access to records, admissible purpose for using the records and transmission of the records across their country borders. In addition there are various Human Rights and Labor laws that must be adhered too.

3.Work schedules and time to conduct searches - Since each country has its own holiday schedule, prime time for vacations, sometimes communications are delayed because of a country's calendar. The average turn around time for a background checks in the U.S. is around 3 days or less, however, this turn around time can vary significantly when communicating with researchers, past employers or schools in other countries. For beginners, there can be delays due to time differences. For example, if you place an order today at 10:00 AM PST it is 11:30 PM in Mumbai, India which means your order is not received until the next business day so a day has already been lost. Add to this the need to access records kept in a rural police station that it takes days to get too and I'm sure you get the picture. If that wasn't enough on top of that you have to
adjust to the reality that different countries have different views and definitions of time itself. Remember your first trip to the Caribbean and how you had to adjust your thinking about time.

4.Language - Your firm or agent must have the ability to communicate in the language and possibly dialects of the country you are accessing criminal records, foreign schools and employers' records from.

5.Modes of communication - E-mail may be your preferred mode, however, email reliability varies from country to country. Fax communications appear to be used very frequently.

6.Cultural nuances and local practices - You must be versed in the local customs that can impact the background checking process, e.g. naming customs, assignment of an country ID number, University Seat number, etc.

7.Cost and Payments - Factors that may impact cost include nature of court system, type of records maintained, how and where the records can be accessed, time to process, etc., as well as the modes of communication, e.g., email vs fax. The means of payment will vary and could be by wire transfer, money order, credit card, etc. Sometimes you will encounter the need for records to be translated which will add to the cost or the need to locate phone numbers for employment and educational checks.

According to a recent study of the background screening industry conducted by KPMG the background screening industry is a 2-3 billion dollar industry. Nixon says that "while the U. S. market will continue to grow albeit at a slower pace, the international background screening marketplace will be where the real growth will occur well into the next decade."

The Preemployment Screening Directory is a comprehensive tool to support workplace security efforts in providing safe workplaces for employees. The directory has over 1,000 firms listed as well as informative articles, studies, etc. on background screening including the Comprehensive Guide For Selecting a Background Screening Firm which can be downloaded for no charge at http://www.PreemploymentDirectory.com. For more information contact Barry Nixon at 949-597-0977 or by email him at wbnixon @ aol.com.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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