· Insights

Three elements for building a global background screening program 

With many global organisations either growing or dealing with high employee turnover from The Great Resignation, the race to hire top talent is on.

To make matters more complicated, the outline of a company’s global footprint is now blurred by digital transformation and remote working.

Additionally, for many companies, providing a positive hiring experience is a priority, as this could help reduce candidate attrition during the onboarding process. With this in mind, now may be a good time to review your background screening processes to address any pain points in your candidate experience.

While onboarding new talent as quickly as possible is vital in the current employment climate, this can bring additional risks to your organisation if it leads to background checks being pared back, or even omitted entirely because they are perceived as too complex in a global market.

Here are three components we consider essential for any truly global screening program.


1. A consistent candidate experience

The hiring journey does not end with an offer letter. Employers know that background screening helps to reduce your company’s employment risk, however, at this stage it is also critical to provide a great candidate experience.

According Michael Tang, an account director who supports HireRight APAC customers, proactive and transparent around the screening process is key for a smooth candidate experience.

He said: “Prior to the screening process, candidates should receive an email from their employer or their employer’s screening provider with a full rundown of what to expect.

"They should also be informed about which documents to prepare, and who they can expect to hear from in the process. Fully explaining this beforehand makes the process easier for both the employer and the candidate and can help avoid bumps in the road later in the process.”

In many cases, an experienced screening provider could have screened more candidates than an employer has ever hired and may therefore be able to share insights into common issues candidates may experience during the background screening process.

A screening provider may also offer resources to help employers prepare their candidates for the screening process, such as a summary of candidate frequently asked questions.


2. Global and local account support

Now that your candidates are being looked after, what about your HR teams?

Many organisations may have a headquarters in one location but run background checks in different states, regions, or countries. Trying to understand the complex web of local laws, court systems, cultures, and customs can be major headache for local recruitment teams – this is where global screening providers with local account support can be a big help.   

Guillermo Saldierna, account manager in Latin America at HireRight, said: “One challenge when screening in Latin America is that there are many countries in the region, each with their own public record requirements. 

“Countries have very specific requirements, which can result in longer turnaround times for those that do not fully understand these.” 

Businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC), and North America face similar challenges, with different local languages, cultures, and nuanced screening requirements. Partnering with a screening provider that offers in-region account support and understands the local nuances that can impact screening can help take much of this stress away.


3. Local compliance expertise

With different countries, states, provinces, cities, or other localities often having their own laws around certain topics (e.g., data privacy), keeping up to date with the latest compliance changes impacting employment and background screening can also be a major challenge for HR professionals.

Caroline Smith, VP deputy general counsel, International at HireRight, said: “Employers hiring individuals from different countries or with international backgrounds need to be aware of any local laws that could impact their screening program. 

“For instance, in Poland, criminal record checks are only permissible for employers in the Financial Services sector, and global sanction checks are only allowed if they are considered ‘fair and proportional’ to the role.

"Employers should work with their screening provider to help them determine not only which checks are lawful, but also which checks can best help to mitigate the risks their business is most concerned with.”  



A truly global screening program is one that can accommodate candidates who may have lived, studied, or worked in different worldwide locations. By opening their international doors, employers can search farther and wider to onboard the best talent. But global recruitment can be complicated.

Employers should work closely with a global screening company that has proven experience and the capability to help navigate regional or local complexities.


Find out more about how the current global recruitment climate is impacting background screening here.


Peter Cleverton is managing director for EMEA at HireRight.