Last Updated on April 3, 2023
Your organization deserves to hire the best employees. But it isn’t easy to know if a candidate is telling the truth about their personal information.
The consequences of hiring employees who aren’t what they presented themselves to be during their interviews could be severe. It can lead to poor performance, loss of revenue, and even legal issues.
This could harm your organization’s reputation, which can be challenging to recover from in the long run.
To avoid all these, you must know how to conduct background checks correctly.
This article lists the several types of background checks that can be conducted. It also shares tips to help you conduct background checks effectively and lawfully while protecting your applicants’ rights.
Legal Considerations for Background Checks in the Philippines
First, it’s essential to know the legality of doing background checks in the country, starting with The Data Privacy Act (DPA) of 2012.
It’s s the primary law governing personal information collection, use, and disclosure in the Philippines.
The DPA requires organizations to obtain the consent of the individuals whose data they are collecting and to protect that data against unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Failure to comply with the DPA can result in significant penalties and legal consequences.
That means background checks in the Philippines are legal as long as they observe DPA.
Types of Background Checks in the Philippines
A potential employee background check reviews an applicant’s professional and personal records.
The records you must obtain about the candidate, however, depend on the kind of information you’re looking for.
That said, organizations can perform several background checks in the Philippines:
Criminal Records Check
Criminal background checks provide information on an applicant’s criminal history, including any convictions or charges they may have incurred.
This information helps employers ensure the safety and security of their workplace. You can avoid hiring candidates with a history of criminal activity that may threaten their company, colleagues, or clients.
To conduct a criminal records check, employers can obtain the necessary information from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or the Philippine National Police (PNP). They will provide a certificate of clearance or criminal records that show the applicant’s criminal history (if there is one).
Employment History Verification
Employment verification is a process of confirming an applicant’s past employment.
You can then contact the applicant’s previous employers to verify their employment dates, job titles, and responsibilities.
This employment background check type can help employers identify discrepancies in the applicant’s job application and ensure that the applicant has the necessary experience and skills.
Read up on how long background checks take in the Philippines.
This potential employee background check runs down an applicant’s educational qualifications. It ensures that the applicant is qualified for the position they are applying for.
To conduct an education verification, employers can contact the educational institutions where the applicant obtained their degree or certification.
The institution will provide information such as the dates of attendance, the degree or certification obtained, and any academic honors or distinctions.
Character References Check
A character references check involves obtaining feedback from individuals who know the applicant, such as former colleagues or supervisors, to assess the applicant’s personality, work ethic, and behavior.
Contact the individuals listed as references by the applicant. Ask questions about the applicant’s work style, strengths, weaknesses, and ability to work in a team.
Their answers to your questions can provide valuable insights into the applicant’s character and suitability for the job.
Credit History Check
A credit history check involves reviewing an applicant’s credit report to assess their financial stability and responsibility. This background check type is crucial for positions requiring money or financial information handling.
To obtain information for a credit history check, organizations must obtain written consent from the candidate and then request a credit report from a credit reporting agency, such as TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax.
Social Media Check
A social media check involves reviewing the candidate’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms.
This employment screening check can reveal information not included in the candidate’s application and relevant for assessing their suitability for specific jobs.
For example, if the candidate’s personal and professional interests, opinions, and behavior are not in line with your company’s culture, consider not hiring them.
Tips for Conducting an Effective and Lawful Background Check
Conducting employee background checks is crucial to ensuring that your organization is hiring the best candidates while also ensuring its safety.
However, it’s important to conduct these checks lawfully and effectively. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Obtain written consent from the applicant
Before conducting a background check, you must obtain the applicant’s written consent. This consent must be obtained separately from the employment application and clearly explain what information will be obtained and how it will be used. This is a legal requirement under the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Use reputable sources for information
When conducting a background check, it’s important to use reputable sources for information. This may include government agencies, educational institutions, previous employers, or professional associations. Using reputable sources will help ensure the information obtained is accurate and reliable. This way, you can deliberate whether to accept or reject an applicant.
Follow all applicable laws and regulations
Following all applicable laws and regulations is important when conducting employment background checks. This includes complying with the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012, which sets out strict guidelines for collecting, using, and disclosing personal information.
Maintain confidentiality of information
Background check information is sensitive and must be kept confidential. Only individuals with a legitimate need to know should be given access to this information.
Additionally, all information obtained during the background check should be kept secure to prevent unauthorized access.
Be consistent in the application of background check policies
It’s essential to be consistent in the application of background check policies. This means conducting background checks on all candidates in the same manner, using the same sources of information, and applying the same criteria for disqualifying candidates.
Provide candidates with an opportunity to dispute any inaccurate information
If you find inaccurate information in the background report you received, provide the candidate an opportunity to dispute the data. This may involve allowing them to provide additional information or documentation to refute the inaccurate information. This helps ensure that candidates are not unfairly disqualified based on incorrect information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I conduct a background check on an applicant without their consent?
No, you must obtain the applicant’s consent before conducting a pre-employment background check. Failure to obtain permission can result in legal consequences and penalties.
What information can I obtain from a criminal records check?
A criminal records check can reveal an applicant’s past convictions or charges, including details such as the nature of the offense, the date of the trust or order, and the sentence imposed.
Can I use social media to conduct a background check on an applicant?
Yes, social media can be a valuable source of information for conducting a background screening. However, it’s important to be mindful of the applicant’s privacy and to use only publicly available information.
By following the legal requirements and guidelines in the Philippines, a pre-employment background check ensures that companies hire the best candidates for their open positions and maintain a safe work environment.
Also, by using reliable sources of information and being thorough in their investigation, organizations can make informed hiring decisions that benefit both the company and the employee.
Now, if you don’t have time to develop an internal team to conduct the background check process, you can hire someone to do it for you.
We at The Spy Experts are a background check company with years of experience helping organizations who wish to screen candidates first before moving on with their applications.
Our background check services ensure you receive all the information you need regarding your applicants. You can then cross-reference the data with the requirements they submitted to you to see if they’re telling you the truth.
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