How to Do Employee Background Checks: A Thorough Guide to the Background Check Process

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How To Confidently Conduct Employment Background Checks In The Philippines

Make the best hiring decisions once you learn how to do a background check on your applicants. Going through this process will help you thoroughly determine whether a candidate you are evaluating will be a good fit for your company’s already-established culture or not. This is also one of the most effective ways of mitigating risks regarding your company.

Through a background check process, you will be able to verify the details listed in an applicant’s resume, such as their employment history and educational background. Validating these data can help you in assessing whether the individual qualifies for the open position. Cross-checking the information will also help you determine if the applicant is truthful, which is an important value each of your employees should have.

Additionally, conducting an employment background check for candidates in the Philippines will help you learn about their prior criminal records and credit history. Knowing these can help you avoid hiring individuals who can cause your company bad publicity, financial losses, legal damages, and even bankruptcy.

Why is the Background Check Process Important?

A 2018 report from and the National Association of Background Screeners showed that 95 percent of employers conduct background checks, but only 60 percent do so as part of their standard hiring process. And while 86 percent do this to protect their customers and other employees, there are other vital reasons to do it, such as:

  • Improving the quality of hires – With background checks, you can filter out the resumes with fraudulent, exaggerated, and misrepresented information. This can narrow down your selection to those who are genuinely right for the job. This can help your company thrive and maintain or exceed its expectations with an additional employee.
  • Safety and Security – For the sake of your clients, your employees, and your company’s reputation, you want to avoid bad hires that threaten the integrity, safety, and security of the company.
  • Decreased Employee Turnover – Bad hires mean a higher turnover rate that could exhaust more resources than necessary for your company. Background checks filter out the bad hires and bring forward the quality candidates that are more likely to stay with your company.

Alternatives to Background Checks

One thing you can do as an alternative to the candidate background check process is to simply trust the applicant and believe whatever they have written on their resume. However, based on what has been discussed above, this is a risky move. You cannot simply trust the information on a candidate’s resume because it can easily be faked.

Another way to learn about an applicant without doing a background check is by relying on databases. However, one problem with this method is that it is not commonly used in the Philippines. Because of this, the information contained on the databases may not be updated and accurate. Furthermore, databases may not even be accessible to most recruiters here in the country.

If you do not have the resources or manpower to conduct a background check for your employment process in the Philippines, you can choose to work with an employment verification company instead. They can help you obtain accurate information about your applicants and properly verify each one of them through the following methods:

  • Education and professional license check
  • Employment verification
  • Criminal record checks
successful background check how to

The Philippine Law on Background Checks

There are no laws under the Philippine Labor Code that prohibit companies and recruiters from conducting background checks on applicants. They are generally legally permissible and may even be a prerequisite of some employers before hiring a candidate as a valid exercise of its management right.

However, companies must still adhere to the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Republic Act. No. 10173), which has specifications that may be applicable in employment background checks in the Philippines. This is implemented by the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

For more information and inquiries about employee background check, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.


How to Do a Background Check Legally

Although you can legally do background checks on your applicants, there are still regulations you and background screening companies should follow. This is to ensure that you are not violating any of the applicant’s rights.

Ask for the Applicant’s Consent

Before starting any collection of the applicant’s personal information, you should first secure consent from them. This is important because processing a person’s sensitive personal data without their approval is prohibited.

What is Considered Sensitive Personal Information?

The following data fall under a person’s sensitive personal information:

  • Information about a person’s race, ethnic origin, marital status, age, color, and religious, philosophical, or political affiliations;
  • Information about a person’s health, education, genetics or sexual life, or any proceeding for any offense committed or alleged to have been committed by the person, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings;
  • Information issued by government agencies peculiar to an individual, which includes, but is not limited to, social security numbers, previous or current health records, licenses or their denials, suspension or revocation, and tax returns; and
  • Information that is specifically established by an executive order or an act of Congress to be kept classified.

If you do not intend on looking into an applicant’s sensitive personal information, you can go on processing their personal data even without securing consent. This can be done if it is necessary or desirable from the perspective of the employer-employee relationship.

However, before you start processing a candidate’s personal information, they should be informed of the following:

  • The description of the personal data to be entered into the system;
  • The purposes for which they are being or will be processed;
  • The basis of processing, when processing is not based on the consent of the data subject;
  • The scope and method of the personal data processing;
  • The recipients or classes of recipients to whom the personal data are or may be disclosed;
  • The methods utilized for automated access, if allowed by the data subject, and the extent to which such access is authorized;
  • The identity and contact details of the personal data controller or its representative;
  • The period for which the information will be stored; and
  • The existence of the employee’s rights as data subjects, including the right to access, correct, and object to the processing, as well as the right to lodge a complaint before the NPC.

Following these regulations will allow you to learn about the candidate you are considering employing and determine if they are trustworthy and are a good fit for your company. Additionally, you can accomplish these without violating the applicant’s rights.

background check interview questions

Only Ask Appropriate Questions

Once you start conducting a background check on your applicant, you should remember to ask only the right questions. You should limit the questions to what you only need to know regarding their employment history. Here is some information that you might want to know about a candidate:

  • Their previous position and job description
  • Their previous salary
  • Their reason for resigning/dismissal

Asking unnecessary questions about an applicant’s employment history might be considered a violation of their privacy, so it is best to stick to the basics.

How Do Recruiters Check an Employee’s Background?

Verify Their Identity

The first step is to ensure your candidate is not committing identity fraud and pretending to be someone else by verifying their identity. In this step, you can use identity card collection and then cross-reference them with primary documents to verify their authenticity.

Check Their Credentials and Licenses

Next, validate the candidate’s credentials listed on their resume. You may contact their former and current employers, universities, licensing bodies, and other professional organizations listed to ensure the information provided is correct.

Find Criminal Records and Sanctions

Uncover relevant criminal records, offenses, sanctions, and other similar incidents that could make them a liability in your company.

In the Philippines, this can be done by providing potential employers with a copy of their NBI Clearance Form, though some additional steps may be taken with other law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the company and everyone involved.

Financial History

Candidates applying for sensitive job positions that handle the company or client’s money often undergo a financial history background. This means looking at the applicant’s existing debts, payment histories, public filings, and overall financial status.

This is necessary for some positions, especially those managing finances. A candidate in financial trouble may be more likely to commit a crime within the employer’s company, so knowing they have a clear background can make them a safer bet in the hiring process.

Employee Verification

Aside from verifying that a candidate was/is an employee in their listed job experiences, there is another part of employee verification. This involves verifying their date of employment, the title held, their reason for termination, and more.

This is important because it identifies the skills and experience that a candidate may be considered for. For example, if a candidate lies about how long they’ve been working for their former employer, then there’s a chance that they do not have the experience that you are looking for. Or, if they are applying for a sensitive position in finance, you may discover that they were terminated because they were proven to have stolen from their former company.

Social Media

There’s a fine line when it comes to performing a background check on social media and just downright snooping. After all, what a person says or does in their personal life should not determine who they are as a professional.

However, there are certain limits an employer is allowed to touch. For instance, if an employee or candidate has set their social media profiles to private, then it would be unethical for an employer or screening company to create a fake account and snoop. But if the accounts were publicly available, then an employer has the right to check on online information that is publicly available to everyone.

While the limits of social media for employees can be a blurry line, what’s vital for an employee background check is when your company can be affected by what they say on social media. For example, if a candidate shows a borderline dangerous attitude, it might suggest aggressive behavior that might not go well in the workplace.

Tips on How To Conduct a Background Check on an Employee in the Philippines

Conducting a background check on an applicant is fairly easy. To improve your process, you should consider doing the following tips:

Treat Each Candidate Equally

Let every individual go through the same application process. This means that every candidate should go through a background check regardless of the position they are applying for. Doing so will help you ensure that every person you hire, whether a senior-level or rank-and-file employee, is trustworthy.

Talk to the Applicant

If you discover any minor and correctible issues regarding an applicant after conducting a background check, you should find the time to tell them. This allows the candidate to clarify your concern before you completely dismiss them or move on to other options.

Industries Where the Employee Background Check Process is Crucial

  • Business Process Outsourcing – The BPO industry in the Philippines is fast-paced, and there are certain business operations that require highly trustworthy individuals. BPO employees need to be trusted with client information and sensitive data (e.g. addresses, account numbers, etc.)
  • Financial Sector – This applies to both candidates applying for a business in the finance sector, as well as those applying to finance departments of businesses in any industry. Hiring dishonest people poses huge risks to both the client and the company’s assets.
  • Shipping – Employees in the logistics industry are responsible for transporting cargo and valuable goods, so background checks ensure that they can be trusted with safeguarding and transporting these goods.
  • Education – In the education sector, credentials are a must, and work and academic experience cannot be overstated. Background checks can help academic institutions avoid fraudulent candidates.

Work With the Experts in Employee Background Checks

To ensure that the results you obtain from a background check are accurate and relevant, it is best to work with a team experienced in providing job verification services. Get in touch with us today to learn more.