American population demography is racially and ethnically more diverse than in the past. Despite the recent Trump-triggered anti-globalization and protectionism centric shifts, PEW Research Center studies show that over the next 5 decades, majority of US population is projected to be linked to new Asian and Hispanic immigration. Asians are expected to become the largest immigrant group surpassing the Hispanics.
An international workforce in US also brings with it people related risks. This calls for a thorough global background check on the candidates and employees. US based Human Resources might not have the necessary knowledge on the international background checks and the complexities relating to regulations, personal data privacy, compliances and cultural nuances. As a founder of Avvanz, an employee lifecycle management company headquartered out of Asia with global presence, one of our core businesses is conducting reference checks and background checks and we are increasingly seeing US based companies reaching out to us and tapping on our Avvanz ScreenGlobal platform. There is a clear need for them to conduct stringent background checks and hence the necessity for a reliable background screening service that has to be convenient and easy to use. When surveyed about ScreenGlobal, they like the ala-carte way of viewing, selecting and ordering the checks by country as all the subjects who need to be screened have very diverse backgrounds adding to the complexity of the background screening process.
Platform aside, Human Resources in some of our US client organizations are confused between “Criminal Checks” and “Background Checks”. If Criminal Check cannot be conducted in a particular country, say in Asia, they think the entire background screening cannot be undertaken there as well. Thence, the display of countries where the particular check can be done (in a dropdown menu form) in Avvanz ScreenGlobal. Country specific information for every check is also displayed here.
In Avvanz, we also get requests from our US clients to conduct checks on subjects — “immigrant” candidates, employees in their international offices, stakeholders of potential JV or Merger companies — without getting their signed Letter of Consent. This is probably due to the confusion between background screening and private investigation work. As a standard practice, regardless of whether the country in concern has data privacy laws or data protection acts or not, signed Letter of Consent is a MUST. Moreover, the Letter of Consent must be comprehensive covering all parties who will be accessing the subjects’ data.
As US organizations leverage global workforce, compliance, security and HR professionals must strengthen their background screening or checks to ensure a safe and secure workplace. This is critical to enhance their people assets while mitigating risks.