How the Sausage is Made: What Really Goes Into Global Screening


How the Sausage is Made: What Really Goes Into Global Screening


What actually goes into different screening services globally, such as verifications, criminal records, etc., can vary a lot from country to country and vendor to vendor. Historically, consumers of these services often took them at face value with little diligence done on them. However, as the importance of conducting robust screening has increased, there has been an increased desire to actually understand how the sausage is made.

This 4-week blog series is focused on explaining what can make up different background screening searches globally and why they vary. The ultimate goal is to make you an educated consumer of global background screening, so that you can make informed decisions in selecting, using, and selling these services.

The goal is NOT to explore compliance issues or tell you which services you should or should not use.

Week 1
We will start off this series looking at factors impacting what actually go into a specific search.

A multitude of factors can impact what actually goes into a specific search. These variations can occur between different vendors, from country to country, and sometimes even within a specific country.

Knowledge of vendor in that particular region
Nobody can be a specialist everywhere. Some vendors have more experience and knowledge in certain areas and regions than others. This can be due to where they have office locations, where their customers are located, or where their staff has worked before.

If a particular country or region is important for you, perhaps because you are winning more business there or want to expand, it is important to ensure that your vendor can support you in that area. They should be able provide you with answers on local laws and regulations, what common practice is, and what the local flavors are for each search.

Local language abilities
For some searches, local language capabilities are not always important. However, for many searches, language skills can be critical to conducting a quality check. For example, when conducting verifications, some providers will always attempt a first call in English, while others may always try to use the local language. Depending on your needs, either one could be appropriate. A vendor doing calls in English might be sufficient if all you are trying to do is confirm that the person did graduate or that they worked at the company. However, if you are concerned with verifying critical skills or experience, ensuring that nothing is ‘lost in translation’ can be very important. In this case, a vendor conducting calls in the local language might be very important.

Which country’s laws apply
In theory, the laws and regulations of multiple countries could apply to a specific search. For example, if a U.S. resident who went to university in the UK is applying for a job in Singapore, the laws of all 3 countries could apply. In actual practice, compliance reviews and decisions are often made based on certain assumptions that all of the information is being sourced and used in the specific country. In the example before, if the customer wanted to conduct a criminal check, a legal review might only review the specific laws in Singapore in providing recommendations. However, taking into account the additional complexity of the multiple country regulations involved may result in differing conclusions about what services are offered and how.

Next week, we will start looking at search types.

Andy Hellman – VP, Special Projects

Andy runs ClearStar’s special projects group, focused on delivering industry-leading, innovative solutions for ClearStar’s customers. Andy brings over two decades of experience to this role in organizations ranging from venture-backed startups to Fortune 100s, including over a decade in background screening. Prior roles include running the business analytics team for ChoicePoint and the Global Screening business for LexisNexis. His international experience includes study abroad in Japan, working for an Italian technology company in Milan and working for LexisNexis in London while managing teams in London, Chicago and Singapore. He has a BA in International Economics and Leadership Studies, and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship. He also holds CIPP/E and CIPM certifications.


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