Pre-pandemic, global workforce mobility was an increasing trend. The demand for skilled workers had put employers on a hunt worldwide. According to a Finaccord research study, the total number of expatriates worldwide amounted to around 66.2 million in 2017 – which is 0.77% of the total global population. This figure had grown at a compound annual rate of 5.8% since 2013. By 2018 the global expatriate population had reached 66.2m and was predicted to rise to 87.5 million by 2021. And as of today, according to The Expat Survey, 232 million people are living outside of their nation of origin.

According to HSBC Annual Survey 2020

Finaccord forecasted that the number would reach around 87.5 million by 2021. Fast forward to today, COVID-19 is creating a new reality. The pandemic has an enormous impact on workers’ mobility across borders, mainly due to strict limitations on international travel. Many businesses have shifted to online modalities, recruiting nationally and preparing for safe and fair recruitment practices once travel restrictions are lifted. None of us could have anticipated the challenges of 2020 brought about by the global pandemic. The impact on global mobility has been significant, with lockdowns and ongoing travel and immigration restrictions affecting the majority of markets around the world. The latest HSBC 2020 report with 40 countries participating

The implementation of remote working is broader and deeper than most organisations realise. To be successful in the long term, a structured approach is needed and a significant investment to change corporate culture.

Overseas recruitment 

We understand the complexities and requirements businesses face with overseas recruitment and the need for international employee vetting to ensure your candidates meet the job-specific requirements.

COVID-19 changed how your workforce is working. 

The odds are good that the pool of top candidates for an open position may include someone from a foreign country. Along with making sure that person is right to go in terms of the documentation needed to live and work in the U.S., do you run an international employment background check in addition to a domestic one? What about a criminal background check? How about a credit check?

The answer to all is yes, especially if your candidate has recently relocated to this country. You need to verify that the information on his or her resume is accurate, and be informed about his or her criminal past, just like you would for any other candidate.

The good news? Verifying education and references internationally are both relatively straightforward. For education verification, a phone call to the schools the candidate claims to have attended will do the trick, although some schools will only allow the student to request those records. Similarly, a phone call or email to the listed reference is usually all that’s needed. However, the language barrier can be a significant stumbling block in both cases.

Unfortunately, conducting an international background screening is a complicated matter, and without the capabilities, you will face a tangle of bureaucracy and red tape. Here’s why international background screening is difficult without experts:

No Global Database

In this age of big data, smart everything, and increasing concerns about national security, you’d think there would be one central, global database where people could check, at the very least, a candidate’s criminal history. There isn’t. To run any pre-employment screening internationally, you need to contact the candidate’s country of origin.

Each Country Has Its Own Rules

Country rules vary in storing and releasing data about its citizens. Where to go to get the information varies, too. You can work through their embassy in Washington, D.C, for some countries. For others, you must request the data from the country directly. Some prohibit U.S. companies from obtaining records, and some have endless hoops to jump through and a mountain of red tape to untangle. And the documentation you need to provide to get the records varies by country. Photographs, fingerprints, parents’ names, birth certificates, proof that the candidate applied for a job at your company — the variations are seemingly endless. It’s no mystery to see why it will take a while, up to 20 days or more if you get any information at all.

Employment information Won’t Be Uniform.

If you’ve run a successful employment background check on a candidate from a specific country before, don’t expect to get the same results again. Why? In many cases, it’s up to the employer to decide whether to release any information.

Credit Score? What Credit Score?

Each country has its way of reporting credit and debt. While some are similar to the U.S., others don’t keep those sorts of records at all, and still, others have their own rules about who can and can’t get access to that information.

Bottom line, the value of remote working, now and after the crisis

Remote working is an opportunity for your organisation to work more sustainably and reap the medium to long term benefits. With less office space, less commuting, fewer business trips, shorter breaks, greater focus from employees and fewer short absences due to illness. However, it is more important than ever to run background, employment, and credit checks to make informed, solid hiring decisions. Still, the process is difficult and time-consuming if you’re dealing with another country, leaving you with a vacant position for longer than you had planned. This is the time to call in the pros.

CRI® Group Employee Background Checks

Employee background checks, also known as EmploySmart™, is a robust new pre-employment background screening service certified for BS7858 to avoid negligent hiring liabilities. We are a leading worldwide provider, specialising in local and international employee background checks, including pre-employment and post-employment background checks. Ensure a safe work environment for all – EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company.

How do you know the candidate you just offered a role to is ideal? Are you 100% sure you know that everything they’re telling you is the truth? 90%? They showed you a diploma; how do you know it’s not photoshopped? Did you follow the correct laws during your background checks process? Employee background checks and necessary screenings are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales within HR, your business, or even your brand – simply investing in a sufficient screening can save you time, money and heartbreak.


CRI® Employee Background Checks are an investigation into a person’s character – inside and outside their professional lives. Some checks you probably already carry out in-house, such as candidate’s qualifications (documents provided), work history (with a reference check), right to work in the country and even a quick social media presence scan.

However, we provide a full in-depth background screening service for candidates and employees at all levels – from senior executives through to shop-floor employees:

  • Address Verification (Physical Verification)
  • Identity Verification
  • Previous Employment Verification
  • Education & Credential Verification
  • Local Language Media Check
  • Credit Verification & Financial History (where publicly available)
  • Compliance & Regulatory Check
  • Civil Litigation Record Check
  • Bankruptcy Record Check
  • International Criminal Record Check
  • Integrity Due Diligence
  • and more.