What is a Candidate?
The candidate is the person being evaluated for employment, and is the one that will be screened. As the person most capable of providing accurate information, the candidate is the most important person in the process.
Why are you being checked?
That you have become a subject of screening is positive; it means that you are a candidate for employment or a contract. You are of course not being selected for screening because you are questionable or suspicious, but because the company wants to protect their processes, and have screening as one of their criteria for employment.
The business may have requested a background check of several reasons:
- Requirements in their policies and instructions
- Orders or wishes of clients and partners
- Government requirments for certain responsibilities / functions
As a candidate you can surely have your opinions about a background check. But remember what the purpose is before you stamp it as nonsense, unnecessary or bothersome. Arguments that you should not be screened because you’re too important or do not have time only proves that you are not a viable candidate.
You will be informed in advance
If you are contacted by someone for a background check without you being informed, you should refuse to participate. The company has a special responsibility to inform you clearly and on time. If background checks are outsourced to an external partner, it is still the company’s responsibility to inform you about what is going to happen.
You will know what elements that will be screened before you give a consent. Click here to see what information that is possible to check.
You must consent
You must consent to a background check for the process to start. You’ve probably got a form to fill out, sign and return. No one can be forced to consent, and without your consent the process is closed (or more correct: it is not even initiated).
If you choose to consent, you have several rights:
- The right of access, rectification and erasure
- The right to know who will use the information
- The right to know what information will be used to
- The right to opt out or giving clear limitations
- Possibility to withdraw consent when you want
The requirements for consent are governed by laws and regulations, and although there are differences from country to country, there is a broad international consensus on the candidate’s rights.
How long does a consent last?
The consent you give is only valid for this one process, and can not be used by anyone, neither the business you are seeking employment with nor the Company who performs the background check.
Since the background check is a process of limited duration, the duration / validity should also be mentioned on the form you sign. Normally such a document does not need to be valid beyond 2-3 months, as there is maximum time on how long a screening process may take.
You must document your background
A background check uses the same documents as you normally show when applying for a job, but you may also be asked about other documentation eg. identity document (passport / driving license).
Remember that YOU are the main character. You know your own story best, and know what is right. Therefore, you might be contacted throughout the process to prepare, assist or otherwise ensure that the background check can be completed. If this is something that you do not want, please notify the hiring company or make a comment on the consent form.
- Look over your CV with critical eyes; Remember that others will evaluate your information
- Vague or incomplete information affects the result of a background check accordingly
- Make sure to be specific, complete and accurate
- Keep available electronic versions of relevant documents
What is a Client?
The Client is the one you are in dialogue with, the one you have applied to for a job or has recruited you. The client is the one who needs and orders a background check. It is often HR within a business, or a recruitment partner / staffing agency that does this on behalf of HR.
What is a Caseworker / Screener?
A caseworker / Screener is the one responsible for realizing the background check. A screener performs the searches in automated databases and contacts all relevant sources, and is the one who has the overview of you and your documentation.
This of course is a person who Meditor has screened before hiring, and who is competent to do a thorough and proper job and available to answer any questions you may have.
What is a Source?
A source is the author and lawful owner of the information, but it can also be an external 3rd party that accesses and manages such information on behalf of the owner.
A university may be the source when checking education, a company may be the source when checking employment, and an online service can be the source when making inquiries in automated databases / archives.
A background check is cloud-based
Recruitment occurs globally, and companies hire candidates from all over the world. That is also why background screening companies hire screeners of different nationalities.
The process and implementation is still according to Norwegian law, we follow the Norwegian / European rules on privacy (they are almost identical) and under strict quality control. Information and documents are shared in Microsoft Azure, one of the most secure cloud solutions, where everything that happens is encrypted. No unauthorized person has access to your information or documents.
Who uses the information?
A background check usually finishes with results presented in some kind of report. This report is used as a supplement to tests, interviews and other evaluation criteria the company uses, allowing them to make better decisions.
Either they do the background check themselves or they outsource to a professional partner (a background screening company). The information you receive should clearly state who processes your information.
Your information (content of your CV and relevant attachments) is submitted to the sources. They receive copies of the documentation you have provided, match this against their own archives and records, in order to confirm the origin and validity.
Communication with sources is done by telephone, fax, email or online systems, and the method is often determined by the source itself.
Filing of results
If you are employed the results are filed with the company, just like any other personal documentation. However, if you are not employed, the company has no valid reason to retain the results of a background check.
As the results are stored only with the company, that’s who you need to contact if you want a copy of the report. A background screening company has no interest in you as a candidate after the process is completed, and retains no documents or personal information.
See here (in Norwegian) what the Norwegian Data Inspectorate says about storage of screening results.