Background check involves checking the information provided by the client on the data subject such as family, educational/professional background, and previous employment, among others, to determine whether the information provided by the data subject are truthful and accurate. [NPC – PPO Advisory Opinion No. 2021-010]
Background checks in the Philippines are typically done after the initial interviews and tests when the applicant becomes a candidate for hire. This are being conducted by many of the country’s largest employers including but not limited to banking institutions, financial services firms, insurance companies, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, technology companies as part of their standard hiring process.
In the Philippines, no law prohibits companies and recruiters from conducting background checks on applicants. This became a prerequisite of some employers before hiring a candidate. However, companies must adhere to the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10173) which provides guidelines for the preservation of personal data collected by public and private entities. This is created and implemented by the National Privacy Commission.
What can employers learn from a background check?
Since some applicants often exaggerate or falsify their academic accomplishments on their applications, this becomes a standard for companies to conduct thorough verifications to confirm the validity of the details.
Educational verifications include the name of the institution, degree information, date of attendance, and graduation date. Employers can also verify an applicant’s transcript of records, college diplomas, or certificates earned.
Professional License check will verify the status of the applicant, whether he/she has been licensed, any occurrence of restrictions or violations in the previous workplace, and whether the license is in good standing, has expired or has been revoked. This verification is ideal for medical professionals, educators, certified public accountants (CPA), and attorneys.
An applicant may also falsify information regarding their previous job title, job start and end dates, salary, job duties and professional experience. Looking into an applicant’s past work can reveal his/her conduct, job stability and loyalty to employers.
Conducting this check can provide valuable background about a potential employee’s work habits, attitude, and integrity.
An applicant’s criminal history can be cleared or verified by way of a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance. This document will provide information of any criminal cases that have reached the Municipal Trial Court and Regional Trial Court Civil Litigation or Court Case.
The lawfulness of the basic information of the candidate indicated such as his/her complete name, addresses, contact details.
An applicant may also falsify information regarding their previous job title, salary and professional experience. Employers may verify the employment history of applicants to confirm the work experience, professional background and appropriate work experience required for the position.
An applicant’s current residential address will be checked.
An applicant shall be checked at the Clearance and Certification Section of BI whether he/she is involved in a criminal case.
The Philippines Police Certificate issued by the NBI is often referred to as an NBI Certificate, NBI Check or NBI Clearance. Checking the applicant’s NBI shall alert employers of any records with individual courts. These are common for employment or Visa purposes.
A thorough background check can also investigate an applicant’s credit history. This record can indicate how responsible an applicant is when it comes to managing finances, especially when paying off debt.
This is aimed to verify an individual’s potential involvement in private companies as a director or a shareholder.
Employers shall be assisted to verify an applicant’s eligibility for government benefits.
Character references provide employers with first-hand accounts of how applicants work, and how their former colleagues and superiors relate with them. The applicant’s references are best utilized by understanding their relationship as former coworkers, which will put impressions of the applicant’s performance, strengths, and weaknesses into the better perspective.
Drug tests can either clear an applicant of any illegal drug or substance abuse or alert employers of a potentially risky hire.
Tips for background checking
Although employers may legally conduct background checks, there are still regulations that must be followed to ensure that no violation against the applicant’s right is done.
Be consistent when doing a background check on all your candidates, regardless of the position they are applying for. Treat each candidate equally.
Before starting any verification process of the applicant’s personal information, you should first secure his/her consent. It is best practice to consider acquiring a signed consent prior to the conduct of a background check. However, consent is not necessarily required for Criminal Background Checks.
Social media can reveal a lot about an applicant’s personality, interests, and quirks, but it should not be used as a definitive or exhaustive indicator of their professional character.
Always exercise fairness and equal opportunity. Avoid bias based on personal lifestyle and religious and/or political affiliations, especially when reviewing social media accounts. Be careful not to invade people’s privacy, as well.
In case any minor and reasonable concern appears through the background check, find time to talk to the applicant. Clarify the issue or concern before dismissing the applicant and moving on to other options.
Whether you’re hiring new employees, or you already have personnel coming in, Filepino will help you make sure that you have the right people in place. Get in touch with us to learn more.