Background Screening in the Middle East

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No industry sector is immune from the damages of a negative brand reputation, so running proper employment screening is key in the hiring process. In our experience, the key to effective background screening in the Middle East is a technology-first approach paired with in-region support.

For more than 29 years Credence Background Screening, an established international screening organisation, has helped companies and governments mitigate risk and maintain compliance with thorough background check services. Our dedicated team of screening analysts are multilingual, including Arabic speakers, and are knowledgeable about cultural norms and practices and regional laws and regulations so firms can maximise the benefits of background screening in line with local guidelines.

The Value of Background Screening

Background screening in the Middle East provides valuable insights for employers when evaluating potential hires. It enables employers to assess the trustworthiness and capabilities of candidates, protecting their company’s reputation by identifying individuals with criminal records, financial issues, or other warning signs that may affect job performance. Additionally, comprehensive screening helps mitigate legal risks by ensuring the hiring of individuals who are legally authorised to work in the country and possess the required qualifications. This is particularly important in industries such as financial services where compliance with professional standards and statutory requirements is crucial.

To stay effective, background check vendors must remain updated on the diverse and evolving laws. Reputable vendors should explain how they stay current with industry regulations and promptly inform clients of any relevant legal changes.

Background Screening in the Middle East

Background screening in the Middle East for new hiring isn’t mandated by laws, but it’s also not restricted. Despite relatively few employers currently conducting background checks (in North America over 92% of employers rely on them), employee screening plays a crucial role in safeguarding brand reputation, ensuring compliance with industry regulations, and reducing the risk of fraud. A 2021 study by Experian, a data analytics company based in Australia, revealed that over 45% of businesses in India experienced an increase in fraud during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the growing trend of a geographically mobile and diverse workforce, a globalized background screening strategy is becoming increasingly necessary.

Implementing employee screening measures can greatly benefit companies that recruit from global talent pools. Currently, at least 90% of private sector jobs in the Middle East are held by foreigners. Employers need to conduct proper background screening to gain a comprehensive understanding of the individuals they are hiring. However, it is important to collaborate with regulatory compliance experts who can provide guidance on navigating legal considerations, including individual privacy laws and employment regulations that apply to non-residents.

Employers need to conduct proper screening to gain a comprehensive understanding of the individuals they are hiring. However, it’s important to collaborate with regulatory compliance experts who can provide guidance on navigating legal considerations, including individual privacy laws and employment regulations that apply to non-residents.

Navigating Regional Challenges for Global Screening

Employers facing the task of background screening in the Middle East encounter specific challenges that require careful consideration. A significant obstacle is the absence of standardized background screening practices across various countries in the region. This lack of uniformity, not unlike other regions, can pose difficulties for employers and inexperienced vendors when navigating diverse regulations and customs. Consequently, it may result in inconsistencies in the quality and accuracy of screening outcomes.

To address these challenges, Credence uses a technology-driven approach to criminal record checks, employment and education verification, and credit checks

Criminal Record Checks

Criminal record checks play a vital role in the Middle East when it comes to hiring foreign nationals. The importance of conducting these checks lies in ensuring the safety and security of the region, protecting both the local population and the reputation of businesses and organizations operating there. Criminal record checks help identify any past criminal activities or convictions and enable employers to make more informed hiring decisions to mitigate the potential risks associated with hiring individuals with a propensity for illegal activities, fraud, or other harmful behaviours.

Our online background check services use automated processes and algorithms to search, analyze, and compile relevant data. These processes swiftly scan vast amounts of information and extract the necessary details, significantly reducing the time required to generate results. We also consolidate information from multiple databases into a single online report. This eliminates the need for manual searches across different systems, streamlining the process and expediting result generation.

Employment and Education Verification

Our own analysis of 55,000 CVs corroborates that people routinely embellish their work and educational history. Given this, it’s integral that organisations in highly digitized industries use the right verification services to protect themselves from employment application fraud. Certain industries, such as healthcare, education, finance, and security, often handle sensitive information, deal with vulnerable populations, and require individuals with high levels of trust and integrity. Conducting employment and education verification checks helps employers in these sectors meet industry standards and ensure the safety and well-being of their stakeholders.

Our approach combines automation to speed up the administration and online records retrieval, which can often retrieve digital copies of public records and documents, eliminating the need for manual document retrieval or waiting for physical copies to be processed. This further speeds up the overall process.

Credit Check

Credit checks provide valuable insights into an individual’s financial history and behavior. A credit check may help assess an individual’s ability to manage their personal finances, handle debts, and meet financial obligations. This can be particularly important for positions that involve handling company finances, access to sensitive financial information, or positions of trust. A credit check may also provide information about an individual’s integrity and trustworthiness. Employers want to ensure that their employees are honest, reliable, and unlikely to engage in fraudulent activities. A poor credit history or patterns of financial irresponsibility may raise concerns about a candidate’s trustworthiness.

Finally, in sectors such as banking, finance, insurance, or any industry dealing with financial transactions, credit checks are often mandated by regulatory bodies. Compliance with these regulations is crucial to ensure that candidates meet the necessary criteria and are fit for roles involving financial responsibilities.

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Another key area where we excel is user experience. We understand the importance of a streamlined and intuitive interface for customers and candidates. All our background checks are delivered on a platform that’s easy to navigate, saving time and improving efficiency for both employers and candidates. Recognizing the growing trend of mobile usage in today’s fast-paced world, our mobile-friendly solutions enable employers and candidates to conveniently access and manage background screening processes on the go, further enhancing the user experience and efficiency.

Better Background Checks for the Middle East

The decision to conduct background checks should always comply with applicable laws and regulations, including data privacy and employment laws. Credence is a trusted partner for organizations seeking reliable background screening in the Middle East. Our account managers have extensive experience supporting a wide range of employers from many business sectors, and are particularly experienced in supporting multinational corporations hiring internationally.

Every case is owned by one of our expert analysts from start to finish, which means our employer clients can speak directly to the analyst working on a specific case for quick, expedient case management. This model also facilitates a single point of contact for candidates. 

Click here to request a quote for a customised background screening program from one of our experts.