Background verification & Employment Screening in Ireland

Hiring the right candidate for your business is filled with trial and error. Your hunt for the perfect candidate goes beyond the polished résumés and scripted answers. To hire a better fit for your business, you must have a pre-screening and approval procedure that would help you zero in on the right candidate.

The Irish employees' laws and benefits remain the same for both native Irish employees and ex-pats. Additionally, employees are unilaterally protected by the Irish labor law as long as they work within the country.

Hiring a person does not end with finding the right candidate and getting him on board. It is a successful process only if the candidate performs the job as expected. The company spends time, effort, and money acquiring the candidate, training them, making them job-ready, and firing them for being a misfit is burdensome.

This is why an employee background verification in Ireland is one area employers cannot dispense.

What Is Employment Background Verification?

Background verification is an activity of vetting applicants during the hiring process. Selected candidates are put through a screening process to check if the information they provided is correct or not. 

Employment background checks include authentication of all the information provided by the candidates. Since resumes are a compilation of the historical data carefully gathered by the concerned individual, employment verification becomes a crucial hiring stage, especially for critical positions.

This process can be done through various methods ranging from physical or in-person verification to verification of documents online through government portals. 

For the documents available online, the verification is done online, and for the papers that are not available online, employers can adopt in-person verification.

Employment background verification consists of checking various areas of the employees, starting with their identity, educational and employment information, credit information, etc.

Benefits of Background Checks in Ireland

Here’s why screening your candidates is beneficial to your organization:

Adds more value to your hiring: Hiring is a process that involves a lot of time and effort from many people in the organization. Protecting the process with a layer of checks will ensure that the process is fruitful and involves fewer nasty surprises.

Helps with finding better employee fit: Every organization wants that perfect fit for the job during its hiring process. If an employee does not have a skill but shows interest in learning is highly preferred to be hired. But the background check is the step that provides long-term security to the organization from wrong hiring.

Helps to eliminate candidates with false information: Employers can assess the candidates through resumes and in-person interviews. But any information concealed by the employees cannot be known by the organization and thus cannot assess the risk posed by the candidate hired. Since candidates tailor resumes, there are chances that the information furnished is incomplete or false.

Eliminates candidates with criminal records: Employee background checks ensure that the candidates do not have a criminal past or that the candidates furnish falsified information. When this happens, not only does the candidate risk termination, but the employer becomes liable for their unlawful actions.

Are Employee Background Checks Legal in Ireland?

Ireland has a firm policy of protecting the rights and privacy of citizens and non-citizens alike. Data protection is controlled by the Data Protection Act of 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003. 

The following principles of the data privacy law must be adhered to during the background verification process:

  • ~Informing the candidates about the pre-employment checks
  • ~Getting the consent of the candidates to perform the background checks
  • ~Keeping the purpose of background verification explicit
  • ~Safeguarding the information obtained during the background verification process
  • ~Procuring only the information that is relevant to the verification process
  • ~Holding the candidate’s information only for the period of verification and not beyond
  • ~Maintaining transparency in the verification process and letting the candidate have the verified information

This helps the employers to perform background checks while staying compliant with the GDPR norms.

Note: It is illegal to force a candidate to undergo a background verification process when they are unwilling to consent. The organization must ensure that the data procured is maintained with security and confidentiality until the information is safely disposed.

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Ireland

Employment background checks in Ireland generally comprise the following components.

Employment History

This is a crucial aspect of the pre-employment screening process in Ireland. 
This process is necessary to authenticate the experience level mentioned by the candidate during the selection process. Employment verification includes checking the relevant experience and ensuring that the candidate has the correct information about the previous employers.

Educational History

Verifying the candidate's educational background will ensure that the candidate is the right fit for the job description. This check involves demonstrating the candidate's ability to handle tasks in the respective subject matter area concerned. Verification of the candidate's educational background consists in checking the certificates provided and the schools mentioned.

Criminal records

Past criminal records verification is necessary during every hire. A candidate without any criminal implications is the fuss-free choice of every company. A candidate with a criminal past is generally not preferred by the organization that deals with delicate high-risk jobs such as finance or treasury domains. 
In Ireland, as per the data privacy act, the criminal records of a person are considered a private document that is not made available to the employers unless the job involves handling children or vulnerable adults. Due to the sensitive nature of this verification process, the Irish national police called Garda conducts these criminal records verification and provides the Police Character Certificate only to the individual concerned. 

Credit History

Credit history verification is not mandatory. It is verification for candidates getting into financial roles. It's done through a local court in the jurisdiction of the candidate. The candidate's credit history report highlights the debts and other credit information, including bad loans.

Social life

Social and public domain verification knows about the employees’ social life and public presence. While this is not an essential aspect of verification, it still helps the employers throw light on the ethos of the candidates and thus allows the employers to check if the candidate can be a right fit for the job. Social verification about the candidate is not permissible for all the jobs and is restricted to highly sensitive jobs.

Health Checks

Applicants in all industries are not put through a medical examination procedure before employment. Only the people applying for jobs that need physical fitness as a core requirement will be subjected to the pre-employment medical check. 
The candidates must fill out a questionnaire where they have to mention any medical conditions or complications at employment. However, any discriminative decision post medical examination or the decision that is seen as a culmination of the medical check is not tolerable under Irish law.

Information Essential for a Background Check in Ireland

For every part of the background check, some basic information is required. 

  1. Name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Proof of Address
  4. Identification number
  5. Educational certificates
  6. Prior Employment data
  7. References and their contact information
  8. Certificate of Character provided by local Garda
  9. Social Media Handles
  10. Financial Credit reports
  11. Medical Fitness reports
  12. Work Visa [in case of immigrants]
  13. Payslips from the previous employers

Process Involved in Background Checks in Ireland

Listed below is an overview of the employee screening in Ireland.

Education verification

Employers verify the candidate’s highest obtained degree during a pre-employment screening in Ireland.

This includes activities like:

  • ~Contacting the educational institutions to verify the dates of attendance, graduation date, and the other information provided by the candidates
  • ~Verifying the authenticity of the certificates provided by the candidate

Employment verification

Verification of previous employment data in Ireland can go up to the last seven years.

This involves activities such as: 

  • ~Verifying individual titles
  • ~Dates of employment
  • ~Reports about the employee's performance [if claimed as an achievement]

Credit Check

This involves activities such as:

  • ~Account information with the history of the debts
  • ~Bankruptcies information, court liens, or judgments

Reference Verification

This is conducted via phone calls or emails to verify the list of claims made by the candidate.

This involves activities such as: 

  • ~Checking the authenticity of references
  • ~Reaching out to references to verify the applicant's claims
  • ~Examining the candidate's performance in the past

Health checks

A pre-employment health checkup is necessary for specific jobs. The assessment is carried out by questionnaire and medical checks where required. This ensures the safety of the applicant.

Passport and ID check

Employers can check a person's identity, original documents such as passports, birth certificates, and proof of address/immigration documents.

Social media and online presence verification

The activities include:

  • ~Checks online in the public domain that is relevant to the position.
  • ~Examines the content of social media accounts [professional and related to the employment]

Industries and Situations That are Most Suitable for Background Checks in Ireland

Employee background screening in Ireland is not unilateral and varies with industry.

A pre-employment verification in Ireland is mandatory in the following industries:

  • ~Any job that involves children
  • ~The jobs that relate to safeguarding the people
  • ~Jobs that include individuals making strategic decisions involve large sums of money
  • ~Jobs that generally deal with money and related industries like finance, accounting, treasury management, etc
  • ~Jobs that involve physically harming substances like chemicals, oils, and gases
  • ~Jobs that involve life-saving tech and related industries like pharmaceuticals and research, healthcare, doctors, and related services that are life-altering
  • ~Jobs that involve life support systems and food manufacturing.

These are the prominent industries and situations that require pre-employment checks in Ireland. Any wrong decision in hiring affects not only the employers but also many people involved in consuming the company's products.

Things to Know Before Performing Background Checks

Before getting your employees’ background checked, you need to know the rules and regulations around the process and its legalities.

Adhering to the data protection act

Data protection has been controlled by the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.
Background verification involves gathering private information of the candidates involved in the process. 
Although this seems like a direct violation of the GDPR, it can be made legal if the candidate’s explicit consent is obtained. 
However, if the candidate explicitly rejects the pre-employment checks, employers must ensure their privacy as an individual’s privacy is their fundamental right.

No discrimination

The pre-employment screening and verification may include verification of data around the employees' health, and this is primarily an ongoing one. 
The data thus uncovered about the employees' physical abilities may not be allowed to cost the candidate their job. The organization involved should give the candidate a fair chance, opportunity, and facilities [without harming their cost structure] to perform their duties. 
Any discrimination arising due to the background verification is not tolerable under the law unless the job's main qualifying criteria include the excellent health condition of the individual involved.

Right to bodily integrity

It is an unenumerated law in Irish Constitution. The State guarantees its people a right not to interfere with their rights subject to qualification.

How Does Multiplier Help With Background Checks?

Pre-employment verification process saves a lot in the hiring process and helps organizations avoid unnecessary training and management of faulty individuals.

You need experts aware of the legalities and privacy policies involved in carrying out background checks in Ireland. Outsourcing your pre-employment verification process can save time and effort and make the efforts fruitful and seamless in selecting the right candidate for your organization. 

Multiplier is a global employment solution that offers a range of global HR solutions. Finding suitable candidates for your organization and screening them for any possible anomalies will help you ease out as you hire. Multiplier facilitates employee screening in Ireland so that you can hire talent compliantly.

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