Personal Background Check: Understanding Its Main Purpose

Corruption and fraud are happening at every corner of the world these days, including Indonesia. Therefore, a personal background check or screening should be a vital part of every recruitment and collaborating process for your business in Indonesia—before getting yourself too involved in a potential candidate or business partner.

With its booming economy and more international companies starting a business in Indonesia, the demand for human resource increases. Therefore, owners of a business in Indonesia today have the right to learn more about the people they are going to have a legal relationship with.

Unwanted and dangerous work environment and fraudulent activities can be simply prevented by conducting personal background checks. This article uncovers what personal background is for doing business in Indonesia, and how you can use it to your best advantage.

Importance of Personal Background Check in Indonesia

Due to the high degree of fraud in Indonesia, a personal background check, or due diligence, is an important decision to make on security and financial concern. A deal or a business can turn costly if business owner forgoes this critical step before hiring someone for his or her business in Indonesia.

Candidates hide their previous histories in order to appear more attractive to employers.  While some frauds might be easily detected, not all can be identified immediately, at least not until the background checks have taken place.

Hence, never overlook the importance of a personal background check because most of the time, employees tend to misrepresent their background and credentials, and might be unqualified for the job. Worse, the employee you hire may have certain experience or personal trait that would bring you troubles later on.

Challenges of Personal Background Check in Indonesia

In developed countries, a substantial amount of personal information can be accessed digitally or online in few seconds. For most businesses in these fast countries such as the US, they will just have to pay a fee online and take advantages of these services.

Unfortunately for people doing business in Indonesia, conducting on the ground and person-to-person background checks through manual record is the way to go. And if information has ever existed digitally, it is only stored on private computers and not shared publicly. As a result, the said online services are not available in Indonesia as well.

Meeting individuals or visiting parties who have access to a particular employee’s background can be time-consuming and extremely costly. The difficulty of such effort is doubled due to language barriers.

What Can You Expect from a Report of Personal Background Check?

There are many types of background checks that can be utilized to assess a potential candidate, ranging from getting information from references to checking criminal records. Be careful though, only checks that are permitted by law and human rights.

Based on your requirements, each business in Indonesia will require different specifications of information in their background check report. A report is often customized to fit each business’s needs.

The information you can expect from the report of personal background checks include the following:

Education Records

It is prudent to check on an individual’s education records if a position requires certain specialization or knowledge of expertise.

Employment History

In addition to the education check, employment history can highlight if an employee is competent to perform the job at hand.

Financial and Credit Reports

Though seldom used in the hiring process in Indonesia, it is recommended to have a comprehensive individual credit history reports, especially for those high-profile positions. Employers shall be extremely cautious with employees having access to large amounts of capital from doubtful sources—as it might be linked to unlawful activities or terrorism.

Identity and Address Check

It is a surefire way to know that the employee does not pretend to be someone else intending for any unlawful activities. A residential address that tallies also ensures that an employee holds a legal residential status in Indonesia.

Criminal Records

Flagging any criminal convictions is also one of the primary reasons that employers run a background check. As some of the serious charges can be a tell-tale sign that potential candidates could be someone dangerous, untrustworthy, and unreliable—and thereby unsuitable for hiring. On the other hand, some minor charges can be irrelevant to the job or an employee’s behavior.

Other more extensive checks that you can incorporate into the process are marital status verification, health and medical checks, travel and immigration records, drug use and alcohol tests, social media and internet checks, and political view check. Some companies even offer discreet surveillance through lifestyle check to help you understand someone in a deeper level.

What Are the Benefits?

There are many benefits of conducting appropriate employee’s screening for prospective employees in Indonesia.

Preventing Fraud and Terrorism

Many frauds and terrorist acts can be prevented, when inconsistencies occur and are identified early on. For instances, the identity inconsistency, a large amount of fund from unknown sources, and other information that does not tally.

Avoiding Injury

One of the major reasons to conduct a background check is to avoid harm to the employer, all other employees, and stakeholders involved.  Harms can be caused by workplace violence, sexual harassment, negligent driving, etc.—huge reasons of financial, image and reputation losses.

Defense of Legal Claims

Defending against legal claims such as negligent hiring is one of the most compelling reasons that you need to make a thorough investigation of an employee’s background before hiring—most specifically on their mental and physical fitness, competence, and criminal records. You can be held liable with heavy sanctions if such legal issue happens, and you do not have a background check of the particular individual.

Maximizing Productivity

All employers want the best candidates. Through background checks, they can reveal a lot of an individual’s skills and abilities. High performers selected are the reasons why corporate productivity and efficiency increase, among others.

Data Storage in Case of Emergency

Having records of employees’ family contacts, residential addresses, and other relevant information, enables employers to locate employees’ friends or family members, in case of any emergency.

Are They Legal?

In general, under employment laws in Indonesia, there are no specific privacy or data protection requirements for employers to obtain an employee’s background information. This background information includes, but not limited to, criminal records, school records, employment records, and financial information.

This is mainly because a data protection authority or governmental agency that for the control of background checks does not exist in Indonesia.

However, there is a very vague law exists for data privacy legislation. Under Article 28G of the 1945 Constitution, it says:

“It is the right of each person to be able to protect themselves, families, possessions, dignity, and respect under their control. They shall have the right to security and protection from threat of fear for doing or for not doing something which constitutes a human right.”

To be more specific, without the consent of an individual, the use and transmission of his or her personal data through electronic media is strictly prohibited—this is stated under Electronic Information and Transactions of 2008 Law No. 11.

In Conclusion

Should every business do a personal background check on employees and business partners? The answer is obvious. When it comes to picking out the best candidates, conducting personal background checks are not just an option anymore. They are an essential part of being a responsible business in Indonesia.

Indonesian laws grant certain protections regarding records disclosure, and the agency you hire will ensure your business does not violate any of them. In addition to that, due to the highly sensitive nature of background check, all process is regulated under strict confidentiality with the consideration of ethical factors.

How Can Cekindo Help You?

It’s time to go deeper than just face value to protect your business from financial loss and reputational risk.

Cekindo provides comprehensive solutions to safeguard your business interests in Indonesia.

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