Ensuring that you hire the right person for a job opening shouldn’t be limited to shortlisting, skill tests, and interviews. For HR professionals, conducting a Background Check is an integral step in processing an applicant’s employment. It enables you to verify what’s listed on the applicant’s resume such as employment history, educational background, and other information necessary in qualifying for the open position. In addition, it allows you to evaluate whether the applicant will be fit to the already-established culture in your company.
There are currently no laws under the Philippine Labor Code that prohibit you from conducting a background check on your applicant, whether you hire a third party or do it yourself. However, the Data Privacy Act (Republic Act. No. 10173) has its specifications that are applicable in pre-employment profiling, and it is your responsibility as an employer to ensure that you do not violate any rights of the applicant.
Here’s how you can background check an applicant the legal way:
Secure a Consent Form
The Data Privacy Act specifies that the applicant has the right to know when personal and, especially, sensitive personal information are being collected. In compliance with this, you should secure the applicant’s signature on a consent form that states:
- Which business entity will conduct the background check (you or a third party)
- What information will be collected
- For what purpose
Although this is your prerogative as an employer, the applicant has every right to refuse, subject to the forfeitment of the employment process.
Only ask the right questions
Limit your questions to what you only need to know. Although the information you need may vary depending on the job description, generally what you only need to know are:
- The position of the applicant and job description
- The salary for this position
- The reason for resignation
- If the company would consider rehiring the applicant
Here’s a sample Background Check Consent Form for your reference: CONSENT FORM TEMPLATE.pdf