Background Checks for Canadian Workers Employed in the US

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Background Checks for Canadian Workers Employed in the US

Cross-Border Employment Background Checks on Canadian workers can range in difficulty depending on the countries in question.  With the United States and Canada having a friendly trade relationship, background checks on Canadian workers seeking employment here have become easier, but there are still many things to consider.  For many human resource managers, it may seem simpler to skip a background check than consider what is involved with hiring Canadian workers here in the US.  Don’t put your company at risk by skipping this crucial step in the hiring process.  Utilizing international background checks are the best way to ensure your company is hiring the right candidate.

Necessity of Cross-Border Employment Background Checks?

As any good human resource manager knows, background checks are essential in the hiring process.  Many people will skip this step when it involves hiring Canadian workers.  Skipping this because it comes across as too time-consuming or challenging can be detrimental.  Having a third-party company who has experience with these types of background checks is the best way to have all the answers you need.

There are numerous reasons to run an international background check on an employment candidate, for a Canadian worker or applicant from any other country.  Your company must adhere to specific tax laws after hiring, and consider how the employee will represent the company.  Legally speaking, if something does go wrong in the workplace and the employee decides to seek legal action, you must consider where the proceedings will take place.  Before having to complete the additional work involved with hiring a Canadian citizen, find out if you truly have the best candidate.

What to Consider in International Background Checks for a Canadian Worker

When conducting a Cross-Border Employment Background Check, many things should be consider ranging from criminal records to prior employment to education verification.  Accessing Canadian criminal records is based on the local area’s law, not the entire country’s law.  Similarly, credit reports are viewed in the same light where the provinces and territories hold the final say.

Conducting drug screenings is also prohibited in Canada, but as an American company you have the right to request the screening of a Canadian worker.  Education verification and reference calls are free territory, if the applicant agrees to them.  Be realistic though, if a language barrier could exist, as many Quebec citizens may have references that are only fluent in French.

Here in the U.S., we can conduct many governmental searches without authorization from an individual and we can submit requests for information not located online.  While conducting an international background check, an investigator will need to be knowledgeable about the laws regarding their searches.  Some information can be requested, but the processing times may vary.  A typical employment background check could be handled in a number of days, but when considering hiring Canadian citizens, it may take longer than usual.

How to Initiate Cross-Border Employment Background Checks

International background checks are challenging but initiating one with a trustworthy third-party company can be simple with the right steps.

  • Consent forms – when an employment candidate signs release of information forms, have the correct documentation to release records specific to their province or territory.
  • References – verify with the candidate their references understand that calls will be coming through on a foreign phone number, and that they should be straightforward if a question seemingly violates what they consider to be private information.
  • Prior addresses and prior employment – if the candidate has lived abroad or worked abroad previously, they should mark those clearly on their application.
  • Adverse action – be upfront with candidates that what is legal in their home country may not necessarily be legal in this country. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission governs what employers can consider when reviewing applicants here in the U.S.A.  The Human Rights Commission handles matters like this in Canada.  These two organizations aren’t exactly the same, and the employer do hold some rights that may not be considered equivalent to Canada’s counterpart.  This may come into play regarding an applicant’s native language.

As an employer, it is paramount that cross-border employment background checks be completed on Canadian worker, just as you would with an American resident.  A third-party company, such as Background Check Central, can you through the process.  Protect your company and don’t skip steps because it may be challenging and time-consuming.  The results of an international background check can be rewarding when you have found the right person for the job.  Don’t be caught in a tough situation when a workplace situation goes awry, know who you are hiring!