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Starting a Business in Bulgaria

Background Checks In Bulgaria: Compliance Strategy For Employers

Bulgaria is an attractive low-cost investment destination as there are no legal limits on foreign ownership of firms. The southeast European country ​​enjoys strong growth in software development, technical support, and business process outsourcing, along with a more robust automotive sector. However, the challenge remains in hiring prospects and dealing with liability risks, if any. 

Businesses all around Europe believe in the effectiveness of background checks on job applicants and employees and even on vendors’ employees. Performing employment background checks avoids complications during the onboarding process and team management. 

While employee background screening in Bulgaria is a standard recruitment practice, companies must comply with all the personal data protection and anti-discrimination requirements. Continue reading this page to learn how to conduct background checks in Bulgaria and explore compliance strategies for employers.

What Is Employment Background Verification?

An employment background screening is a part of the recruitment process and verifies the degree of data correctness in the job application. It can even be extended to partnering with new vendors and suppliers. 

Usually, employers verify education and employment history to determine the best candidate for the job role. Additionally, employers may seek medical history, credit records, or criminal records for pre-employment screening in specific job roles. 

Further, companies dedicate an in-house HR team for employee screening or partner with a third-party firm to stay compliant with local laws. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Bulgaria

Apart from preventing liabilities arising out of employee action, here is also how background checks in Bulgaria can benefit employers:  

Receive good quality applications 

  • Compulsory background checks deter candidates from submitting accurate information to the best of their knowledge. 
  • Further, pre-employment background checks in Bulgaria for employment and education history help employers verify significant information discrepancies in the job application, like career gaps, work skills, qualifications, or rehire eligibility.

Minimize resource wastage

  • Frequent hiring failures can drain a company’s time and resources. One way of addressing the issue is to hire candidates after a thorough background check.
  • An employment background screening in Bulgaria will eliminate non-serious candidates and candidates with fraudulent pasts and, thus, confirm the right fit for the company. 

Follow responsible global hiring processes

  • In addition to optimizing resources, employers have a duty toward each employee to create a safe workplace environment. 
  • A criminal background check, especially in sensitive sectors like childcare or hazardous industries, aligns well with responsible global hiring practices.

Are Background Checks Legal in Bulgaria?

The employment law allows companies to conduct background checks in Bulgaria before concluding an employment contract. With candidates’ consent, employers can verify criminal records, credit reports, education history, employment history, medical records, or social media checks. 

Even though the Bulgarian background check law applies equally to employers and designated third-party, the employer is primarily responsible for compliance and ensuring personal data privacy. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Bulgaria

Employers or a designated third party may verify the following information as part of employment background screening in Bulgaria 

Education History

  • Validating the highest degree of education or industrial certification allows employers to gauge the professional qualification or capacity of the candidate to perform the job.
  • Pre-employment background checks in Bulgaria to verify education history usually involve validation of dates of attendance, graduation date, and degree information.

Employment history

  • Establishing the candidature through employment history and work experience helps employers assess candidates’ suitability for the applied job role. 
  • Pre-employment background checks in Bulgaria to verify employment history usually involve reporting and verifying previous employers, dates of employment, job title, reasons for switching jobs and rehire eligibility. 

Social life

  • Companies can access social media profiles on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin and conduct HR background checks in Bulgaria.  
  • However, employers cannot discriminate between candidates solely based on political, religious, or philosophical convictions, as understood from social media profile posts.  

Criminal record

  • Employment background screening in Bulgaria may involve employers validating candidates’ criminal convictions. 
  • Employers may seek a criminal background check in Bulgaria only where a law or a regulation requires candidates with a clean criminal record for the job. 
  • Employers may risk violating the data protection legislation in all other cases. For instance, a criminal background check in Bulgaria for the role of an administrative assistant or even job positions requiring accountability for a private employer’s monetary or material values is not justified. 

Credit report

  • Employee screening in Bulgaria may report credit checks to validate a candidate’s history of bankruptcy. 
  • A company background check in Bulgaria on vendors, or suppliers will provide valuable information on their financial standing – collections, payment histories, legal suits, judgments, and bankruptcies. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Bulgaria

The following documents are necessary for a pre-employment background check in Bulgaria and, further, the execution of an employment agreement per Bulgarian labor laws: 

  • Identity documents of the candidate or employee for limited use, like copies of National ID, Driving Licence, or Passport page
  • Medical certificate determining the general health status of applicants  
  • Document of proof for specific professional qualifications, including degree certificate, transcripts, or mark sheet
  • Document of proof evidencing work experience 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Bulgaria

Here’s the most recommended template for performing employment background checks in Bulgaria.  

Step 1: Frame an internal policy for background checks in Bulgaria

  • Any registered business entity in Bulgaria may frame an internal policy before conducting background checks in Bulgaria.
  • An internal policy may outline the recommended employee screening in Bulgaria based on job role and process of collection, processing, storing, and accessing per the data protection legislation in Bulgaria. 

Step 2: Seek written consent 

  • An employment background screening in Bulgaria will involve employers or designated third parties mandatorily seeking written consent from the applicant before processing and storing personal data. 
  • Alternatively, employers can refuse to hire applicants if they don’t consent to the required background checks in Bulgaria. 

Step 3: Gather employee data

  • Employers are primarily responsible for compliant data collection even if background check in Bulgaria is through a designated third party. 
  • The best practices for gathering employee data include collecting the information directly from the applicant/employee and informing them about handling, storing, and authority accessing the data. 

Step 3: Begin the screening process

  • Verifying academic qualifications: Employers may contact the educational institution directly to verify the declared information in the resume. 
  • Verifying work experience: Employers may contact the declared professional references to verify the same. 
  • Verifying publicly available data on social media: Employers may red flag any information discrepancy declared in the job application to that of information gathered from the social media profile.  

Verifying other relevant details

  • Make a list of job roles requiring a clean criminal record to work in Bulgaria. The applicable job roles are limited.  
  • Plan a budget for a mandatory medical check before concluding the employment contract. 

Industries and Situations That Are Most Suitable for Background Checks in Bulgaria

Here are some industries and situations that require employment background screening in Bulgaria to avoid liability risk and also maintain workplace integrity and productivity. 

  • A criminal background check in Bulgaria is limited to job profiles like teachers in a school or childcare professionals. Future legislation may include more job positions, but currently, there are only a few statutory provisions for criminal background checks in Bulgaria. 
  • A medical check like a general health checkup and drug and alcohol testing may be conducted to conclude employment contracts. 
  • A background check reporting financial bankruptcies is suitable for sensitive positions responsible for monetary expenses.
  • Social media background searches in Bulgaria give useful insights into individual behavior, social skills, etc., that are important for particular job roles.  

How Can Multiplier Help With Background Checks?

Multiplier is the preferred SaaS-based HR solution helping businesses with easy onboarding and team management globally. Even though we do not perform background checks directly, our experienced on-ground partners can help you to conduct employment background screening in Bulgaria.  

Multiplier effectively eliminates all risks concerning global employment and hiring abroad. Our broad range of HR solutions includes automatic contract drafting, multilingual contracts, and various payroll management services. The PEOEOR solutions help startups, and enterprises remain compliant with local regulations in more than 150 countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Commission for Personal Data Protection (CPDP) in Bulgaria may impose fines, warnings, or orders to comply with certain requirements on employers for breaching personal data legislation. Thus far, the biggest fine imposed amounts to €2.6 million.

Most third-party firms arrive at the exact time depending on the type of background search in Bulgaria. Some screening processes may complete within a week, and some may take a month or less.

Bulgarian laws do not require employers to share a report copy of background checks in Bulgaria. However, the data protection legislation in Bulgaria mandates employers to seek written consent before performing a screening process and handle personal data responsibly throughout the process.

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