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Background Check in Croatia: Overview & Compliance Strategies For Employers

Croatia’s geographic location in southeastern Europe provides access to the Adriatic sea along its vast coastline. The well-developed economic infrastructure compliments its location advantage giving rise to key sectors like automobiles, ICT, pharma­ceu­ti­cals, energy, agriculture, and tourism.

Despite the projected 1.4% growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023 after an impressive 10.2% in 2021, smart investors are thinking about expanding business operations in Croatia, foreseeing long-term returns. And while they do so, global companies can avoid hiring unscrupulous candidates through background checks in Croatia. 

A pre-employment background check in Croatia verifies declared information relevant to the job description. Whereas, employee screening in Croatia instills accountability among existing employees to declare any information that may significantly interfere with, fulfilling employment obligations or that may endanger the life or health of co-employees. 

Companies must comply with local background check laws unique to each jurisdiction or country. Continue reading this page to learn more about the process for employee screening and employer compliance per Croatian background checks law. 

What is Employment Background Verification?

An employment background verification is an employer-driven process for validating claims made in job applications about academic qualifications, past work experience, and other relevant personal information. 

General background verification includes pre-employment checks and employee screening processes like 

  • Criminal records
  • Credit/financial defraud checks
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Education and employment history 
  • Health checks/medical screening
  • Personal verification like fingerprinting, handwriting
  • Social media HR background checks
  • Political views
  • Union membership

Traditionally, the HR department conducts employment background checks in close partnership with third-party vendors. In contemporary times, global companies are partnering with SaaS-based Employer Of Record solutions like Multiplier to comply with local hiring laws for conducting employment background verification. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Croatia

Hiring unqualified employees may increase risk and legal liabilities for employers. One of the most effective ways to minimize application discrepancies is a thorough pre-employment background check and hiring the right candidates through employee screening. A background search in Croatia will benefit employers in the following ways: 

  • Improves quality of job applications
  • Advertising the job posting with mandatory background assessment will attract only genuine applicants. 
  • Ensures better employee retention 
  • Hiring loyal candidates through employment background checks in Croatia results in more employees to continue working for a longer time. 
  • Helps in making informed hiring decisions
  • Background search in Croatia informally through social media ensures proactive and passionate candidates with public speaking etiquette join the workplace. 
  • Maintains safety at the workplace
  • Making a job offer after performing a criminal background check ensures that no suspicious individuals are employed in positions of strategic importance. 
  • Otherwise, too, hiring candidates with no criminal history maintains safety for all. 

Are Background Checks Legal in Croatia?

Background checks are part of the usual employment practice in Croatia. There are no explicit restrictions on conducting a pre-employment background check in Croatia or even employee screening. 

Only employers registered as legal entities in Croatia, or those operating through an Employer of Record (EOR), can verify academic details, and past employment records, enquire about professional references, address checks, etc., at any point during employment. Whereas, credit history and criminal background checks in Croatia are generally prohibited unless required by law. 

The HR background checks in Croatia must ensure employee rights specified under Croatian anti-discrimination and personal data protection laws. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Croatia

Employers can obtain employee records or specific information from prospects for performing background checks in Croatia per the following: 

Criminal record

  • The criminal background check in Croatia is a restricted practice and is allowed only under specific provisions of law (for example, the Credit Institutions Act).
  • If allowed, employers may seek reports of felony-level convictions in the past seven years from the local courts. 

Credit report

  • Employers may ask employees to submit their creditworthiness (called “kreditna sposobnost”) for employee screening in Croatia.  
  • However, the storing and processing of sensitive employee data are regulated under the GDPR. 

Social life

  • Employers may access social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to conduct HR background checks in Croatia. 
  • Employers are likely to violate Anti-Discrimination Act if their hiring decision is based on information obtained from employee screening online, such as religious beliefs, political views, sexual orientation, and other information. 
  • Employers may take note of publicly posted information and not befriend prospects to gather private information. 

Medical history

  • Employers can require an employee to undergo a medical examination as part of pre-employment background checks in Croatia. 
  • While employers bear the costs of medical examinations, employee screening in Croatia must not include checks for or discrimination based on pregnancy, drug abuse testing, or non-communicable health conditions.

Employment history

  • Employers may ask for written or verbal confirmations of the candidate’s previous employers for pre-employment background checks in Croatia. 
  • Third-party employment background checks in Croatia may verify references mentioned in the job application, including the applicant’s title, professional accomplishments, and eligibility for rehiring. 

Education history

  • Employers may verify the academic competence of candidates for the advertised job vacancy. 
  • Third-party background checks in Croatia shall verify the details of academic documents like school reports, transcripts, mark sheets, or university degrees mentioned in the job resume. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Croatia

Employers shall gather the following data to conduct various background checks in Croatia:

  • First and last name of the candidate, date of birth
  • Email ID, active social media handle, or profile URL
  • Last known and current residential address
  • School or Institution name, academic majors, transcripts, copy of degree, and training certification 
  • Professional employer references, professional license number, date of issuance, expiry date 
  • Self-declaration of medical conditions, court punishment, or conviction 

Employers cannot request information or documents not directly relevant to the job position. Further, employers or third-party vendors must comply with anti-discrimination and personal data protection laws in the absence of a specific Croatian background check law for storing and processing declared employee information.  

Process Involved in Background Checks in Croatia

There is no standard framework for background searches in Croatia. However, any instance of unauthorized employee screening or pre-employment background checks in Croatia could result in claims and fines of up to EUR 7,800 for the company and EUR 800 for the concerned person within the company. 

For the sake of convenience, employers may divide the process for background checks in Croatia into two phases – the preparatory phase and the recruitment phase. 

Preparatory phase


Step 1: Understanding the applicable legislative framework 

  • Pre-employment background checks in Croatia are restricted to information directly relevant to the job vacancy.  
  • The internal working policy of employers may set minimum standards for employment such as academic qualification, working skills, communication medium, medical fitness, criminal history conditions, etc. 
  • Employers frame a recruitment policy mentioning minimum standards, and the same is verified during employment background checks in Croatia. 


Step 2: Seeking consent from the candidate

  • Employers must seek written consent from the candidate or employee to conduct a background check in Croatia. 
  • The mandatory written consent requirement also applies to background searches in Croatia through a designated third-party verifier. 


Step 3: Ask for the necessary documents  

  • Standard documents to obtain for the background check process in Croatia include government-issued employee identity, academic records, and proof of previous employment. 
  • Unless specified by Croatian background check law, employers must refrain from asking for sensitive documents, like pregnancy records, drug abuse records, criminal background history, credit history, etc.
  • Additionally, a residence permit and Police Clearance Certification (PCC) may be required for employing a foreigner in Croatia. 

Recruitment phase


Step 1: Familiarizing with applicable legal constraints

  • Employers must only raise questions that are immediately related to employment. 
  • The hiring decisions must not be based on candidates’ choices like political views, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, medical conditions, or events in their personal life. 


Step 2: Right to privacy and data protection

  • Employers must protect candidates’ right to privacy and data protection while processing the declared information in the job resume. 
  • Employers outside Croatia must seek prior approval from the Croatian Data Protection Agency to transfer personal data for recruitment purposes. 


Step 3: Conducting background checks in Croatia 

  • Employers may customize the following background search in Croatia process per specific job roles:    
  • Job references: It is the most common pre-employment background check in Croatia, where employers follow up on the declared references to verify their employment claims.
  • Ask around: Employers may informally ask around in local business circles when hiring C-suite executives. Such candidates are more likely to occupy managerial roles in similar positions and among familiar faces in the industry locally. 
  • Professional certifications: Employers may visually inspect hard copies of academic certificates or directly seek confirmation from the concerned institution.
  • Professional associations: Employers may verify active memberships in relevant associations for recruiting professionals like advocates, accountants, etc.

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

The following industries and situations are most suitable for background checks in Croatia:

  • Employers filling vacancies in strategic job positions like finance, accounts, managing cash or valuable merchandise, etc., will benefit from regular employee screening in Croatia for bankruptcy/creditworthiness. 
  • Through employment background checks in Croatia, employers get valuable insights into prospects’ job stability and loyalty to previous employers. 
  • A company background check in Croatia is for self-employed contractors or employees hired through temporary staff agencies. 
  • Criminal background checks in Croatia are preferred when hiring entry-level and C-suite executives in the financial, healthcare, education, or childcare sectors. 

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Multiplier offers Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer-Of-Record (EOR) platforms for scalable HR solutions in over 150+ countries, including Croatia. While we don’t conduct employee screening and background checks in Croatia, we provide suitable HR solutions through our trusted partners. Multiplier is the go-to platform for startups and enterprises looking for a contemporary SaaS-based alternative for complaint global expansion, hiring, and managing global employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

The time for employee screening in Croatia could extend beyond 20 business days, depending on the type of applicant and job title. A preliminary background search in Croatia could be concluded in two business days.

There is no difference if the HR department of a company conducts a background check in Croatia or hires a third party to do the same. However, the new labor law in Croatia mandates employers to ensure best practices for background checks even when performed through a third party.

Remote work or a hybrid work model warrants companies to assess employees with a continuous compliance check solution closely. However, since moonlighting is valid per Croatian employment law, background checks can factor in a wide range of employee data generated from multiple employments.

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