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Starting A Business In Finland

Employment Background Checks in Finland: A Complete Guide

Global companies and entrepreneurs looking for new business opportunities in emerging fields like health & life sciences, data centers, IoT solutions, gaming & metaverse, and green energy may consider Finland. 

International companies may partner with local businesses and hire local talents to make the most out of emerging business opportunities. Here’s where background checks in Finland on potential business partners and recruits act as the stepping stone to forging long-lasting relationships. Employment background screening may also uphold the public perception of global companies investing in Finland. 

This post outlines the importance and procedure for gathering, storing, and processing personal data during background searches to help new companies and entrepreneurs hire in Finland. 

What is Employment Background Verification?

Employment background verification involves accessing the public registry, collecting and processing personal data for

  • education degree verification
  • employment verification 
  • reference checks
  • criminal records search
  • credit or bankruptcy record check
  • passport validation
  • social media search

Generally, employers conduct education qualification history and reference checks to validate the claims made by employees during the interview process and job application. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Finland

Global companies and entrepreneurs rely heavily on background checks to hire trustworthy employees in strategic positions within the company. Here’s how employers benefit from background checks in Finland: 

  • Sorting out fraudulent job applicants
    • Falsifying employment experience or including fake education degrees are the most common discrepancies reported in job applications.  
    • A pre-employment background check in Finland filters out applicants with such discrepancies.  
  • Increasing the accuracy of hiring decisions 
    • Employers receive only genuine applications upon disclosure of mandatory employee screening in the job advertisement.  
    • Furthermore, company background checks in Finland establish mutual trust before partnering with new businesses (independent contractors, suppliers, or vendors). 
  • Reduce employee turnover 
    • Compulsory employment background checks in Finland make a robust workforce instead of repeatedly filling the same vacancies, thereby saving time and resources. 
  • Maintaining a safe workplace for all
    • Criminal background checks in Finland help maintain a safe workplace. 
    • Hiring the right candidate with zero criminal histories minimizes employer liability. 
  • Complying with Finnish employment law
    • Background searches in Finland include passport validation and immigration visa checks that help employers avoid fines for hiring unauthorized immigrants.

Finnish background check law applies to background checks carried out on individuals who are 

  • seeking a job position (pre-employment background check) 
  • performing an office role or position (employee screening)

Employers or designated third-party must restrict employment background checks in Finland to assess the candidates’ ability to work in the relevant position. 

Employers may carry out background checks in Finland as basic, extended, or limited. 

A background check in Finland is based on the following public registers:

  • Police data files
  • the criminal justice decisions register 
  • the register of prohibitions to pursue a business
  • the border control register of the Frontier Guard Staff
  • the investigation and executive assistance register of the Customs Service
  • the population register
  • the general immigration register.

An extended background check in Finland shall include personal data on the job applicant. Employers may perform limited background checks in Finland to restrict access to a site or location for work reasons. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Finland

Employers may note the following pre-employment background checks and employee screening in Finland. 

  • Basic background check: Criminal record
    • Employers may conduct criminal background checks in Finland for employing staff, especially in child care and other sensitive industries defined by Finnish laws. 
    • Employers may extract criminal records of job applicants for filling the vacancy in Finland even for less than three months. 
    • Criminal records in Finland usually include case type, conventions, and disposition information for the last ten years. 
  • Basic background checks: Foreign employees 
    • An important aspect of employee background screening in Finland is to verify the residency or immigration status of non-European Economic Area employees. 
    • Employers could be penalized for employing unauthorized foreigners in Finland under the Employer Sanction Directive and the Finnish Employment Contract Act.
  • Extended background checks: Employment history
    • Employers must get prior consent for reference checks, especially when contacting the current employer. 
    • The candidate can make remarks on the information considered for the employment history check in Finland. 
    • As part of employment background checks in Finland,  employers may seek and store physical copies of job experience certificates or professional licenses.  
  • Extended background checks: Education qualification history
    • Employers may verify the date of attendance, degree transcripts, graduation date, and other degree information to assess the aptitude of candidates. 
    • Employers can directly contact educational institutions to verify academic degrees or training certifications per the declaration. 
    • The candidate can make remarks on the information considered for the education qualification check in Finland. 
  • Extended background checks: Credit report
    • Employers may request full disclosure of their financial situation, including bankruptcy, as part of employee background screening in Finland. 
    • Background search in Finland for credit reports is restricted to sensitive industries defined by Finnish laws from time to time, like banking, finance, insurance, child care, etc. 
  • Extended background checks: Medical check
    • Finnish background check law restricts employee medical checks to ascertain their ability to work. 
    • Employers may not use past medical records (HIV/AIDS) or request new medical checks (pregnancy, drug test) to deny job opportunities. 
  • Extended background checks: Social life
    • Employers may use popular social media platforms (Facebook or LinkedIn) for HR background checks in Finland. 
    • Social media check on prospects is the simplest way to verify work experience and public behavior.
    • Employers must responsibly collect, process, and store public information across social media platforms such that prospects are not denied job opportunities based on their political views and alike. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Finland

Employers require the following details to conduct background checks in Finland:  

  • Generic details like name, date of birth, residential address, identity card number issued in Finland, and nationality 
  • Job applications may additionally include an education degree, work experience and an account of various job roles and duties.
  • Additional information like 
    • school name, study major, degree transcripts, city of the school
    • contact details of previous and current employers
    • colored photocopies of individuals
    • social media handles owned by candidates
  • Company name, company website, tax registration number, and registered address are required for company background checks in Finland (business verification, bankruptcy check, and credit report) before partnering with independent contractors, suppliers, or vendors. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Finland

Employers may conduct background checks in Finland in the following systematic manner: 

  • Step 1: Seeking consent from the prospect
    • Finnish background check law requires employers to inform the candidate and get written consent for accessing personal data. 
    • Employers shall verify academic details, work history, and social media profiles after receiving the signed consent. 
  • Step 2: Process information relevant to the job description 
    • Employers may enlist the required information before physically gathering and verifying employee details relevant to job roles & responsibilities. 
    • Required information for background checks in Finland can be the following: 
      • Employment history
      • Educational qualifications
      • Criminal records
      • Credit history 
      • Medical history
      • Social media presence
  • Step 3: Gather the necessary documents
    • Employers may ask the applicants to share necessary documents, physically or electronically. 
    • For instance, only the respective candidate can obtain personal criminal records from the police.  
    • Employers can store processed information for two years after the background check is performed.
  • Step 4: Perform a background check
    • Employers may red flag any data discrepancies or undisclosed information on the job application. 
    • Employee screening in Finland can be performed using documents and details available as follows:
      • Work experience: Employers must verify whether candidates worked with the mentioned employer and held the mentioned job role and responsibility. 
      • Academic qualification: Employers can verify the level of education and other certifications using transcripts and degree copies as disclosed in the resume.
      • Social media: Contemporary practice is to collect employee information from social media in compliance with GDPR and compare it with the disclosed information on the resume or by the job applicant. 
      • Other aspects: Criminal background checks or medical checks can be used to find the right fit for the job. 
    • Employers may notify the results of background checks to respective applicants in writing or orally.  

Furthermore, employers may contract third parties to conduct employment background checks in Finland.  

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

Employers hiring for positions such as security agents, taxi drivers, childcare specialists, or operators in hazardous industries must conduct criminal background checks in Finland. 

 

Various job roles across food processing plants, manufacturing, and construction may require employers to request medical checks periodically. 

Furthermore, employers may perform limited background checks in Finland in sensitive industries like energy, airports, telecommunication, and defense establishments. 

Employers hiring across industries are encouraged to conduct background checks in Finland, verifying academic and work experience to maintain a quality workforce. 

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

More often than not, background checks in Finland are time-consuming for in-house HR teams. And this is why companies rely on contemporary SaaS-based solutions like Multiplier for complaint global expansion and hiring abroad. 

Multiplier may not directly help with screening and background checks but arranges trusted partners on the ground to help employers perform background searches in Finland. 

Global companies and entrepreneurs may benefit from Multiplier’s PEO or EOR platform to draft legally compliant contracts and manage payrolls, tax reporting, and social security obligations per local law. 

Multiplier protects them from legal liabilities arising out of global employment and hiring abroad in more than 150+ countries, including Finland.

Frequently Asked Questions

The law allows only employers to collect personal data from employees for background checks in Finland. Third-party companies could collect data without employee consent only if it is explicitly based on law and for specific purposes, for example, anti-money laundering or preventing terrorism financing legislation.

The background checks in Finland duration depend on the type of background search and available information. It may take up to two weeks to complete the screening process.

The Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life and Data Protection Act (loosely based on GDPR) sets out rules for processing personal data. During the background check in Finland, the employer can process personal data necessary for the employment relationship only.

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