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Effective Background Checks in Georgia

Georgia is known for its skilled and educated workforce, especially in the services, tourism, industrial, chemical, and textile industries. 

If you are looking to hire and employ Georgian talent, it is important to run background checks before onboarding candidates. An employment background check ensures that provided claims and credentials by a candidate are accurate and eliminates potential hiring negligence.

Conducting background checks in Georgia can be relatively complex due to highly regulated background check policies. This can be especially true for foreign businesses hiring Georgian employees. Therefore, this article aims to cover everything you must know about employment background checks in Georgia.

What is Employment Background Verification?

Employment background checks are conducted by businesses to verify the information and credentials that potential candidates and/or employees provide during the hiring process. However, an employer can also conduct an employment background verification in either one of the cases:

  • Once the potential client clears all interview rounds or 
  • When the employee joins the organization.

During the background verification process, the employers go through the details such as past employer records, education details, resume checks, identity verification, and address checks. This can take a few days or weeks based on the information an employer wants to verify.

Background checks become relatively important when businesses expand their teams by hiring from different countries, especially when employing Georgian employees. The next section will explore the benefits of a pre-employment background check in Georgia.

Benefits of Background Checks in Georgia

To upgrade the quality of hiring, companies need to conduct end-to-end background checks on their potential candidates as this validates the complete background history of employees, such as past employment, education, identity verification, etc. Therefore, it can be a relatively time-consuming process.

However, a pre-employment background check in Georgia has several benefits, which include:

Improved quality of job applicants

To ensure businesses have a safe workplace, employers must follow certain hiring standards when making decisions.

Businesses can mention background check disclosures in the job description or when posting job advertisements. This helps eliminate applicants who have past details to hide for a position requiring a comprehensive background check. 

Employers will likely improve job applicants’ quality through an employment screening process in Georgia.

Establishment of a safe and productive workspace

A pre-employment background check helps employers reduce the potential risk of future workplace violence. 

A background check helps weed out applicants based on past criminal or employment records, which offers critical insight into behavioral trends.

Helps eliminate negligent hiring risks

Negligent hiring is when an employer is held liable for the behavior and injuries caused by their employees. This happens especially when employers fail to offer reasonable care in the hiring process. 

In counties such as Georgia, negligent hiring can lead to legal troubles. The employer can be held liable even when they are unaware of it. Therefore, it is important to conduct a background check when hiring in Georgia.

An employee background screening in Georgia helps mitigate negligent hiring and avoid legal trouble.

Helps increase employee retention

An effective background screening can help improve the hiring process. 

Competent and truthful employees help build a strong workforce for the employer. Also, such employees stay with the business for a longer time, which encourages brand loyalty. 

Therefore, conducting a background check can help offer necessary insights into employee behavior, reducing employee turnover.

Although there are no provisions under the law on background checks in Georgia, foreign and local employers must ensure that they take prior written consent from their potential candidates and employees. 

The written consent must also contain the types of background checks an employer wants to conduct and ensure that the candidate is aware of the pre-employment background screening process.

Things to Know when Performing a Background Check in Georgia

Pre-employment background checks in Georgia help businesses select Georgian candidates and applicants that help achieve business goals. 

However, there are certain factors that an employer must follow when hiring and onboarding Georgian employees. Below are certain factors that an employer should keep in mind when conducting a background check:

  • The candidate must be aware of the background check process during an interview. 
  • Employers must take written consent from the applicant to conduct a background check in Georgia. The document notifying the candidate must be separate from the application form.
  • In case certain roles in your organization require a compulsory background check, businesses must clearly outline background check policies and explain the guidelines during the interview process or at the time of onboarding the candidate.
  • Employers must provide written notification if they conduct a background check on an employee already on the company payroll.   

Information Essential for a Background Check in Georgia

One of the most common questions employers have when hiring a Georgian candidate is what parts of employee screening in Georgia should they check. 

There are 15 types of background checks that an employer conducts, although most employers choose to outsource employment background checks in Georgia. The different types of background checks includes:

  • Candidate history 
  • Criminal background checks 
  • Credit background checks 
  • Identity verification 
  • Verification of professional licenses and certifications 
  • Reference checks 
  • Address verification 
  • Employment verification 
  • Education verification 
  • Court record checks 
  • Social media verification 
  • Drug test screening 
  • Document Identification Number (DIN) verification 
  • Passport verification
  • Global database verification

Although it is not mandatory to conduct all types of verifications, certain industries require an employer to conduct an in-depth background check in Georgia.

However, employee information commonly required for employers to conduct background checks in Georgia includes:

Employment history 

Local employers commonly check the employment history of experienced professionals to ensure the information the candidate offers is accurate. An employment background check in Georgia typically includes the candidate’s work history and performance indicators with their previous employers.

The candidate also must provide certain other information that is required to conduct an employment background verification in Georgia, which includes:

  • Name of the candidate
  • Their date of birth 
  • Social security number 
  • Current and permanent address 
  • Consent of the candidate/applicant and,
  • Prior employment history

Education history and licenses

Certain professions, such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, professors, etc., have educational qualifications and licenses essential to run their practice in Georgia. 

Verifying such educational qualifications and professional licenses is necessary as this process reveals the authenticity of the qualifications and the applicant’s educational licenses. 

A few other educational qualifications that the candidates commonly have and are verified by Georgian employers include:

  • Military Records
  • Educational licenses such as CFA, CIMA, FRM, and licenses are required to practice as a lawyer and a doctor.

The employer must request all educational qualifications, certifications, and licenses to verify the candidate’s educational history.

Criminal record

A criminal background check in Georgia is one of the most common background verification tools and is also known to be one of the most complex verifications. 

Verifying a candidate’s criminal records is equally important, just like how employers check the employment history. An applicant’s criminal history determines their behavioral trends and could impact an employer’s workplace safety and negatively affect the team’s performance. 

For example, if a business hires an inventory stock manager to oversee their inventory and related funds, it is important to hire someone trustworthy with relevant experience. In such cases, past employment and a criminal background check will help ensure there are no existing fraud charges against the applicant.

Credit report

An employer conducts credit background checks in Georgia if they are hiring for positions in their finance department or if the employer operates in the banking or finance industry. 

A credit background verification ensures that: 

  • The applicant’s credit-to-debt ratio is at-par with the industry standards for the position and, 
  • Details how they handle finances in their personal life.

In such cases, employers must request the applicant’s financial information or bank statements.

Identity verification

Identity verification checks are one of Georgia’s most common and important pre-employment background checks. This help verify the applicant’s authenticity and show who the employee is, their residential address, their nationality and if they have any prior civil or criminal litigation. 

Employers must request identity proofs such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or other proof of identity provided by relevant government departments. 

Reference checks

Reference checks are one of the common parts of pre-employment background checks in Georgia. Businesses in Georgia commonly ask their experienced professionals for references from previous employers (ideally supervisors and colleagues) and university references for freshers. 

Reference checks ensure the authenticity of an application and the applicant’s experience by confirming their past employment, performance metrics, and any misconduct in the previous workplace.

To conduct a reference check, employers must request the candidate to provide up to two to three references.

Process Involved in Background Checks in Georgia

Although background check processes vary based on an employer’s internal policy, pre-employment background checks in Georgia include the following steps:

  • Create and implement a background check policy for all employees. It is important to ensure that background check policies are in a written format and has information on:
    1. The positions that an employer is hiring for
    2. The types of background checks that an employer will conduct
    3. The timeline for when the background check process
    4. How the background verifications will impact employment decisions
  • A comprehensive pre-employment background check policy enables a business to have a transparent and fair verification process. This can be used across all departments of an organization.
  • Ensure that the background verification policies are legally compliant. Georgian laws are relatively business-friendly; however, it is important to ensure that all laws are complied with to avoid attracting penalties and hefty fines. 
  • Therefore, employers must consult their legal counsel and run background check policies with their legal team. 
  • Employers must partner with the right pre-employment background check company. The most suitable background verification partner will depend on factors such as your
    1. Hiring volume
    2. Business size
    3. The number of office locations
    4. Size of your HR team
    5. Budget
    6. Background screening policy 
    7. In-house legal team
  • To avoid penalties, employers must ensure that their employee background verification partner complies with all the regulatory requirements of Georgian laws.
  • Georgian laws require all employers to inform their candidates/employees about the pre-employment background verification. Businesses must take written consent to avoid any legal troubles and penalties. 
  • When hiring a Georgian candidate, an employer must share the results from the background check.  
  • A business can now decide whether to hire the candidate based on the conducted background check.

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

Certain industries mandate background checks in Georgia, which include:

  • Any non-profit institutions or for-profit organizations which offer care to senior citizens, the disabled, children, and the sick.
  • Substance abuse facilities 
  • Daycare facilities 
  • Child placement agencies 
  • Home care agencies 
  • Nursing homes 
  • Hospitals 
  • Mental health facilities

Additionally, many foreign employers and investors also conduct background checks in Georgia to verify the competence, education, and skills of the potential Georgian candidates.

Services industries and certain professions such as law enforcement and lawyers also conduct an in-depth employee screening in Georgia.

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Hiring and onboarding the right talent is relatively easy due to the economy’s employment-friendly regulations. 

Partnering with a global Employer of Record (EOR) such as Multiplier can help you ease into the process. Our team of professionals in Georgia can help onboard your employees, process payroll, offer employee benefits, and ensure you are regularly updated and compliant with the relevant local laws. All of this can be done with just a few clicks.

Get to know more by getting in touch with our team!

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