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Background Checks / Employee Screening in Ghana

With a population of over 30 million, Ghana is noted for having a diversified and expanding labor force. With a large proportion of the population in the working age period of 15 to 64 years, the nation has a relatively young demographic profile, which is seen as a potential demographic dividend for economic growth.

Ghana has a relatively high literacy rate compared to many other African nations, and a sizable section of the populace is educated and fluent in English. This makes having good communication and language skills advantageous for the Ghanaian workforce.

Ghana also has a history of political stability and a generally tranquil atmosphere, which can help create a welcoming workplace environment. The government has worked to enhance the labor market and workforce through laws, rules, and programs that support fair labor practices, uphold workers’ rights, and foster skill development.

Employee screening in Ghana is a necessary procedure that aids businesses in making educated selections about who they are recruiting, particularly in sectors like tourism, where consumer happiness and security are significant concerns. These checks assist in avoiding any legal problems, lowering the possibility of theft or fraud, and guaranteeing a secure workplace. 

What Is Employment Background Verification?

The process of gathering and reviewing private and public documents to assess a candidate’s employability is known as employment background verification. Employers may perform background checks before or after an employee is employed. State regulations differ regarding the information that can be searched during background checks, and they might involve examining a person’s financial, work, criminal, and commercial history.

Employment background checks are performed to assist employers in making knowledgeable hiring decisions, lower the possibility of fraud or theft, avoid potential legal problems, and provide a safe workplace. It can increase a candidate’s chances of landing a job and is a typical step in the hiring process for many organizations.

An employer or a third-party provider may undertake an employment verification, a background check verifying a job candidate’s employment history. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Ghana

There are several benefits of conducting background checks in Ghana. They have been illustrated below:- 

  • Confirmation of employee details: Employers can use background checks to confirm the details provided by job candidates, such as their educational background and employment history, to ensure the applicant is qualified for the position they are looking for. 
  • Finding criminal history: Background checks can also be used to find any criminal histories, both locally and abroad, to confirm that a candidate hasn’t engaged in violent or dishonest behavior in the past. 
  • Evaluating employee behavior: By conducting a thorough background screening in Ghana, employers can acquire important information about their behavioral habits.
  • Ensuring workplace safety: Additionally, by ensuring that they are not hiring anyone who poses a threat to the business, its employees, or its clients, businesses may maintain a safe and secure workplace. 

Are Background Checks Legal in Ghana?

Pre-employment background checks in Ghana are legal, but there are certain legal restrictions that foreign companies should be well-versed with. While conducting education, criminal background, and identity checks are permissible, background confirmation of a candidate’s address is subject to certain legal restrictions. It is always recommended to seek a legal counselor to help with the statutory nitty-gritty involved in conducting background checks in Ghana. 

The Data Protection Act of 2012 states that is acquiring personal information directly from the individual concerned is necessary to prevent breaches of privacy, except in cases where:

  • The subject gives consent for the information to be obtained from a third party.
  • The information is obtained for judicial, national security, or law enforcement purposes.

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Ghana

Before commencing with employee background screening in Ghana, there are a few things you need to know:-

Employment history

A candidate’s employment history is crucial to employee background checks in Ghana. As an employer, you need to ensure that the applicant provides all the mandatory information related to their past employment, including the contact information of their employers and relevant references. It is legal for employers to contact references via phone or e-mail to verify the period of employment, the job positions and roles, and the applicants’ salaries.

Education history

Employers can utilize Education Verification checks to confirm a candidate’s educational history. These checks can reveal differences between a candidate’s educational history and their résumé, including their dates of attendance, qualifications, or credentials.

Criminal record

This is one of the most important forms of employee background checks in Ghana. This is primarily conducted by contacting the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters, Accra. As a foreign employer, you must hire a third-party background verification service or a resident Ghanaian who can help you on your behalf. For verifying the criminal record of applicants in Ghana, they are required to provide the following:

  • Photocopy of the bio-data page in their passport
  • Information about their parents
  • Information about schools they attended
  • Information about their previous employment
  • Three passport-size photographs
  • A fee of $200

Social media check

Essential details about an employee’s social behavior can be learned from an applicant’s social media activities. When conducting a thorough background check in Ghana, the company may decide to check its social media profiles if available. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Ghana

Applicants are required to provide the following mandatory information to help the employers of the company they have applied to in conducting a background check in Ghana:-

  • The applicant’s consent to run a background check
  • The full name of the applicant
  • Date of birth of the applicant
  • Address proof of the applicant (both previous and existing)
  • Employment history (job titles, employment dates, and salary) of the applicant
  • Educational qualifications (degrees, diplomas, and certifications) of the applicant
  • The criminal record of the applicant
  • Reference of previous employers as well as colleagues of the applicant
  • Social media links (If available)

Process Involved in Background Checks in Ghana

Conducting background checks in Ghana is relatively simple and can be simplified if you hire a third-party company that provides this service. The entire process will involve thorough checks of an applicant’s criminal record, educational background, employment history, reference checks, and other checks the employer requires. Here is a detailed illustration of the general processes involved:-

  • Informing the employee and acquiring consent: As per Ghanaian laws, it is imperative to be transparent about the background verification, the processes involved, and the information required from the applicant. You also need to acquire documented consent from the applicant before conducting background checks in Ghana. 
  • Compile relevant information: To conduct a background check in Ghana, ensure you have all the relevant information in a documented format from the applicants. This includes personal details about their life (full name, parent’s name, address proof, etc.), criminal record, academic qualifications, work experience, etc. 
  • Verifying: Once all the necessary information has been gathered from the candidate, the verification process begins. This includes verification of official records and references that the applicant in concern has provided to ensure accuracy. The verification process generally involves checking the following:-
    • Employment history 
    • Criminal background 
    • Educational background 
    • Social media profiles
  • Reviewing: After the verification process, the information will require a review. Ensure all the information provided is reliable and easily accessible from a trusted source. To ensure this, you can hire a third-party background check service. 
  • Evaluating: Post-reviewing, you must evaluate all the information gathered from the sources. By assessing the details, you will need to weigh out your options and make your employment decision based on the requirements for the job position and the information reviewed by the applicant.
  • Report to the employee: Once you have evaluated your options by reviewing the garnered report with compiled information about education, employment, and criminal history, inform the applicant about your hiring decision. If the applicant passes all the checks, approach them with an employment offer letter. If they don’t, the hiring decision entirely depends on you. You can either give the candidate a chance to challenge the decision or reject the employment altogether.

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

Background checks in Ghana are becoming increasingly common in various industries and situations to ensure safety, security, and trustworthiness. Here are some examples of industries and situations where background checks are most suitable:

  1. Employment: Before hiring, employers commonly use background checks to verify a job candidate’s credentials, employment history, and criminal background.
  2. Financial Services: Banks and other financial institutions in Ghana use background checks to ensure the trustworthiness of their employees, especially those in sensitive positions.
  3. Education: Background checks are used by educational institutions to ensure the safety and security of students and staff members.
  4. Healthcare: Background checks are used by healthcare providers to verify the qualifications and criminal histories of potential employees.
  5. Government: The government of Ghana uses background checks to ensure the suitability of candidates for positions of trust and responsibility.

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Employee background checks are now required in practically all modern industries due to the everyday handling of sensitive information by businesses worldwide. Multiplier helps organizations find reliable individuals for crucial positions, ensuring legal compliance and top productivity. We are a global PEO-EOR company that helps businesses perform compliant hiring and employment practices worldwide while minimizing all risks. We are dedicated to helping companies launch new endeavors in foreign nations like Ghana by assisting with employee background screening in Ghana.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the employment laws in Ghana, no candidate can be subjected to any discrimination based on gender, race, religion, and ethnicity.

The employer should keep the background check results until the employment decision is made.

A holistic background check in Ghana may depend on certain factors. If you hire a third-party service, conducting a record search can take 10 to 20 days.

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