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Starting a Business in Greece

Conducting employment background check in Greece

Greece has one of the highest working-age populations, making it lucrative for global companies to expand and invest in the large consumer market in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. 

However, even a small slip-up in comprehending the employment rules can leave businesses vulnerable to legal liability. Global companies looking to hire local talents can rely on background checks in Greece to find the right fit for their company. It helps avoid legal and financial risks besides being considered a responsible hiring practice. 

Here is a detailed guide explaining the local rules and regulations for conducting pre-employment background checks in Greece. 

What is Employment Background Verification?

Employment background verification refers to the authentication of personal and professional data for employment purposes. Companies can conduct background checks on current and potential employees. 

Companies commonly verify academic qualifications, work experience, financial records, social media records, and criminal records during background searches. 

Conducting background checks involves collecting, storing, and processing an employee’s personal and professional data. Therefore, companies must ensure they comply with the applicable data protection laws. 

Companies may conduct appropriate employee screening internally or partner with third-party firms specializing in background checks in Greece.

Benefits of Background Checks in Greece

Here are the specific advantages of conducting a pre-employment background check in Greece. 

  • Employers are vulnerable to legal and financial risks if they choose an unfit employee. 
  • Conducting credit checks on candidates before hiring for executive positions and positions related to finance will reduce the company’s financial risks. 
  • In some industries, a background check is necessary to ensure safety in the workplace. 

Find the most suitable candidate

  • It ensures that the workplace remains productive and accountable. 
  • It reduces employee turnover. 
  • It saves time and resources by avoiding repeat hiring for the same position. 
  • Companies can focus on strengthening their team instead of constantly filling vacant positions. 

Reduce information discrepancies

  • Companies have observed that educational qualification and work experience are the fields with the most discrepancies on a job application. 
  • Many candidates add untrue information in these fields to secure a job. 
  • However, adding background checks in job postings reduces the number of applications with misinformation. 
  • It upholds the quality of applications and increases the chances of hiring candidates with the right qualifications. 

It is a common practice for employers here to conduct background checks in Greece. However, collecting and processing personal data for employee screening in Greece obligates employers to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The Hellenic Data Protection Authority regulates processes related to employment background check in Greece. The authority limits employers from collecting information irrelevant to the position. 

That means employers can only conduct background checks in Greece to decide whether the candidates are suitable for the job position. Moreover, the individual’s consent is essential if companies want to collect information from third parties, like educational institutions.

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Greece

There are various laws revolving around employee background screening in Greece. Let’s look at the different types of searches and the guidelines that govern them. 

Criminal record

  • The Greek background check laws are restrictive for verifying criminal records. 
  • Companies can conduct a criminal background check in Greece only if it is relevant to the position. 
  • Employers can verify criminal records in financial security, insurance, and teaching institutions. 

Social media check 

  • Companies can browse an applicant’s social media profiles as part of an HR background check in Greece. 
  • However, employers must comply with the general data protection principles and use the information only for recruitment purposes. 
  • Moreover, the candidates should be able to speak about the accuracy of the information discovered by employers during these searches. 
  • Companies can verify publicly available information on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc. 

Credit report

  • Employers can verify a potential employee’s financial records as part of the company background check in Greece. 
  • However, there are some limitations to conducting these checks. Employers can verify a candidate’s credit history to ensure whether the candidate is creditworthy to fill the position. 
  • Moreover, companies require the candidate’s consent for these checks. 

Employment history

  • Companies can conduct an employment background check in Greece. There are no restrictions on this type of check. 
  • Employers can verify the details potential employees have mentioned in their job applications.
  • However, if they have to contact any third party, like the candidate’s past employment, they must get their consent first. 

Education History

  • Employers commonly verify academic qualifications and employment history in Greece. 
  • According to Greek background check laws, employers do not need consent if the candidate provides the information. 
  • However, if they want to verify information from a third party, they require consent. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Greece

Here is the information employers may require while conducting an employee background screening in Greece. 

  • Name of the candidate
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Details regarding their education like school name, date of attendance, major, location, degree certificate, and release form. 
  • Details regarding their previous employment like employer name, contact information, date of employment, job description, and release form. 

Companies must obtain the candidate’s written consent wherever necessary before conducting a background check in Greece. They should also mention the purpose of collecting the data. 

Employers can also hire third-party firms to conduct these background checks. Also, the company must notify the Greek Data Protection Authority about such activities. 

The Greek Data Protection Authority can revoke the company’s license or impose a fine of EUR 150,000 if they find them conducting non-compliant background checks. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Greece 

Here is a template employers can follow while conducting an employment background check in Greece. 

  • Employers can inform the candidate about the information they are collecting and its purpose. 
  • They also need the candidate’s consent to get information from a third party. 

Step 2: Gather information

  • Employers can collect all the information necessary to conduct a background check. 
  • Companies must comply with the regulations and only collect data relevant to the job position. 

Step 3: Conduct a background check

  • Employers can conduct a background check once they have all the information. 
  • Employers can hire an in-house team for these background checks or partner with third-party solutions specializing in background checks. 

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

While background checks in Greece are not mandatory, they are essential to responsible hiring processes. Background checks are recommended for all employers to maintain productivity, integrity, and safety in the workplace. 

Employers can conduct criminal background checks in Greece in the finance, teaching, security, and insurance industries. 

Companies can conduct medical checks if it is relevant to the job position. Working in nurseries, hotels, restaurants, and as drivers and pilots requires health checks to determine the candidate’s suitability for the vacancy. 

Apart from this, employers can verify employment history and academic background for almost all job positions to verify whether the candidate is suitable for the position.  

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Hiring and managing employees can become challenging with language and culture barriers in Greece. Additionally, employers must comply with Greek background check laws for employee screening. While these processes are often complicated and time-consuming, employers can partner with firms like Multiplier to avoid these complications. 

Multiplier offers global payroll management services for a compliant business expansion in more than 150 countries, including Greece. Multiplier has trusted partners for global employment and hiring abroad and does not directly involve in background searches in Greece. Our PEO-EOR platform is a powerful solution to simplify your employee onboarding and payroll management process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Greece is part of the EU; therefore, employers looking to conduct background checks in Greece must comply with the GDPR.

Yes, employers can conduct background checks on current employees, provided it is necessary and relevant to the job position.

It can take around 7-10 days to conduct a background check in Greece. The duration can vary depending on how extensive the search is.

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