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Comprehensive Guide to Background Checks in Guatemala

With a GDP of $85.99 billion, Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America. Services, manufacturing, and agriculture are the prime sectors contributing to its upper-middle-income economy. Guatemala is also a developing country with a pool of talented workforce. 

Employers seeking to hire qualified professionals from Guatemala must abide by local laws and regulations to protect themselves from legal and financial responsibilities. They are also encouraged to follow ethical hiring procedures to maintain a trustworthy, effective, and secure workplace.

A background check is an integral component of responsible hiring procedures. Businesses can hire the best candidate from the talent pool by performing employment background checks. 

To undertake employee screening in Guatemala while adhering to local laws, firms can follow these steps.

What is Employment Background Verification?

An employment background check collects and verifies a potential candidate’s or employee’s personal and professional data. A typical background check verifies the employee’s criminal, financial, work, and education records. 

A pre-employment background check is not mandatory in all industries. However, it promotes responsible hiring processes and helps employers find trustworthy employees. Verifying a potential candidate’s work history and academic qualifications helps employers understand whether they are right for the job. 

Companies can also opt for a criminal background check in Guatemala to maintain safety in the workplace. Hiring the right candidate for the job ensures that the workplace remains productive.

Employers and companies must stay compliant with local rules and regulations while conducting employment background checks in Guatemala globally. Companies can opt to hire a dedicated HR team that will look after the onboarding and hiring of employees. They can also choose to partner with third-party solutions to maintain compliance. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Guatemala

Employee background screening in Guatemala helps employers and companies hire skilled professionals. Companies can also find out if the candidate is capable and qualified to understand the scope of the work. It also helps verify whether the candidate has submitted the right information while applying for the job. 

Let’s look at the detailed benefits of conducting a background check in Guatemala. 

Upholding the standard of job applications 

  • Companies that include a background check in their hiring process have noticed that the quality of applications has improved. 
  • Candidates submit applications with fewer discrepancies when they know about the background check in Guatemala. 
  • It saves time while going through the applications and improves hiring standards. 
  • Academic qualifications and work history are fields in which employers find the most discrepancies. A thorough background search in Guatemala helps in separating them. And now, recruiters can only assess the remaining candidates with the required qualifications and experience. 

Finding the right employee for the company

  • Conducting an employee screening in Guatemala for high-level executive positions is highly recommended. It helps companies avoid financial losses later if they turn out to be unfit for the position. 
  • Verifying the academic background and work experience helps recruiters understand their working patterns. This way, they can find the candidate best suited for the role and the team. 
  • Employers can also contact references from their past workplaces. It will help understand how they carried out tasks and whether they can be a part of the team. 

Maintaining accountability and productivity in the workplace 

  • Employers do not have to repeat the hiring procedure when they have hired the right fit. It means that companies can strengthen their team instead of filling in vacancies constantly. 
  • Moreover, hiring the candidate most suited for the team ensures that they don’t disrupt the workplace’s productivity. They will also gel well into the workforce without harming productivity. 
  • Criminal background check in Guatemala is also helpful in maintaining accountability and safety in the workplace. 

Avoid wastage of time and resources

  • Hiring is time-consuming and resource-draining. And therefore, going through it repeatedly can significantly cost the company more. 
  • Conducting a thorough employee background screening beforehand helps reduce the wastage of resources and saves time. 

Following responsible hiring practices

  • In some industries, a pre-employment background check is required to avoid legal liabilities later. 
  • For example, in some sectors like childcare, and security, a background check helps align with responsible hiring practices. And also protects the company from legal risks. 

Employment background checks are legal in Guatemala. There are no restrictions or limitations as such on employee screening. Employers can also hire third-party firms to conduct background checks on potential candidates. 

While performing background checks, employers must abide by the Constitution of Guatemala and the Guatemalan Labor Code.  

During employee screening in Guatemala, employers can view educational background, work experience, financial background, social media profiles, and criminal records. However, the candidate’s consent is required if they want to access any information that is not publicly available.  

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Guatemala

There are no limitations or restrictions on employees for conducting an employment background check in Guatemala. Employers can conduct background checks on their employees as long as it is not discriminatory, per the Guatemalan labor code. 

You can verify various things while conducting employee background screening in Guatemala. 

Criminal record

  • A criminal background check is crucial to maintaining safety and accountability in childcare, security, or transport industries. 
  • However, the Guatemalan constitution states that police records and criminal records cannot be a reason to restrict any constitutional right. And that includes the right to work.

Credit report

  • Looking at a potential employee’s credit report reveals their financial background. 
  • A credit check is crucial for positions related to the company’s finance. For example, it is essential for the position of an accountant. 
  • Moreover, a financial background check is also relevant for high-level executive positions. It shields the company from any potential financial losses later. 

Employment history

  • A company may look into a candidate’s prior employment for employee screening in Guatemala.
  • Employers can learn about applicants’ working habits by looking at their employment history and getting in touch with their former employers. Additionally, it aids in their ability to assess their readiness for the duties.
  • Verifying the employment history guarantees that they genuinely possess the qualifications needed for the position.
  • Employers can also contact references listed in the application to understand whether they can work in a team or not. 

Education history

  • The educational background of a candidate is crucial for any job profile. It shows if they have acquired the knowledge necessary to understand and perform the work.
  • Employers can verify their academic credentials and certifications to ensure candidates have accurate information in their applications.
  • They can contact the institutions where they have studied as part of the education history verification. 

Social life

  • Employers access the candidate’s publicly available information on their social media platforms as part of an HR background check.
  • It helps understand a candidate’s behavioral characteristics, political viewpoints, etc.
  • By observing their social conduct, recruiters can determine if a candidate will be a good match for their organization.

Information Essential for a Background Check in Guatemala

Here are some of the things employers are required to know before conducting a background check in Guatemala. 

  • Companies must abide by the Guatemalan Labour Code and the Constitution of Guatemala while conducting background checks or employee screening. 
  • Employers can use police and criminal records to raise a concern about the candidature during the hiring process but not deny them their right to work only based on it. 
  • Employers can hire third-party firms to conduct background searches. 
  • Prior written consent from the applicant is required to access information not mentioned in their application or during the hiring process. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Guatemala

The Constitution of Guatemala or the Guatemalan Labor Code does not specify any procedure to follow while conducting a background check in Guatemala. However, employers can use the following template for employee background screening in Guatemala.  

Step 1: Asking for consent

  • If employers partner with third-party firms for background checks,  some conditions apply. 
  • Suppose a candidate’s personal information will be accessed in the verification process and is not mentioned in the application or during interviews. Then, companies will have to obtain the candidate’s consent for the third party to access their information. 

Step 2: Gather all documents for verification

  • Employers must gather all the necessary documents for an employment check in Guatemala. 
  • Standard documents for employment background checks include education qualifications, work experience, and others. 

Step 3: Pre-employment background check

  • Academic qualifications: Employees can verify the academic credentials and certificates listed on a resume while checking an applicant’s educational background.
  • Work experience: Employers can verify the employment experience listed on the applications. Usually, employers in Guatemala outsource reference checks, digital address verification, or professional license checks to a third-party provider for maximum efficiency. 
  • Social media presence: Employers can view the applicant’s social media profile. They can view publicly accessible information to learn more about the candidate’s opinions, behavioral habits, etc.
  • Other relevant details: Employers can conduct criminal background checks and credit checks wherever relevant. 

Industries and Situations Most Suitable for Background Checks in Guatemala

Background checks are necessary for various positions to prevent potential legal liabilities in the future. Fortunately, there is no restriction on conducting an employment background check in Guatemala. 

For work profiles like security agents, cab drivers, childcare providers, etc., a criminal background check is necessary to maintain safety. A financial background check is advised for high-level executive roles and professions like an accountant.

These are some profiles where background searches are relevant to reduce financial and legal liabilities. In addition, companies and employers are encouraged to conduct thorough background checks involving employment history and educational background for all positions. It helps in preserving the productivity and integrity of the workplace.

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Employers who want to hire employees from other countries must abide by local laws and regulations. Following ethical recruiting procedures prevents issues with team management and the onboarding process.

Comprehending local laws and regulations can take a lot of time and effort. Misreading the specifics could result in future financial and legal obligations. Employers can thus collaborate with third-party solutions like Multiplier to prevent these mishaps.

Multiplier is a PEO-EOR firm that offers innovative and effective solutions to maintain compliance with local regulations in 150+ countries. The skilled team at Multiplier can draft legally compliant documents, handle payroll, and manage employee benefits per local regulations. 

Multiplier also provides solutions to avoid legal risks while hiring and employee management in Guatemala.

Frequently Asked Questions

Discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, language, age, religion, political beliefs, economic situation, place of education, illness, and disability is prohibited in Guatemala. Furthermore, employers cannot restrict a candidate’s right to work based on their police and criminal records.

There are no limitations on what employers can verify during an employee background screening in Guatemala. But, if employers hire a third-party firm, they require the candidate’s consent to access information that is not publicly available.

It can take 2-3 weeks to conduct a background check in Guatemala. The time taken for the background search can vary based on how extensive the search is.

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