Employee Background Verification in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the fastest-growing economies in SouthEast Asia. Its proximity to several major economies of the south makes the archipelago a strategic location to set up shop. 

Over the past ten years, the government has made stellar improvements to encourage FDI and domestic consumption. With such holistic development, Indonesia must also produce manpower and prodigious talent to meet these needs. The government has made amendments to the Manpower Law to improve the attractiveness of hiring in the country.

To have access to the best talent in the country having a clear understanding of the essentials of background checks is crucial. Apart from focussing on hiring and recruitment, employers also need to understand the process of doing background checks in Indonesia so that they can eliminate any risks that come along with hiring and prevent instances of fraud. 

What Is Employment Background Verification?

An employment background verification is a security-based activity carried out to ensure the employee’s background, history of employment, financial activities, social media behaviors, and other relevant details.

A comprehensive background verification of an employee helps organizations ensure a safe and productive workplace . It helps employees avoid candidates with oddities in their employment history.

In some cases, it also helps organizations figure out if the employee needs extra support in terms of mental health, rehabilitation, etc.

Employee background checks also help you put people in positions requiring high trust. They also reduce employee turnover.  

On average, background verifications can take anywhere between 1-10 days. The number of days varies depending on the job and the kind of responsibilities. 

Background checks in Indonesia are no rarity. Employers in Indonesia conduct background verifications for obvious reasons. In niche industries, where employees require certain mental and physical endurance levels, backgrounds checks are conducted to ensure workers have the same tenacity.

This article covers everything you need to know about conducting background checks in Indonesia.

Benefits of Background Checks in Indonesia

As stated above, employers reap a host of benefits by conducting background checks. Apart from avoiding job frauds, employers also witness lower employee turnover, conducting an employee background check in Indonesia helps you prevent money laundering and recruit employees who have fraudulent experiences.

The background check process can be as short as conducting checks on social media and be as exhaustive as conducting drug tests, history of finances, to name a few. However, employers cannot undermine the benefits of conducting a comprehensive background check. 

Background checks in Indonesia benefits companies by:

  1. Helping prevent fraud and terrorism
  2. Preventing injuries
  3. Enabling to put a solid defense
  4. Maximize productivity 
  5. Secure data

Are Background Checks Legal in Indonesia?

There are no statutory requirements or regulations to comply with. In contrast, there are now laws to protect the storage of employees' data as well. This data may include:

  1. Criminal records
  2. School records
  3. Employment records
  4. Financial information

Do note that, although vague, Article 28G of the 1945 Constitution strives to offer some form of protection,

“Each person shall have the right to protection of their personal selves, families, respect, dignity, and possessions under their control and shall have the right to security and protection from threat of fear for doing or for not doing something which constitutes a human right.”

Employers and employees should also note that Law No. 11 of 2008 regarding Electronic Information and Transactions prevents the transmission or the use of the personal data of an individual. The law goes on to say that this activity can only be pursued not without the expressed consent of the individual.

There are no penalties or sanctions against employers who violate the terms of Law No.11. However, employees may file a claim for losses if their rights are infringed.

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Indonesia

Most background checks for employees in Indonesia involve checks related to academic credentials, criminal checks, location details.

Employment history

Employment checks involve detecting anomalies with previous employers. The activities involved include verifying applicants’ job titles, tenure, and salary claims as claimed by the candidate in the interview process.   Employers can also check for workplace behaviors and investigate any instances of workplace misconduct. 
When recruiting for jobs that involve high levels of physical risks, employers could also investigate employee performance in prior environments with the previous employers.

Education history

Employers can check a prospective employee’s academic credentials while conducting a background check in Indonesia. 
Employers can check an employee's marks, school, and graduate certificates during this process, if applicable. 
This ensures that employers are not duped into recruiting employees with fake certificates and information. 

Criminal record

Checking criminal records is one of the most crucial activities while conducting a background check in Indonesia. Employers must keep in mind the following while screening an Indonesian employee.
Employers can request employees to obtain a State of Good behavior (Surat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian or SKCK) from the office of the Indonesian National Police in the local district. 
An SKCK is valid for six months and is only valid in the district the prospective employee is domiciled. The certificate is issued by the Chief of Police or on their behalf. The letter confirms that the individual has no criminal record in the past or if there is an ongoing investigation against the candidate. 
However, the certificate does not tell if the employee has been charged with criminal charges in the past. 

Credit report

Credit reports are barely checked during employee screening in Indonesia. Suppose employers need to screen an employee’s credit card. In that case, employers can seek the help of certain financial institutions to obtain details on the credit history of employees from Bank Indonesia, the central bank.

Social life

Employers can also verify an employee’s information on social media. Businesses are not restricted from collecting and verifying information on search history and social network sites. However, employers cannot access any private information.
Besides, employers can also collect and verify information on political views and union memberships. However, employers cannot use this to discriminate against employees or any offers made to employees. 

Health checks

Two labor laws govern health check activities conducted during a background check in Indonesia. 
They are:
 Article 8 of the Work Safety Law stipulates that,
“The manager is required to check the physical health, mental condition and physical ability of the employees to be employed or transferred in accordance with the nature of the work assigned to such workers.”
Minister of Manpower and Transmigration (“MOMT”) Regulation No. Per.02/MEN/1980 dated March 13, 1980, regarding Employee Health Check-ups in Organizing Work Safety defines the various health checks. 
According to this regulation, employers can require employees to undergo physical examinations and screening. Their employment can be conditional on these checks. 
This aside, employers can also conduct alcohol and drug screening during their background check process in Indonesia. However, these tests are allowed only for a limited number of circumstances that require employees to work with drugs and alcohol. Moreover, these tests also require the express consent of the employee.

Information Essential for a Background Check in Indonesia

The following section explains the basic information required to conduct a background check in Indonesia:

  1. Academic certificates
  2. Driving records
  3. Statement of Good behavior (Surat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian)
  4. Prior medical records
  5. Financial credit reports
  6. Fingerprints & handwriting
  7. Social media handles
  8. Drug and alcohol testing
  9. Proof of address
  10. Work visa (in case of immigrants)
  11. Payslips

Process Involved in Background Checks in Indonesia

Listed below is an overview of pursuing a background check in Indonesia.

Preliminary qualification checks

Employers must begin by verifying an employee’s qualification and confirms claims such as the year, place, and academic degrees are legitimate.  During the process, employers can contact the corresponding  institutions to verify the individuals' enrollment and graduation.

Employment verification

Verifying employment history confirms the candidate's past employment history.

Activities include but aren’t limited to:

  • ~Reaching out to previous employers via phone calls, emails, or personal visits
  • ~Confirmation of the candidate's position or title
  • ~Finding out why the company no longer employs the employee

Reference verification

This involves activities such as: 

  • ~Checking the authenticity of references
  • ~Reaching out to references to verify the applicant's claims
  • ~Examining the candidate's performance in the past

Contact number verification check

Contacting various phone numbers provided to determine if they are legitimate

  • ~Numbers verified may include a home and mobile phone number or emergency contact number

Passport and ID check

During the selection process, it's common to ask for a personal identity card (KTP). Candidates' CVs are likely to be attached to them when they attend interviews. Employers can verify that an identification document is accurate by contacting the civil registry office.

Neighbourhood Check

The address listed in the application visited to determine the authenticity:

  • ~If the applicant does not own the property, contact the owner or landlord to verify that the property is being used as a residence and not for other illegal purposes
  • ~Employers may interview neighbours as well

Extensive Internet and social media verification

The activities include:

  • ~Checks online, newspaper, and magazine sources
  • ~Examines the content of social media accounts
  • ~Searches of websites mentioning the applicant

Things to Know Before Doing Background Checks in Indonesia

This section explains what you need to be aware of when conducting background checks in Indonesia.

Compliance

Although no regulations stop employers from pursuing background checks and employee screening in Indonesia, it is essential to stay compliant with the general labor laws. 

You could avoid any misunderstandings by signing an agreement form with the employee. Ensure that you inform candidates of their rights before screening their details.

Ensure fair treatment

Indonesia is a country with strict employee labor laws to safeguard workers' rights. This is to ensure that employees do not suffer any ill-treatment.

Do remember this while screening employees as well. Ensure all processes performed on one candidate are applied to all. Moreover, make sure that the political affinities and affiliations of the employee neither affect the way they are screened nor their employment offer.

Look out for anomalies and abnormal patterns

The result of a background check is not always revealed by a single negative or positive clue. When evaluating potential hires, identify the positive or negative patterns that appear consistently. Should a pattern not satisfy your confirmation, you can dig deeper.

How Multiplier helps with background checks

Investing in a background check will help you build a high-quality workforce that will help you reach your roles, you will want to tailor your screening policies. Outsourcing your employee screening process in Indonesia can expedite the employment verification process. Partnering with a service provider can ensure you carry out all the checks while staying compliant.

Multiplier is a global employment solution that offers a range of global HR solutions. Using our Saas-based global employment platform, you could provide a smooth onboarding for your employees and handle payroll taxes compliantly. Multiplier also facilitates employment screening in Indonesia for you to build a high-quality workforce.

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