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Payroll In Norway

How to Conduct Background Checks in Norway

Norway is an alluring country with its breathtaking landscapes and Scandinavian charm. But that is not all that makes it stand out. It is a desirable place to live and work because of its workplace culture. Moreover, it has one of the highest employment rates among all nations. 

Companies hiring globally can find a talented and skilled workforce in Norway. But, this comes with challenges like compliance with local regulations. Moreover, hiring trustworthy candidates for the job is essential to avoid complications. 

Background checks are part of responsible hiring processes to ensure you find the right fit for the job. Now, there are rules and regulations around background searches in Norway. 

It is essential to understand Norwegian laws around background checks before hiring. So, here is a detailed guide on conducting employee background checks in Norway. 

What is Employment Background Verification?

Employment background verification verifies current and potential employees’ personal and professional data. 

Companies conduct background checks to ensure they are hiring the right candidate. It also helps in avoiding liabilities that arise due to wrong hires.  

Employers verify the following information in a background check: 

Academic qualifications, work experience, criminal records, financial records, and social media. Employers also occasionally conduct medical checks to gauge a candidate’s physical fitness for a particular job. 

Conducting employee screening requires compliance with regulations. So, companies hire an in-house HR department for hiring processes. Many employers outsource this task to expert third-party firms while hiring globally. Outsourcing is also more economical than having an in-house HR department. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Norway

Conducting background checks is more than just a responsible hiring practice. There are many more advantages of background checks in Norway. 

Hire trustworthy candidates

  • Working with talent across the globe requires trust. 
  • Conducting background checks ensures that the candidates have provided truthful information about themselves.
  • They also verify whether employees are withholding details related to the position. 
  • Employers can face legal action for not knowing crucial details about a candidate’s past. 
  • They can face heavy losses by hiring fraudulent individuals for high-ranking positions.
  • But, screening candidates beforehand reduces these vulnerabilities. 

Reduce employee turnover

  • Many companies find that they have to hire for a particular position repeatedly. This situation often occurs due to the employees’ incompetence in handling their responsibilities. 
  • Reviewing a candidate’s academic qualifications and past work experience can help solve this issue. 
  • Moreover, it also saves the cost of repeatedly conducting hiring processes. 
  • Companies can focus on creating a powerful team rather than frequently filling vacant positions. 

High-quality job applications

  • Many candidates falsify data on their resumes to secure a job. It creates a nuisance for the hiring team. 
  • They have to review all the applications, even ones with false credentials. 
  • However, conducting background checks on education history or work experience weeds out these applications. 
  • Now, the HR team can focus on high-quality applications with the necessary qualifications. 

Companies can conduct background checks in Norway on current and potential employees. There are, however, regulations around obtaining the information for these searches. 

Employers looking to conduct employee screening in Norway must abide by the following: 

  • Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act (Section 30)
  • Working Environment Act (Section 13-4)
  • Personal Data Act 

Furthermore, employers must ensure strict compliance with GDPR while handling personal data. 

Things to Consider When Performing a Background Check in Norway

There are limitations and guidelines for performing employee background screening in Norway. The following are the things employers must consider while conducting particular checks. 

Criminal record

  • A criminal background check in Norway is highly restrictive. 
  • Norwegian laws categorize this information as sensitive personal data. 
  • The Norwegian Data Protection Authority states that employers cannot ask for such information. 
  • Employers cannot ask candidates for a certificate of good conduct. 
  • However, if the laws on certain professions require a certificate of good conduct, then employers can ask for this document. 
  • Certain positions, like handling the responsibilities of children, require a certificate of good conduct. 

Social media check

  • Employers must abide by personal data regulations while accessing a candidate’s social media during an HR background check in Norway. 
  • Employers must have a legal basis to review publicly-accessible information on social media. They can do so only if it is necessary for the job position. 
  • Moreover, employers must inform the candidates before conducting a social media check. For instance, employers can mention social media checks in job postings. 

Credit report

  • There are limitations to when employers can review an individual’s financial data.
  • Employers can ask for a credit report only for certain positions. For example, high-ranking vacancies with critical economic responsibility. 
  • Moreover, employers can only ask for this information in the final stages of the recruitment process. 

Employment history

  • Employers can verify a candidate’s past work experience. 
  • They can extensively verify the information the candidate provides. 
  • It is less common to verify parameters like the reason for termination or salary. But, Norwegian background check laws do not forbid it. 

Education History

  • Employers can verify academic qualifications while conducting a company background check in Norway. 
  • They can also verify certificates and other accolades mentioned in the application. 

Medical checks

  • Employers can only gather information about a candidate’s health if it is relevant to the job position during a background check in Norway. 
  • Employers can also ask candidates about certain illnesses if they make the candidate incompatible with job responsibilities. 

Other

  • According to section 30 of the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act, employers cannot gather information about family life, religious point of view, ethnicity, functional disability, and sexual orientation. 
  • But, employers can obtain information on functional disability, ethnicity, religious point of view, or personal cohabitation arrangements if it is relevant to the job position. 
  • Employers cannot ask about a candidate’s sexual orientation, views on political issues, or participation in trade unions. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Norway

It is crucial to obtain a candidate’s consent before conducting a background check.

Here is the information employers require for a pre-employment background check in Norway. 

  • Name of the applicant
  • Date of birth
  • Full Address
  • For academic qualification: school name, major, degree, date of attendance, location, release form, and degree copy. 
  • For employment history: employer name, contact information, date of employment, position held, and release form. 

If employers breach the GDPR, they may be liable to pay a fine of EUR 20 million or up to four percent of annual worldwide turnover (whichever is the highest). 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Norway

There is no fixed template for employee screening in Norway. However, employees can follow the procedure below:

Step 1: Determine which types of checks are lawful

  • Employers have certain limitations on the type of information they can obtain during background checks in Norway. 
  • They can verify academic qualifications, work experience, and social media commonly.
  • However, they must verify whether they can check criminal records, credit reports, medical reports, etc. 
  • As per GDPR, employers must obtain consent from candidates before collecting their personal data. 
  • Employers must inform the applicant beforehand to access publicly available information on social media. 
  • Now, employers can collect all the relevant information for a background check. 

Step 3: Conduct a background check

  • Once employers have gathered the documents, they can begin the background search. 
  • Employers must be mindful of the circumstances in which criminal background checks, credit checks, and medical check-ups are valid. 

Step 4: Conduct background checks

  • Employers can proceed with background checks once they procure all documents. 
  • Employers must ensure that they do not have personal data longer than necessary. 
  • Companies need to enforce necessary security protocols while processing personal data. 

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

Background checks in Norway are not a mandatory practice. However, they are highly encouraged to avoid liabilities and maintain integrity in the workplace. 

Employers can conduct criminal background checks in Norway if the regulations for the job position mention so. For example, employers can ask for a certificate of good conduct in the childcare industry. 

Employers can access a candidate’s credit report for high-ranking positions. 

Employers can conduct medical checks or ask about certain illnesses if it is relevant to the job position. For example, medical checks can be relevant for jobs involving heavy lifting, etc. 

Apart from this, employers can verify academic qualifications and work experience for all candidates to decide whether they are suitable for the job. 

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Companies can partner with third-party solution providers like Multiplier to reduce complications around employee background screening in Norway. 

Multiplier doesn’t directly provide employee screening services. However, we have several trusted partners around the globe for conducting background checks compliant with local laws. 

Multiplier is proficient in onboarding, employee management, and payroll services in over 150 countries, including Norway, to facilitate the compliant global expansion of startups and enterprises. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. It has abided by GDPR since 2018, as Norway is a member of the EEA.

The same restrictions concerning background checks in Norway apply to third-party and in-house teams.

The time taken to conduct background checks in Norway varies depending on how extensive the background check is. However, completing this process can take as little as 5-10 days.

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