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Starting a Business in Poland

Background Checks / Employee Screening In Poland

The Republic of Poland is a strategically located country bordered by Belarus, Poland, Germany, and Czech Republic. Polish companies can export products to the west and ease simultaneously with minimal hiccups.  

Poland is one of the most resilient and reliable economies in Europe. As the stable Polish economy allows businesses to avoid operational disruptions during a global economic crisis, many employers flock to this country.  

The country has an estimated population of around 38 million and a staggering high literacy rate of  99.8%. Clocking a high literacy rate, Poland is home to talented and experienced individuals in every industry, open to new opportunities and international exposure. 

Doing business and hiring employees in Poland is a lucrative prospect for employers. However, as a member of the European Union, Poland has some strict protocols regarding personal data protection. As verifying candidate information is an inherent part of hiring, employers must be aware of specific provisions that moderate an HR background check in Poland. 

This article helps an employer traverse various laws and limitations in certain situations. With all the necessary information compiled here, employers can confidently conduct a pre-employment background check in Poland while staying compliant.

What is Employment Background Verification?

Employment background verification is a process employers use to determine the authenticity of the information provided by applicants while hiring. Some of the most common forms of background verification include validating a candidate’s educational background, employment history, criminal records, etc. 

A background check in Poland is moderated by the Polish labor law and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Employers looking to hire in Poland must abide by the provisions enforced by the mentioned laws to run a pre-employment background check in Poland successfully. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Poland

Poland has often attracted the attention of international employers. However, with the availability of a vast talent pool, employers who conduct a pre-employment background check in Poland are more likely candidates with the right qualifications and personality. 

  • Overcoming tampered data
    1. The competition for getting jobs has increased significantly due to the availability of more talent and accomplished professionals. 
    2. Candidates often tend to tamper with some of their data to increase their chances of getting a job. 
    3. Running an HR background check in Poland helps an employer to identify such attempts, thus allowing them to screen for such candidates. 
  • Maintaining and improving the company culture
    1. A well-coordinated team with an optimistic approach plays a huge role in a company’s growth. 
    2. Determining a candidate’s personality through their social media views allows an employer to assess their contribution to the existing work culture. 
  • Reduced risks
    1. Companies are held liable for their employee’s conduct. 
    2. Companies who conduct a criminal background check in Poland are less likely to be implicated, as candidates with a criminal record can be screened out. 
  • Better decision making
    1. Conducting a well-rounded background check in Poland allows an employer to determine a candidate’s capability. 
    2. Moreover, it allows an employer to determine an applicant’s personality. 
    3. The availability of such information allows the employing company to make better hiring decisions. Furthermore, allowing them to bring in capable employees who can improve the overall work atmosphere with their optimistic views and personality. 

Are Background Checks Legal in Poland?

A background check in Poland is legal but restrictive, where an employer must follow several protocols. Certain provisions moderate a pre-employment background check in Poland: 

  • The Act on Personal Data Protection by the Polish labor law
  • Council(EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on protecting natural persons in terms of personal data processing 
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

As Per Polish labor law and GDPR, an employer looking to conduct a background check in Poland must gain explicit consent from the applicant. The application form is often considered a form of consent in most cases, but due to the several restrictive amendments, it is always suggested to gain explicit consent. Furthermore, employers should gain approval before initiating the review. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Poland

An employer can conduct an HR background check in Poland only on the applicant’s information.

  • Employment history
    1. An employer must conduct a company background check in Poland while considering an applicant with relevant work experience. 
    2. The primary goal of running the said check is to determine the validity of the provided information. 
    3. The applicant’s resume provides the employment record of relevant work experience. 
  • Education history
    1. Regardless of a candidate’s experience in similar roles, it is a mandatory check. 
    2. The primary motive is to verify an applicant’s education and ensure the accuracy of the provided data. 
  • Criminal record
    1. Per Polish law, past convictions and specific criminal acts are recorded in the National Crime Register (KRK) records past convictions and specific criminal acts. These records are restrictive.
    2. According to Article 10 of the GDPR 2016/679, hiring companies are forbidden from conducting a criminal background check in Poland, even with the candidate’s explicit consent. 
    3. Employers can access such records to make hiring decisions only when the law requires a candidate to have a clean record for a listed job. 
  • Credit report
    1. The credit report is a good indicator of the applicant’s ability to manage personal finances. 
    2. Such reports are highly insightful in jobs where asset management is listed as a deliverable. 
    3. There are no explicit provisions that restrict employers from obtaining the credit report of an applicant. However, it is always suggested to gain the applicant’s consent.
  • Social life
    1. Conducting a check on a candidate’s social media allows employers to determine their personality. 
    2. Since the applicant’s views and posts are available in the public domain, employers can conduct the required checks.

Information Essential for a Background Check in Poland

Per labor law, gaining explicit consent from the applicant is necessary for conducting an HR background check in Poland. Furthermore, Polish law prohibits the information employers can acquire or request from their applicants. 

The candidate usually provides most of the information required for a pre-employment background check in Poland. However, considering the labor law provisions, employers can ask for the data listed below.

  • Explicit consent of the applicant
  • An applicant’s legal name and date of birth 
  • School and university names, degrees, attendance dates, release forms, reference names, and contact information for verifying education
  • Employing company, employment tenure with dates, designations held, resignation letter, and employer contact information with their name for conducting a company background check in Poland. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Poland

A pre-employment background check in Poland can be conducted manually or with the help of a third-party agency. While conducting a pre-employment background check in Poland, the employing company must follow the listed steps. 

  • Listing out requirements
    1. Several provisions restrict a background check in Poland. Therefore, employers must list and identify the necessary information that needs further verification. 
    2. Once the requirements are listed, the employing company must notify the applicant and obtain their consent for the process. 
  • Gathering information
    1. Employers can contact the references in the application form to collect information on candidates’ educational and employment backgrounds. 
    2. For a criminal background check in Poland, a company must show a legal requirement for conducting the check to the National Crime Register. On acknowledgment, the necessary information is provided. 
    3. To collect other essential information, an employer can contact the concerned authorities. 
  • Cross-verification
    1. After collecting the information, an employer can cross-verify the data provided by the candidate. 
    2. Reports such as criminal records, credit reports, etc., are scrutinized per the job and company’s requirements.
    3. Based on the comprehensive information, applicants can be further considered or dismissed.

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

Every pre-employment background check in Poland involves verifying employment and educational data. However, for specific jobs and industries, employers need to check more background information of a candidate.

Following global practices, employers can conduct background checks in fields including finance, hospitality, healthcare, and transportation. Companies can also extend their background checks to partner vendors and suppliers to avoid legal and financial liabilities.

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Multiplier, a SaaS-based Employer of Records (EOR) platform, is the one-stop destination for employers looking to hire internationally. An employer can transfer the task of conducting a background check to Multiplier and save huge chunks of time and effort that can be redirected elsewhere. As a partner to several third-party background check companies, Multiplier ensures convenience at every level of international hiring and subsequent compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

An employer can ask for a candidate’s medical history while conducting an HR background check in Poland. However, the applicant’s approval is necessary, and data collection is limited to the required relevant information.

An employer can visit the Warsaw head office in Czerniakowska Street, no. 100. However, the visit should be made in person. Furthermore, employers can also check in with one of the many KRK information points at local courts in Poland.

As conducting a criminal background check in Poland is restrictive, employers must follow specific protocols. The procedure might take around 2 to 3 weeks if everything is followed.

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