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Turkey Background Checks: Comprehensive Guide for Employers

Turkey, officially known as the Republic of Turkiye, has had the fastest economic growth of 11% among the G20 countries. Turkiye has implemented the Skills Training program to upgrade the labor force for people seeking jobs. Vocational training programs have had a significant impact on the workforce. It has led to the development of a skilled talent pool in Turkiye. 

To avoid legal and financial liabilities, employers looking to hire skilled professionals from Turkiye must follow local rules and regulations. They are also encouraged to follow responsible hiring practices to maintain an accountable, productive, and safe workplace. 

One of the most crucial aspects of responsible hiring processes is a background check. Conducting employment background checks ensures that companies have found the right person for the job. Employers must follow local rules and regulations while conducting an employment background check in Turkiye. 

So, here is how employers can conduct employee screening in Turkiye and remain compliant with the local regulations. 

What Is Employment Background Verification?

An employment background screening refers to verifying an employee’s personal and professional data by the employer. Usually, criminal records, education history, work history, financial records, medical checks, and character history are verified during pre-employment screening. 

Employers and companies can opt for background checks while hiring talent internationally. It ensures that they are hiring trustworthy employees. Employers can verify a potential candidate’s work history and academic qualifications to analyze whether they can handle the position’s responsibilities. 

Companies looking to hire talent from Turkiye can legally conduct a pre-employment background check and hire the best fit. They can dedicate an HR department for employee screening or hire a third-party firm that specializes in providing solutions to stay compliant with local regulations. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Turkiye

An employment background check before hiring the right candidate aids employers in hiring talented and skilled professionals. Employers can also determine whether candidates understand and fulfill the position’s responsibilities. It helps verify whether the candidate has submitted authentic qualifications and work experience. Here is a detailed summary of the benefits of a background check in Turkiye. 

Maintaining the quality of job applications 

  • Many companies have noticed that adding a background check in the hiring process has led to quality applications. 
  • Candidates applying, after knowing about the background checks, have fewer discrepancies in their resumes. 
  • It upholds the standard of job applications and saves time as well. 

Finding a candidate most suited for the company

  • An employee screening in Turkiye is highly recommended, especially for high-level executive positions. This way, companies can avoid potential financial losses for choosing the wrong candidate. 
  • Checking a candidate’s academic details and work history is integral to employee screening. 
  • It ensures that companies have hired the right candidate for the job based on their expertise and education. 
  • If candidates have provided contact information for references from past workplaces, employers can understand the working patterns of the candidate and know if they can fit well into the company. 

Creating an accountable workforce

  • As mentioned above, an employment background check finds the right fit for the company. Therefore, instead of disrupting the workforce, the new employee fits in, and the workplace remains productive. 
  • A criminal background check also forms a part of the screening process for relevant sectors. It maintains a safe working environment. 

Avoid wasting time and resources

  • A hiring process consumes a lot of a company’s time and resources. Hence, one can only imagine how repetitive procedures can affect the company.
  • Once companies have hired the right person for the job, they do not have to repeat the process. This way, they can focus on strengthening their workforce instead of constantly filling in vacancies. 
  • A background search can confirm that the candidate is indeed the right fit for the company and, therefore, won’t have to be replaced. 

Following responsible hiring processes

  • Employment background screening is necessary for many industries to avoid legal liabilities. 
  • Employers must conduct a criminal background check in many sectors, like childcare or security, to align with responsible hiring practices. 

Employee background screening in Turkiye is entirely legal. However, employers are bound by the local rules and regulations while conducting an employment background check. 

The regulations for Turkiye – background checks are mentioned in: 

  • The Law on Protection of Personal Data
  • The Criminal Code
  • The Labor Law

Employers wanting to carry out employee screening must follow the rules mentioned in these three legislations. The Data Protection Authority of Turkiye is an independent regulatory authority responsible for protecting data. They have financial and organizational autonomy and are responsible for handling discrepancies occurring while handling personal data. 

Data controllers, or in this case, employers and companies, are required to register with the Data Controller’s Registry (VERBIS) and record their data processing activities. 

Employers can verify criminal records, financial records, education history, work history, and social background during a background check if they are relevant and have the employee’s consent. 

Per the Occupational Health and Safety Law, employers can also conduct a medical health check if the work is hazardous. 

Companies can also conduct drug and alcohol testing on their employees and potential candidates. An employee’s consent is required for these tests. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Turkiye

There are no restrictions or limitations on an employment background check in Turkiye. Employers can conduct background checks as long as they are relevant to the job. Companies can reject applicants if they are unwilling to consent to a background search, as long as it applies to the job. 

You can verify various things during a pre-employment background check in Turkiye. 

Criminal record

  • A criminal background check is crucial to maintain safety in various sectors like childcare or security. 
  • Employers can verify whether a candidate’s criminal record is relevant to the job position. 
  • Conducting a criminal background check in Turkiye reveals whether a candidate has committed felonies or if they were convicted of anything. 

Credit report

  • A financial background check reveals a candidate’s financial background. 
  • For executive positions and positions like accounting, a credit check helps avoid financial losses later. 

Employment history

  • An employer can check a candidate’s work history for employee screening. 
  • Looking at their work experiences and contacting their previous workplaces can help companies understand the applicant’s working patterns. It also helps them assess whether they can take on the responsibilities. 
  • Verifying the work history ensures they have the skills required for the job.  
  • Employers can also contact the references applicants have mentioned in their resumes. 

Education History

  • An applicant’s education history is quite important for any job profile. It indicates whether they have gathered the knowledge required to understand the work. 
  • Employers can verify candidates’ academic qualifications and certifications to ensure they have provided the correct information in their applications. 
  • Many employers have observed that the most discrepancies are found in education history and past work experiences. 

Social life

  • As part of an HR background check, employers access the candidate’s publicly available information on their social media profiles. 
  • It helps an employer understand the applicant’s behavioral traits, views, etc. 
  • Recruiters can also gauge whether they will be a good fit for their company based on their social behavior. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Turkiye

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

  • Employers and companies are required to inform candidates and employees before conducting a background check. 
  • They can proceed with the background search if the candidate consents to it. 
  • Employers can only verify the aspects relevant to the job position. 
  • Employers are required to collect the information directly from the applicant/employee. Moreover, they must inform the applicant/employee how they will handle the data, and whosoever will have access to it.
  • Employers can refuse to hire applicants if they don’t consent to an employee screening. 
  • The Data Protection Authority can inflict fines or imprisonment on the employee if they are found to be non-compliant with the regulations. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Turkiye

There is no specific procedure to conduct an employment background check in Turkiye. However, here is a template that employers and companies can follow.  

Step 1: Registering with the VERBIS

  • Data controllers are required to register with the Data Controller’s Registry (VERBIS) before conducting a background search. 
  • It helps the Data Protection Authority to keep an eye on the entire process and ensure that the data subject’s rights are upheld. 
  • Employers are required to inform candidates and employees before conducting a background search. 
  • After an employee’s permission, an employer can proceed with the background check. 

Step 3: Verifying academic qualifications

  • While checking an applicant’s education history, employees can verify their academic qualifications and certificates mentioned in the resume. 

Step 4: Verifying work experience

  • Employers can verify the work experiences candidates have mentioned in their applications. 
  • They can contact the references provided for the work experience. 

Step 5: Verifying publicly available data on social media

  • Employers can view the publicly available information on the applicant’s social media profile to understand their views, behavioral patterns, etc. 

Step 6: Verifying other relevant details

  • If applicable, employers can also check criminal records and financial records. 
  • Employers can also conduct a medical health check if the job profile is categorized as hazardous. 
  • Employers can also conduct drug and alcohol testing with the employee’s consent. 

Step 7: Recording data processing activities with VERBIS

  • Employers are required to record their data processing activities in the registry. 
  • It helps the Data Protection Authority exercise the right of personal data protection effectively. 

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

There are no restrictions while conducting an employment background screening in Turkey. However, the information has to be relevant to the job position. There are some positions where background checks are required to avoid legal liabilities in the future. 

  • A criminal background check is mandatory for job profiles like security agents, taxi drivers, childcare professionals, etc. 
  • A financial background check is recommended for high-level executive positions and profiles like an accountant. 
  • A medical check is relevant where the working conditions are categorized as hazardous in Turkish labor laws. 

So, these are some of the profiles where various background searches are relevant. Apart from these, employers are highly encouraged to conduct appropriate background checks for all positions, like education and work history. It helps maintain the integrity and productivity of the workplace. 

How Can Multiplier Help With Background Checks?

Employers looking to hire talent internationally are required to maintain compliance with local rules and regulations. Following responsible hiring processes avoids complications during the onboarding process and team management. 

There are no restrictions as such on employee background screening in Turkiye. However, companies must stay compliant with the Law on Protection of Personal Data, the Criminal Code, and the Labour law. 

Understanding the local rules and regulations can be time-consuming and often complicated. Misinterpreting the details can lead to financial and legal liabilities in the future. Therefore to avoid these mishaps, employers can partner with third-party solutions like Multiplier.

Multiplier is a PEO-EOR firm that provides innovative solutions to remain compliant with local regulations in more than 150 countries. Our skilled team drafts legally compliant documents manage payroll, distributes employee benefits per local laws, etc. Multiplier also has effective ways to avoid legal issues during the hiring and for employee management in Turkiye.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Data Protection Law has mentioned the fines for infringement of the law varying from TRY 13,391 to TRY 2,678,863. Moreover, as per the criminal code, an employee may also face imprisonment from 1 to 4.5 years.

An employer can verify a candidate’s medical records, financial records, criminal records, education history, work history, and social background, as long as it is relevant to the job profile.

At the most, it can take up to 8 days to conduct a background search for every aspect. The time taken for the entire search can vary based on how extensive the search is.

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