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Comprehensive Guide to Conducting Background Checks in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing countries in Southeast Asia, known for its large skilled and educated workforce. With 56 million working individuals, the labor participation rate in Vietnam ranked 76.6% in 2019. Besides the workforce in Vietnam, the country is also known for its ease of doing business, developing infrastructure, government policies that help businesses to flourish, and talented workforce. 

With a pool of employees in Vietnam, If you’re looking to expand your business into the Vietnamese market, you must follow the employment laws while hiring. This article will cover everything about employment background checks in Vietnam.

What is Employment Background Verification?

Background verification ideally evaluates the employment history, financial records, criminal records, commercial records, and other individual or new hires’ activities. Background verification is conducted to confirm the authenticity of the information they provided. 

With a highly mobile workforce and an influx of skilled and educated talent, employers use background verification for looking up and screening potential candidates and new hires. This is done especially in today’s time to ensure the right hire is made.

With the digitization of numerous public records such as national IDs, passports, academic certificates, court records, and police records in several countries across the globe, employers have facilitated prompt screenings of their new hires and entities they work with. 

When you’re in the process of hiring, you want to be as thorough and as careful as possible. But if your organization is like most, you may not have the resources to dive deeply into each candidate’s background. This article mainly aims at covering several essential aspects of employee background screening in Vietnam.

Benefits of Background checks in Vietnam

An employer invests a significant amount of time and money in a new employee. The hope is that they will stay with the company for a long time and continue to provide excellent work that positively influences business growth. 

Building a new team in a relatively new country, especially before making employment offers to candidates, can help you avoid making disastrous hiring if you conduct a background verification. 

Therefore, conducting a background verification in Vietnam will expose any information the person withheld through the interview process, ensuring that your organization only invests in trustworthy individuals.

Benefits of having a background check in Vietnam include

  • Improved quality of hire 
  • Reduced negligent hiring risks 
  • Enhanced regulatory compliance 
  • Minimizing the risk of legal liabilities that results from unlawful activities by employees
  • Improved workplace safety

Although there is no explicit provision in the labor laws in Vietnam, questions about an applicant’s past, health, and criminal record are permissible. 

However, before a background check in Vietnam is conducted, an employee must provide prior informed consent along with a few key areas that must be covered: 

  • The consent form that addresses the purpose and scope of the information collected and reviewed 
  • The consent form should also state
  • The shape and duration of the data storage
  • Any external parties to whom the information may be transferred 
  • The employee’s right to access or correct their personal information.

As per a draft decree on personal data protection, it is mandatory for an employer wishing to conduct a background check in Vietnam to register with the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC). The PDPC is the signatory authority under the Ministry of Public Security. 

Part of the registration process involves submitting 

  • A harmful impact assessment report addressing the potential harm to data subjects due to the proposed processing
  • Taking measures to manage, minimize, or eliminate such damage. 

Thus, besides having data subjects sign a consent form, employers wishing to review an individual’s health and criminal record status must register with the PDPC in advance. Register in advance with the PDPC.

The draft imposes onerous obligations on employers concerning collecting sensitive personal information, such as an individual’s health status and criminal record.

Things to Know When Performing Background checks in Vietnam

Certain aspects must be considered when performing background checks in Vietnam. 

As per the Labor Code of Vietnam, before entering into the probation contract, the employer may request the employee to submit various information that includes 

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Residential address
  • Educational and professional qualifications
  • Health status
  • Any other information directly relevant to the employment agreement

To select the qualified candidates, the employer may also agree with the employee on verification for such information, giving the employer the right to terminate the employee during the probation period in case of unsuccessful verification results.

Background Checks by Third Parties

Although not explicitly provided for by law, a background check by a third party in Vietnam is permissible. It is provided that:

  • The scope of the background check is restricted to the verification of the information supplied by the applicant
  • The applicant has given prior approval for the third party to conduct the background check

Therefore, it is advisable to notify applicants and obtain explicit written consent to background checks either by a third party or the employer.

Information essential for a background check in Vietnam

A background check is an integral part of the screening process when hiring new employees. 

Companies perform background checks comprehensively to protect their businesses from various potential risks. Although Well-formed background checks go deeper than face value, this article will cover the essentials to prevent misrepresentation or fraud to avoid misrepresentation or deception.

Essential information as defined by law that an employer must collect before conducting an employee background verification in Vietnam include

  • Personal information that includes full name, gender, and place of residence
  • Educational background
  • Vocational skills
  • Health condition
  • Employment history
  • Criminal record
  • Any other information provided by the applicant during the screening process

Process Involved in Background checks in Vietnam

The pre-employment background check in Vietnam ideally takes between 3-and 10 days. The time for background checks would take longer as a particular company may seek an in-depth look at your history. The process involved in background checks in Vietnam includes

  1. Having a consistent policy is critical: having a consistent policy around background is best documented in a flow chart or a document depending on business requirements. This ensures at any point, individuals involved in the verification process can refer to the steps to complete. 
    Haphazard background verification processes can cause legal issues if you only apply some steps to some candidates. For instance, only doing credit checks on candidates from specific backgrounds.
  1. Consulting a legal team for background verification: Background checks can unearth sensitive information. In some regions in Vietnam, you would not be able to gather certain information as part of a background check. 
    Consulting a lawyer to make sure your background check does not cause legal issues for your company would be a great way of complying with the employment laws in Vietnam.
  1. Giving applicants a chance to clear up mistakes or misunderstandings: Often, information obtained through background checks can be incorrect. In such cases, giving candidates a chance to review information can help you save a great candidate that could have been excluded incorrectly.
  1. Use background check services that are legally compliant: Nearly all background checks in Vietnam are governed by the PDPC under the Ministry of Public Security; however, an employer must know that many other laws depend on the region.
  1. It is crucial not to assume parts of the background check process as routine: The most crucial information often comes up in the most mundane steps of the background check. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that hiring managers take the process seriously and pay attention to the valuable information obtained.
  1. Do not ask for information about character while verifying previous employment facts: Asking for an employee’s personality, attitude, character, etc., of the prior employer ideally is forming a consumer report. This would require you to give them an option to ask for details and comply with their requests. If this is a piece of information you want to ascertain, it’s best to get legal advice first.

What Does a Basic Background Screening in Vietnam Include?

The most commonly used pre-employment background check in Vietnam include

Identity Verification

Identity verification authenticates the identity of an individual. It is defined as a unique set of traits and characteristics. Considering remote working and a digital work environment, employers have a sudden rise in verifying identities. When onboarding an employee, employers request identity cards that include national ID, passport, etc.

Verify the Education Details

The employers verify all educational qualifications and the candidates’ degrees from the university. In this case, the companies will require the completion date of the degrees to verify them with the University’s student database. In cases where the employee has changed their name post graduating, the former name must be provided.

Background Check of Employment History

It is common for employers to have a  pre-employment background check in Vietnam. The employment history includes 
– The position
– Employee’s past performance during the job
– Last drawn salary
– Longevity
– Work-place misconduct
Although some employers can verify employment history by contacting the previous company, some might look deep into the details. 
It is also common for employers in Vietnam to verify the employment history by looking at the employee’s tax records.

Personal and Professional References

This background check ideally involves pre-employment background verification and speaking with former managers and colleagues. Employers can contact the managers or colleagues to verify an employee’s past employment, performance, salary, workplace behavior, etc.

Credit checks

Credit checks are apt for candidates who are into accounting profiles and those if the job involves handling finances. The candidate in such cases has to sign a document that permits employers to check the credit history. This is a common way for employers in Vietnam to verify if the candidate is suitable for a position employers are looking to fill.

Residential Background Check

The address provided by the candidate during the submission of the resume must be recorded. If a candidate has one permanent address, there would be just one verification step done by the employers as a residential background check in Vietnam. The address can be cross-checked with your family members and your neighbors. 
However, if a candidate or an employee resides in a place other than the provided permanent address, there would be two verification processes at both places.

Situations and Industries that are most Suitable for Background Checks in Vietnam

Industries where strict background checks in Vietnam include

  • Government services
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Services
  • IT
  • Insurance industry
  • Marketing and Finance

A few common situations where employee background screening in Vietnam is conducted include 

  • When hiring for remote positions: The recent pandemic has led to a rise in remote work, especially in Vietnam. This has resulted in fewer in-person interviews and more video interviews. Many employers have added an identity verification check to add an extra layer of security to the process.
  • Time for background checks may vary: How long a background check takes depends on the types of searches run. Some external background check providers can provide basic background checks almost instantly or within the same day if outsourcing background checks. Other screening services, such as employer and education verifications or criminal record checks in counties where records aren’t digitized, can take up to five days or more to complete. Ideally, it takes 3-10 days for a background check in Vietnam.
  • Post-hiring background checks: It’s common to conduct post-hire background checks in Vietnam on an annual basis in certain industries and positions. The time taken for background checks, however, varies.

How Multiplier helps with background checks

A background check is a great investment to build a high-quality workforce that will help you reach your business goals. Therefore, tailoring your screening policy to your industry and positions is key. Outsourcing your employee screening process in Vietnam and finding a provider that can deliver the data you need while helping you stay compliant can help faster the verification process.

You can improve your hire quality and mitigate risk with informed hiring decisions. Multiplier is a global employment solution that offers a range of global HR solutions. Our Saas-based platform provides:

  • A smooth onboarding process.
  • Payroll.
  • File taxes compliantly.
  • Easy employment screening in Vietnam.

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