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International Verifications?

Posted in Frequently Asked Questions on 10/06/2008

BackTrack is able to perform international verifications, and we have had success in obtaining this information for our clients, especially when we have had specific and current information on where and who to contact.  Your applicants can be an invaluable source in assisting us in verifying this information by providing websites, email addresses, and/or fax or phone numbers.

What information does BackTrack need to perform an international verification?
In general, the better the information we receive from the applicants, the better chance we have at being successful in verifying information.

  • Specific details, including the full school or employer name and location.
  • Working website and email information or phone and fax numbers.
  • Copies of official documentation from the employer or school.
  • Specific full name as it appears on the records.
  • Date of birth
  • Identification number, country ID number or passport number, if applicable.
  • Specific dates of employment or dates of attendance/graduation from the school.
  • Contact information for supervisors or others who can verify employment.
  • Full address where they lived (for criminal searches).

How does this information help with the success of our verification?

  • Official documentation, especially from a school, in most instances is necessary for verification. Many countries’ alphabets do not follow English spelling conventions, so having documentation with your applicant’s name spelled correctly in the correct language, and in many cases an identification number, allows us to send it over to the school for authentication.  Many schools are more apt to reply after receipt of that documentation, and several of our clients do accept the documents, if after all of our attempts, we do not receive verification.
  • If we need to locate contact information for the school or employer, providing as much detail as possible, including name and location of employer or school makes it much easier for us to find contact details; however, providing BackTrack with working phone, fax or email addresses makes it much easier for us to contact the school or employer.
  • Providing BackTrack with specific dates of employment or attendance at a school allows us to provide the school or employer a place to begin their search for records.  Identification numbers or other details allow the employer or school to determine if the records do indeed belong to your applicant.

What are some of the stumbling blocks to obtaining international verifications?
We make several attempts over several days to obtain verification; however, there are some stumbling blocks that we encounter that, at times, make it difficult if not impossible to obtain the requested information.  While we make every effort to verify the information, we cannot make a guarantee as to our success.  Some of the stumbling blocks include:

  • Language Barriers – We do have staff members who speak other languages.  We also have access to international translator services, and if you would like for our staff to use the international translator services, contact our office.  The applicant needs to supply a correct working phone number where verification can be obtained.  It is also helpful if we are provided the name of a verification contact.
  • Various Laws, Cultures, Customs and Procedures – Many countries still do not understand why the information is being requested or allow the information to be released due to legal or cultural differences.  We make every effort to explain why the information is needed, and we also send over the applicant’s signed release authorization.
  • Business Customs and Practices – In the United States most businesses are staffed and open 9-5, M-F. There is invariably an office manager, human resources representative or staffing office that can assist with verifications. That is not always the case outside the U.S.  In some countries, verifications can take a number of voice mails, e-mails and faxes before someone responds. If the employer is small, the office may only be staffed intermittently.
  • Record Keeping Practices – Many countries have not yet computerized their record-keeping systems, so they still rely on the older format of paper and pencil.  Not all of the records are accessible easily, if at all, and this can add to the time needed to process the request.
  • Time and Calendar Differences – The majority of the countries we need to contact are in different time zones, with some that are very difficult to contact during normal business hours.  We have employees who are able to contact these companies or schools during non-standard hours for an additional fee.  And most other countries have different holidays and/or work schedules due to cultural or religious events that may add to the delay in receiving the verification.
  • Means of Communications are Unreliable – In many countries, phone or fax numbers or email addresses do not always work due to unreliable networks.  We make every effort to contact the schools or employers in as many different ways as possible, and they are contacted over several days.  When we have phone, fax and email information, all three are tried to give us the best possible chance at obtaining information.
  • Locating Phone, Fax and Email Information – We need to be provided with full school or employer names and locations in order to locate contact information.
  • Turnaround Time – Turnaround time in the United States is usually within 48 hours.  International verifications can take weeks to receive an answer.  We make every effort to expedite these requests; however, due to international holidays or work schedules, there may be delays beyond our control.
  • Name Variations – Many other languages’ alphabets are not compatible with English.  We need to be sure that we have the correct spelling of the name as it appears on the applicant’s records.  Whenever possible, it is best to work in the language of the country we are contacting to help provide the best possible chance at verifying the information.

BackTrack is Safe Harbor Certified, which means that we have agreed to abide by the European Union  rules for the safe transfer of data.  This certification lets employers and schools in other countries know that we respect the privacy of personal information and makes them more apt to respond to our requests.

If you have any additional questions regarding our international verifications, please contact BackTrack at 800-991-9694.