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Background check in Kenya

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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269
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EOR in 
Kenya
Monthly
$
299
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
269
/month
(billed monthly)
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Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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Kenya is renowned for its vibrant tech scene, a vast pool of highly skilled professionals, and a burgeoning digital economy. As companies venture into hiring tech talents in Kenya, implementing thorough employee background checks, including pre-employment check, has become increasingly crucial. These checks offer an invaluable way to ensure the integrity and qualifications of potential hires, fostering trust and transparency in the process. In this article, we will delve into the world of background screening in Kenya, exploring its significance, the types available, including post-employment screening services, and key considerations during the process.

What is an employee background check?

An employee background check is a review of a person's commercial, criminal, and financial records. These checks are primarily conducted to verify the qualifications of a potential hire and ascertain they're a reliable, trustworthy candidate. This includes employment history check, employment background checks, and pre-employment screening. When it comes to international hiring, these checks become essential to ensure your organization's safety and compliance.

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Benefits of Background Checks in Kenya

Background checks have become increasingly important in today's business landscape, particularly when hiring internationally. They provide an extra layer of security and assurance in the hiring process, ensuring accurate employment background checks. In the Kenyan context, these checks hold immense value for several reasons:

Trust and Transparency

Background checks enable businesses to build trust and foster transparency in their hiring practices. By verifying an individual's qualifications, professional employment history, and potential criminal records via the Criminal Investigation Department, they provide a comprehensive perspective on the candidate. This approach becomes especially significant when managing international hiring, as they offer an essential step to safeguard the interests of both the company and the potential employee.

Risk Mitigation

Comprehensive background screening is a pivotal tool in mitigating risks associated with hiring, helping to avoid negligent hiring. By identifying any potential red flags in a candidate's history, companies can protect themselves from potential legal issues, workplace conflicts, or instances of fraud. This aspect is particularly relevant when dealing with legal and tax risks of remote employees as they often work autonomously and might have access to sensitive information.

Safety and Security

Ensuring the safety of the workplace is paramount for any business. Background screening plays a critical role in maintaining a secure environment, by verifying the integrity and credibility of potential hires. This process is especially relevant in a remote work setup, where employees might be scattered across various locations, including Kenya.

Regulatory Compliance

Navigating international employment laws can be complex. Background checks ensure companies adhere to local and international regulations, thereby protecting businesses from potential legal repercussions. One such requirement could be the provision of a police clearance certificate. Moreover, they can guide effective global hiring and onboarding strategies, ensuring every hire is both a cultural and legal fit for the organization.

Employee Quality and Retention

Comprehensive background checks, including pre-employment screening, can enhance the quality of hires by confirming their qualifications and professional history. This process helps to build a reliable and skilled workforce, ultimately leading to better employee retention rates. Address verification, marital status, and basic information verification are part of these checks. As you hire tech talents from Kenya, conducting these checks, which form part of the recruitment process, helps ensure that you attract and retain the best talent available in the market.

Things to Know When Performing a Background Screening in Kenya

Before delving into the process of conducting pre-employment checks and post-employment screening services in Kenya, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with specific considerations that could have significant implications for your hiring decisions. These include:

Obtaining Consent

According to Kenyan law, the subject of a background screening must provide explicit consent before the process can be initiated. This is a fundamental part of the legal and ethical considerations when running international background checks. Before proceeding with the pre-employment check, ensure your candidate fully understands the process and the information that will be scrutinized.

Respecting Data Privacy

The Kenyan Data Protection Act of 2019 outlines the critical responsibility of protecting personal data throughout the pre-employment check process. It's essential to adhere to these guidelines to maintain the privacy and integrity of candidate information. Missteps in this area could lead to legal repercussions and damage your organization's reputation, especially when managing remote employees from different parts of the world.

Comprehensive Checks

While it might seem convenient to restrict background checks to specific areas, a comprehensive employment check is advisable for a more rounded understanding of potential employees. Checks should cover various aspects such as criminal records, previous employment, education verification, and reference checks. It's important to remember that the reliability and thoroughness of your pre-employment checks can directly impact the success of your global hiring and onboarding strategies.

Local and International Compliance

Employment checks should not only comply with local laws but should also take into account international regulations. This is especially true for companies hiring remotely in different countries. A comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations of the regions where you have remote teams is paramount. This can help avoid potential legal and tax risks, ensuring a smooth process when hiring or relocating employees internationally.

Types of background checks in Kenya

In Kenya, hiring companies can undertake various background checks to verify a candidate's suitability and credibility. Each type of check serves a unique purpose, thus providing a comprehensive overview of the candidate. Here are some common types:

Criminal Background Check

This check, as the name suggests, looks into the candidate's criminal history, if any. It's crucial to ensure that your potential employees don't have any undisclosed or serious criminal past that could potentially endanger your work environment or harm the reputation of your company, thereby mitigating the risk of negligent hiring.

Educational Verification

With the rising number of fraudulent qualifications, an educational verification check is increasingly becoming standard practice in Kenya. This check verifies the authenticity of a candidate’s educational qualifications. When hiring for high-skilled roles, especially in tech, verifying educational qualifications is essential. A robust employment background and global hiring strategy should include this form of verification.

Employment Verification

This background screening verifies a candidate's previous employment records, job titles, and roles. Through international background checks, companies can confirm a candidate's work history, responsibilities, and performance. This can be particularly beneficial when hiring remote tech teams in Kenya to ensure you're bringing on board a competent and reliable individual.

Processes involved in conducting background checks in Kenya

Conducting background checks in Kenya involves a series of steps that ensure a thorough and compliant evaluation of potential hires. Below is an outline of the general process:

  1. Obtain Consent: The first step is to obtain written consent from the candidate. This consent is a legal requirement and it ensures the protection of the individual's rights.
  2. Choose a Reputable Provider: Select a reputable third-party company to conduct the background check, or use your internal HR resources. The chosen provider should have a clear understanding of local laws and regulations surrounding background checks. Navigating international background checks can be complex, so it's crucial to select a provider who understands the nuances of this process.
  3. Review and Analyze Results: Once the check is completed, review the results thoroughly. The data collected will provide insights into the candidate's employment history, criminal record, and educational background. Use this information to make informed hiring decisions. It's vital to assess these findings in the context of the job role, especially considering the potential legal and tax implications of hiring remote employees.
  4. Make an Informed Decision: Use the information obtained from the employment background check to make your final hiring decision. Whether you're hiring locally or considering international employee relocation, comprehensive background checks should be an integral part of your decision-making process.
  5. Onboard the Candidate: Once you've made a hiring decision, move forward with the onboarding process. A smooth onboarding process is as important as the employment background check itself. It sets the tone for your relationship with the new hire and impacts their initial engagement with your company.

Planning to hire in Kenya? Here's how Skuad can help

Conducting thorough pre-employment checks when hiring in Kenya is a crucial step in building a reliable and effective tech team. It ensures authenticity, reduces risk, maintains a safe work environment, and complies with local regulations. 

As your trusted Employer of Record Partner, Skuad can facilitate this process. With Skuad's comprehensive suite of services, you can effortlessly hire, onboard, pay, and manage your distributed team. Plus, you gain expert support for pre-employment checks and screening. Thus, making the hiring process seamless and confident, allowing you to focus on what matters most – growing your business globally. Harness the power of remote work and hire remote teams in Kenya with Skuad.

FAQs

Are Background Checks Legal in Kenya?

Yes, background checks are legal in Kenya. However, the law requires organizations to conduct these checks with the job applicant's consent.

How long does an employment background check take in Kenya?

How long it takes for a background or pre-employment check process to be completed depends on the extent the organization is conducting the check. Generally, it takes between a few days to a couple of weeks

limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Kenya
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
269
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Kenya
Monthly
$
299
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
269
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Table of Content

Building a remote team?

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