Until recently, a background check in Nigeria was a concept employers hardly considered. Although businesses in Nigeria are beginning to secure the services of background check experts, this exercise remains challenging.
You may have to visit multiple sources in person to conduct a background or employment history check in the country. Many government agencies are yet to be fully digitalized, and their record-keeping culture is poor. Despite the challenges, running a background check in Nigeria is more beneficial and achievable now than ever. Although, you must be careful not to violate state or federal laws while conducting your investigation.
If you want to learn more about how background screening in Nigeria works, explore this guide. You will also discover the types, requirements, and steps in conducting a background check in Nigeria.
What is an employee background check?
An employee background check thoroughly assesses an employee’s academic, work, criminal, and financial history. This investigation must align with the job an employee is applying for or currently doing. Employee history assessment also aims to confirm the accuracy of their CV or resume information.
Employees take this measure as a precaution to avoid having legal troubles with an employee in the future. Some countries have rules for conducting these assessments legally without violating an employee’s rights.
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What are the benefits of background checks in Nigeria?
The benefits of running a background check in Nigeria are numerous. Not only does it help employers comply with industry regulations, but it also enables them to create a rewarding work environment. When you embark on this practice, you will benefit from the following:
- Reduced hiring costs and employee turnover: Hiring is a multifaceted, time-consuming, costly process. Thus, employers hope to hire valuable assets who will work for them for a long time. When you do your homework on potential additions, you reduce the likelihood of firing and rehiring. As your employee turnover reduces, your total hiring costs also reduce.
- Productive and cooperative work environment: Employees can be skilled and still be extremely difficult to manage. These individuals can be divisive in the workplace. Investigating previous work histories can help you maintain a cohesive work environment.
- Swift emergency contact response: Background checks can also save lives and reputations. To illustrate, companies can verify crucial information regarding their employees, such as their next of kin contacts. If an emergency arises, the company knows who to call.
What are the types of background checks in Nigeria?
A thorough background check in Nigeria involves investigations that can help facilitate their relocation. Besides some of the most common types of checks, there are certain compulsory checks for Nigerian employers.
For instance, all Nigerian employers must only hire graduates with an NYSC certificate of completion. Thus, employers investigate, contacting the NYSC headquarters to ascertain a candidate’s certificate.
Similarly, employers must vet the validity of specific professional licenses before hiring. Employing unqualified persons may lead to closing a business in a particular field. In addition to the mandatory checks, here are other major checks employers in this country conduct:
Criminal record check in Nigeria
A criminal record check in Nigeria can reveal a candidate’s history with the justice system. You may find records of arrests, fines, or pending civil cases on the employee. These findings will help determine if the employee would be a safe addition to your workforce.
Employment history check
Individuals exhibit similar work traits regardless of their place of employment. Investigating their performance in their previous roles is one way to know if an employee will add value to a company. A work history check in Nigeria may involve contacting past employers to get work-related information on a candidate.
Employers advise candidates to run medical screening exams to ensure a healthy and secure work environment for all workers. Medical screening checks depend on the job.
For instance, pilots, machine operators, and medical practitioners may be advised to run specific tests before working. Some popular tests include drug or urine samples, vision, and chest X-ray tests.
Credit history check
Depending on the job, companies in Nigeria may run credit history checks on an employee. These checks can reveal financial or commercial irregularities that might be concerning, especially for their position.
Academic qualifications are some of the easiest to falsify. Employers dig into an employee’s education records to determine if the qualifications and skills in their resumes are genuine.
Social media check
One type of background screening gaining popularity in Nigeria is social media checks. Employees search the most popular social media platforms, screen content, and observe an applicant’s behavior online. It can help employers determine if an individual’s personality fits their ideal employee profile.
Requirements for a background check in Nigeria
The requirements for ordering a background check in Nigeria entail identification information from the employee. Commencing background screening in Nigeria with authorization can keep you from legal troubles. You will need the following:
- Full name
- Current and previous permanent address
- Date of birth
- School transcripts
- NYSC certificate of completion
- Means of identification (national ID card, permanent voter card, or international passport)
Steps in conducting a background check in Nigeria
Running a background check in Nigeria can be straightforward if you follow the right steps. Here’s how to carry out this procedure:
- Design a standard for conducting background checks: Ensure your policy is air-tight and complies with industry laws and the Nigerian labor code.
- Identify the positions and profile of your ideal employee: This practice helps you determine what type of background search would be necessary.
- Choose the ideal background check type: You can run numerous checks. However, selecting the relevant ones will save you money and time.
- Get authorization from the employee: Ensure you inform the employee of your attempts to investigate them before commencing. While doing this, explain how you will conduct the exercise and its impact on your hiring decisions. You may commence a background check in Nigeria once you get the employee’s approval.
- Run the checks: This is where you make the necessary calls, meet the relevant contacts, and surf the internet for information. After completing the checks, you will compile information from the criminal record, employment, education, and NYSC verification checks.
- Use the results as a hiring guide: Once you compile them, review them to ensure accuracy. Make sure you only use the information solely for employment purposes.
Are employee background checks legal in Nigeria?
Employee background checks are legal in Nigeria and can help establish compliance. Some checks are mandatory for employment in specific industries.
For instance, the Nigerian constitution makes it compulsory for all corporate or government employees to possess an NYSC completion certificate. Meanwhile, banks perform KYC checks on customers and employees.
Planning to hire in Nigeria? Here’s how Skuad can help
When you partner with Skuad, you can hire, onboard and pay talent in Nigeria. We will also provide support for conducting compliant background checks in Nigeria. Our global hiring solutions enable you to quickly employ the perfect fit for your long-term business goals. Contact our experts today to begin your journey to secure a global workforce without administrative or compliance headaches.
How do you do a background check on someone in Nigeria?
One crucial step to running a background check on someone in Nigeria is to have accurate information. You will also need their consent in writing to commence the investigation. When you have the authorization and personal information, select the checks you want, including the mandatory ones, and run them.
How long does a background check take in Nigeria?
Running a background check in Nigeria may take up to six weeks, depending on the type of verification. For instance, while criminal record checks may take a week, academic qualification checks may take between one and two months.
How do I verify an employee's background?
You can verify an employee’s background with these steps:
- Outline your job description and advertise the open position
- Establish a sustainable and compliant background check policy
- Receive job applications and review resumes
- Choose the check types to conduct
- Seek the employee’s consent
- Commence the investigation
- Compile and review the results
- Make your hiring decisions fairly
How do I find out if someone has a criminal record in Nigeria?
The most reliable way to determine if someone has a criminal record is to consult the police department. Since the police keep records of convicted criminals, they can help. Visit the criminal registry and request for specific criminal records.
The officials will provide a form for you to fill out. Complete the form and pay the fees. Besides employment, you need this for immigration purposes. You can also apply online or through a third party. The Nigeria police explain in depth how to get a police clearance.
Another way to learn of someone’s criminal record is on a credible news outlet. News outlets and some government agencies publish information about people caught in criminal activities.
What is checked during a background check?
There’s no limit to the number of checks you can order during a background investigation. Employers dive deep into the prospective worker’s history, from financial to academic records. In most background checks, employers look out for the following:
- Criminal records
- Academic records
- Work history
- Credit history check
- References verification
- Residence and contact verification
In Nigeria, employees go a step further, conducting the following screening exercises:
- NYSC completion
- Professional certification verification