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How to Conduct Personal Background Checks in Indonesia

Personal background check

A background check is an investigation into a person or corporation’s history.

While Emerhub maintains a complete company database in Indonesia, we will focus below on how to conduct due diligence and personal background checks on individuals.

Let’s say that you’re hiring a new director for your company. How do you confirm the person has the education and qualifications they listed on their CV? Could they have a civil or criminal record that might harm the reputation of your company?

Purpose of background checks

Indonesia is a large, developing, market. You will, of course, want to do what you can to prevent bad deals from happening. Background checks will go beyond seeing a criminal record.

They typically also include information regarding civil records, employment and education history, references, the list goes on.

Why should you screen your potential new hires, vendors, or business partners? In short, a background check costs about US$250 while the potential damage from a bad hire or partnership can go way beyond that. It’s like an insurance policy.

Criminal record checks in Indonesia

Most employers and investors prefer to keep away from individuals with criminal records. In the case of Indonesia, checking the court records is not as easy as you might expect.

Therefore, Emerhub provides criminal record checks as one of our key elements of a background check:
• Police clearance certificate (SKCK) verification
• Confirming with the local police station whether the applicant is part of a criminal case

Civil record check
In the same way as we check criminal records, we validate the candidate’s or potential business partner’s civil record. Indonesia’s court system is complex, and we will help you navigate through it.

Group sanctions verification
We validate that the person is not a member of an undesired organisation or blacklist. We have access to many databases, such as:
• Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee
• Wanted by NCB-Interpol Indonesia
• Terrorist Security Administration’s No Fly List
• Environmental Protection Agency Fugitives
• Secret Service’s Most Wanted Fugitives
• National Surveillance Agency Telephones and Terrorism
• Mother Jones Database
• LKPP Black List
• OJK Negative List

Pre-employment background check in Indonesia

Education check
Education verification substantiates these claims:
• Ensures that the applicant studied and graduated from the institution listed on the application.
• Individual institutions are contacted, verifying the individual’s enrolment and graduation.

For example, let’s say that you are choosing between two otherwise equal candidates. One of them is a graduate of a reputable university overseas. At least that’s what their CV claims: we can help check the veracity of the claim.

Emerhub’s background checks validate that candidates have the education they have listed. Some of the common problems we have found are:
• The candidate went to the university but didn’t graduate or received a lesser degree.
• False claims about GPAs, finished courses, majors, etc.
• Even worse – the candidate never went to that university.

Hiring excellent people is difficult. If the candidate was dishonest about his/her education, then what does it say about the character of that person?

Employment verification
Employment verification makes sure the candidate has the listed employment history. Our activities include:
• Contacting previous employers via phone calls, emails, or personal visits
• Confirming position or title held by the applicant while in their employment
• Determining the reason why the company no longer employs the employee

Some of the problems in CVs are easy to spot; a candidate is switching jobs every four months; mysterious gaps in the employment history that the candidate cannot explain.

What if work experience in a specific industry or company is paramount to the role? Let’s verify that.

Reference verification
Most CVs, at least in Indonesia, include listed referrals. People that are willing to vouch for the candidate. We conduct the following steps with them:
• Checking the authenticity of references
• Contacting references to determine the authenticity of the applicant’s claims
• Discussing the applicant’s past performance

Talking to the references can be incredibly insightful even if you have no basis to suspect the candidate is making some questionable statements. It gives you an astute understanding of who the candidate is, beyond what they tell you themselves throughout the selection process.

Contact number verification check
A contact number check is a small step but essential for some roles nevertheless.
We conduct the following:
• Contacting various phone numbers provided to determine if they are legitimate
• Numbers verified may include a home and mobile phone number or emergency contact number

While not a priority for most companies, in the specific case of Indonesia an invalid phone number can be an indication of financial problems. Borrowing money is ingrained in the culture, and switching phone numbers can be a (not very effective) way to run away from debt collectors.

Passport and ID check
It’s commonplace to ask for the personal identity card (KTP) during the selection process. Most candidates will probably attach it to the printed CV they bring along for the interview. We can validate that the ID is real by contacting the civil registry office to confirm the legitimacy of the identification documents provided.

It’s rare for job applicants to provide a fake ID. It might happen more often when entering into transactions with smaller businesses. While uncommon, providing a false document is not a promising sign.

If the job requires travelling you may also want to make sure the candidate has a valid passport. You’d be surprised how few Indonesians hold one.

Additional background checks commonly conducted during the screening process.

Neighborhood Check
• The address listed in the application visited to determine the authenticity
• If the applicant does not own the property, contacting the owner or landlord to verify that the property is being used as a residence and not for other illegal purposes
• Neighbours may be interviewed as well

Credit Check
• Overview of current and past credit cards
• List of the candidate’s consumer loans

Integrity Interview
• Interviewing the applicant, including the following:
• Collecting all required documentation
• Analysis of body language
• Integrity questionnaire
• Determining personal characteristics such as drug use and leisure activities

Bankruptcy verification
• Determining whether the applicant has ever declared bankruptcy

Reverse directorship search
• Examines possible involvement with other companies which may be a conflict of interest

Adverse internet/media verification
• Checks online, newspaper and magazine sources
• Examines the content of social media accounts
• Searches of websites mentioning the applicant

Getting started with background checks

This article was a summary of different background checks Emerhub can conduct in Indonesia. Emerging markets such as Indonesia provide great business opportunities, but also come with their own, sometimes unique, risks. Background checks are a cost-effective way to mitigate some of them.

Reach out to Emerhub via email [email protected] and let us know what kind of information you are looking for. Our consultants will get back to you with a plan.


See: Three Common Myths You Need to Ignore about Doing Business during Holidays

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