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How To Do Background Check On Employee In Nigeria

How To Do Background Check On Employee In Nigeria

As an employer do you know the importance of background checks? 

Are you also aware that some organizations go to great lengths to ensure that they professionally present themselves hence

when the need arises to hire someone, they do the needful to maintain their high standards. 

The irony is that all employees and candidates increase business and security risk, and some of these applicants may constitute an issue for your company, causing those high standards to be compromised. 

Conducting a background check on your applicants and workers is one excellent strategy to protect your company from potential employment troubles.

Want to find out how you can conduct a background check on your employee in Nigeria? Keep reading, we got it all covered.

Let’s get started by finding out what a background check is

A background check is a review of an applicant’s or employee’s past based on criteria established by their current or potential employer. Typically, a background check includes the following:

  • Verification of Academic Qualifications
  • Verification of Previous Employment
  • Verification of Guarantors/Referees
  • Verification of employee address
  • Work Permit and Visa Verification
  • Verification of NYSC Certificates
  • Verification of Criminal Records
  • Verification of a Driver’s License

With a properly conducted background check, you can uncover the following:

  • Forged Certificates
  • Doctored Grades 
  • Fake Address 
  • Unreliable Guarantors/Referees
  • Fake Claimed Work History 
  • Integrity Issues

What is the importance of a Background check?

It helps you Verify employee Academic qualifications

A thorough pre-employment check can assist you as an employer to establish whether or not the information provided by a candidate is true at its most basic level.

During the job application process, 78 percent of job applicants lie or consider lying. 

Candidates frequently exaggerate in the belief that they will get away with it easier during the interview process.

The majority of them don’t require a skills test, and candidates feel that hiring managers are unlikely to verify their statements with prior employers.

As a result, there’s a greater chance of hiring someone who isn’t qualified for the job.

While these occurrences may go unnoticed in some cases, selecting a candidate who turns out to be a bad fit for the organization can be costly because it can affect the business on multiple levels.

Productivity, team morale, service quality, customer and employee relationships, and company growth are just a few of the things that an improper hire might threaten.

Employers can benefit from employment background checks by avoiding these blunders and saving time, money, and irritation.

It helps protect your organization and workforce

As an employer, you are responsible for the safety of everyone who works for your company. This includes your employees, business partners, and customers.

Background checks can also be used as a preventative measure for the safety of your organization and its employees.

Conducting criminal background checks might be a touchy subject, but it’s critical to be open and honest with your prospects about these screenings.

Humanity is at its most vulnerable era, and businesses must try to create a safe and tolerant workplace environment.

Fostering a culture of fairness and inclusion is a long-term commitment, and companies must try to incorporate it into all aspects of their operations.

Background checks can help you see problems before they develop and protect your company from discrimination or dangerous behavior.

Implementing a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, bullying, racism, and sexism is the first step toward a happier, healthier staff and better employee retention.

Background Checks Can Help You Safeguard Customer Data And Cybersecurity

Internal cybersecurity threats affect more than a third of firms throughout the world. Over the last two years, these dangers have climbed by 47% based on reports.

The way we manage and keep information has changed as a result of digitization and interconnectedness. 

Most businesses keep sensitive data on in-house servers that are only available to a small number of employees, many of whom have remote access to it.

This implies that as long as they have an active internet connection, they can access highly sensitive information at any time and from any location which increases the risk of a variety of security breaches, which could have disastrous consequences for the organization and its brand.

Conducting thorough background checks to avoid internal data security breaches is not only a legal requirement but also a critical precaution to preserve your customers’ privacy.

The process of hiring and vetting a job application can be time-consuming and costly, especially when multiple phases are involved, but the losses you will face in the event of an internal security threat will well outweigh the initial investment in a complete employee background check.

Employee screening should be undertaken on existing employees in organizations that handle sensitive consumer data regularly. 

Especially for anyone moving into a position where they will have more involvement with and accountability for sensitive data.

Background Checks Will Help You Maintain legal compliance with governing bodies

It might be difficult to ensure that you are legally compliant with the different regulating rules and regulations that govern labor law.

When you consider that many companies today have foreign subsidiaries and must manage compliance issues in multiple countries, it’s easy to see how this may be a very complicated procedure.

You can guarantee that the people you hire have the legal right to work and have all of the necessary documents and certifications to perform work in a country by screening candidates ahead of time.

In the United Kingdom, for example, if you knowingly employ an illegal worker or you know that they do not have the right to work and you continue to employ them, you might face a five-year prison sentence and limitless fines.

Failure to do proper background checks might result in a £20,000 penalty per unauthorized worker.

There is also a risk of your company’s reputation being harmed if Immigration Enforcement publishes your company’s information — a move used to discourage other businesses from hiring illegal immigrants.

How to conduct a background check in Nigeria

Conducting a background check for your existing employee or potential one is critical based on its importance stated above. Now how do you conduct a background check in Nigeria?

As an employer in Nigeria, you can conduct background checks either by engaging a third-party background check agency or you conduct it yourself if you have all the resources. 

To conduct a background check in Nigeria, follow these procedures: 

1 . Seek legal guidance

Before conducting background checks, it is usually a good idea to talk with a lawyer. They can assist you in moving in the proper direction. You should also bring in your corporate insurance broker to discuss your liability plan at this time.

2 . Come up with a policy.

Without a well-reviewed company policy for conducting background checks, you should not launch this program. 

If you wish to perform background checks, make sure your policy includes that information as well as the possible reasons for the checks.

3 . Use a pre-employment screening agency that complies with labour law.

Choose a background check service that follows government guidelines. When you locate one, ask them if their processes are compliant and if they can produce paperwork to back up their claims.

4 . Inform the applicants.

You should inform all job applicants that your organization conducts pre-employment background checks, drug testing, and other qualifying tests before hiring them. This not only offers them advance notice but may also help weed out applicants who are aware that a background check may disqualify them.

5 . Engage the services of a background check company.

Each background check company has its own set of procedures. 

The majority of the time, all you have to do is log in to your provider’s secure website, answer a few questions, and submit your request. Depending on how many specific screens you are running, checks usually take some days to complete.

6 . Go over the findings carefully and think about them.

When you run a background check, go over the information you find carefully. The report may contain convictions, but how recent are they and are they relevant to the job? 

For example, if a job candidate was charged with marijuana possession 20 years ago and there hasn’t been much on the report since then, it’s usually safe to hire them. 

If this person has any sexual or other violent offenses, you should consider the consequences of bringing them on board. 

It’s also a good idea to speak with your lawyer.

7 . Follow up on the findings (particularly when you rescind an employment offer).

Contacting the candidate to ask follow-up questions is OK. 

They should have an opportunity to clear their name, correct a misreporting, or provide context.

Be prepared to explain why the facts you discovered are important. However, this is not meant to be a debate. Wait for the candidate to agree with you before proceeding. 

Simply state the facts – for example, “I’m sorry, Mr. Kunle, but a robbery conviction dating back two years does not provide us with enough confidence to move forward with your employment at this time.”

8 . Maintain a steady pace.

Do not run background checks for some candidates and not others. For example, if you have a classification or type of job that has several openings and you screen one applicant for it, you need to screen everyone who has reached the same step in the hiring process.

9 . Keep your records.

You should keep your records for at least one year from the close of the job posting. Include records on anyone you’ve tentatively offered a job and screened. It is prudent to file these records away in case a former applicant inquires about their report, wants a copy of it, or even sues your company.


When running background checks as part of your hiring process, you should have a clear policy in place, use a third-party background check service, consider only relevant information, discuss the findings with the applicant, and save your findings for at least a year.

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