Throughout the years, with technology advancement and the talent acquisition and business environment changes, background check practices have been evolving similar to many other industries.

This article outlines 10 latest Hong Kong background check trends in 2021:

  • Data privacy: Nothing is more important than doing the right thing for data privacy in background check with the enhanced data privacy and protection standards required by data privacy laws and regulations across the globe. Complying with the data privacy laws in Hong Kong, The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (the “PDPO”), is always the minimum standard that employers shall be looking at. Hong Kong as part of China, employers and background check firms are also vital to fully understand the China Cybersecurity Law and its corresponding regulations. Employers and background check firms in Hong Kong shall also spend the time to comply with the EU data privacy law, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as this data privacy law applies across territories for all EU residents and data subjects.
  • Candidate experience: Background check is part of the talent acquisition process in which the background check process could result in a negative candidate experience if handled inappropriately. Employers in Hong Kong are now more realizing the importance of candidate experience in the background check process and different initiatives such as a “candidate focused” workflow are often being requested to be implemented in the Hong Kong background checks.
  • IT security: To comply with the requirements in data privacy and protection laws, as the background check process will involve collecting candidates’ personal data. Employees and background check firms are often being required to implement top IT security measures and data protection protocols in place. In 2020 and 2021, we are seeing more of our clients requiring top tier IT security requirements in the entire background check process.
  • Online workflow: Managing the entire background check process online with efficiency and transparency makes the recruiters and users more effective when handling their Hong Kong background checks.
  • Integration: A “seamless experience” can happen with the entire Hong Kong background check process integrated with the rest of the recruitment process. This may involve integrating with Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or Human Resources Information System (HRIS) depending on the data flow of a specific employer.
  • Global compliance: We are seeing more employers operating with the “global compliance” mentality requiring the entire Hong Kong background check compliance standards to be aligned with the global practice. 
  • More rigorous protocols, expanding the screening scope: In the past, many Hong Kong employers would only conduct background checks for senior executives or only conduct one or two background check items. As employers understand the importance of background checks in their risk management, we are experiencing employers expanding their screening scopes for Hong Kong background checks with more rigorous protocols in their data handling as well internally.
  • Re-screening: Another extension for employment screening is “re-screening” as per required or desired to be done for risk management in various industries. This is another trend we identified in Hong Kong background checks.
  • Vendor screening: This is another extension for employment screening. Employers in Hong Kong very often would utilize third parties or outsource their headcounts to external firms. Background check for vendors’ employees has become a norm for Hong Kong employers.
  • Utilizing 3rd party agencies in the screening process: The global arrangement and legal requirements in conducting international background checks have become more complicated or harder than before, especially with the Covid-19 outbreak limiting the capabilities for candidates to obtain their own data in a timely manner. Many employers in Hong Kong have decided to utilize third-party professional background check agencies to assist them in their employment screening process.

With technologies and regulations kept changing, we foresee that the background check industry and practices will continue to evolve and change. Do continue reading 10 Common Hong Kong Background Checks if you are interested to learn more about the most common Hong Kong background checks being requested by employers in Hong Kong. You may also learn more about our Hong Kong Background Check Solutions by connecting with us directly for more information.