A Guide to Philippine Pre-Employment Background Checks

Pre-employment background checks are an integral part of the hiring process in the Philippines. They help employers verify an applicant's identity, qualifications, and overall suitability for the position. Digital pre-employment screening can streamline this process and provide valuable insights. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the various background checks commonly conducted in the Philippines.

Types of Pre-Employment Background Checks

1. NBI Clearance

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance is a government-issued document that certifies whether or not an individual has any criminal records. It is a requirement for most jobs in the Philippines, particularly those that involve handling sensitive information or working with children.

2. Reference Check

Reference checks involve contacting individuals who have worked with the applicant in the past to verify their work performance, skills, and qualifications. Employers may reach out to former supervisors, colleagues, or clients.

3. Employment History Verification

Employment history verification confirms the applicant's past work experience and tenure at previous companies. Employers may request employment letters, payslips, or contact former employers for verification.

4. Educational History Check

Educational history checks verify the legitimacy of an applicant's educational qualifications. Employers may request transcripts, diplomas, or contact educational institutions for confirmation.

How to Conduct Pre-Employment Checks in the Philippines

The following steps can be followed to conduct pre-employment checks in the Philippines:

  1. Develop a pre-employment screening policy. At a bare minimum, the policy should include the types of pre-employment checks that will be conducted. If you have a preferred provider or vendor for conducting the pre-employment checks, include that in the policy. A well-drafted policy will help to ensure that pre-employment checks are conducted fairly and consistently.

  2. Obtain consent from the applicant. Before conducting any pre-employment checks, it is important to obtain consent from the applicant. This can be done by having the applicant sign a consent form.

  3. Conduct the pre-employment checks. This part of the process may require the longest amount of time, depending on the number of pre-employment checks that you are conducting, the number of applicants that are involved, and the efficiency of the pre-employment check providers.

  4. Review the results of the pre-employment checks. Once the pre-employment checks have been completed, it is important to review the results carefully. This will help you to make an informed decision about whether to hire the applicant.

  5. Make a hiring decision. After reviewing the results of the pre-employment checks, you will need to make a hiring decision. This decision should be based on all of the information that you have gathered about the applicant, including the results of the pre-employment checks.

How to Obtain Pre-Employment Background Checks

Pre-employment background checks can be obtained through various channels, including:

  • Online platforms that specialize in background checks

  • Private investigation agencies

  • Government agencies responsible for issuing specific documents for verification

Importance of Pre-Employment Background Checks

Pre-employment background checks serve several important purposes:

  • Verifying Identity: Background checks help confirm the applicant's true identity, preventing fraud or misrepresentation.

  • Assessing Qualifications: Background checks can provide insights into an applicant's skills, experience, and educational qualifications.

  • Mitigating Legal Risks: Conducting background checks helps reduce legal liabilities for employers, particularly in cases involving criminal conduct or negligence.

  • Ensuring Workplace Safety: Background checks can help identify individuals with potentially dangerous or harmful pasts, protecting employees and the workplace.

Tips for Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks

  • Obtain Consent: Candidates must provide written consent before conducting any background checks.

  • Check Accuracy: Verify the accuracy of all information obtained, ensuring that it comes from credible sources.

  • Consider Legal Compliance: Comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing pre-employment background checks.

  • Maintain Confidentiality: Treat all background check information as confidential, safeguarding the privacy of the applicant.

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-employment background checks are crucial for verifying the identity, qualifications, and suitability of job applicants in the Philippines.

  • Common types of background checks include NBI Clearance, reference checks, employment history verification, educational history checks, and police clearances.

  • Employers should obtain background checks through reputable sources and comply with all legal requirements.

  • Pre-employment background checks help protect employers from legal liabilities and ensure a safe and productive workplace.


Q: Is it legal to conduct pre-employment background checks in the Philippines? A: Yes, pre-employment background checks are legal in the Philippines provided that the employer obtains the applicant's explicit consent.

Q: Who is responsible for paying for background checks? A: In most cases, the employer is responsible for paying the cost of pre-employment background checks.

Q: Can I dispute the results of a background check? A: Yes, if you believe there is an error or discrepancy in the background check results, you can dispute the findings.

Q: How long does it take to complete a background check? A: The time it takes to complete a background check can vary depending on the type of background checks conducted and the availability of information. However, most background checks can be completed within a few business days.


Pre-employment background checks are an essential part of the hiring process in the Philippines. By conducting thorough and compliant background checks, employers can increase confidence in their hiring decisions, protect their organizations from legal liabilities, and create safer and more productive workplaces.

For more information on pre-employment background checks in the Philippines, visit the Smile API website or follow our blog. To find out more and to see how Smile API can be used for pre-employment background checks, visit this page.