The Low Down on Background Checks

Hi Seven. My best friend told me about your blog and that you answer questions regarding the call center industry and that you’re always online to respond. May question ako: totoo po ba talaga ang background checks? I mean, do companies really spend time, money, and effort just to find out who you are?

TIA for the response.



Hi Lovely. Thank you for your email. I hope you don’t mind if I post my reply here instead. It’s true that I respond to questions, so long as I know the answer (hehe), and it is not true that I am always online, I sleep too. Haha.

Now to your question. Yes, background checks are a fact of life not just in the call center industry but in most companies in any industry. A background check is the company’s way of ensuring that you are who and what you say you are. Remember, the company is going to trust you with their resources, provide you training, etc, therefore, it is imperative that the information you provided on your resume is “true and correct.” It is also a process to deter criminals and job hoppers.

There are several ways of doing a background check.

1. Over the phone – the company calls the references you provided on your resume. Sometimes, they also contact the companies listed to ensure that you actually worked there.

2. Home visitation – often employed by multinational companies and BPOs or call centers with a financial account. They hire the services of a third party investigator to confirm your home address. During this visit, the investigator will also ask your neighbors about you (especially about your character).

3. Registered mail – this is used when they need to get information about your academic records.

4. Social Networking Sites – “You are what you post.” This is why some companies now include your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts when doing background investigation. You’d be surprised how your SNS accounts reveal so much about your personality, attitude, and behavior.

5. Your BIR and SSS company history – Not a lot of companies are doing this but some, especially those who are big on integrity would compare your BIR and SSS list of companies and your resume. Depending on how serious they are, they can pull you out of training or nesting and terminate your employment.  By law, this is illegal. Both the BIR and SSS are mandated not to reveal your work history even to your current employer.

Your character references play an important role in your job hunting effort. This is why some companies are very detailed about the type of reference they request for. An example would be 1 colleague, 1 friend, and 1 HR rep.

Your character reference must:

  • know you and your work ethic, attitude, and behavior and can give concrete examples of each aspect when needed.
  • be confident and authoritative.
  • know  they are your character reference.
  • must expect a call anytime.

Let me know if you need more information.





3 thoughts on “The Low Down on Background Checks

  1. Hi. It would be prudent to assume that HSBC will conduct a thorough background check, this means including your criminal record. I’ve known HSBC to be uber strict when it comes to background strict. My recommendation here is for you to keep job hunting. There will be a company out there who will be willing to give you a shot. Try to apply in companies that won’t be too background check heavy, and these companies are easy to spot (eg not or no financial accounts). If you have a criminal record, you are obligated to declare it, it’s better to be rejected during the recruitment process instead of being found out and fired after. Also, your NBI and Police record will show this, so there is no point in hiding it.


  2. Hi sir se7en,

    I saw on one of you previous comments that you were once employed by hsbc. Sir, I’m currently an applicant myself and will be submitting the required “Set A” requirements later but I’m having problems with regards to the part of the job application form that asks the question of if I had been previously directly/indirectly charged with a felonious offense.

    Considering that the company has a strict policy on backround checks does an answer of yes and the degree of the offense affect my chances of being given a contract? It wasn’t related to anything that might be associated with banking or financial business matters.

    I’ve already answered yes but I’m currently debating with myself on whether I should change my answer to no and take the chance of it being found out by the investigators or just stick to answering yes and disclose the details of the now dismissed felony charge against me and still be taking a chance.

    I don’t wanna lose the opportunity of getting hired over something that happened a decade ago.

    Hope you can help me with this sir se7en.. Thank you! : )

  3. Background checks is a fact… Specially for financial accounts…

    Though background checks may be lenient for some accounts and some companies

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