Employee Background Checks in Taiwan: The 2024 Big Guide

Employee Background Checks in Taiwan: The 2024 Top Guide

Employee Background Checks in Taiwan: The 2024 Top Guide

May 16, 2024


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Key Takeaways

  1. Before getting started with background checks on employees in Taiwan, employers should be aware of the legal and cultural considerations surrounding the process
  2. As Taiwan labor laws favor the personal protection of individuals, employers are under extra pressure to make sure they are legally compliant during employee background checks in Taiwan
  3. Failure to obtain proper consent or use the wrong documentation can lead to legal complications, extra costs, and delays


As companies expand their operations into new markets, understanding how to get through the hiring process without issue or delay becomes crucial. Taiwan, with its critical industries and skilled workforce, offers many opportunities for globally-minded businesses looking to grow their presence in Asia. However, the local hiring landscape is full of potential pitfalls and issues that need to be taken care of, especially when it comes to conducting employee background checks in Taiwan.

In this guide, we’ll explore the essential aspects of running background checks on employees in Taiwan for companies looking to hire in the local market successfully. Whether you are unfamiliar with Taiwanese hiring practices or looking to grow your team there currently, we’ll go over the key points, from legal considerations to common industries and mistakes to avoid.

With the right insights and support, you can make informed hiring decisions in this dynamic market and get to work on the next step in your global market strategy.



What Employers Should Know Before Running Background Checks in Taiwan


What are Background Checks?


A background check is a key part of the hiring process, where the hiring team verifies the information provided by potential candidates to ensure they are the right fit for the role. This can involve reference checks, where the hiring team will contact previous employers or colleagues to get an idea of the candidate’s character or work ethic, but it may also involve checks of the candidate’s qualifications, criminal record, or health in some cases.

However, employers performing employee background checks in Taiwan may wish to know things about their candidates that go against laws protecting personal data or protected characteristics. Because of this, before getting started with background checks on employees in Taiwan, employers should be aware of the legal and cultural considerations surrounding the process.


Are Background Checks Legal in Taiwan?


Yes, employee background checks in Taiwan are generally legal. Still, employers must comply with relevant laws and regulations around background checks. Taiwan labor laws are particularly strict on the subject of personal protection, so before starting this step, employers should be sure that they adhere to all data protection laws, such as the 2023 Personal Data Protection Act, which governs the collection, storage, and use of personal information in Taiwan.

Legally and as part of a best practice policy, obtaining a candidate’s consent is crucial before conducting employee background checks in Taiwan, as this can ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.


What Types of Background Checks Are Illegal in Taiwan?


Even though most types of background checks are generally permitted in Taiwan, certain types may be prohibited under local laws.

Employers should always avoid conducting checks that might infringe upon individuals’ rights or privacy. This includes any checks that will inquire about personal beliefs or family status.

The Employment Service Act makes any check that attempts to find out information about a candidate’s health history or disabilities illegal as they can be seen to be basing an employment decision on discriminatory criteria.

Additionally, employers cannot access certain databases directly for background checks but must instead seek data via the relevant authority.


Common Background Check Industries in Taiwan


While background checks may be common across many industries, several key industries in Taiwan regularly conduct background checks as part of their hiring processes because of the presence of sensitive data or key skills.


These include:


–         Technology and IT – With Taiwan’s reputation as a global tech hub and leader in many emerging areas of tech, companies in the technology and IT sectors often include strict background checks when hiring to safeguard intellectual property and sensitive information. Companies in these sectors may also have to consider the added difficulties of international background checks when trying to attract world-class talent to Taiwan.

–         Manufacturing – Given Taiwan’s manufacturing sector, companies in this industry will likely want to conduct background checks that ensure the reliability and integrity of their workforce. This can include employment history checks and qualifications checks to make sure that candidates have the right skills and experience.

–         Finance and Banking – Due to the sensitive nature of financial data, combined with Taiwan’s strict regulatory requirements, finance and banking groups in Taiwan often conduct thorough background checks on employees, including criminal record checks and possibly even financial history checks.


The 5 Most Common Types of Employee Background Checks in Taiwan


Employee background checks in Taiwan can cover many different aspects of someone’s background, but the most common usually include:


–         Identity Verification – This involves confirming the candidate’s identity using official documents such as the National Identification Card (NID) or passport. It may also include checking household registration information and cross-referencing with national databases to prevent fraud and ensure an individual’s legal right to work in Taiwan. However, this type of check should be done with the help of authorities using official databases.

–         Employment History – The most common kind of check globally, employers usually review a candidate’s work history by contacting previous employers who can verify job titles, timelines, and reasons for leaving. This process may include requesting official employment certificates and detailed job performance reviews to help employers understand a candidate’s experience. Frequent job changes or hidden reasons for leaving may help to assess reliability and stability.

–         Education and Qualifications – This involves checking educational background and professional to confirm the authenticity of degrees and certifications listed on a resume. This step may be vital in industries requiring specific licenses or skills. For global employers, checking employment or qualifications may involve the help of a third party who can make verified comparative judgments.

–         Criminal Record Check – Conducting a criminal record check is a standard practice in many industries and often involves working with authorities to access records from the National Police Agency. For positions needing higher levels of trust or security, a detailed investigation might be required or conducted.

–         Reference Checks – This involves contacting a candidate’s provided professional references, such as team leaders, colleagues, or business associates. Similar to an employment check, it also gathers insights into the candidate’s work ethic, professional behavior, and overall character. Today, these can be combined with background checks in Taiwan using social media or a candidate’s online presence.


These background checks help Taiwanese employers make informed hiring decisions, ensuring a safe, productive, and trustworthy workplace.


3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Background Checks in Taiwan


While conducting employee background checks in Taiwan, employers should be careful to avoid the following common mistakes which can delay or even derail the hiring process:


  1. Incomplete or Incorrect Documentation – Failure to obtain proper consent or use the wrong documentation can lead to legal complications, extra costs, and delays. As Taiwan labor laws favor the personal protection of individuals, employers are under extra pressure to make sure they are legally compliant during employee background checks in Taiwan.
  2. Relying Solely on Online Information – While online research can provide easy and valuable insight into a candidate, it shouldn’t be the only method used to do background checks. Taking time to find and compare multiple sources of information can often yield the best and most reliable results.
  3. Ignoring Cultural Sensitivities – Cultural norms and expectations regarding privacy differ in Taiwan compared to other countries, where group harmony is considered key. While local employers may often go beyond what is expected of background checks in other countries to ensure the right fit, foreign employers may want to tread more carefully or seek local expert guidance.


employee background checks in Taiwan


Run Employee Background Checks in Taiwan and 160+ Countries Worldwide Quickly and Confidently with INS Global


INS Global specializes in providing comprehensive HR solutions to companies expanding into Taiwan and other international markets.

With nearly 20+ years of experience and a strong dedication to providing expertise through our global network of expansion advisors, we can help you navigate the complexities of employee background checks and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Contact us today to learn more about our EOR, payroll, compliance, and recruitment services and how we can support your hiring needs in Taiwan and beyond.


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