Conducting Personal Background Checks in Indonesia

Indonesia is a large, developing, market. You will want to do what you can do prevent bad deals from happening.


A background check is an investigation into a person or corporation’s history.  While we maintain a complete company database in Indonesia, this article focuses on conducting due diligence and personal background checks on individuals.

For example, imagine that you are hiring a new director for your company. How do you confirm the person has the listed education and qualifications? Have a civil or criminal record that could harm the reputation of the company?

Purpose of the background checks

“Only the paranoid survive.”

-Andy Grove, legendary former CEO of Intel

Indonesia is a large, developing, market. You will want to do what you can do prevent bad deals from happening.

Background checks in Indonesia go beyond a criminal record check.  They typically also include information regarding civil records, employment and education history, references, and the list goes on.  In this article, we will give you some use cases for background checks, especially in Indonesia.

Why should you screen your potential new hires, vendors or business partners? In short, a background check costs about 250$ while the potential damage from a bad hire or partnership can go way beyond it. It’s an insurance policy.

Criminal record check in Indonesia

Let’s start with the obvious. Most employers and investors prefer to keep away from individuals with criminal records. However, in the case of Indonesia checking the court records is not as easy as you might expect.

Therefore Emerhub provides criminal record checks as one of our key elements of the background checks:

  • Police clearance certificate (SKCK) verification
  • Confirming with local police station whether the applicant is part of a criminal case

Civil record check

Similarly to criminal records, we validate the candidate’s or potential business partner’s civil record. Indonesia’s court system is complex, and we will help you navigate through it.

Read more: 7 Common Mistakes To Avoid Before You Set Up Company In Indonesia

Group sanctions verification

We validate that the person is not a member of an undesired organization or blacklist. We have access to many databases, such as:

  • Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee
  • Wanted by NCB-Interpol Indonesia
  • Terrorist Security Administration’s No Fly List
  • Environmental Protection Agency Fugitives
  • Secret Service’s Most Wanted Fugitives
  • National Surveillance Agency Telephones & Terrorism
  • Mother Jones Database
  • LKPP Black List
  • OJK Negative List

Pre-employment Background Check in Indonesia

Education check

Education verification substantiates the subsequent claims:

    • Ensures that the applicant studied and graduated from the institution listed on the application.
    • Individual institutions are contacted, verifying the individual’s enrollment and graduation.

For example, let’s say that you are choosing between two otherwise equal candidates. One of them is a graduate of a reputable university overseas. At least that’s what their CV claims.

Emerhub’s background checks validate that candidate has the education they have listed. Some of the common problems we have found are:

  • The candidate went to the university but didn’t graduate or received a lesser degree.
  • False claims about GPAs, finished courses, majors, etc.
  • Even worse – the candidate never went to that university.

Hiring excellent people is difficult. If the candidate was dishonest about its education then what does it say about the character of that person?

Employment Verification

Employment verification makes sure the candidate has the listed employment history. Our activities include:

  • Contacting previous employers via phone calls, emails, or personal visits
  • Confirms position or title held by the applicant while in their employment
  • Determines the reason why the company no longer employs the employee

Some of the problems in the CVs are easy to spot. A candidate is switching jobs every four months. Mysterious gaps in the employment history that the candidate cannot explain.

What if a job experience in a specific industry or company is paramount to the role? Let’s verify that.

Reference verification

Most CVs, at least in Indonesia, include listed referrals. People that are willing to vouch for the candidate. We conduct the following steps with them:

    • Checking the authenticity of references
    • Contacting references to determine the authenticity of the applicant’s claims
    • Discussing the applicant’s past performance

Talking to the references can be incredibly insightful even if you have no basis to suspect the candidate is making some questionable statements. It gives you an astute understanding of who the candidate is, beyond what they tell you themselves throughout the selection process.

Contact Number Verifications Check

Contact number check is a small step but essential for some roles nevertheless. We conduct the following:

  • Contacting various phone numbers provided to determine if they are legitimate
  • Numbers verified may include:
    • Home phone number
    • Mobile phone number
    • Emergency contact number

While not a priority for most companies, in the specific case of Indonesia an invalid phone number can be an indication of financial problems. Borrowing money is ingrained to the culture, and switching phone numbers can be a, albeit not very effective, way to run away from the loan collectors.

Passport and ID Check

It’s commonplace to ask for the personal identity card (KTP) during the selection process. Most candidates will probably attach it to the printed CV they bring along for the interview. We can validate that the ID is real by contacting the civil registry office to confirm the legitimacy of provided identification documents.

It’s rare for job applicants to provide a fake ID. It might happen more often when entering into transactions with smaller businesses. While uncommon, providing a false document is not a promising sign.

If the job requires traveling you may also want to make sure the candidate has a valid passport. You’d be surprised how few Indonesians hold one.

Additional background checks commonly conducted during the screening process

Neighborhood Check
  • The address listed in the application visited to determine the authenticity
  • If the applicant does not own the property, contacting the owner or landlord to verify that the property is being used as a residence and not for other illegal purposes
  • Neighbors may be interviewed as well
Credit Check
  • Overview of credit cards, current, and past
  • List of  consumer loans taken by the person
Integrity Interview
  • Interviewing applicant including the following:
    • Collecting all required documentation
    • Analysis of body language
    • Integrity Questionnaire
    • Determining personal characteristics such as drug use, and leisure activities
Bankruptcy verification
  • Determining whether the applicant has ever declared bankruptcy
Reverse directorship search
  • Examines possible involvement with other companies which may be a conflict of interest
Adverse internet/media verification
  • Checks online, newspaper and magazine sources
  • Examines the content of social media accounts
  • Searches of websites mentioning the applicant

Getting started with background checks

This article was a summary of different background checks we can conduct in Indonesia. Emerging markets such as Indonesia provide great business opportunities, but they also come with their own, sometimes unique, risks. Background checks are a cost-effective way to mitigate some of them.

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