Background Checks for Temporary Employees

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

June 1 2020

Thanks to the shifting dynamics of the sharing and gig economy workforce, we often see companies turning to temporary and contract workers to supplement their permanent staff during peak seasons and for short-term projects. The risks involved with hiring non-permanent employees, however, are often overlooked because of a common misconception: these employees won’t be around long enough to do any real damage. The danger in thinking this way could be the difference between a safe environment and the damage of your products, personnel, or client relationships.

The Risks Involved

Failing to background screen your temporary and contractual workers can lead to more cost than benefit. Your non-permanent workers can still damage your brand’s reputation through negative customer interactions, access to and/or distribution of sensitive information, and contributing to a hostile and even violent work environment.

These risks can be largely mitigated by maintaining a company-wide policy and procedure for screening non-permanent workers. A comprehensive background screening program doesn’t have to be a lot of extra work so long as your policies are applied consistently. Enterprises and small businesses alike use professional third-party screeners to implement screening programs and improve workplace safety.


Challenges to screening temps

Implementing a screening program for your temporary and contract positions may require some persuasion. Common challenges HR professionals face when suggesting a background screening program for non-permanent workers include:

  • Cost restrictions
  • Time restrictions
  • Limited HR policies
  • Departmental segmentation

These challenges are not insurmountable. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of the top myths regarding background screening, including information about the concerns listed above. Money and time can be difficult to pull out of an already stretched budget, but the benefits of creating a policy that protects your company far outweighs the costs associated with ineffective procedures rife with the potential for negative and legal consequences.


Common background screens conducted on non-permanent workers

Companies utilizing temporary employees to supplement their permanent staff will often conduct basic checks on these employees to ensure both cost efficiency and due diligence. Best practices for screening temporary employees include conducting:


Criminal Background Checks

Criminal record searches should cover at least the known residences of a temporary employee to ensure an adequate search scope. InfoMart’s SSN Trace Plus is a great addition; this extended SSN search uses countrywide arrest data to capture records outside of your candidates’ home jurisdictions.

Employment History Verifications

A thorough review of a temporary worker’s employment history should include reference checks with former employers and explanations for any gaps in employment.

Education Verifications

Validating a temporary worker’s education, licenses, or credentials is essential to making sure they are qualified to perform their assigned job functions.

Motor Vehicle Records

For employees and nonpermanent employees representing your brand on the road, it’s more important than ever to ensure the drivers are safe and reliable.

Drug Testing

This should include pre-employment and random screening components to ensure a drug-free workplace and reduce the chances of negligence by temporary workers.

Choosing the right background screening partner

A professional third-party background screener will offer you customized packages for your contract workers based on your needs. Professional screeners are well-versed in compliance and legal regulations. They can help you create a program that adheres to your applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Whether you’re a small or large firm, InfoMart has the advanced technology you need to order and receive results quickly. We offer full ATS/HRIS integration for companies using our RESTful API, a new ATS program called TalentASAP for those who don’t yet use an ATS, and a small business portal built to help businesses with less than 500 employees start screening immediately.

If you use a staffing agency to find your temporary and contract employees, make sure they properly screen candidates before placing them at your organization. You’ll want the background check to cover all information you’d want to know before putting a person permanently in that position.

A background screening service manages these essential components of the hiring process so that your company can remain focused on its core business operations.

Implementing these best practices through a background screening service can better protect your business, employees, and customers.

Learn more about InfoMart today.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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