Background Checks for Temporary Employees: What HR Needs to Know

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

December 4 2024

Following the rise in popularity of the gig economy, we’ve seen more companies hiring temporary workers. The risks of hiring non-permanent employees are often overlooked because of a common misconception: these employees won’t be around long enough to do any real damage. Background check companies know the dangers of thinking this way. It could be the difference between a safe environment versus a bruised reputation, security breach, or costly lawsuit.
To ensure safety and security when hiring, HR should work with professional background check companies. Ideally, short-term hires need a fast background check solution. Read on to learn about background checks for temporary employees. We’ll reveal why they are important. Then, we will go over the best background check services for employers hiring temporary workers.

Why Conduct Background Checks for Temporary Employees?

Rushing to hire temporary and contract workers without background screening may cause more trouble than it’s worth. Your short-term hires’ time may be brief, but they can still damage your brand’s reputation by having access to your customers, sensitive information, and work environment. It may be extra risky to hire non-permanent employees. This is because they’re less attached to your company’s success and harder to monitor than full-time employees.

It’s crucial to implement a company-wide policy and procedure for screening temporary workers. Modern background checks for temporary workers help you choose trustworthy, qualified staff. This reduces the risk of a bad egg selling your sensitive data or creating an unsafe work environment. Plus, verifying a short-term hire’s abilities ensures your money is well spent.

Implementing a screening program for your temporary employees may require some persuasion. Common challenges HR professionals face when suggesting a background screening program for short-term hires include:

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

These challenges have solutions. In fact, some of them are common myths about background screening. Investing in background checks for temporary employees may seem optional when building your budget. However, the benefits of protecting your company far outweigh the cost of a background check.

Background Check Services for Employers of Temporary Employees

When background screening temporary workers, background check companies usually run a basic background check. This helps you save money by throwing out any avoidable services and focusing on what you need to know. The most common background check services for employers hiring temporary workers include:

Internal theft costs businesses
$50 billion
annually (

Criminal Background Checks

Criminal record searches scan public records for any signs of criminal behavior, including the sex offender registry. Companies often add SSN Trace to expand the scope. This makes a background check extra thorough by searching jurisdictions that weren’t mentioned by the candidate.

Employment History Verifications

Employment verifications help establish a temporary worker’s credibility and skill set. These should include reference checks with former employers, explanations for gaps in employment, and more.

Education Verifications

Validating a temporary worker’s education, licenses, and credentials ensures they are qualified for their role.

Credit History

When hiring a temporary worker or contractor for a financial role, it’s crucial to run a thorough credit check. It protects your assets against unreliable workers.

Motor Vehicle Records

This helps you hire safe and reliable drivers to represent your brand on the road.

Drug Testing

When hiring for certain non-permanent roles, a drug test is needed to reduce the chances of negligence and maintain a drug-free workplace.


Workplace homicides have increased 11% in the last decade (BJS)

Background Check Companies & Legal Considerations

Compliance is always important to consider when background screening, even for temporary or contract workers. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) contains certain protocols that make background checks compliant. For example, employers must disclose the background check and get a candidate’s written consent beforehand. The employee also has the right to receive a copy of their background check report. Find more details about FCRA-compliant background checks here.

State-specific laws and regulations may impact your screening processes. A compliant background check could look quite different in Georgia than in California, for example. Working with a professional, FCRA-certified background check company is your best bet. They have the expertise needed to ensure you screen compliantly, no matter where your business operates. Always remember to consult with your legal counsel in addition to your background screening provider. 

Partnering with a Background Check Company

A thorough background screening program doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, background check companies take care of the hard stuff so your business can get back to the job at hand. 

Professional background screening organizations work with you to implement your background check service. They customize background check services based on an employer’s needs, building the perfect pre-employment background check for each role companies hire. Additionally, an FCRA-certified background screening company’s expertise in compliance makes it simpler to uphold applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Companies that do background checks for employers also improve the speed and accuracy of background reports. An accredited background screener has the technology and resources needed to run a fast background check that remains thorough and accurate. Look for a background check partner who offers outstanding customer service for both you and your candidates. This ensures any questions, concerns, or disputes get resolved quickly.

Communicating with Temporary Employees

If you decide to implement background checks for temporary employees and contractors, it is vital to communicate every step of the way. Be transparent about the background check process. Why are you screening them? What can a temporary employee expect through the process? Where can the candidates go if they need help? 

Go into the conversation prepared to answer any concerns or questions. Temporary workers, especially independent contractors, may take it personally. Clarify that this is a standard procedure. Inform temporary workers of their rights under the FCRA, as well as any state-specific laws they need to be aware of.

Ready to upgrade your employee background checks? Discover 4 Tips for Improving Your Background Checks.


A Simpler Approach to Background Screening Temporary Employees

Though a temporary worker’s tenure may be short, the long-term benefits of their background check are substantial. Make it a standard procedure to background screen all employees at your company, no matter the length of their contract. Choosing an FCRA-certified background check business ensures that your hiring decisions support your company’s safety, security, and compliance.

Whether you’re a small business or large firm, InfoMart has the expertise and certifications needed to provide compliant background checks for temporary workers. Plus, our advanced technology, integrations, and standout customer support make it simple to get accurate results quickly. Interested in learning more about our temporary and contract worker background screening solutions? Reach out with any questions, and we will assist you shortly.

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.

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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