They are called contingency workers, contractors, consultants, outsourced workers, and agency staff. Regardless of the name used to describe them, temporary workers are an integral part of many successful businesses.
Temporary workers represent two percent of the entire U.S. workforce. That’s nearly three million workers.
Even as the economy improves, a combination of permanent and temporary workers is becoming the norm in many states. For example, in Florida, temporary staffing was up eight percent in Broward County (which includes Ft. Lauderdale) and twelve percent in Palm Beach County in 2013.
Trends like these demonstrate that temporary workers have a big impact on business during their short terms of employment. Yet, not all companies conduct comprehensive background checks on temporary workers. This creates a significant vulnerability for employers.
As a result, bridging the security gap for temporary workers is a high priority for hiring managers.
Unscreened Temporary Workers Can Cause Permanent Damage
It may seem counterintuitive to invest in a background check for an employee who may not stay with your company very long. However, hiring temporary workers comes with all the same risks as hiring permanent employees.
These risks include employing candidates who lie on their resume, have criminal records that make them ineligible for a position, or are unauthorized to work in the United States.
Furthermore, many temporary workers have the same access to computer passwords, offices, and financial resources as permanent employees.
Many companies hire temporary workers through a staffing agency. The hiring managers may assume that the staffing agency has conducted a recent background check of temporary workers; however, this is not always the case.
Additionally, even though a temporary worker is technically employed by the staffing agency, your company may still be liable for a temporary worker’s wrongful conduct or negligence.
Given these risks, companies should conduct their own background screenings for temporary workers.
What Are Some Best Practices for Screening Temporary Workers?
Best practices for screening temporary employees include conducting:
- Criminal Background Checks. Criminal record searches should cover an extensive period of time and multiple counties to ensure all areas where a temp has lived and worked are covered.
- Employment History Verification. A thorough review of a temporary worker’s employment history should include reference checks with former employers and explanations for any gaps in employment.
- Employment Eligibility Verification. Temporary workers must provide documentation proving their identity and authorization to work in the United States. The E-Verify process should be completed for temporary workers to ensure government compliance.
- Education Verification. Validating a temporary worker’s education, licenses, or credentials is essential to making sure they are qualified to perform their assigned job functions.
- 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.
Partnering with a background screening service provider is a practical way to implement these best practices.
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.