Why Staffing Agencies Need to Do Background Checks

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

April 15 2020

In the wake of the recent recession, many companies are dropping traditional recruitment practices in favor of the convenience of contracting with staffing agencies. A staffing agency may be able to connect job seekers with more employment opportunities than they might find on their own, but that also means that the agencies may attract less than ideal candidates. To find the best applicant for a position that will satisfy their clients, staffing agencies are relying on background screenings to help them assess candidates.

To find the best candidates for the job, background check companies for staffing agencies provide the necessary resources to assess applicants.

Staffing agencies receive many resumes, and the efficacy of these applicants can positively or negatively impact the agency’s reputation. It becomes paramount that staffing agencies find a way to ensure that they’re recommending qualified placements. Their brand reputation is dependent on it. Background check companies for staffing agencies verify a candidate’s identity, work history, education, and experience, helping agencies make the best possible placements for their clients.


Popular Background Screening Services for
Staffing Agencies


Criminal History Checks

A criminal history check is the tried-and-true standard of background checks. This search looks for criminal records by aggregating criminal records from court files, corrections data, probations/parole records, and other official sources. Criminal searches can be done at the county, state, national, and international levels. Its range can be expanded with an SSN Trace. This helps agencies determine if a candidate has a criminal record that disqualifies them for the job.

SSN Trace

A Social Security Number Trace, or SSN Trace, sources the addresses associated with a candidate’s social security number. This search enables staffing agencies and employers to expand a criminal history search and look for records in jurisdictions outside of the candidate’s home address. InfoMart’s SSN Trace Plus goes one step further by tracking arrest data, too, to find criminal records in places a candidate may have traveled.


Verifications are one of the most crucial screening services for staffing agencies. Verifications cover education history, work history, reference checks, and professional license verifications. Vetting a candidate to confirm their skills, experience, and identity ensures you’re giving your clients exactly the talent they’re looking for. Taking a candidate’s skill or identity at face-value can result in bad placements and unhappy clients. Verifications are the backbone of a staffing agency’s screening program and should never be skipped over.

Social Media Searches

In an increasingly online world, social media searches are growing in popularity among employers and staffing agencies alike. No one wants to be the employer of the next scandal that goes viral; social media searches allow employers to vet applicants for views and behaviors that may pose a risk to the comfort and safety of other employees. However, it also comes with a high risk of bias and the potential to see protected data that you’re legally not allowed to have influence your hiring decisions. Partner with a screening provider to receive a comprehensive, compliant overview of a candidate’s
social media.

Drug Screening

If your candidates are applying for safety-sensitive positions, drug testing is vital. In certain job environments, an intoxicated employee poses a significant safety risk to themselves and to others. If your client is looking for an employee that will be driving, handling heavy machinery, or responsible for the safety of others, a drug test is an added measure to ensure your candidate will have a clear head on the job site.

National Sex Offender Search

Whether your client works with at-risk populations or not, a National Sex Offender Search is a good way to ensure the safety of your placement. No agency wants to send a placement that might be a potential hazard to a client’s customers or staff. This search taps into sex offender registries across the country and provides you with an overview of any sexual offenses that may appear for your candidate.

Staffing agencies face pressure from all sides. A bad placement can have a negative impact on a business’s reputation, which makes thorough background screening even more important for staffing agencies. The first step to keeping your customers happy is partnering with experienced and trusted background check companies for staffing agencies.

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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