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July 20, 2015

Background Screening: Who Is the Unseen Risk to Your Workplace?

Unseen risk to workplace.jpgIf you perform a background check on your new hires, your company is protected, right?

Not if you are letting contract and temporary workers slip through the cracks.

The majority of companies have people on their premises that are not officially “company employees".

These are outsourced staff employed by other companies, but provided as a service, such as janitors, guards, gardeners, etc.

Sub-contracted or temporary employees offer positive benefits to the company culture. They provide the company with flexibility, nice grounds, and customer service during temporary busy periods, to name a few.

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However, these non-permanent employees can also be a detriment to a company’s safety and security if not screened properly. These individuals pose as much risk as any permanent staff member and very often are even more of a potential threat.

Companies need to put a priority on who is allowed on their payroll, in their place of work, and access to potentially sensitive and valuable information. It is just as important-maybe even more so-to put measures in place to “weed out” any temporary, outsourced, or contract worker who poses a risk to the workplace.

background-screening-ladyWhat to do: here are five answers to ensure contract employees are screened properly.


Make sure the contract company performs a background check. Review your contract with all outsourced companies that are your vendors. As part of service contracts, you should insist on screening as part of any agreement. Require that it clearly states the contract company is required to conduct background screening through a reputable third party background screening provider.


Your vendors must be thorough. A simple database search won’t fill the bill to ensure safe, trusted staff. Ask your vendors to list the specific types of information they collect on new hires. Good answers are county searches, drug testing, and employment verification. Bad answers are “a database search” or “we hire with our gut.”


Find out how often the company screens their staff. A red flag should go up if the vendor says they screen before hiring, and then they never conduct screening again. If their employees work there for several years (which is a good sign most of the time), who knows if they have been involved in high risk, illegal activities such as drug use? Look for contract outsourced companies that perform periodic screening in addition to pre-employment checks.

If you ask these questions and don’t like your vendor’s answers, consider….


Screen contract employees in-house. Conduct background screening on any and all employees who work for the company in the same manner, whether they are regular employees, outsourced or contract employees. This option is a little more costly to your company, however, you benefit by maintaining complete control over the screening process.


You can choose the reputable third party background screening provider that screens the employee AND the types of checks that you feel are appropriate. This process will help you maintain control and compliance, and minimize the risk of a bad hire and unsafe workplace.

Pre-employment screening is an integral part of today’s safe hiring process, as it minimizes the instances of turnover while offering a shield from litigation avoidance. It’s important to make certain ALL employees are screened in a proper, consistent manner. Putting these actions into place can reduce the risk of lawsuits, bad press, and safety issues.



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