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May 2, 2023

Should Staffing Companies Background Check Their Candidates?

More than 90% of companies use staffing firms to help them find talent and fill open roles. These companies span almost every industry, town, city, and are everything from mom-and-pop shops to multi-national conglomerates.

If you own or run a staffing company, you understand the importance of delivering high-quality, low-risk candidates to your clients. Candidates who get hired and do a good job increase your company’s credibility and help grow your business.

A crucial element of vetting these candidates is background screening. Your company should background check your job candidates before sending them to your clients.

You may not be screening your job candidates at all, or you may be running a simple check that doesn’t dig as deeply as it should. Let’s look at why, when, and how staffing companies should use background screening.

Why Should Staffing Companies Use Background Screening on Their Talent?

There are numerous reasons for checking a job candidate’s background. Staffing firms have just as many reasons for utilizing background screening as companies that are doing the hiring.

  • Ensure the candidate is qualified. Believing what job applicants say on their resumes can set you up to fail. How do you really know if they possess the work experience and education they claim if you don’t verify the information? No, you don’t.
  • Reduce the risk of sending an unsafe person to interview with your clients. Job seekers with violent criminal convictions or drug addiction issues are costly for an employer. They may not perform well, cause workplace issues, and disrupt the company culture. Proactively running background checks on job candidates can mitigate these risks.
  • Protect your reputation for providing high-quality talent. Unqualified candidates who misrepresent themselves can bomb the interview, or worse, get hired and then do a terrible job. Even one bad hire can sully your company’s relationship with the client and cause them to find a new staffing partner. If too many clients and prospects hear about the issue, it can damage your company’s reputation immeasurably.

Which Candidates Need Their Backgrounds Checked?

Don’t fall into the bad habit of haphazardly screening talent when you have time or only screening the ones who give you a “bad feeling”. An effective background screening policy must be consistent, or you’ll open your company up to negligent hiring litigation.

This doesn’t mean you screen every candidate exactly the same. It DOES mean you screen every candidate for the same type of job exactly the same.

For example, a high-level manager in the technology department role doesn’t need to be screened the same way as a delivery driver. However, every candidate that you send for the manager should be screened uniformly, and every candidate you send for the delivery driver should be, as well.

What Type of Screening Should Staffing Companies Use?

Staffing firms are responsible for sending their clients experienced candidates who won’t be a danger to the workplace. There are dozens of ways to check an applicant’s background. Staffing companies should use these screening tools as a baseline for comprehensive background checks.

  • Education verifications. Confirming an applicant’s claims of a degree or certification is essential.
  • Employment history check. Verifying a candidate’s experience maximizes the chances they can properly handle the role they’re aiming to land.
  • Criminal history. Recent, relevant criminal convictions can give insight into a candidate’s character and attitude.
  • Sex offender registry. A convicted sex offender is not someone you want at a workplace if there are children nearby.

Staffing firms can increase the quality of their candidates and build trust with their business clients by running background checks. Stopping an unqualified, ill-equipped, or even dangerous candidate from landing the position is well worth the small amount of time and energy it takes to execute a solid background screening process.

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