5 Benefits of Background Screening by Staffing Agencies

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With many organizations still uncertain about the economic outlook, employers may be reluctant to meet immediate headcount needs by filling necessary positions with permanent employees.

As a result, many organizations are turning to contingent or temporary workers to meet this demand for staffing. According to a study by Intuit, by the year 2020, contingent workers will comprise more than 40 percent of the entire U.S. workforce.

As the demand for temporary workers increases, smaller staffing agencies will need to do everything they can to gain market share and compete with larger firms.

One such tactic smaller firms should consider is performing comprehensive background checks on their applicants, as this is something many larger agencies already do to increase the quality of their temporary workers.

Employment screening will not only help smaller staffing agencies remain competitive with their larger counterparts, but can also work to better protect their clients and their own reputations.

Smaller staffing agencies that perform background screening on applicants could enjoy the following benefits:

1. Detect False Information
According to a 2003 study by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), more than half of all job applications contain inaccurate information.

Without a background screening program in place, how does your staffing agency verify the accuracy of stated employment and educational histories, determine if an applicant has a history of criminal behavior, or other crucial information?

A background screening program can help firms detect a history of abuse and other unethical or criminal activity, even if an individual attempts to hide that history on an application.

2. Prevent Unsafe or Criminal Activity
Failing to thoroughly background screen workers increases the risk of unsafe or criminal activity in the workplace. By partnering with a background screening provider, staffing agencies can find out if an individual has any history of financial wrongdoing, sexual abuse or criminal activity.

Knowing whether individuals with these backgrounds are in your hiring pool help create safer, more ethical work environments for your clients.

3. Protect Against Negligent Hiring Suits
The average settlement of a negligent hiring suit, according to SHRM, is about $1 million dollars. A negligent hiring case arises when a worker causes harm or injury on the job and the employer should have “reasonably known” that person was unfit for the position.

Background screening can help a staffing agency determine whether an applicant would pose a risk to their clients in the form of a costly negligent hiring lawsuit.

4. Avoid Contractual Risks
Most staffing agencies and employers agree to contract terms that specify how the agency will background screen temporary employees. According to most standard contracts used across the industry, staffing agencies must use “due care” to properly vet workers.

If an agency fails to use “due care” and places a worker who is unfit for employment or otherwise poses a threat to the customer, then the staffing agency may be liable for breach of contract or indemnity claims. A comprehensive background screening solution can help to mitigate these contractual risks and prevent the accompanying costly lawsuits.

5. Build Better Client Relationships and Protect Your Brand
Your clients look to you to provide them with the skilled workers they need to meet their operating goals. If these individuals have been subject to a comprehensive background check appropriate to their level of responsibility and exposure, you have made an important step in fostering better long-term relationships with your clients.

A temporary worker you place on-site for a customer is representative of your brand, experience and professional insight – shouldn’t you take reasonable steps to ensure that the worker puts your best face forward?

So, as employers continue to meet their immediate staffing needs by seeking temporary and contingent labor, are you ready to meet that demand with a stable of screened workers?

Free Report: Are You Sending in a Trojan Horse?
Free background checking guide
Discover the risks of failing to properly background screen contingent workers, and tips for staffing agencies on how to create an effective screening program by downloading:

Are You Sending in a Trojan Horse? What Small Staffing Agencies Need to Know to Protect Themselves and Their Clients

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HireRight

HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as legal advice. HireRight does not warrant any statements in the HireRight Blog. Any statutes or laws cited herein should be read in their entirety. You should direct to your own experienced legal counsel questions involving your organization’s compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply.