6 Best Practices in Extended Workforce Background Screening

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Previously we explored why a process for background screening vendors and contractors is important, and we worked through some of the most common roadblocks to a streamlined program. Now we will delve into best practices that have been gleaned from thriving extended workforce screening programs.

We have already discussed getting a policy in place to determine who you will background screen, and what you will background check for, and then implementing this consistently. Given that implementation is likely the most challenging step in rolling out an extended workforce screening program, where do you begin? Determining how to enforce your policy and ensure that your vendors are working within the guidelines that you have set up is a good starting point.

Mandate and Monitor

Mandating and monitoring is one policy approach that requires vendors to perform background screening, and you to actively monitor contingent labor to see that all screening is carried out. In this situation all extended workforce individuals would be background screened. And by starting with policy like this, your implementation plan becomes clearer. In the mandate and monitor scenario, a company mandates a vendor submit access requests for each applicant screened, and then the company makes an access decision based on the background screening results. Your company may choose to audit a predetermined number of candidates screened, or every single candidate. The “mandate and monitor” approach provides some flexibility, as an access decision can be made on each request submitted by the vendor.

Work your policy into your vendor contracts

Another suggested step to ensure a successful implementation is to include your new policy as an addendum to your contract, or include the policy in your vendor contract renewal. This makes certain that your vendors are clear about what your requirements are, going forward.

Give a grace period

Since communication is key to any successful implementation, be sure to provide advance notice to current vendors of your new extended workforce screening policy. Give them a grace period to move into your new program. When the grace period is up, enforce your program.

Have vendors screen directly

If you are constrained by budget, have your vendors manage the ordering of the backgrounds and payment of the background checks directly. This allows you to increase the reach of your screening program dramatically without having to increase your budget.

Put controls in place

Put controls in place that will ensure your extended workforce is screened 100% of the time. This can be achieved by:

  • Not administering a badge until a passed background check is confirmed
  • Not paying a temp agency until a passed background check is confirmed
  • Auditing a statistically significant sample of your vendor population to confirm passed background checks

Consolidate to a single background screening solution

It’s virtually impossible to put the necessary controls in place when you have to deal with multiple background screening solutions and/or providers. Conversely, the efficiencies gained when all vendors and temps go through a single platform are clear.

The idea of putting a screening program in place for contingent workers can be daunting, but with the proper policies and controls in place, you can effectively screen this segment of your workforce and help mitigate risk.

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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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