Screening Temporary Employees for Criminal History

The contingent workforce is no new thing. In fact, a study from Intuit found that roughly 25% to 30% of the US workforce is contingent, with more than 80% of large corporations planning on substantially increasing their use of a flexible workforce in the coming years. Yet these figures were calculated before the pandemic hit in early 2020, the research predicts that contingent workers will exceed 40% of the workforce by the end of 2020. 

However, the report also showed that screening requirements for temporary workers are not as thorough as the requirements for the long-term workforce. Employers perform criminal checks, identity verification, and employment verification less often on temporary workers than on regular employees.

With increasing numbers of temporary workers joining the workforce, it is recommended that employers develop a criminal history screening solution to better mitigate hiring risks associated with temporary worker. Here are a few best practices for conducting more effective screening:  

1. Outline a Criminal History Screening Policy
Organizations should try to align temporary worker screening with existing employee screening, running the same instant background checks and verifications for both sets of workers. While developing a criminal history screening policy, be sure that the verbiage of your policy refers to contract workers as such to reduce the risk of employment claims.

2. Consider Screening Vendors
Many organizations rely on third-party vendors to hire contract workers in their facilities. For example, a hospital may use a third-party company to staff its catering division. An organization can either manage criminal history screening for vendor-sourced workers themselves or allow the vendors to manage screening.

If an organization does decide to allow the vendor to perform the screening, it should notify vendors of the updated temporary worker policy that outlines criminal history screening requirements and provide them time to comply. The organization should also include the updated extended workforce screening policy in vendor agreements, require vendors to meet its screening policy standards, and provide proof that standards have been met.

3. Streamline the Process
Perhaps only 48% of employers conduct criminal history screens on temporary workers because of the perceived time and cost burden. However, upgrading to an automated employment screening solution can help employers avoid the headaches of adding a new screening policy to its program.

A trusted criminal history screening solution can combine your employee and non-employee screening programs into one automated system. A solution like FedCheck makes it much easier and cost effective to screen temporary workers by reducing the burden on administrators, vendors, and the workers themselves. FedCheck offers instant background checks.

4. Enforce the Criminal History Screening Policy
Educate human resources personnel on the importance of the new temporary worker criminal history screening policy and the risks of not enforcing it. Do not issue temporary workers access to your facilities or to any sensitive information until they have passed their background checks. 

Finally, use internal audits across employee and non-employee solutions to be sure your organization’s criminal history screening practices meet your outlined policies.

Does your organization plan on hiring more temporary workers in the coming months? What kinds of policies do you have in place for screening those workers? Use FedCheck to help enforce your future criminal history screening policies.