Background screening and other contingencies are generally put in place to ensure businesses employ the right people with limited risk. However, should the same approach be taken when hiring temporary employees?
The answer is a “definite yes” according to Rudi Kruger, GM: risk solutions at LexisNexis Data Services. “It is essential that organisations apply the same level of background screening on temporary workers or even volunteers as they would on permanent staff, as the level of risk remains the same,” he says.
“While screening temps may seem to be an excessive, time consuming measure with added expenses, a pre-check can prevent avoidable situations in the future, as it provides a clearer understanding of the individual you are seeking to bring into the company fold – even if it is for a short period of time.”
Temporary workers are often provided with some level of access to a company’s data and resources. This makes it imperative to have all the necessary facts about the prospective temp before the hire, as access to information should never be given to questionable characters.
“For example, a temp operating in the finance department may not have enough power to execute a full-blown scheme, but the individual could have enough information on the inner workings of your business to know how to skim your cash flow,” says Kruger.
An employee, whether an interim addition or otherwise, represents their employer. Negative actions, attitudes or any form of criminal activity by a temp employee can damage your company’s reputation or jeopardise your relationship with suppliers and customers.
“A background check into the temp you are considering can uncover questionable aspects of their working career or participation in illegal activities. This ensures that all aspects of the business including its reputation, staff, resources, customers and suppliers are protected,” says Kruger.
In some instances, temporary employees can become front runners when permanent positions become available due to in-house experience and familiarity with the operation. In such circumstances, a background check conducted in the early stages eliminates the hassle of having to screen the candidate or having to find out something unsavoury.
It is always paramount to conduct your own background checks, as the onus remains solely on your company to ensure your business and employees are protected. “It is detrimental to assume the temp agency you are utilising to fill positions within your company is following the necessary procedures before recommending an individual to be placed within your organisation,” says Kruger.
Background screening, whether on permanent or temporary employees, is simplified with Lexis(r) RefCheck, a background screening solution that assists employers with verifying a wide range of personal information, including the identity of the candidate, information held by credit bureaus, criminal records, driver’s licenses, global academic qualifications and professional association memberships. Lexis RefCheck also provides a valuable employee due diligence and audit tool 24/7.