A Checklist for Background Screening Non-Employees
Posted by Pamela S. on Friday, September 28th, 2012
Most companies realize the benefits of pre-employment background screening on new hires. The same due diligence should be exercised with other people who interact with, or represent your company. Vendors, independent contractors and volunteers can im
pact your organization in a negative way, if you bring on the wrong people. Here is a checklist of reasons to hire a private investigator to screen non-employees.
When someone represents or works with your organization, there is a possibility that you can be held liable if the individual commits criminal acts, causes safety violations or accidents.
Depending on the situation, a background screening can include these and other searches:
• Criminal History
• Credit History
• Employment history
• Department of Motor Vehicles check
• Reference check
• Civil court actions
• Professional license check
• Alcohol or Drug screening
Many companies are hiring independent contractors in place of full time employees. Independent contractors may work on site, or remotely. A large percentage of contractors are drivers for freight forwarding companies. Consider the following when hiring an independent contractor:
- Hiring an independent contractor does not absolve your company from risk. If the independent contractor is considered an agent of your company, you could still be held liable for their actions.
- If you have not vetted the independent contractor and they perform hazardous duties, you can be held responsible if the contractor does not have the proper licenses or training.
- How do you know that your independent contractor isn’t a criminal? Your contractor can steal from your company or clients, or worse, they could be a danger to others. If you do nothing else, a criminal check is the #1 necessity.
- Remote or telecommuting independent contractors have access to confidential information. They may be interacting with your clients over telephone or email. Many remote contractors are hired without in-person interviews. They may be working on the other side of the country. A background screening will ensure that you can trust this individual to represent your organization.
Can you be sure that your vendor has conducted pre-employment screening on their employees? If you are using a service, such as a temporary staffing agency, janitorial services, or any other vendor that has access to your facility, it is crucial that they have been properly screened.
- You should have a vendor compliance policy in place.
- Negotiate an agreement where the vendor must provide documentation of pre-employment screening, including criminal background checks from a reputable private investigation agency, such as Sheer Investigations.
- If the company does not conduct these checks, insist that the employees who work for you comply with your company requirements.
- Have a private investigator conduct a background check on the vendor company. Do they have any negligent hiring lawsuits or other civil suits?
- The principals of
the company should also be investigated. For example, suppose you need to hire a janitorial company for your office building. You may have your office manager choose a company from the phone book. Suppose that company is owned by someone with links to organized crime? This kind of relationship can affect the reputation of your company or place your employees in physical harm.
Non profit and charitable organizations depend on volunteers to help run their organization, raise funds and create awareness for your cause. Non profits don’t have large budgets to spend on background checks, however there is even more reason to ensure that your volunteers are carefully screened:
- At orientation, ensure that volunteers are aware of the requirements and agree to the background check. You should have a policy in place and clearly state the volunteer positions that require screening.
- Volunteers may work with vulnerable people; children, the elderly and the infirm.
- We’ve all heard horror stories about pedophiles who worked with children in volunteer positions, we can’t let this kind of tragedy happen.
- Many states have laws requiring volunteer background screening, at the very least, a criminal history search.
- If your volunteers are working in the vulnerable sector, a complete background check should be a requirement, that includes at least the following: criminal check, employment and reference verification, and address verification.
- You can’t screen every volunteer, however the people who are responsible for your valuable charitable dollars should be screened, including a credit check. Yes, there are people who would sink that low, and steal from a charity.
- You want to put your volunteers to work as quickly as possible. A commercial background check from a private investigation company has a much faster turn around time than going through traditional routes.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.