Managing Staffer Background Checks – Why Thorough Preemployment Screenings Are Critical for Staffing Agencies

Staffing Agency Background Checks

It’s a great feeling when a staffer on assignment receives rave reviews from your client. On the other hand, nothing can put a knot in your stomach faster than receiving a client complaint, particularly when it comes to light that your worker might not be all that they had claimed.

It’s a problem that’s more common than you might think. According to a 2017 study, nearly three out of four managers admitted to making a bad hire over the course of their career. And of those, 33% blamed their bad decision on the fact that the candidate lied about their qualifications during the interview process.

That’s why performing a background check on all your candidates is an absolute must for staffing agencies. When you complete a thorough preemployment background check, you can rest easy knowing that the person you’re sending out on assignment with your client hasn’t been lying about their qualifications or their past.

Why Candidate Background Checks Are Crucial for Staffing Agencies

As a staffing agency, your clients trust you to provide them with workers who are qualified to perform their roles, and to ensure those same workers are trustworthy. Conducting a comprehensive employment background check helps ensure your staffers meet these criteria, and it also keeps your agency protected, both legally and in terms of your professional reputation.

Performing a background check on prospective employees can help your agency:

1. Detect Fraudulent Information

According to a report from ADP Screening and Selection Services, out of the 2.6 million background checks they performed in 2001, 44 percent of applicants lied about their work histories, 41 percent lied about their education, and 23 percent falsified credentials or licenses.

These are scary statistics for staffing agencies, as hiring a candidate who lied about their background or abilities likely means you’ll have to shell out for the unexpected costs of recruiting, hiring and training that employee’s replacement when they’re eventually found out. Even worse, your dishonest staffer might cause your agency to lose business. And worst of all, you could be liable in court for your bad hire. (More on this below.)

2. Prevent Illegal Activity

If you don’t properly screen your staffers before sending them out on assignment, you run the risk of being tacitly responsible for unsafe or even illegal activity in the workplace. A thorough background check can help determine if a candidate has any history of criminal activity, and help you ensure a safer workplace for your client.

3. Protect Your Agency from Legal Repercussions

“Negligent hiring” is a legal term that describes your liability when you – as an employer – knew (or should have known) that one of your employees posed a risk at work. That means that if your staffer causes an accident and/or injury at work, you could be legally responsible. And the average cost of a negligent hiring lawsuit is estimated to be about a million dollars.

A background check can help your agency determine whether a candidate poses a risk to your agency and/or your client in the form of a costly negligent hiring lawsuit, and it can help prevent you from hiring the candidate to begin with.

4. Build Trust with Your Clients

The workers you send out on assignment with your clients are representatives of your agency. If it turns out your worker can’t do the job they claimed they could or, worse, they turn out to be a liability, it can do irreparable damage to the relationship with your client. And if word gets out that you didn’t properly vet a candidate, it could take away business opportunities with other potential clients.

Alternatively, if you’re continually delivering workers who meet expectations, trust from your client will only grow in strength.

Using a Background Check Service

A background screening program can help firms confirm whether a candidate is misrepresenting their background or professional ability. It can also detect a history of unethical or criminal activity, even if an individual attempts to hide that history on an application.

Because of the number of documents and certifications that need to be confirmed – including employment verifications, criminal background checks, drug screenings, credit reports, and more – background checks can be expensive. But they are certainly worthwhile.

Many staffing agencies don’t have the time or capabilities to perform their own background checks. But there are any number of background check services that specialize in vetting candidates on behalf of their agency clients.

One of our favorites is Checkr, a company named one of Fast Company’s “most innovative security companies of 2020.” According to their website, Check provides “the most advanced background check toolset in the industry to make hiring faster, easier, more accurate, and lower risk.”

But there are any number of services available, and your agency should partner with whichever best suits your needs.

Background Checks – A Crucial Step in Your Staffing Agency’s Hiring Process

For staffing agencies, performing background checks on your candidates before adding them to your team – and certainly before sending them out on assignment – is an absolute must. Thorough background checks help to ensure your staffers can and will perform their jobs at a high level, and help to confirm they aren’t likely to commit a crime at your client’s business.

By fully vetting your staffers, you protect yourself, your agency, and your clients. And because of that, it’ll also improve your business’ reputation.

Good people know good people. Learn about The Importance of Employee Referrals for Staffing Agencies, and How to Get Them Right on the Crelate blog.

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