June 9th, 2015 | Sterling

Screening Student Interns and Seasonal Workers For Summer

Screening Student Interns and Seasonal Workers For Summer | SterlingBackcheck

With summer just around the corner, many employers are ramping up their workforce with the addition of summer interns. Summer jobs are popular among students looking to network with professionals in their field, gain experience in the workplace, and in the case of paid internships, make some money while classes are not in session.

Summer internships also provide a unique opportunity for employers. They gain access to a talent pool chock full of fresh, ambitious young minds looking to make a good impression. They can use temporary summer workers to alleviate backlogs in workflow without taking on the commitment of a full-time, salaried employee. Summer internships can also give employers an opportunity to try before they buy. Many internships lead to paid positions and full-time employment after college.


According to a recent study, student internships are steadily increasing. Not only are more students interested in completing internships, but there is also more demand among employers. Some highlights of the survey include:

  • 67% of 2013 graduates completed at least one internship during college
  • 56% of employers intended to hire more interns in 2014 than they did in 2013
  • 84% of employers offer summer internships

The study also revealed that companies with more than 100 employees are more likely to use interns to find full-time employees, while small companies use interns to find part-time help with projects.


While the summer internships are often bound by different laws and separate internal policies than permanent workers, there is one thing that they should have in common: background checks. Background screening should apply to both groups and while the majority of companies perform criminal record checks prior to hiring a permanent employee, many seem to abandon process when onboarding a seasonal employee or summer intern.

Summer interns often have the same privileges and access to company resources and technology infrastructure as permanent employees so they should be held to the same screening standard. The contingent workforce, including summer interns, is one of the most common gaps in the background screening process.


To prevent becoming a victim of the summer screening gap, your best option is to revise your screening policy to cover all types of workers: interns, seasonal workers, temporary staff, contract workers, and other members of the contingent workforce.

A thorough screening policy is imperative to preventing security breaches, fraud, theft, and negligent hiring claims against your organization. In addition to writing the policy, it is also important for employers to educate their staff on the requirements and purpose of the policy and have the appropriate checks and balances in place to ensure that protocol is always followed. Be sure to consult with your legal counsel to review your policy to ensure appropriate risk mitigation and legal compliance before implementing it.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.