March 28th, 2017 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

Overcoming the Challenges of Background Screening for the Staffing Industry

Walkers in a blur

The rise of the contingent or temporary workforce is upon us and will continue to grow as the economy continues to change. The temporary workforce is a major driver in the gig economy, a growing economic force which accounted for 30% of new jobs and created income sources for 2.1 million people in the U.S. between 2010 and 2014. Intuit forecasted that the gig economy would reach 7.6 million people by 2020. The US economy has changed dramatically over the last 50 years from employment in large organizations to an increased reliance on temporary or contracted labor.

Staffing for the Gig Economy

One of the major sources of contracting temporary workers is via a staffing company. Staffing agencies can come in all sizes from smaller companies representing just a handful of larger businesses to ones that have hundreds of clients. Staffing companies have “a touch” upon every industry from light industrial to technology sector to medical to hiring for one-off tradeshows or special events. The integrity of the candidates placed with a staffing company can make or break their reputation and branding. Client companies look to a staffing company to provide them with the best-skilled workers to meet their productivity goals.

Staffing and Background Screening

The staffing industry is extremely fast paced. Open jobs must be filled quickly with the most qualified candidates. Each of the companies that the staffing agency works with could have different background screening requirements for their workforce and a myriad of background screening needs. Performing background screening checks helps to protect staffing companies from possible bad hires, which can cause undesirable situations at an employer. If a staffing agency fails to do due diligence in their hiring processes and puts a worker who is unfit for employment or causes a threat to the employer, then the staffing agency may be liable for breach of contract claims. Therefore, staffing companies must develop a comprehensive background screening policy that explicitly states the types of screening that will be performed for the positions they are hiring for.

Overcoming the Challenges of Background Screening for the Staffing Industry

Since the staffing industry is extremely fast-paced, the need for proper background screening quickly is a challenge for some staffing agencies. Sterling is the preferred background screening provider for five of the largest staffing agencies in the world. Sterling can work with our staffing clients to overcome these major challenges:

Quick and Accurate Results – Slow background checks can cost time and money, while an inaccurate report result could prevent a job applicant from losing out on a job opportunity or a client losing a potential employee. Sterling can screen a large number of candidates quickly and accurately based on our client’s needs.

Client Service – Background screening customer service needs to be able to answer their staffing client’s questions concisely and quickly. Sterling has a dedicated team that works around the clock to support our staffing industry clients. The team has developed exclusive best practices and methodologies to support our staffing customers.

Compliance – The background screening is governed by FCRA guidelines. It is imperative that staffing companies who are performing employment background screening be compliant with FCRA and EEOC regulations and how they will relate to the staffing industry. With laws changing on a regular basis, staffing companies need a background screening partner who understands and implements changes to screening programs to stay compliant. Sterling continually stays up-to-date on how new federal, state and local regulations could impact employment background screening in the new temporary working economy.

Workers in the gig economy are constantly moving to new assignments. The turnaround time from application to hire is crucial for staffing and temporary hire companies. Sterling has prioritized quality and efficiency in our background screening programs so our staffing clients and get the best available talent to their customers sooner. There are many components to employment background screening checks from criminal record checks to drug and health screening. Find out more about the basics of employee background checks by downloading our eBook, Background Screening 101.

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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.