Staffing Firms & Background Screening

Rachel Theisen
man sitting at table writing and filling out paperwork

One of the tools staffing agencies rely on to find qualified temporary hires is a background check. There are several important dynamics for staffing agencies to consider when screening temporary employees:

  • Consent
  • Client-specific protocol
  • Monitoring

Consent

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), an employer must provide disclosure to and obtain consent from a candidate prior to obtaining a background check. For more information, check out our blog post on Best Practices for Authorization and Disclosure forms.

Many staffing agency clients do not wish to review the results of a temporary hire’s background checks under concern for co-employment risk*, wanting to avoid being viewed as the primary employer. In those instances, it’s vital that the contract between the two parties includes screening protocols for the staffing agency to follow. This way, the staffing agency can certify that a temporary placement meets the client’s requirements without the client reviewing the results of the background check.

In instances where a client does want to review the results of a temporary hire’s background check results, it’s important that proper consent is obtained. The disclosure and authorization forms provided to and signed by a candidate must reference the client, in addition to the staffing agency, in order for the results to be shared with the client. Alternatively, the candidate can provide the results of their background check to the client directly, circumventing the need for additional consent.

Client-Specific Protocol

As mentioned, one way staffing agencies can help their clients avoid co-employment risk is to certify that a placement meets the client’s screening criteria, rather than sharing the results of the background check, or other pre-screening measures (drug testing results, reference information, Form I-9/E-Verify, etc.), with the client. InCheck understands that staffing agencies work with many clients, all with different screening requirements. By creating client-specific packages with specific screening protocols, we can help our staffing agency clients organize their screening processes. We can also assist with custom disclosure form sets, should additional consent be needed for clients who want to review screening results.

Criminal Monitoring

Screening provides a snapshot in time of an employee’s background. It does not, however, alert a staffing agency to criminal activities that may arise during the course of employment. Criminal monitoring solutions are one way to stay informed about new activity on an employee’s record. This could be especially helpful when employees work in safety-sensitive positions, including healthcare environments, daycares, or any roles dealing with heavy machinery.

It is common for staffing agencies to create unique screening and monitoring solutions based on their client’s needs. InCheck provides consultations around compliance requirements and service packages to help staffing firms create customized solutions and protocol. Reach out for a consultation with one of our product experts if you have any questions about best practices and tailored packages.

*We encourage staffing agencies and their clients to work with legal counsel to understand and mitigate co-employment risks as needed. Further, we recognize that in RPO and direct hire scenarios, screening is in fact the responsibility of the employer, not the agency.

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