Employee Screening is an Essential Risk Management Step for Staffing Firms

In the high-pressure world of temporary staffing, recruiters can be tempted to cut corners at the candidate screening stage in an effort to meet client demands for qualified workers. Failing to follow good screening protocols can create serious problems for staffing businesses. Effective screening is a key part of any strong risk management program.

Every employer must decide for itself how to balance its potential employment risks and the costs, in both time and money, of a robust candidate screening program. In some industries or for some jobs, thorough examinations of each candidate’s background might not be justified by the potential for problems. But a staffing firm rarely has the luxury of assuming greater risk in hopes of lowering costs. In fact, the result of doing so is often significantly greater costs, like these:

  • Reputational harm and lost business.
  • Potential liability for negligent hiring.
  • Breach of contract.

The particulars of a good screening program must be customized according to the kinds of employees a firm hires, the kinds of work they will do, as well as the demands and expectations of clients. A baseline protocol should include verification of the candidate’s employment history, academic credentials, and professional licenses. Most staffing firms should also conduct criminal background checks, drug testing, and credit history checks as well. A process can also go further, by verifying each of the claims made on the candidate’s resume, such as asking for evidence of specific skills that a client might rely upon. Some firms also examine the candidate’s publicly accessible social media persona.

Designing and implementing a sound screening program takes dedication. A program needs to not only anticipate the risks that it hopes to avoid, but also the risks that it can create. Firms need to be consistent in how they screen applicants to avoid discrimination claims. They also need to comply with a complicated and ever-changing mix of laws governing matters like privacy.

At Gunnin, we specialize in helping clients in the temporary staffing industry design and implement comprehensive risk management programs. We believe that a well-designed candidate screening program is one of many ways a staffing business can improve its performance, enhance its bottom line, and enhance its brand. To learn more about the kinds of services Gunnin offers, call us today.

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Gunnin’s team is standing by to help businesses find new and better ways to tackle their risk management challenges. Contact us today to find out how we can make your firm’s workers’ compensation program do more.