There are a number of different individuals and companies that can be categorized as “extended workforce.” This term includes vendors, contractors, consultants, alliance partners and contingent workers that participate in an employer’s day-to-day tasks.
Studies show that this category of non-employees is becoming increasingly important to corporations both large and small. A survey from Accenture revealed that companies worldwide spend around $300 million on contingent workers each year. The researchers also estimated that 20-33 percent of the American workforce is made up of independent contractors. This percentage has risen dramatically over the course of 20 years, as freelances made up less than 10 percent of workers in 1989.
With more companies turning to the extended workforce for crucial services, it is essential that employers remain diligent about screening any and all workers that participate in the organization. Here are four reasons why businesses should be conducting extended workforce background checks.
“Don’t assume vendors screen their workers.”
1. Outside vendors may not screen
Some employers may not vet their vendors because they assume the company has already completed background checks on workers. However, the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that around 70 percent of companies complete pre-employment screening. This means that 30 percent of organizations do not look into the background of each employee – some businesses may only screen select workers, while others may not screen anyone. Further, some companies that complete background checks may not be using reputable vendors or ensuring that the consumer reports are thorough. It is better for employers to directly screen their extended workforce to make sure that the job is done correctly.
2. Ensure workplace safety
It is essential to screen vendors, contingent workers and contractors for many of the same reasons it is important to conduct background checks on full-time employees. Members of the extended workforce usually have some degree of access to the businesses they work for, meaning they can compromise the safety of the workplace. If there was ever an incident where an employee was injured as a result of the actions of an unscreened contractor, the organization may be held liable for negligence.
3. Protect company property
Many companies have valuable assets stored within their offices, whether it is merchandise, proprietary information or consumer data. Organizations generally take many steps to protect valuable property from external thieves, but employee theft is a growing problem in the U.S. A study from Jack L. Hayes International found that more than $55 million in stolen goods was recovered from workers in 2013. This number increased 2.5 percent from the previous year, but does not give any insight into the thieves that were not apprehended. It is crucial that employers mandate thorough background screening of any individual who will have access to the workplace.
4. Hire the best talent
Employers who conduct thorough pre-employment background checks are often assured that they are hiring the right candidates for the job. The same reasoning holds true when screening vendors to add to a company’s extended workforce. Chances are that a business will have a few different vendors or service providers to choose from, and thorough background screening can help ensure that organizations are hiring the best talent.
Screening vendors is an essential part of the smart hiring process, so businesses should partner with a reputable consumer reporting agency for all their background and drug screening needs. Global HR Research has vendor screening systems that can be seamlessly integrated with human resource software, making it easy for employers to vet and hire the best options for their extended workforce.
Hiring is the most important thing you do. Trust it to Global HR Research. Find out more by calling 1-800-790-1205 or visiting the GHRR website today.