Background Checks for Independent Contractors
Does your company require background checks on employees prior to being allowed to begin employment?
Background checks such as criminal (CPIC), drug, credit and others are typical employment practices for full time employment in both the US and Canada. However, when your company brings in an Independent Contractor are the same checks being conducted?
Now, we are not referring to contractors brought into the organization via staffing agencies. Those staffing agencies should be conducting the necessary background checks that are consistent with your firms hiring practices and consistent with your contractual stipulations with the agency. However, we see many firms that employ Independent Contractors and allow them to arrive on their work premises with no background validation. At Risk?
Real Case Story
This is a real story. Now, after reading this you may say, "No Way!" But after over 20 years in the industry, there is not much I haven't seen or heard.
Pre-9/11, at a large financial services firm in New York City, two gentlemen arrived at Human Resources. When the Human Resources Manager was called the gentlemen identified themselves as FBI agents and inquired if a certain individual who's name they provided was working on-site? Upon checking the full time database and not finding the name, they checked the contractor database and the name showed up. Declining to provide reason, the two agent asked to be taken to the individuals works station where, upon arrival and opening the individuals briefcase, the agents discovered a loaded semi-automatic machine gun. The briefcase was closed and the agents with their suspect in cuffs, left the premises.
The end to this story was that Human Resources never heard another word on the individual nor from the FBI. The individual was working on the company's client database and was brought in by a hiring manager on a referral from a friend outside the company. Needless to say, policy change regarding Independent Contractors was changed that day.
While this case story may seem extreme and probably won't happen to you, be smart and insure you know who you are bringing into your organization and make sure they meet the employment standards and requirements that you, your employee and company would expect.