Spring temperatures mean summer is coming quickly. Summer camps, retail, hospitality, sports leagues and other seasonal hiring and/or volunteering is underway or at least front of mind. While it may seem that background screening is too much of an investment for temporary work or service, there are many valid reasons for including it in the hiring process.
While summer jobs and volunteer opportunities provide valuable experience for the job seeker, employers must still protect themselves with background checks.
Summer Jobs & Opportunities for Things Going Wrong
Summer is the perfect time for seasonal work and volunteer opportunities. Retail and hospitality will see increases in business, especially in those places frequently visited by summer travelers. Sports leagues and summer camps will be seeking volunteers to help with children and youth sports. College students will be seeking summer work and internships that could be paid or unpaid. While it would be easy to assume that a short period of employment couldn't cause much harm, there is too much at risk to consider opting out of background checks.
- General liability - If the temporary worker damages property, other employees, or a customer, will your company be held liable?
- Theft - A busy season such as summer or the holidays could mean that theft is much easier. An annual retail theft survey shows that one in every 38 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer, a number that keeps increasing.
- Negligent Hiring - Does your business work with children, the elderly or any other vulnerable population? Will abuse damage your organization's reputation and also have the potential for litigation and punitive damages?
- Temp to Hire - A wonderful summer employee could be hired full-time. If background checks on full-time employees are necessary, they should be for temporary employees as well.
Background Screens to Run on Seasonal Employees
Employers who already have background checks as part of their hiring processes should also include screening for seasonal and summer employees as well. It is possible to keep screening costs down, however, with a different approach for background checks for seasonal employees:
- Create a job-specific background check policy to have a clear and simplified process for screening for summer jobs. Not every position will require the full gamut of screening. This policy will also apply to next year's hiring and holiday hiring as well.
- Perform minimum screens such as:
- Identity verification
- Felony and misdemeanor criminal search
- Sex offender search
- State-specific searches that relate to working with vulnerable populations
- Other screens to consider for drivers would be:
- Driver's License verification
- Drug Screening
- Ask about discounts for volunteers or non-profits
- Ask about high volume pricing
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Background Check Company
The good news is that if an employer is already working with a professional background check company, they don't have to do much research. If starting from scratch, remember to ask the screening company about FCRA compliance. Employers must still obtain authorization and consent before running a background check, even on volunteers. Pre-adverse and adverse action notices must still be included in the hiring process. A professional background check company will have FCRA-certified staff, provide information to help through the hiring and screening process, and double check the retrieved information for accuracy. The right screening company could make summer a little more relaxing for all involved.
VeriFirst allows employers to pay for only what is needed, offers efficient turnaround, includes discounts for non-profits and high volume screenings, and has helpful certified staff to help with compliance questions.