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About Pre-Employment Screening for Temps and Contractors

Sometimes it is just easier and more cost-efficient to hire a temp.  If you have work that must be done now and doesn’t involve sensitive knowledge, a temp may be the right decision.  That said, your business is your home. You do not invite strangers into your familial home, and you should not do so in your corporate home.

How do you draw the line? You need trustworthy help, and you are hiring from a pool of people that you might find too unreliable to hold a job long-term. I would caution you to consider that quality temporary employees can make some great money and have any flexibility they need. However, you need to guarantee as best as you can that the temps you are bringing into your organization won’t damage your reputation or your bottom line.


There's no reason to examine the difference between those that are considered Full-Time and Full-Time Exempt. Differentiating between these two can become infuriating. Your local laws and your company definition determine how they differ, and if you have concerns about your interpretation, hire someone to guide you. It is precisely that complicated.


Many of these discussions include the same text: please consult your state laws. This is with good reason. States dictate the majority of decisions in these cases, and we must address that before moving along. Please get to know your state employment laws or hire someone that you trust to do so on your behalf. The Federal Trade Commission has determined that temporary employees and independent contractors are generally subject to background screening, should you choose to screen them.

Man in a suit checking boxes


This is a difficult question to answer. We are dealing with employees that you do not plan to maintain for an extended period. At the same time, you don't want to invite someone into your organization that might wreck your business.
However, you may not be allowed to perform certain screenings on temporary candidates. It's imperative to note that you must check the laws of your state if you choose to go this road alone. Failure to do so could lead to very costly litigation. If your region allows you to screen, we believe that you should.


If you're in specific industries, you almost have no choice. If you're in the finance industry, you certainly need to run a credit check. If you're in healthcare or childcare, you may be required to run certain background checks to verify that a candidate is eligible to be hired.

Hand filling out paper background check request
The laws can be that specific. Remember, you absolutely MUST verify the legality of your background screening to ensure you are within your rights as an employer. The laws vary from state to state and possibly from municipality to municipality.


If you think that the legal grounds related to hiring permanent employees is complex, imagine what happens when you introduce a wrinkle. The background screening environment is complicated, even more so when you are dealing with non-permanent hires. If you don’t have someone already under your employ that is well-versed in the employment laws in your area, we highly recommend hiring an expert from outside.

We recommend consulting a professional whenever hiring someone new. Once you approach the concept of temporary or contracted employees, it becomes almost mandatory. You can only safeguard your business with knowledge and care. We recommend both, as well as a reputable, certified screening partner. Learn more about our pre-employment screening services.