‘Maybe’ is possibly the most popular word in the English lexicon because it is not just a word – it represents a whole philosophy of life! When making a decision, we have three options, not two. We have Yes, No and we also have – Maybe! Smart people (like my son, who opened my eyes to this word and its significance) realize that everything is not black or white so they just stick with “Maybe” – “So, are you signing up for that course in German you wanted?” “Maybe!” “Will you go watch the ‘Desolation of Smaug’ at the multiplex with us this Saturday?” “Definitely, maybe!”
Exasperating? Not really. Many times, we are surrounded in life with in situations where taking an unequivocal stand proves extremely challenging and “maybe” seems like a great way out.
Of course, not all situations can – or should – be avoided with such a vague response. When deciding whether to conduct background checks on employees, we had better not take any stand which will have us repent in leisure later. While the notion of conducting background initially seems straightforward, we soon start to consider the trade-offs between the privacy of the individual and the employer’s need to reduce business risk. This confusion grows when considering they types of background checks to conduct, the degree of intensity to apply and what to do with questionable results. Take a closer look at the various types of background checks available to employers:
When using a staffing agency to secure temporary workers, companies must take additional steps to protect their business interests. As the Employer of Record, the staffing company holds the responsibility to conduct all background checks on the contingent workers hired. If you do so, you open your company up for co-employment claims. So how do you ensure that your interests are served? In negotiating with each staffing agency, specify the background checks that must be conducted, and the ways in which results will be communicated to you. Reserve the right to request additional background checks for specific positions (e.g., the OIG exclusion list should be checked for all healthcare candidates). Specify which background checks need to be periodically repeated. Agree on the agencies to be used to conduct each background check, and require proof of their qualifications and accreditations. Finally, be clear on who is going to pay for each background check. While most background checks are relatively inexpensive, prices can vary as more in-depth checking is required.
With an up-front understanding of the approach to be used by staffing agencies in background checking, employers will feel more confident when moving from “maybe” to a clear “yes” or “no”.
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