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Using Background Checks
Tips for Staffing Agencies

Tips When Using Background Checks For Staffing Agencies

March 20, 2017

Businesses Need Quality People.

You might have the best plan, the most innovative products, and a marketing strategy that will surely go viral, but if you don’t have the best people on your team, it could all fall apart.

In many cases, employers choose to use background checks as part of the hiring process. When used properly, they can be effective tools for vetting employees and helping to choose the perfect candidate.

However, you need to understand the legal issues surrounding background checks for staffing agencies, as well as the business strategies for using them effectively.

Tips on How Staffing Agencies Should Use Background Checks Properly: The Legal Requirements

background checks for staffing agencies

Before diving into best practices, it’s essential to understand the basic legal requirements and limitations of background checks for staffing agencies. Like any legal matter, always seek professional counsel before making a decision that could impact your company’s procedures and policies. The information below is not intended to be legal advice; rather, these are beginning points to consider when it comes to the decision-making process at your company.

Always Get Permission to Conduct Background Checks

This is the number-one priority for using background checks. Get permission, get permission, get permission! Legally, you MUST get permission from the applicant before conducting a background check. While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that employers can choose not to hire if an applicant refuses permission, you must have permission before starting the check. One more time for good measure: you MUST get permission. Got it?

Seek Information that is Directly Related to the Job

The information you use during a background check should be directly related to the position you seek to fill. This can get complicated from a legal standpoint. After speaking with your legal counsel, weigh any information you are seeing against the requirements for that particular position.

Credit checks are another example where this applies. It can be tempting to use credit as a basis of character and reliability; however, whether or not someone has paid their bills on time might not have anything to do with an available position.

Medical Information is Largely Off Limits

Legally, medical information is off limits until you are ready to make a hire, and even then it is extremely limited. According to, there is a possibility of using certain information, such as claims on disability insurance, in certain situations. However, be very wary when obtaining medical information; it’s best to not even try without first seeking reliable legal counsel.

Legally, You Must Conduct Checks in a Non-Discriminatory Fashion

Basically, you can’t run background checks on one group of people and not another. As a simple example, you can’t conduct background checks on only the men who apply for your position and not the women. To be safe, if you’re using background checks on one applicant, use them on all applicants.

Background Checks for Staffing Agencies: The Business Strategy

How can background checks for staffing agencies to enhance your company and get the best results from your hiring process? Here are some general guidelines to think about.

The Size and Scope of the Background Should Grow with the Size of the Position

background checks for staffing agencies

How much time and effort should you invest in a background check? In most cases, it should grow with the size and responsibility of the position. For example, an entry-level waitstaff position at a cafe might not necessarily justify an extensive background check, whereas a candidate for an executive-level position could be more thoroughly vetted.

The Size Should also Grow with the Potential Risk

Like the size of the position, the potential risk to the company, customers, and the public should also be considered. For example, if you have a position that involves driving a vehicle, working directly with children, or handling dangerous equipment, you’ll want to take your time to consider what information you will need to confirm for that job’s specific requirements.

Patterns of Behavior over a Single Mistake

When using a background check, it’s best to look for patterns of behavior over single incidents. If a person has one minor infraction on their record, it could have been a temporary lapse in judgment or a single mistake. If someone has multiple offenses of a similar nature, you might be able to make a more reasonable conclusion about their overall character.

Enhance Your Staffing Agency with Scale Funding

Let Scale Funding improve your business through payroll funding and invoice factoring services. Staffing can be a difficult industry, but we can help you get through difficult periods with reliable service and support. Contact a financial representative at Scale Funding today at (800) 707-4845.