December 8, 2008
A lot of businesses rely on vendors to supply labor, parts, or services on an ongoing basis. But, depending upon third parties can be risky, even if necessary. If, for some reason, one of your main vendors goes out of business or conducts business in an unprofessional manner, it can expose your own company to unnecessary risk. That’s why it is imperative that you thoroughly screen each of your vendors and perform background checks on them. Today, I’ll highlight the problems that can occur if you don’t.
Vendor Screening Ensures Consistency
When your company hires vendors to supply parts or labor, you have an expectation that they will deliver consistently. If they fail, it can place your company in an awkward position. After all, any interruption in your daily operations can have a severe impact on your business. Your customers may lose faith in your ability to deliver.
By doing background checks on your vendors, you can determine how dependable they’ll be. Have they employed people who have a criminal record? Do your vendors have employees with a substance abuse problem? Have other companies filed complaints or lawsuits against your vendors? If so, why? Are any of your vendors on the brink of insolvency?
Any of these issues can have devastating results for your company. For example, a vendor who supplies important materials to your business, and files for bankruptcy, can bring your operations to a grinding halt. Or, a vendor to whom you’ve subcontracted for labor may place ex-convicts on site and expose your business to liability.
Background Checks On Vendors
Your company needs to screen vendors and conduct background checks to ensure that they are reliable, consistent, and won’t expose your company to costly lawsuits. This due diligence should include criminal checks, credit checks, a review of DMV records (if you’re hiring drivers), and verification of licenses, permits, and certifications. It is the only way to avoid hiring a vendor who may potentially lead your company toward disaster.
Establish vendor screening protocols as soon as possible. If you don’t have the hiring staff available to conduct extensive background checks on your vendors, consider partnering with an experienced screening service.
Photo Credit: ralphbijker
October 31, 2008
In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for October, here’s a quick recap:
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October 21, 2008
Companies are becoming more aware of how a lack of employee screening increases their exposure to liability. As a result, they are taking measures to conduct background checks on all permanent staff. Oddly, many firms don’t use the same caution when bringing temp hires aboard. The main reason cited by many employers is that screening and background checks take valuable time. They slow the placement process, which is an important factor for short-term projects. But, sacrificing caution for expediency when hiring temporary staff can be catastrophic.
Screening Temporary Employees
A temporary hire can expose your firm to just as much risk as a permanent employee. After all, once they are on your premises, they will usually have the same level of access to computer files, customer databases, and other resources. The fact that a temp employee is only working on a short-term assignment is irrelevant. If you neglect to perform background checks, they still pose a significant risk.
Many employers think that since a temp hire receives a paycheck from a staffing firm, the employer cannot be held liable for that hire’s actions. So, they decide against screening temporary employees. That’s a mistake. And it can potentially cost an employer millions of dollars. In truth, employers can be held liable for the actions of a temp hire. If they disrupt the workplace and harm your staff or customers, your firm can be sued.
How To Avoid Unnecessary Risk
Hiring an employee always carries an inherent risk, regardless of whether that employee is hired on a temporary or permanent basis. You should take preventative measures to protect your staff, your workplace, and the core assets upon which your business relies. At the very least, screen temporary employees as carefully as you screen your permanent staff.
To further reduce your company’s liability, perform comprehensive background checks that search county court records for past criminal convictions. Studies show that temp hires often have criminal records and other issues that can lead to problems if you hire them. Remember, one bad temporary employee can lead to a million-dollar negligent hiring lawsuit. Insulate your business by screening them.
Photo Credit: Bludgeoner86
August 18, 2008
Since discovering that a pedophile was involved with an HIV-testing program for University of New Hampshire students, university officials have written a new policy requiring all outside vendors to pass criminal background checks.