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Independent Contractor Agreement

Importance of Background Screening for Independent Contractors

Background checks are a vital part of the hiring process for any business, as background screening for criminal history, financial history, etc., will eliminate unsafe or unmotivated applicants from the hiring pool.

Over 80% of businesses in the United States use background checks during the hiring process, but this is more difficult when hiring independent contractors for various reasons, including hiring laws and written policies.

Screening Independent Contractors (ICs) is just as important as screening any other employee. In this article, we are going to highlight why background checks for these contractors are important and what you can do to ensure the safety of your business.

Upholding Safety in the Workplace

First and foremost, your concern should be for the safety of yourself, your customers, and your staff in the workplace. You generally know your employees well, but independent contractors are another story.

When you hire one of these contractors, there is no guarantee that they will provide a safe environment to work in. At the very least, you should screen for criminal history and determine that they do not have a violent disposition. This will keep everyone safe and working well together.

Protecting Your Business Legally

With any employee or contractor, there is a legal risk if background checks are not done properly. It is your job as a business owner to protect the physical and financial wellbeing of staff and customers.

For example, if you were to hire an independent contractor (IC) with a history of theft or violence, customers and employees could open a lawsuit for negligent hiring. This will cause a significant blow to your finances and reputation, making all future business dealings more difficult.

Upholding Your Reputation

Your reputation as a business is vital to income security. Word of mouth is a great way to give your business positive credit which will encourage potential customers to visit and pay money for your goods or services.

Background screening independent contractors before hiring them will ensure that your temporary employees will be friendly and accommodating, thereby upholding your reputation and securing more income in the future.

How to Legally Screen Independent Contractors

As mentioned before, legally, screening independent contractors can be tricky from a legal standpoint. For one thing, the wording of any written hiring agreement must be done carefully. Unclear policies may imply that independent contractors are actually employees, entitling them to employee benefits equal to your permanent staff. If you do not provide these benefits, the ICs could claim that the policy misclassified them and you could have a lawsuit on your hands, causing financial strain.

The best way to ensure that your business policy mandates background screening for ICs without making them permanent employees is to establish distinct differences in hiring from other employees. Be clear in your wording that background screening is necessary for both employees and ICs, without equating the two.

One other solution to the issue is to require ICs to provide background checks as part of the contract. This will put the responsibility for screening on them and not yourself. These steps will ensure that you legally protect yourself and your business.

Background Screening Made Easy

Because background screening is important whether you are hiring a permanent employee or independent contractor, you need a screening service that you can trust to provide accurate results for affordable prices.

Legal Independent Contractor Background Screening

The professionals at Affordable Background Checks will deliver on both of these needs, keeping your business expense while hiring low and protecting your business from applicants who don’t have your best interests in mind.

Our team searches several databases to find accurate information including:

  • criminal records
  • sex offender status
  • credit reports
  • drug test results
  • legal judgments
  • other personal information

Pre-employment screening generally only covers the first four results, as other personal information is not necessary during the hiring process. This covers all of your bases without intruding on details that you don’t need to know.

No matter what type of screening service you need, Affordable Background Checks will get the job done fast with accuracy guaranteed. Let us make your job easier by taking the hassle out of hiring. Visit the site and request a background check at any time.

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Gavin Muirhead

Gavin Muirhead has been involved in developing products for background checks and improving online experiences in the background screening industry since 2012. He is the lead author and editor of Affordable Background Checks.