Raising A Flag: Contingent Workforce Strategies (Workforce Strategies Magazine 7/27/2009)

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Program Administration Strategies

Finally, it is a good idea to review your policies and practices to ensure the screening process is right for your jobs and company.

Revisit screening policies. If you can’t remember when your company’s contingent screening policy was last reviewed, then chances are it’s overdue for an overhaul. Compare your company’s policy with those used by staffing agencies for consistency and savings opportunities, because requesting verification of decades-old employment records may drive up the cost while adding little value to contingent placements. Audit investigation firms and agencies for adherence to the policy each quarter.

“I see a lot of investigation volume going through temp agencies, but when was the last time someone actually used the information contained in those reports?” asked Jason Morris, president and COO of EmployeeScreenIQ, a background investigation firm. “Often times, the same background screens are being ordered, simply because someone told the recruiter to do it that way a long time ago.”

Screening with sense. Making just a few changes to the contingent screening process can add up to big savings. For example, order verification on only the highest college degree attained, because the lower degree would be a prerequisite for the higher, and order an investigation only after the contingent has finished interviewing.

If contingents frequently fail criminal checks, order those investigations first, especially if your company is paying for the screening irrespective of the outcome. Review each position to evaluate its potential for risk before deciding the extent of the investigation requirements. While a credit check may be a good idea for contingents working in corporate accounting, the result has little relevancy for contingents assigned to distribution.

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