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Background Checks for Seasonal Employees: Do You Need Them?

#Employee #background checks #new hire #hiring #employment verification process
by Ali Gordon

Every year, American employers cycle through temporary or part-time hires to transition through seasonal market shifts. Often these hiring seasons are predictable, such as during holidays and weather changes. Because many employers know in advance when they will be adding new seasonal employees, it can be beneficial to plan for background checks as part of the hiring process. 

Although some companies may be able to get around this, most companies should run background screenings for seasonal employees and will benefit from the investment. These are some times when companies background screenings for seasonal employees can be particularly useful.

Screen When You Need a Thorough Process

The decision to run background checks on temporary or seasonal employees often comes down to a question of time. Adding the step of screening candidates prior to hire can extend the employment process, so it’s best to discern how quickly you need to hire and how thorough that process needs to be for safety and company success. 

For some companies, compromising on how long an employment process takes by eliminating screenings can create financial and time cost errors later. For instance, if a nanny agency skips running thorough background checks for temporary child caregivers in bulk hiring during summertime, they may miss red flags and other major issues that could put clients at risk. If your company can plan for seasonal hiring in advance when you need thorough checks, it’s usually best for everyone involved.  

Screen Seasonal Employees in High-Risk Industries

Not all industries hiring seasonal employees need a thorough process; sometimes you simply need an accurate check. Knowing exactly what kind of background screening you need for your industry can help you plan this step and how much time it will take. This may enable a smoother, timely hiring process that sets your teams up for success.

Some examples include high volume hires or industries where the type of season can make theft and fraud easier, such as hiring for holidays in an industry like retail. The depth or thoroughness of a background check in this case may not be as critical for success as in an industry like security or a government agency, but accurate background checks still matter for hiring quality teams. Hiring for roles like delivery driving may also require accurate background information, but in these types of positions, meticulous or exhaustive processes may not be necessary. Understanding the minimum requirements for background checks in your industry can help make the hiring process for seasonal workers more efficient and effective--especially in high-risk industries.

Screen For Seasonal Employees Likely to Transition to Full-Time

Employers may neglect the long-term potential of internal candidates if they skip background checks for seasonal employment. Screenings can be especially useful when there is a possibility or likelihood that employees will transition from temporary to full-time employment, or when the jobs themselves are temporary but longevity with a company may be ongoing. 

For example, a hire may be brought on for a seasonal role, but in an agency structure, they may move from client to client over time under the same agency. Background checks would be useful here, even if the employee is only hired initially for a temporary position. In other cases, trial periods with part-time employees can evolve into full-time hires--such as when startups experience budget growth, when companies find seasonal employees with exceptional performance rates, or when freelance contractors take on long-term, retainer-based projects. Background checks can protect your company and create a uniform process for gauging long term compatibility.

Companies often request that seasonal or temporary employees who may advance into ongoing roles sign a nondisclosure agreement as part of the original, short-term hiring procedure. Similarly, companies can integrate a background screening process into standard hiring practices for seasonal or part-time employees, if the company thinks there is a possibility seasonal employees will stay after the initial hire period. eKnowID offers many types of background checks that can cover these kinds of needs and set up companies for long-term success, whether they are hiring seasonally or with the possibility of ongoing employment. 

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