Temp employees are often brought in to fill in for someone who is on leave, provide an extra hand during a busy season, or to help with the development of a product. They are not concrete employees that stay long-term which often leads HR managers to exempt them from background checks, drug screening, etcetera in an effort to save money. However, this can be risky. A recent story on CNBC’s HR Confidential revealed that skipping the background check can have some major consequences.
“Another employee came to me with the same problem and my red flag went up. By the third employee, I knew something was happening. I realized we had an internal problem because it’s too coincidental for three employees to have identity theft within a three-week span.”
After several employees reported that their identity had been stolen, the HR department knew something was up, and they began investigating. After a few weeks of getting nowhere, the company hired an investigation firm that specialized in fraud. The investigation team requested a list of names, addresses, and photographs of employees who had ever had access to employee files.
A week later they were able to identify the culprit. The guy was a temp employee that they had hired through an outside agency to work in their file room. He was responsible for cleaning up employee’s personal files, adding information to them, and putting them away. Instead, he was going into the files and taking people’s social security numbers and stealing their information. He and his accomplice were signing up for credit cards and had them sent directly to their home address. The post office already had the guy under investigation for other credit card fraud linked to his address. Therefore, it was easy to identify him.
“One week later, they came back with the postmaster general and postal police officers who were armed with guns. They sat down, placed the list in front of me, pointed to a name and asked, “Who’s this person?” I responded, “Oh, he’s a temp in our file room.” They said, “Bring him in.” I brought him into my office and the guy’s in handcuffs in less than five minutes. I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock.”
The lesson? Screening temp employees is just as important as screening regular employees especially when they will have access to sensitive information such as employee files. It is also important to make sure that third-party staffing companies who handle the background Screening for you are performing the correct searches that will identify someone’s full history. Not performing a background check can have major consequences. In this instance, the company faced legal fees and incurred the cost of having to hire an investigative firm. Don’t take the risk. To read the full story, click HERE.
“Performing background checks for temp workers is even more important because they aren’t invested in the company and, as a result, pose more of a risk.”
Contact us today to learn more about how we can build you a comprehensive screening program.