For organizations that use a contractor network to deliver, service, install and support their products, the risk can be great. Understanding who these individuals are, ensuring some due diligence has been taken, and creating a comprehensive background verification for contract individuals program should be a priority for your organization.
It is important to know when we refer to the term “contractors” in this blog, we mean the network of individuals who are engaged with servicing companies who conduct specific tasks for your organization but who are not directly employed by you. They are not supervised or managed by your staff, and you may never even meet them, so completing a background verification can be a valuable way to mitigate various business risks. We will outline some of these below.
In many situations, contractors are in direct contact with your organization’s customers and in-home consumers. These people have expectations that they are not going to be put at risk by the contractors who may visit their homes or off-premise sites. Risk is elevated when you have no idea who the contractor is, their background, or their history. Conducting background verifications is a good way to ensure that customer expectations are met, that your organization has access to information about the contractor and that customers are not put at undue risk.
Many organizations that utilize contractor networks have robust employee screening programs for their hires and this sets a solid benchmark for the organization. Individuals being engaged in a contractor capacity for these same organizations should be subjected to no less scrutiny than those employees. As noted above, there is a strong argument to say these individuals may pose an even higher risk than employees. By ensuring a consistent and rigorous screening approach, the organization can continue to maintain a solid standard for any individuals who work for, represent, or are associated with them.
With the speed of media and public comment moving at a record pace these days, one unfortunate incident for your organization can quickly turn into a reputational nightmare. Everyone feels entitled to share their opinion and oftentimes this happens even before the facts are gathered and verified. If an incident happens to a customer of your organization, especially if it occurs in their home, you can bet that there is a real risk of brand damage and harm if that becomes public.
Having a structured, consistent, and ongoing background verification program for your contracted network allows you to mitigate the risks associated with individuals who may have a criminal past, violent tendencies, or insufficient driving privileges to complete their tasks. When engaging a network of individuals you do not directly select and employ, your organization is no less responsible for their interactions with your customers. The legal, compliance and operational risks they pose can never be eliminated but by demonstrating diligence, having a robust verification program, and clear expectations of what is acceptable, these risks can be reduced.
Ensuring you have a background verification for contract individuals program in place may alleviate many of the concerns, even when an issue does occur. To simply say “I didn’t know…” is not an acceptable response in a heightened situation. Being able to cite the steps you took with your contractors to understand who was being engaged and having clear thresholds for their past behaviors, affords you a much more favorable answer. Contact us today to discuss how our contractor screening programs can help your organization.To receive these updates directly in your email inbox, sign up for the newsletter. Questions or comments? We want to hear from you.
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