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Four compelling reasons to tighten up hiring practices for temporary or contingent workers

Temporary employees, whether hired through a temp agency or directly by the company, help ease the pressures of economic uncertainty because they are flexible and easily scalable. Since the workers are generally considered short-term, many employers do not perform the same due diligence in the hiring process as they do when hiring full-time employees or they assume that the temp agency has done their homework.

Yet, even if the person will be engaged only for a short period, the company is exposed. Here are four compelling reasons to tighten up your practices when hiring temporary workers:
1. Temporary workers are at higher risk of occupational injuries and illnesses. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Contingent Workers and Contingent Health” found that 19% of day laborers reported work-related injuries, compared to less than 5% of workers in all private industries. Researchers speculated that the unpredictability of job schedules could contribute to poor eating and exercise habits and that contingent workers are likely to have lower incomes and fewer benefits.

2. According to Todd Owens, general manager of screening services at Intelius, Inc., industry statistics show that temporary workers are more than 50% more likely than full-time workers to have a felony or drug-related record.

3. Staffing agency standards for screening its placements may not be aligned with those the company uses for its regular workforce. Proper screening and background checks slow down the placement process and drive up costs.

4. If something goes wrong and a member of the public or a co-worker is hurt, it’s not uncommon for the plaintiff’s lawyer to sue both the staffing agency and the employer.