The U.S. job market is experiencing a growing trend to hire an independent contractor for temporary jobs called gigs. According to Glassdoor, by 2020, gig workers will make up 43 percent of the job market. As the gig job market grows, so does the number of employers who are utilizing criminal background check solutions to evaluate the quality of the independent contractors.
What is a Gig Worker?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a gig is a single task performed on demand by an independent contractor. Gig workers find gigs to work on using websites that showcase available gigs and connect them with the employers. The gig worker performs the task and then searches for another gig to do once that task has been completed.
Jobble.com projects that 50 percent of the U.S. workforce will transition to the gig job market within the next five years. The gig job market affords 68 percent of gig workers the opportunity to earn extra money and 42 percent the chance to work flexible schedules. The average gig worker is self-employed with a small business or a sole proprietorship, doesn’t have any employees, and has experience and exposure to diverse occupations.
Reasons to Perform a Criminal Background Check
When evaluating a job applicant for a gig, employers should perform a criminal background check. The same security measures enforced with full-time employees should be applied to independent contractors. According to TrustedEmployees.com, “over 85% of businesses in the United States are running background checks on their employees, yet most companies still don’t conduct background screening for independent contractors. “
Background checks very important to the employer because it ensures that:
- A unqualified job applicant is not hired
- The employer is providing a workplace that is safe
- Violence in the workplace is prevented
- The employer’s reputation is protected
- The employer’s workplace is protected from fraud and theft
- The chances of being sued for negligence are reduced
- The employer is in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations
Types of Criminal Background Checks
There are different types of criminal history background checks that can performed. Employers should become familiar with the different types of criminal background checks so that they are performing adequate background checks. They will find that certain searches are more suitable for one particular gig than another. Criminal background checks should include a search of:
- Federal, national, state, and county criminal records
- Prohibited and Restricted Parties Search
- Sex Offender Registry Search
- Credit History including bankruptcy records
- Driving records
- Lawsuits in civil courts
The growing gig economy trend has raised new questions about the necessity for background checks for gig workers. Employers are responsible for making sure their workforce is safe and that their company and brand are protected. Employers have due diligence to make sure the gig workers that are hired have undergone a criminal background check to ensure that they are qualified for the task, trustworthy, and provide a low threat risk.