企业和组织使用承包商或供应商的原因有很多。他们可能需要填补人员短缺，例如 通过人员配备机构 或“临时工”。他们可能会聘请自由职业者来完成一次性项目。他们可以通过专门从事特定任务或服务的外部公司与工人签订合同。原因不胜枚举，而且随着零工经济的扩张，这种情况只会越来越长。
承包商仍然拥有许多与全职和兼职工人相同的特权。他们与该公司的品牌、资产、客户和员工合作。他们充当该公司的代言人，因此，他们面临与任何员工一样的疏忽招聘诉讼、法律责任和声誉损害的风险。阅读 我们关于承包商和供应商背景调查的白皮书 ，了解为什么审查临时人员如此重要。
学校承包商背景调查存在多个头条新闻。2019 年春季，华盛顿特区东北部的一所蒙台梭利学校未能对在其课前和课后项目中工作的承包商进行背景调查。这名 21 岁的男子在学校聘请的一家公司工作，负责运营这些项目。那家公司——跳板教育——没有审查过他的记录。该男子被指控 与一名 13 岁学生发生性行为不端，这导致 DC 公立学校与 Springboard Education 断绝关系，并对自己的承包商筛选政策进行审查和修改。
在某些情况下，学区面临着一个艰难的困境：对每个人进行背景调查，对所有员工和承包商保持高标准，或者放宽要求以吸引工人担任难以填补的职位。在全国范围内，对于通常是承包商的公交车司机来说，这种困境一直是一个特别大的问题。威斯康星州 和 特拉华州等州的学区和校车公司 对这些司机保持深入的背景调查要求——但在失业率低的充满活力的就业经济中，对公共汽车司机工作的兴趣通常具有挑战性和压力低薪——是最低限度的。
Why Contractor and Vendor Screenings Matter
There are many reasons why businesses and organizations utilize contractors or vendors. They may need to fill staffing shortages, such as through staffing agencies or “temps.” They may hire freelancers to complete one-off projects. They may contract workers through outside companies that specialize in specific tasks or services. The list of reasons goes on, and it’s only getting longer as the gig economy expands.
These workers are fundamentally different from full-time employees. They often work temporarily and might not even work exclusively for the employer in question. Businesses gain certain advantages by not considering temps or contractors “employees” in areas ranging from taxation to employee benefits.
Contractors still have many of the same privileges as full-time and part-time workers. They work with that company’s brand, assets, customers, and employees. They act as a face of that company, and as such, they pose the very same risks of negligent hiring lawsuits, legal liability, and reputational damage as any employee. Read our white paper about contractor and vendor background checks to learn why vetting temporary personnel is so important.
Contractors and Schools
Contractor background screening is an especially high-stakes matter in an educational environment. Contractors can play several roles at a school. Most school districts don’t manage transportation in-house but rather contract those services out to busing companies. Some schools contract with cleaning companies for their janitorial services. Many after-school programs are run by contractors or contractor firms.
There have been multiple headline-making issues with contractor background checks in schools. In the spring of 2019, a Montessori school in northeast Washington D.C. failed to conduct a background check on a contractor working at its before- and after-school programs. The 21-year-old man was working with a company that the school had hired to run these programs. That company—Springboard Education—had no record of having vetted him. The man was accused of sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old student, which led D.C. Public Schools to cut ties with Springboard Education and launch a review and revamp of its own policies for contractor screening.
In some cases, school districts are left with a tough dilemma: conduct background checks on everyone and retain high standards for all employees and contractors or loosen requirements to attract workers to tough-to-fill roles. Nationally, this dilemma has been an especially large problem for bus drivers, who are typically contractors. School districts and school bus companies in states such as Wisconsin and Delaware maintain in-depth background check requirements for these drivers—but in a vibrant job economy with low unemployment rates, the amount of interest in bus driver jobs—which are typically challenging and stressful with low pay—is minimal.
By requiring background checks that target drug use, criminal history, and driving record red flags, schools and bus companies are disqualifying or scaring away many of the individuals who might have been willing to take these jobs. Such policies are doing their job of keeping students safe, but they are also bringing about bus driver shortages and student transportation problems at school districts nationwide.
Despite their challenges, contractor background checks play an essential role in keeping students safe at school, on the way to school, and in school-sponsored programs. Click here to start building a contractor and vendor screening strategy for your school.