Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Background Screening Best Practices - Screening Visitors and Vendors

You've tightened your internal security after 9/11. You screen all new employees at the point of hire and existing employees yearly. But what do you know about the screening practices of outside contractors, vendors, or business partners who frequent your company's properties? In most cases, probably not much. Over the course of time it is likely that you have come to trust the companies you do business with and the people they send to service your account. But, times have changed.

Today, businesses have a responsibility for due diligence and to know what screening practices business partners employ. However, we find that many companies believe that asking these questions of their vendors is invasive or at least impolite. This could not be farther from the truth. To ask these questions is essential to the protection of your employees and your property - so don't be shy. Knowing is essential whether you are interested in protecting students from persons who may want to harm children, protecting employees from a thieves or someone with a history of sexual assault, or protecting a key component of our country's infrastructure from terrorists.

Your business partners should be forthcoming with information regarding their screening practices. Ask them to document their basic screening policy to you in a letter. Work with them to resolve any significant or apparent deficiencies you may see. It is also reasonable to let them know your standards about persons with certain types of criminal records having access to your students, employees, or facilities in general. They should be willing to work with you to resolve any particular issues that may exist.