Background Checks

Cisive Product Highlight: Contractor Screening

  • September 14, 2022
  • Jenni Gray
  • Approx. Read Time: 3 Minutes
  • Updated on June 25, 2024

In this Cisive Product Highlight series, we’ll review key tools to consider when screening your workforce, as well as top benefits and features when ordering them through Cisive and our family of brands.

This month’s highlight is Contractor Screening, an increasingly important tool in the gig worker economy.


What is Contractor Screening?

Contractor Screening is a type of background check for contractors, gig workers, temp employees, or any worker who is not a traditional full time employee. These may include entry-level temp roles such as data entry, drivers for delivery or install services, business consultants, freelancers in marketing roles, web development, human resources, or data analysts, and many more. They may be hired by your organization, or a vendor you work with.


Why is Contractor Screening important?

Mitigate Risk

There’s a common misconception that if an employer hires a worker through another vendor, such as a staffing agency, and something goes wrong, the employer won’t be held liable because the staffing agency is responsible for screening the worker. However, this is not the case. 

Employers may still be held liable for a worker’s actions even if a vendor is screening the worker. Employers must do their due diligence when screening all workers, whether contracted or traditional employee. For example, if an employer contracts a driver and they get into a wreck while working for the employer, the organization may be held liable even if they were hired through a staffing agency. 

“Don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security that because an individual comes from a staffing agency, you’re immune from liability, from being named in a lawsuit,” says Joel Greenwald, from Greenwald Doherty LLP, a firm providing employment counsel.

A single litigation action against an organization can cause long-term or irreparable damage to the brand as a whole. Employers should know who their vendors are hiring. Screening contractors thoroughly helps employers mitigate risk, protecting their brand in the process. 


Contractor Screening can also help employers remain compliant. Cisive’s ContractorDirect solution utilizes built-in business logic to order the appropriate screening services for the contractor, based on job position, ensuring the background check complies with client standards. 

Organizational Benefits

Contractor Screening can even have organizational benefits. First, if an organization is thoroughly screening a contracted worker from the beginning, the worker’s skills, work history, and reliability have already been confirmed. This can translate into a quicker return on investment. Thorough screening can reduce a company’s security risk if the contracted worker will have access to secure systems. Finally, fully screened and vetted contractors can easily be converted to full time employment, should the employer choose to do so. 


How does Cisive’s Contractor Screening work?

There are typically three types of Contractor Screening:

  1. Vendor Driven: The sponsor company recommends their preferred background check provider to the vendor, but vendors are not required to use them. The vendor orders background checks, and the vendor reviews, evaluates, and reports results. 
  2. Sponsor Driven (uncommon): The sponsor company partners with a background screening provider, and the sponsor company controls the background check process, including review and evaluation of results to make a hiring decision based on their criteria. 
  3. Sponsor mandated, vendor engaged (most common): The sponsor company mandates vendors to use the preferred background screening provider. Background checks are initiated by the vendor, using packages predetermined by the sponsor company. While the vendor is the direct client, they may collaborate with the sponsor company on reviewing the report, and evaluating the results to make a hiring decision. 


ContractorDirect is a new spin on an outdated process. It is a sponsor-mandated program, and the vendor is engaged, but the contractor owns the process. There are no vendor applications or contracts. All the vendor has to do is provide the sponsor’s screening procedures to the contractor, and the contractor initiates the background check process.

Cisive takes it from there! ContractorDirect is focused on the contractor, and all support is provided by Cisive, relieving this task from the vendor and the sponsor employer. With Cisive’s focus on the user experience, contractors experience a seamless mobile app workflow with no middle man. When contractors have an easy screening experience, they’re much less likely to drop out of the hiring process. 


How can Cisive help?

To learn more about Contractor Screening and ContractorDirect, or our other criminal background screening services, contact Cisive. We can help you develop a background screening program that will mitigate risk for your organization when hiring contracted workers. 

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