CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Think that your temporary worker has been thoroughly screened before entering your place of business? Think again. A recent national Temporary Agency Survey conducted at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga by Dr. Richard Allen, Dr. Joanie Sompayrac and Dr. Charles S. White finds that "checks on educational, employment and possibly criminal backgrounds of temps are often cursory." The two-page survey was sent to a sample of 3,727 temporary agencies across the country of which 691 surveys were useable. Among the findings, over half of the agencies do not always require applicants to provide basic information such as previous employment or educational background and if required only 16% consistently verify educational credentials. In addition, although 88% of firms ask applicants to supply information regarding dates of their previous employment, only 41% consistently verifies the information. As for criminal record checks, 55% of temp agencies ask for this information and only 25% of the organizations actually verify the criminal records.

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