Background Screening for the On-Demand Economy: What Every Freelancer Needs to Know

Background Screening for the On-Demand Economy: What Every Freelancer Needs to Know
From Recruiter - September 14, 2016

Background checks area common component of the standard employment process. These days, if you want to get a traditional full-time job, you should expect to submit an application and resume, go through a phone interview, nail an in-person interview or two, and submit to a background check.

At the same time , our concept of what ajob or career can behasbegun to shift.No longer is everyone working full-time 9-5 positionsnor do many people even want to. Instead, weve witnessed the rise of the on-demand economy, in which many are making their livings through freelance jobs and contract positions.

The on-demand economy has made possible careers that go far beyond our traditional notions of freelancing. Today, a freelancer can be anyone from a writer bidding on projects on Upwork to an artist selling unique items in an Etsy store or adriver meeting customers through Uber. Marketing, Web development, accounting, teaching, tutoring, and graphic design are also among the most common freelance jobs.

The Hiring Process for Freelancers

Its a good time to be a freelancer. Its becoming both a more lucrative and more socially acceptable way to pay your bills. The Internet has made it possible for freelancers to find gigs in a variety of fields through specialized job boards, websites, and apps.

The process of applying for a freelance job will varyfairly dramatically depending on your field, the job at hand, and the individual or business offering the job.If the application process varies this much, you can bet that employment screening processes will vary a lot as well. As I discussed previously, the screening process is more or less standard for traditional full- and part-time roles. When it comes to freelance gigs, however, no such standard exists.

That being said, there are a few things freelancers should be aware of when it comes to the screening processes they may face:

Your ClientMight not Require a Background Check

A good number of people and organizationslooking for freelancers arent going to ask for a background check. There are two reasons for this.

First, criminal background checks cost money. Someone hiring a freelancer probably doesnt want to make that kind of investment just to hire someone for a one-off marketing project or website development job, and asking the freelancer to pay the cost of the background check is an efficient way to scare off prospects.

Second, background checks take time, and freelance hires tend to happen pretty quickly. A job gets posted on a freelance board, the person/company that posted it gets a few dozen resumes in the first few hours, and the poster reviews those resumes to choose someone for the job. People looking for freelancers generally want to get their projects started as soonas possible, andfreelancers themselves want and need to find work ASAP to maintain their income streams.


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