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The Importance of Background Checks in the Gig Economy

As an employer in today’s gig economy, it is more important than ever to protect your business from potential risks and liabilities. Ensure your employees are properly vetted for safety, company reputation, and financial health.

Gig economy background checks can provide invaluable information about prospective employees and help ensure the trustworthiness of those who have access to sensitive data or confidential company-related information.  But how do you go about getting them? In this article, we’ll delve into why background checks are essential for employers in the gig economy and what qualifications to consider when assessing job applicants.

What does Gig Economy Mean?

People work in different ways.  Some perform best in a structured office environment.  Others prefer to work remotely—in the comfort of their own homes.  Some prefer short-term assignments, while others work on longer projects requiring extensive research and collaboration with other employees.

The gig economy is the movement of businesses and employees toward short-term or freelance work instead of permanent, long-term employment. Gig workers are independent contractors who use digital platforms to find projects and clients. As the gig economy grows, background checks are becoming an increasingly vital tool for employers.

Some benefits of the gig economy for employers include
  • Improved agility in hiring processes
  • Cost savings from not having to pay benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans.
  • Hiring team gains greater control over when and how long to hire gig workers
  • Reduced liability for negligent hiring
  • Increased safety for staff and customers
  • Make better-informed hiring decisions faster
  • Compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
  • Enhanced team morale
  • Reduced employee burnout of permanent in-house staff
  • Decreased employee turnover rates
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction levels
  • And so much more


More and more frequently, employers and their hiring teams are using professional background screening services to assess the qualifications, certifications, credentials, and educational histories of prospective gig workers and job applicants. Companies now consider this screening process a crucial step in protecting their business from potential legal and financial risks.

Gig economy background checks option

Gig economy background checks can be accomplished in several ways—depending on the type of job, industry, and/or background screening services. Here are some of the background check options available to employers in the gig economy.

  • Criminal background checks

Investigate an individual’s criminal record, including arrests and convictions. Third-party providers of background check services typically conduct these screenings.

  • Credit background checks

Obtain information from credit reports which can provide insight into an applicant’s financial history and potential for fraud or negligence.

  • Reference checks

Speak with former employers, co-workers, teachers, etc., about a job candidate’s qualifications and behavior. This process is usually achieved through phone conversations or email by the hiring team or a third-party provider of background screening services.

  • Social media checks

Review an applicant’s online presence for postings, comments, images, and other activities that can provide insight into their character.

  • Drug/alcohol screening

Test applicants for drug or alcohol use before allowing them to start work. A reliable third-party provider of background screening services often performs this process.

Background checks in gig economy jobs are an essential step in the hiring process of any gig economy company. By thoroughly vetting job applicants, employers gain greater control over potential risks and liabilities while enhancing customer satisfaction, team morale, and more.

Why Gig Economy Background Checks are Vital

There are many reasons why background checks are essential in today’s gig economy. For starters, pre-employment screening can reveal vital information about potential hires that may not be obvious during the job interview process.

Background screening services can identify criminal convictions or past legal issues associated with a job applicant, helping employers make more informed hiring decisions.  Additionally, they can uncover a candidate’s previous employment history while verifying their academic credentials and professional qualifications.

Background checks are also useful for employers in the gig economy who may have difficulty building trust with their hiring team. Gig workers can come from anywhere, making it difficult to form relationships or establish trusting relationships with those outside of the company. By conducting background screenings on potential hires, employers can gain peace of mind knowing that they are only hiring trustworthy individuals who will add value to their business.

Finally, gig economy background checks are essential for protecting both the employer and employee in today’s highly competitive gig economy. Companies need to ensure their employees meet any necessary legal requirements before being hired, and background screenings can quickly provide this assurance.

The Bottom Line

Pre-employment screening services help employers identify any criminal activities, financial issues, academic histories, or other facts that could influence a hiring decision. They provide valuable insight into an employee’s character and can significantly reduce the risk of negligent hiring practices. Furthermore, background screening can also be useful for creating a more diverse workplace by ensuring equal opportunities for all qualified candidates.

In short, the benefits of proper pre-employment screening are unlimited. For more information on the benefits and standard practices regarding background checks in the gig economy, contact KarmaCheck today.


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