An Applicant Management System Helps Curtail Criminal Activity Pt.2

In part 1 of this series I discussed the value of an applicant management system not only for keeping hiring paperwork organized but also the value of the other parts of the hiring process. For example we looked at how retail shortage is climbing but despite this many employers are ending pre-employment background checks and drug screening. We established that there is evidence to suggest that those with prior convictions hired into retail positions have a greater tendency to steal than those without records. In part 2, I intend to delve into the issues surrounding substance abuse and why it is a concern that fewer retailers would be relying on this as part of their process for screening applicants.

If you missed the previous article you may not be clued into what I am referencing with respect to an applicant management system. Quite simply it is a program that has brought together all of pieces of a hiring process into one location. Many employers have their hiring process spread out amongst different functions. One computer has the application and an assessment tool. Paperwork is signed giving permission for the company to request a vendor to complete a criminal background check. Another waiver form is signed that allows the company to send the applicant to a contracted lab to complete a drug screening. Additional paperwork for the I-9 is signed verifying the candidate is eligible to work in the U.S. Let us not forget the forms for direct deposit, acknowledgement of receiving the company handbook and any other miscellaneous paperwork that has to be complete. All of this then goes into a file folder and stashed in a file cabinet. Then there is no guarantee the applicant will remember to bring back all of the papers they are to return with or the vendor mails documents and they get lost. Bill Bregar is the CEO of Loss Prevention Inc. and he is familiar with the headaches posed by mishandled files. That is the reason behind his company offering the applicant management system that will keep everything digitalized, up to and including electronic signatures for waivers for criminal background checks and drug screening. 

I have always been in favor of pre-employment drug testing. As long as I have been in Loss Prevention I have felt that hiring those who use illegal drugs, drink on the job or show up hungover pose safety and security risks. In spite of the years of experience I have I recognize that there are people who will not be swayed by opinion. With that in mind here is some information from a U.S. government website. According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse:

Employers with successful drug-free workplace programs report improvements in morale and productivity and decreases in absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover and THEFT (emphasis added by this author).

Employers with long-standing programs report better health status among employees and family members and reduced healthcare costs.

NIDA.”Drug Testing.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 4 May. 2017

With this information it would seem that an employer, especially a retail owner would be more inclined to enforce pre-employment screening to prevent theft (and accidents) rather than shrink from it (no pun intended).

So why are there indications that there may be a trend of moving away from drug screening? According to an article in the money section of, “Why More Employers Are Skipping Drug Tests”, by Rebecca Greenfield and Jennifer Kaplan/ Bloomberg March 7, 2018, the writers give two reasons that shed light on the issue. “Drug testing restricts the job pool, and in the current labor market, that’s having an impact on productivity and growth.” They go on a little further in the story, “Failed tests reached an all-time high in 2017, according to data from Quest Diagnostics Inc. That’s likely to get worse as more people partake in state-legalized cannabis.” For retailers I ask the question, is it in your interest to discontinue screening applicants for illegal drugs because the applicant pool is smaller in an improving economy? The increased risk of theft and fraud, not to mention safety risks and ensuing medical costs should dictate a resounding, “NO”.

The increase in retail shortage is cause for employers to put MORE emphasis on background checks and drug screening, not less. The use of an applicant management system improves the efficiency and ease of the process. Don’t allow concern over applicant availability outweigh your concerns over operating a profitable and safe business. You owe that to your current employees and yourself.


Drug screening is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk. 





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