I think we can all agree that retail is a tough climate. We have to constantly battle every aspect of the business to simply stay afloat. On any given day, you are worrying about shipments coming in on time, being in stock, managing your payroll budget, correcting employee issues, maybe even dealing with shoplifters and hundreds of other little things. If you’re a manager and you have free time, chances are, you’re probably doing something wrong. One thing I see pretty often is smaller businesses not using a background check company to screen new hires.
I worked for a large, established corporation. I however, get to interact with retailers of all sizes through a partnership I’ve assisted building with local law enforcement. Basically, the retailers in my community partner with the police in order to combat shoplifting on a much larger scale than just stopping one shoplifter at one store. With this level of interaction of all the different companies, I can see a lot of different challenges faced with smaller stores. One negative factor that seems to affect every business, no matter the size, is turnover. Turnover costs you money. If you have an employee that only makes it through a few weeks, you’ve already lost an investment worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Once you decide to hire a new candidate, you’ll start that monetary investment. You pay their salary, you train them, provide them with a uniform in some instances. None of this is free to your store and in two weeks when they stop showing up for work, there is no way for you to get that money back. It’s lost. Gone forever. A simple pre-employment screening could save you untold amounts of money.
About a year ago I went to a gun range down the road from my house. I just purchased my first handgun and was eager to start training with it. The range also had a retail store attached to it. When I walked through the front door, I was immediately greeted by the sales clerk. I had terminated this same person not 4 months ago for embezzling close to $10,000 in cash from fraudulent refunds. It was clear that this gun range and store did not utilize a criminal background checks. I went on about my business and was eventually greeted by the store owner. He was so incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and made sure I got all the help that I needed. He asked how long I had owned my gun, and after learning I was a newbie, offered to personally give me some tips. I felt like this man could’ve been my grandpa.
At the end of my two hours on the range, I was walking out when I had to tell the owner of his employees past. Not that I wanted this guy to loose his job. Everyone deserves a second chance. I told the owner what I did for a living and told him of his clerks past. I didn’t want this small business owner to be taken advantage of. My large corporation could easily absorb a $10k loss. I wasn’t so sure that he could. I told him all of this, and he was very appreciative. He told me that he agreed that everyone deserved a second chance and wouldn’t take any action, but appreciated that I told him what I did.
A few weeks later, I went back and noticed the clerk wasn’t working. I set up on my lane and started slinging some lead down range when the owner approached me and began speaking about the clerk. He told me that he had caught the clerk stealing money from the register and was forced to fire him. He told me he was looking to fill the position again, but wanted to know how he could avoid the same mistake. I told him he should treat his employees like he does his gun buyers. Everyone gets a background check.
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