An Applicant Management System Helps Curtail Criminal Activity Pt.1

Applicant Management System-4                                                                                            WC Blog 581
Pre-employment Screening-4
drug screening -5

An Applicant Management System Helps Curtail Criminal Activity Pt.1

     In 2017 retail shrinkage increased to an average of 1.44% from a rate of 1.38% in 2016 according to the National Retail Federation’s 2017 National Retail Security Survey (pg. 8). Shoplifting accounted for 36.5% of shortage and employee theft about 30% (a decrease from the 2016 rate of 35.8%) (pg. 8). Before I am ready to hoot and holler over the decrease in reported internal theft, I note that “administrative and paperwork” related shrink climbed from 16.8% in 2016 to 21.3% in 2017. I am a bit skeptical of the numbers since the decrease in internal theft is almost the same as the increase in administrative shortage. Even if the numbers are true it is disconcerting to think nearly a third of all store losses are due to dishonest employees. When a third of losses are caused by dishonest workers the question has to be asked, “Who are stores hiring?” The CEO and founder of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar has apparently asked this question because his company has introduced an applicant management system as well as pre-employment screening and drug screening. It is the goal of Loss Prevention Systems Inc. to help stores reduce shrinkage. By assisting stores in their hiring practices, employee related criminal activity can be eliminated.

     The applicant management system is a one-stop shop for tracking job applicants and potential candidates a store owner or manager may be interested in. Paper applications are a messy method for keeping records on candidates for new job postings. Papers get lost, placed in the wrong folders or left out on desks which can have security implications and are simply cumbersome to handle. An applicant management system is an online database that provides employers with the ability to conduct the handling of candidate profiles in a single location. For example, it can allow an employer to set up questions that will help weed out unqualified people from the job pool by their responses. Forms for applicants to sign such as an agreement to drug screening and background checks can be electronically signed and submitted. Email correspondence can be completed with specific candidates through the system. Having been involved with job searches and the requisite paperwork I know that there a numerous headaches that can be avoided with such a system in place.

     I do not think it is coincidental that a number of categories listed in the survey under “Employee Integrity Screening” including drug screening and criminal conviction checks dropped in overall use by retail. According to those retailers that were surveyed:
The use of criminal conviction checks dropped by 4.1%
Businesses conducting drug screenings (laboratory) were lower by 15.1%
Driving history checks went down by 13.1%
Those using pre-employment honesty testing was lower by .5%
It was interesting that categories of screenings that actually went up were:
Verifications of employment history by 11.6%
Education verifications increased by 7.9%
It makes no sense to me that businesses would choose to decrease criminal background checks and drug screening of job candidates.

     In an article “Should You Hire Someone With A Criminal Record?“ in Kellogg Insight, there was a cause for concern for retailers found by the authors of the study the article was based on. In a section of the article, “Trouble in Sales”, the writer notes, “The researchers saw no difference in customer service jobs. But when they examined sales positions, they found that employees with criminal records had a 28% higher risk of being terminated for misconduct than coworkers without records.”  https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/should-you-hire-someone-with-a-criminal-record   With the heightened risk of employee theft from those who have criminal backgrounds it would behoove retail owners to do MORE pre-employment screening not less. 

     In part 2 of this article we will continue the discussion on the importance of using an applicant management system to not only stay organized but to ensure the best people are hired. Criminal history and drug use does play a role in the increase in shortage and profitability of stores. Managers and owners must understand the impact it has on the store as well as the reasons some retailers are moving away from drug testing and pre-employment screening. In the meantime, know that having the right people on staff makes a big difference in store productivity and sales.
Get more information on an applicant management system, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

In 2017 retail shrinkage increased to an average of 1.44% from a rate of 1.38% in 2016 according to the National Retail Federation’s 2017 National Retail Security Survey (pg. 8). Shoplifting accounted for 36.5% of shortage and employee theft about 30% (a decrease from the 2016 rate of 35.8%) (pg. 8). Before I am ready to hoot and holler over the decrease in reported internal theft, I note that “administrative and paperwork” related shrink climbed from 16.8% in 2016 to 21.3% in 2017. I am a bit skeptical of the numbers since the decrease in internal theft is almost the same as the increase in administrative shortage. Even if the numbers are true it is disconcerting to think nearly a third of all store losses are due to dishonest employees. When a third of losses are caused by dishonest workers the question has to be asked, “Who are stores hiring?” The CEO and founder of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar has apparently asked this question because his company has introduced an applicant management system as well as pre-employment screening and drug screening. It is the goal of Loss Prevention Systems Inc. to help stores reduce shrinkage. By assisting stores in their hiring practices, employee related criminal activity can be eliminated.
     

The applicant management system is a one-stop shop for tracking job applicants and potential candidates a store owner or manager may be interested in. Paper applications are a messy method for keeping records on candidates for new job postings. Papers get lost, placed in the wrong folders or left out on desks which can have security implications and are simply cumbersome to handle. An applicant management system is an online database that provides employers with the ability to conduct the handling of candidate profiles in a single location. For example, it can allow an employer to set up questions that will help weed out unqualified people from the job pool by their responses. Forms for applicants to sign such as an agreement to drug screening and background checks can be electronically signed and submitted. Email correspondence can be completed with specific candidates through the system. Having been involved with job searches and the requisite paperwork I know that there a numerous headaches that can be avoided with such a system in place.
     

I do not think it is coincidental that a number of categories listed in the survey under “Employee Integrity Screening” including drug screening and criminal conviction checks dropped in overall use by retail. According to those retailers that were surveyed:

The use of criminal conviction checks dropped by 4.1%

Businesses conducting drug screenings (laboratory) were lower by 15.1%

Driving history checks went down by 13.1%

Those using pre-employment honesty testing was lower by .5%It was interesting that categories of screenings that actually went up were:

Verifications of employment history by 11.6%

Education verifications increased by 7.9%It makes no sense to me that businesses would choose to decrease criminal background checks and drug screening of job candidates.
     

 

In an article “Should You Hire Someone With A Criminal Record?“ in Kellogg Insight, there was a cause for concern for retailers found by the authors of the study the article was based on. In a section of the article, “Trouble in Sales”, the writer notes, “The researchers saw no difference in customer service jobs. But when they examined sales positions, they found that employees with criminal records had a 28% higher risk of being terminated for misconduct than coworkers without records.”  https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/should-you-hire-someone-with-a-criminal-record   With the heightened risk of employee theft from those who have criminal backgrounds it would behoove retail owners to do MORE pre-employment screening not less. 
     

In part 2 of this article we will continue the discussion on the importance of using an applicant management system to not only stay organized but to ensure the best people are hired. Criminal history and drug use does play a role in the increase in shortage and profitability of stores. Managers and owners must understand the impact it has on the store as well as the reasons some retailers are moving away from drug testing and pre-employment screening. In the meantime, know that having the right people on staff makes a big difference in store productivity and sales.

 

Get more information on an applicant management system, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

 

Avoid Physical Altercations With Shoplifters Use Keepers To Protect Merchandise

Prevent shoplifting-3                                                                                                                    wc blog 586
Retail Anti-Theft Devices-3
Alpha Keepers-4


Avoid Physical Altercations With Shoplifters Use Alpha Keepers To Protect Merchandise

     I have been working in retail for a very long time and much of that was in Loss Prevention where I would prevent shoplifting. I recently read an article in an online magazine about the thoughts readers had on a video of a teenager and Loss Prevention Associate in a physical altercation. Many of the readers felt that the Loss Prevention Agent was at least partially to blame. Now I am going to add my two cents to this issue but I want to make something clear first. Though I have been involved in altercations in my Loss Prevention Career and in MOST of the altercations there was no use of retail anti-theft devices such as Alpha Keepers to protect the merchandise from being stolen. My career dates back to 1990 when we were not using many protective devices on merchandise though they were available in limited designs. The department store I worked for had few guidelines for L.P. Associates so I was generally free to do what was necessary to catch the bud guy (or gal). If someone chose to struggle or I felt they might flee I could grab a fistful of shirt or a belt to control the suspect. If a thief chose to fight there was no requirement for us to be punching bags or throw up our hands and say maybe I’ll get you next time. Drop the merchandise and we might let you run off. We could also be reasonably sure the police were going to be at our store within minutes of a call for assistance. Later, when I was a Loss Prevention Manager for another company we had more restrictions but we were not required to have to let someone go if they assaulted us. We had by this time begun to use more protective devices including Alpha Keepers for open display video game software.

     I know most of you are familiar with the retail anti-theft devices on the market but you may not know about Alpha Keepers. Keepers are clear, hard plastic boxes with locking lids. Inside the lid is the heart of the unit that communicates with the electronic article surveillance towers stores install at their entrances and exits. A Keeper box triggers the sensor in the surveillance towers when it is carried in the detection range of the towers. The other key component is the tamper alarm for the box if a shoplifter tried to force it open. Both alarms are loud enough to draw the attention of store workers who respond and prevent shoplifting and recover merchandise through customer service and/or receipt checks. My first experience with these devices made me a believer as I saw dramatic decreases of shortage in video games we placed on open endcap displays.

     I do have my thoughts on the question posed in the article and they are mixed. There was a time I would have absolutely had no qualms about Loss Prevention employees using force to prevent crooks from getting away. I would say I now am in favor of a measured response. To tie the hands of trained Loss Prevention Associates and have an absolute 100% hands-off policy is asking for trouble. I am convinced that once that policy is in place your efforts to prevent shoplifting will be almost useless unless you are aggressively using retail anti-theft devices. You must also ensure employees are trained on quick responses to EAS alarms and how to conduct THOROUGH receipt and bag checks.

      Alpha Keepers and other devices will deter the shoplifter who is acting on a whim. Those who are professionals or aggressive will not be deterred in your store and will ignore attempts to stop them and should an employee try to stand in front of them they will shove their way past. The word will get out about your policy and it will be taken advantage of. What will your policy be if an employee is shoved? Are you going to allow the police to be called? Some stores won’t. Are you going to file a police report for shoplifting? Many do not and even if you want to can you tell the police what was stolen? My position is that I don’t want an altercation but the current trend of throwing up hands and allowing thieves to walk all over stores is foolish. 

     
     All of the above said, a hands off policy is probably the best option for a store with no L.P. staff. Whether you allow some contact or no contact you still need to prevent theft of DVD’s, CD’s, video games and more with Alpha Keepers. Keep your merchandise safe and more importantly your staff safe and Keepers will help do both.
Get more information on Alpha Keepers, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today 
     

I have been working in retail for a very long time and much of that was in Loss Prevention where I would prevent shoplifting. I recently read an article in an online magazine about the thoughts readers had on a video of a teenager and Loss Prevention Associate in a physical altercation. Many of the readers felt that the Loss Prevention Agent was at least partially to blame. Now I am going to add my two cents to this issue but I want to make something clear first. Though I have been involved in altercations in my Loss Prevention Career and in MOST of the altercations there was no use of retail anti-theft devices such as  Keepers to protect the merchandise from being stolen. My career dates back to 1990 when we were not using many protective devices on merchandise though they were available in limited designs. The department store I worked for had few guidelines for L.P. Associates so I was generally free to do what was necessary to catch the bud guy (or gal). If someone chose to struggle or I felt they might flee I could grab a fistful of shirt or a belt to control the suspect. If a thief chose to fight there was no requirement for us to be punching bags or throw up our hands and say maybe I’ll get you next time. Drop the merchandise and we might let you run off. We could also be reasonably sure the police were going to be at our store within minutes of a call for assistance. Later, when I was a Loss Prevention Manager for another company we had more restrictions but we were not required to have to let someone go if they assaulted us. We had by this time begun to use more protective devices including Keepers for open display video game software.
     

I know most of you are familiar with the retail anti-theft devices on the market but you may not know about Keepers. Keepers are clear, hard plastic boxes with locking lids. Inside the lid is the heart of the unit that communicates with the electronic article surveillance towers stores install at their entrances and exits. A Keeper box triggers the sensor in the surveillance towers when it is carried in the detection range of the towers. The other key component is the tamper alarm for the box if a shoplifter tried to force it open. Both alarms are loud enough to draw the attention of store workers who respond and prevent shoplifting and recover merchandise through customer service and/or receipt checks. My first experience with these devices made me a believer as I saw dramatic decreases of shortage in video games we placed on open endcap displays.
     

I do have my thoughts on the question posed in the article and they are mixed. There was a time I would have absolutely had no qualms about Loss Prevention employees using force to prevent crooks from getting away. I would say I now am in favor of a measured response. To tie the hands of trained Loss Prevention Associates and have an absolute 100% hands-off policy is asking for trouble. I am convinced that once that policy is in place your efforts to prevent shoplifting will be almost useless unless you are aggressively using retail anti-theft devices. You must also ensure employees are trained on quick responses to EAS alarms and how to conduct THOROUGH receipt and bag checks.
     

Keepers and other devices will deter the shoplifter who is acting on a whim. Those who are professionals or aggressive will not be deterred in your store and will ignore attempts to stop them and should an employee try to stand in front of them they will shove their way past. The word will get out about your policy and it will be taken advantage of. What will your policy be if an employee is shoved? Are you going to allow the police to be called? Some stores won’t. Are you going to file a police report for shoplifting? Many do not and even if you want to can you tell the police what was stolen? My position is that I don’t want an altercation but the current trend of throwing up hands and allowing thieves to walk all over stores is foolish. 
          

All of the above said, a hands off policy is probably the best option for a store with no L.P. staff. Whether you allow some contact or no contact you still need to prevent theft of DVD’s, CD’s, video games and more with Keepers. Keep your merchandise safe and more importantly your staff safe and Keepers will help do both.

 

Get more information on Keepers, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today      

Put A Cork In The Flow Of Alcohol Theft With Sensormatic Hard Tags

I came across a story about a couple shoplifting and I wondered whether the store could have used Sensormatic hard tags to prevent the thefts that took place. I also wondered what the couple was thinking in terms of the merchandise they were accused of stealing. First, according to baynews9.com, on July 18, 2018 in a story by Spectrum News Staff, two people are accused of shoplifting alcohol and vacuums worth $3,000.  The couple in question was accused of stealing $1,200 in vacuum cleaners at 6a.m. and a few hours later returning to steal $1,700 worth of alcohol. During my years as a Loss Prevention Manager I worked with the Loss Prevention personnel of this company and know that they do a good job of stopping theft. I do shop their stores and I do see some areas where I believe they could improve their security tagging. One area is in the wine and spirits aisle. I don’t purchase the products but I do make a point of looking at theft prevention strategies in use and frankly I don’t see merchandise protection devices in use to stop shoplifting.

If I could offer one piece of advice to this particular chain and to ALL store owners for that matter, consider using Sensormatic hard tags on these products to keep them from being stolen. The Sensormatic 9kG Multi-Purpose tag is the perfect choice for the task. A hard tag with a steel cable and nylon strap it can be secured around the neck of a bottle. In doing so retailers are assured that any attempt to conceal and carry merchandise out of a store is going to be thwarted with an electronic article surveillance alarm. The adjustable strap allows merchants to protect nearly any bottle in their inventory. If store owners need more reason to use the tags the “multi-purpose” portion of the name should be an enticement. This tag can be used on sporting goods, power tools and luggage! When a tag can be used in more than one category of merchandise to stop shoplifting it always makes it a more cost-effective choice of device.

I bring the story about the theft up because if a major retailer with a Loss Prevention Department can be taken twice in one day by the same couple what is the potential damage the same couple could do to a small business? I know the folks in their Loss Prevention Departments are good at what they do and they know how to catch crooks. Small retailers need to find ways to fight crime too and they aren’t going to have retail theft departments. If the bad guys in the report can get $1,700 worth of alcohol past trained Loss Prevention teams how much will they get away with from your stores? $1,200 in vacuum cleaners is no small potatoes either. Big retailers may be able to absorb the cost of this many vacuums but how much shrink will that represent for your company? Bill Bregar, founder of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has been consulting with small and medium retailers on retail shrink and theft issues since 1983. He recommends Sensormatic systems to clients as part of a comprehensive solution to stop shoplifting and drive up profits. 

 

Hopefully I have whet your appetite for more information on how you can prevent alcohol and other theft. Sensormatic hard tags are a phenomenal tool for businesses to seriously impede criminals from cleaning house in your store. Learn more about how you can benefit from the resources offered by Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. and Sensormatic anti-theft devices.

 

Get more information on Sensormatic hard tags, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567  and let’s talk.