EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS AND THE EFFECTS THEY HAVE ON SHRINK
A core part of my job is investigating employee theft. Even with stringent hiring practices, constant training and always conducting employee background checks prior to hiring someone, dishonest employees are always a problem. It’s a game of statistics, really. I have 30 stores in my region. 70 or so employees at each store location. That’s a little over 2,000 employees. If just 5% of employees will steal something (and that’s being very conservative) that means at any given time, about 100 employees in my region will be engaging in nefarious activities. That means a great deal of my time is spent investigating and resolving these types of thefts. That all means that there are numerous folks that are terminated for theft.
I was looking for a new computer recently and decided to try out a new electronics store that had recently come into the market. I start browsing and an employee comes up behind me and asks if I need help. As I turn around, I (and her) quickly realize that our paths have crossed once before. She had stolen quite a substantial amount of product from my store about a year ago. I guess this new store doesn’t see a benefit in pre-employment screening. I decide I don’t want a computer from the store and head out. As I’m leaving, I hear a voice yell my name. I look over and an old high school buddy of mine is actually the manager of the store. I walk over to chat a bit.
The conversation ultimately goes to what I’m up to, and I mention that his salesperson wasn’t the most honest when she worked for my company. Looking like I just shot his dog, he confesses that the one thing he does not like about the company is that they do not run an employee background check on potential candidates. He also tells me that the same team member is suspected of stealing speakers, but they don’t have cameras in the store either. For a minute, I thought I had traveled into some alternate dimension where shrink wasn’t a concern for brick and mortar retailers.
I don’t know what became of that employee. I never did return to that store. Not because I morally disagreed with their LP practices. I don’t care if a store doesn’t do a thorough pre-employment screening; it’s not my company. The reason I didn’t make a purchase was the prices were just too high. I could buy the same item down the road at a competitor for 15-20% less. Could their higher prices be a sign that they are struggling to profit? Could that grasp for profit come from shrink? Maybe.
Think of your own business and your own customers. You always want to provide customers with the best possible experience; most often, that means having the lowest price around. As a retailer, you have to do all that is in your power to keep operating costs down in order to maximize the profit out of every item you sell. Part of that equation is limiting your exposure to shrink. Just as you apply security tags to high theft items, you should use an employee background check to prevent bad apples from being introduced into your basket. A simple and painless pre-employment screening can really make the difference of using red ink, or black on your next P+L.
Employee Background Check is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.