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.

 

EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE A CRITICAL PIECE OF ANY COMPANY’S HIRING PROCESS, PERIOD

EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE A CRITICAL PIECE OF ANY COMPANY’S HIRING PROCESS, PERIOD.


 
 EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS-3      ML Blog 26
 PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING-3                                               

         It should be mandatory to conduct a pre-employment screening to improve profitability and reduce employee turnover. As a Loss Prevention manager, you see daily situations that prove why employee background checks are worth the time and expense! I catch an estimated 120 shoplifters per year. The majority of them have jobs, and many of those jobs are in retail. Do you think they are only stealing from others stores and not their own jobs? Of course not.  40 percent of the shoplifters had at least 1 prior arrest history with convictions. But yet they are getting jobs left and right without anyone knowing. You would not trust a stranger in your house with your property? Of course not. But we invest so much time in our own stores, and 1 person can wipe us out by stealing, draining profits right under our noses. This causes everyone’s hard work and sales to turn directly into shrink for the company. Applicants do not always tell “all”. They will always say they are honest and trustworthy because they want the job. Instead of just trusting, why not know? Employee background checks are cost effective and will give you that peace of mind. Prevention of a bad situation is way less expensive than fixing a bad hiring decision. I’ve watched this many times with my own eyes, closing out our high dollar employee theft investigations each year. 

         I was once working at a retail location and had an employee who everyone knew and appreciated. The employee had a vibrant personality and everyone really respected her. She was well liked by everyone, including the management team. One Friday evening, I was scanning CCTV looking for shoplifters. It was a slow night and not many people were in the store. I barely saw in the corner of my camera view, the associate really looking through our fragrance bottles. I wouldn’t normally think anything of it, because associates here love to shop on their breaks. However, something was different! The amazing associate that everyone adored, just selected 4 bottles of our very high end fragrance. I decided to do a surveillance to see what was going on. It ran through my head that they could possibly be on clearance, but I could only find out by continuing to watch. Next, she grabs a shirt off of the sales floor, and quickly covers all the bottles of fragrance. Now my stomach turned completely. The vibrant associate was behaving just like s shoplifter!  She went to a fitting room with the items, returning with nothing but the shirt and now a shopping bag that she did not have before. I could see the fragrance through the bag, and verified it was not left behind in the fitting room. At the end of the night, she left our store with the stolen merchandise. I apprehended her and had many questions for her to answer. She explained she had been stealing items for the past 2 years, around once a week. I asked her why? Her best explanation was “no one would think anything of me”, and “I thought it was easy”. A well liked employee everyone trusts may not be who they say they are. When we reviewed her file to terminate her in the system, I noticed she did not have an employee background check completed. I didn’t understand why we would not have completed one. Human Resources explained to me that they do not complete a pre-employment screening on the people they hire during the holidays. The well liked employee who has been robbing us blind was a convicted criminal with several prior thefts. 

         I completed an interview on the employee right before we prosecuted her. She admitted to stealing close to $14,000 from us in the short 2 years she worked there. Although we were happy to prosecute and get a thief out of our building, it shows how much money can walk out of your store in a short period of time. We could have stopped this from happening by a quick pre-employment screening before hand. This was just from 1 person, which makes you think about all of the other people we hired during the holidays???  Employee background checks are inexpensive and give you peace of mind knowing what type of person you are hiring. This can ensure that you are not hiring a person who is dangerous, untrustworthy, or just not a suitable fit for your business!

For more information about Employee Background Checks, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.                                                        

It should be mandatory to conduct a pre-employment screening to improve profitability and reduce employee turnover. As a Loss Prevention manager, you see daily situations that prove why employee background checks are worth the time and expense! I catch an estimated 120 shoplifters per year. The majority of them have jobs, and many of those jobs are in retail. Do you think they are only stealing from others stores and not their own jobs? Of course not. 40 percent of the shoplifters had at least 1 prior arrest history with convictions. But yet they are getting jobs left and right without anyone knowing. You would not trust a stranger in your house with your property? Of course not. But we invest so much time in our own stores, and 1 person can wipe us out by stealing, draining profits right under our noses. This causes everyone’s hard work and sales to turn directly into shrink for the company. Applicants do not always tell “all”. They will always say they are honest and trustworthy because they want the job. Instead of just trusting, why not know? Employee background checks are cost effective and will give you that peace of mind. Prevention of a bad situation is way less expensive than fixing a bad hiring decision. I’ve watched this many times with my own eyes, closing out our high dollar employee theft investigations each year. 
         

I was once working at a retail location and had an employee who everyone knew and appreciated. The employee had a vibrant personality and everyone really respected her. She was well liked by everyone, including the management team. One Friday evening, I was scanning CCTV looking for shoplifters. It was a slow night and not many people were in the store. I barely saw in the corner of my camera view, the associate really looking through our fragrance bottles. I wouldn’t normally think anything of it, because associates here love to shop on their breaks. However, something was different! The amazing associate that everyone adored, just selected 4 bottles of our very high end fragrance. I decided to do a surveillance to see what was going on. It ran through my head that they could possibly be on clearance, but I could only find out by continuing to watch. Next, she grabs a shirt off of the sales floor, and quickly covers all the bottles of fragrance. Now my stomach turned completely. The vibrant associate was behaving just like s shoplifter!  She went to a fitting room with the items, returning with nothing but the shirt and now a shopping bag that she did not have before. I could see the fragrance through the bag, and verified it was not left behind in the fitting room. At the end of the night, she left our store with the stolen merchandise. I apprehended her and had many questions for her to answer. She explained she had been stealing items for the past 2 years, around once a week. I asked her why? Her best explanation was “no one would think anything of me”, and “I thought it was easy”. A well liked employee everyone trusts may not be who they say they are. When we reviewed her file to terminate her in the system, I noticed she did not have an employee background check completed. I didn’t understand why we would not have completed one. Human Resources explained to me that they do not complete a pre-employment screening on the people they hire during the holidays. The well liked employee who has been robbing us blind was a convicted criminal with several prior thefts. 
         

I completed an interview on the employee right before we prosecuted her. She admitted to stealing close to $14,000 from us in the short 2 years she worked there. Although we were happy to prosecute and get a thief out of our building, it shows how much money can walk out of your store in a short period of time. We could have stopped this from happening by a quick pre-employment screening before hand. This was just from 1 person, which makes you think about all of the other people we hired during the holidays??? Employee background checks are inexpensive and give you peace of mind knowing what type of person you are hiring. This can ensure that you are not hiring a person who is dangerous, untrustworthy, or just not a suitable fit for your business!

 

For more information about Employee Background Checks, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.                                                        

 

Don’t Feel Regret Over A Hiring Mistake – Use Pre-Employment Screening


Pre-employment Screening-3                                                                                                 WC Blog 530
Drug Screening-4
Background Investigation-4

Don’t Feel Regret Over A Hiring Mistake – Use Pre-Employment Screening

     As an employer, have you ever been in a position where you had an employee who you wished you could turn back the clock on and have them undergo a pre-employment screening? This was a situation I was faced with when I had a member of my team cause me continual headaches. I was a Loss Prevention Manager and had several staff members working for me at any given time. I had an opening to fill and I wanted to give a team member from another department a second chance. The backstory is this particular employee was considered a problem performer and the manager of the department always complained about his work and attendance but never addressed the problem. After several months of listening to the same griping but no corrective action I offered to take the worker onto my team. I said he would either perform and I would develop him or if need be I would follow the proper corrective action steps and fire him. The department manager was more than happy to be rid of his problem and the employee agreed to try something new in L.P. I was cautiously optimistic I could turn him around. This brings me back to the point where I wished I could be sure a thorough drug screening and background investigation had been done before this guy was hired. 

     Drug screening and background investigation may be terms some of you have heard about but are not completely educated on. Drug screening is a process normally done in the controlled environment of a lab to make sure that collected samples are not tampered with. Mouth swabs, urine tests or blood testing are the most common forms of measurement and can be used for looking for a variety of illegal drugs in a person’s system. Employers may use the results of these tests to disqualify an applicant from consideration for a job. A background investigation is a look into an applicant’s personal history. Investigations may be tailored to an employer’s specific search criteria and may include criminal history checks, education and work history, credit history and prior places of residence. The information obtained by a professional investigator can reveal if an applicant has lied on their application or attempted to cover up their past. Some people move frequently to avoid creditors or law enforcement officials. Other people will lie about the level of education they have obtained or where they attended school in order to try to get a job. The key to a successful pre-employment screening is having a company that has experience in the field to conduct those screenings.

     The problem I faced with my new employee was that I suspected he was coming to work under the influence of something but I never had enough evidence to require him to take a random drug test. If he was not under the influence, he could possibly have been using substances the night before and had the residual effects in his system. This employee had been hired during our seasonal employment phase and the speed with which we rushed these candidates through I did not believe a proper screening of every person could be completed (Hint: give yourself plenty of time leading up to holidays for seasonal hiring). I had started documenting conversations about my employee’s attendance and performance. I had at least one corrective action form on file for him. Then over the course of two days my problem performer no-call/no showed and a third time would be an automatic termination of employment. On the third day I received a call from the employee’s girlfriend telling me he was in jail and couldn’t call in. I stood by our policy that the employee had to call in unless they were in the hospital or incapacitated. On day four the employee called and gave me a song and dance about how he had been a passenger in a friend’s car and the friend was stopped and marijuana was found so they both went to jail. Of course the employee was totally innocent and had no knowledge of the drugs. Regardless, three no call/no shows and I was rid of my problem. I believe in trying to give people a chance to improve but this guy blew it. Had a proper background check and drug screening been done before he was hired I don’t believe he would have been working for the store in the first place.

     Employers, save a lot of time and effort use Loss Prevention Systems Inc. for pre-employment screening that includes testing for drugs and a background investigation. Screen out problem performers before they can get a foot in your door.
Pre-employment screening is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

     

As an employer, have you ever been in a position where you had an employee who you wished you could turn back the clock on and have them undergo a pre-employment screening? This was a situation I was faced with when I had a member of my team cause me continual headaches. I was a Loss Prevention Manager and had several staff members working for me at any given time. I had an opening to fill and I wanted to give a team member from another department a second chance. The backstory is this particular employee was considered a problem performer and the manager of the department always complained about his work and attendance but never addressed the problem. After several months of listening to the same griping but no corrective action I offered to take the worker onto my team. I said he would either perform and I would develop him or if need be I would follow the proper corrective action steps and fire him. The department manager was more than happy to be rid of his problem and the employee agreed to try something new in L.P. I was cautiously optimistic I could turn him around. This brings me back to the point where I wished I could be sure a thorough drug screening and background investigation had been done before this guy was hired. 
     

Drug screening and background investigation may be terms some of you have heard about but are not completely educated on. Drug screening is a process normally done in the controlled environment of a lab to make sure that collected samples are not tampered with. Mouth swabs, urine tests or blood testing are the most common forms of measurement and can be used for looking for a variety of illegal drugs in a person’s system. Employers may use the results of these tests to disqualify an applicant from consideration for a job. A background investigation is a look into an applicant’s personal history. Investigations may be tailored to an employer’s specific search criteria and may include criminal history checks, education and work history, credit history and prior places of residence. The information obtained by a professional investigator can reveal if an applicant has lied on their application or attempted to cover up their past. Some people move frequently to avoid creditors or law enforcement officials. Other people will lie about the level of education they have obtained or where they attended school in order to try to get a job. The key to a successful pre-employment screening is having a company that has experience in the field to conduct those screenings.
     

The problem I faced with my new employee was that I suspected he was coming to work under the influence of something but I never had enough evidence to require him to take a random drug test. If he was not under the influence, he could possibly have been using substances the night before and had the residual effects in his system. This employee had been hired during our seasonal employment phase and the speed with which we rushed these candidates through I did not believe a proper screening of every person could be completed (Hint: give yourself plenty of time leading up to holidays for seasonal hiring). I had started documenting conversations about my employee’s attendance and performance. I had at least one corrective action form on file for him. Then over the course of two days my problem performer no-call/no showed and a third time would be an automatic termination of employment. On the third day I received a call from the employee’s girlfriend telling me he was in jail and couldn’t call in. I stood by our policy that the employee had to call in unless they were in the hospital or incapacitated. On day four the employee called and gave me a song and dance about how he had been a passenger in a friend’s car and the friend was stopped and marijuana was found so they both went to jail. Of course the employee was totally innocent and had no knowledge of the drugs. Regardless, three no call/no shows and I was rid of my problem. I believe in trying to give people a chance to improve but this guy blew it. Had a proper background check and drug screening been done before he was hired I don’t believe he would have been working for the store in the first place.
     

Employers, save a lot of time and effort use Loss Prevention Systems Inc. for pre-employment screening that includes testing for drugs and a background investigation. Screen out problem performers before they can get a foot in your door.

 

Pre-employment screening is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.