In the process of hiring new employees we must conduct pre employment screening which among other items will also include employee background checks. In this four part blog I will cover the first of 100 interview questions that you can utilize and discuss a very no-nonsense approach to employee background checks.
Generally the first part of the face to face portion of the pre employment screening process is the face to face interview. We have reviewed the applications and resumes and whittled the pool of candidates down to this group of candidates. I have always felt that the key to a more successful final choice is a consistent interview with all candidates. It is the “apples to apples” thought process. If you interview everyone in your candidate pool using different questions then you are going to have an “apples to oranges” result. This does not mean that you do not dive deeper into a candidate’s response to a question. Quite the opposite, the standard questions you are asking should expose both strengths and weaknesses that you look further into. That is one of the beauties of a standard pre employment screening process.
Once the interview process is completed then we would move onto employment background checks. Over the years I have seen many leaders downplay the value or need to do even the simplest of employee background checks. The reasons are varied but it all adds up to this. Would you buy a used car, house or anything else of value without first having a professional such as a Mechanic or Inspector look at it first? So we are going to entrust our business, sales, customers and other employees to chance? Wow, that is way more than I am willing to do. What happens if that candidate had stolen from a previous employer? What if they had assaulted another employee at a previous company and you did not discover these easily discoverable facts? They do the same thing at your company. You would be held responsible. It is not like “the old days” where you could say “I didn’t know”.
Yes, we conduct employee background checks; criminal, credit, SSN traces, employment drug screening, and more. Contact us for more information. So let’s go back to the interview questions. In this blog we are going to cover both personal and education areas. Keep a few things in mind for all of the questions.
• These are not the only questions you can ask in these areas.
• Change the questions to suit your interview style or need. Just keep the intention of the question the same
• Of course you should check with your legal counsel before you use them. Law does change over time.
• The intent is not to ask all questions in a given area. Look at these like you would a menu. What suits your tastes, needs, etc.
• Tell me about yourself.
• What are your hobbies?
• Describe your ideal job.
• What can you offer us?
• What do you consider to be your greatest strengths?
• Can you name some weaknesses?
• Define success. Define failure.
• Have you ever had any failures? What did you learn from them?
• What are 3 accomplishments of which you are most proud?
• Who are your role models? Why?
• How does your college education or work experience relate to this job?
• What motivates you most in a job?
• Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
• Have you ever done volunteer work? What kind?
• Why did you choose your major?
• Why did you choose to attend your college or university?
• Do you think you received a good education? In what ways?
• In which campus activities did you participate?
• Which classes in you major did you like best? Least? Why?
• Which elective classes did you like best? Least? Why?
• If you were to start over, what would you change about your education?
• Do your grades accurately reflect your ability? Why or why not?
• Were you financially responsible for any portion of your college education?
• Do you plan to return to school for further education?
Keep in mind that if you discover something that needs follow up, then you should ask at that time before moving on to another question. For example, if you ask “define success?” and their response is “I consider not hitting another employee once a week with a chair a pretty good week”. You may want to look into that a bit further.
So look for the next part. I will layout questions on the position they are interviewing for and the schedule.
If you have any questions about pre employment screening, employment drug screening or employee background checks contact us or call us toll free 1-770-426-0547.
I believe store employee turnover has an impact on store inventory shortage results and I believe a background check company can reduce turnover. This reason I bring this up is a recent conversation I was having with my store manager. We were talking about the articles I write and he asked if I had ever written about this topic. He told me he is a firm believer that when a store has to hire frequently because workers leave that he thinks it can lead to an increase in employee theft. As long as I have been in retail Loss Prevention I have held the same belief. I told him I did think it was interesting that he brought this up since Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) has been actively helping retailers reduce theft through a series of initiatives they now offer. The conduct pre-employment screenings, drug testing and even make the hiring process easier with the Applicant Tracking Center. Yes, I have thought about it as a topic for articles but LPSI thought about it first and made a way for managers to improve the chances of reducing turnover and hiring workers who will help improve profits for the store.
I know there are many reasons people leave companies they work for be it for a better job opportunity or due to frustration with co-workers or poor management. Sometimes people leave their jobs because they are not truly suited to the position. There are also people who leave jobs because they have been stealing and are cutting out before they are caught. If the morale in a store is flagging that falls on the management team to put fixes in place to make the environment more pleasant. If the employees are leaving because they are not suited to the jobs they have been hired to work in then an Applicant Tracking Center may be just what your store needs. Loss Preventions Systems, Inc. (LPSI) can help you streamline your hiring processes by reducing paperwork, paper files and the time it takes to sort through tons of unqualified applications. At the same time they can help you hire better employees who are far less likely to steal or be potential liabilities. The same process can also aid you in reducing the chance of hiring someone who will cause morale issues. A pre-employment screening process can include a background check that can identify candidates with shady work, education or criminal histories. The drug testing can identify applicants who are engaged in the use of illegal drugs and could cause problems in the workplace.
LPSI’s Applicant tracking center can combine all of these functions into one stop and shop location. The center can be used to create application screening questions that can help you save time in sifting through countless job applications. Set questions that require a specific response to weed out applicants who don’t fit the criteria you seek, for example prior customer service experience, ability to operate office equipment or a certain level of education. You don’t have to interview every single person who applies for a job and you don’t have to comb through those applications if they can be screened before you have to start reviewing. Talk about a time saver!
Once you have your application pool narrowed down you want to know who it is you are strongly interested in. You can conduct your interviews and narrow those results further but you don’t want to make a final decision on a candidate without a bit more information. Interviews, resumes and applications can be deceitful. There are people out there who are really good at creating a false personal history and list of accomplishments. Some of them can even interview extremely well but that is all window dressing in many cases. A background check company can dig into a candidate’s history and find out what a candidate may not want you to know. If your store has high turnover and you haven’t been conducting pre-employment screenings you may be experiencing theft and not making the connection. Do your candidates have a criminal past? Have they hopped from job to job but were selective in their work history on their application? Maybe they hid that information for a reason. Find out BEFORE you hire a candidate what their background really contains.
In Part 2 we will continue the conversation about the way employee turnover impacts store shortage. It is important that you understand the value that a background check company can add to your business. Reduce your turnover and in turn reduce your risk of theft, fraud, safety concerns and reduction in team morale.
For more information about a background check company, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547
Employee background checks are much like the safety features in a car. This occurred to me the other day after I had stopped to render assistance at the scene of a head on collision. A car had crossed the median and plowed into the front of a car that had been travelling in the opposite direction. By the look of the accident scene the incident had taken place just moments before I drove up. I pulled over, got out and began checking on the victims. Two other passersby got out to assist as well. The victim who had been hit was in pain but had only minor visible cuts on his person. I did notice his airbag had deployed. As I looked at the amount of damage I can only believe the airbag and other safety features prevented more severe injuries or even death to driver I was helping. Pre-employment screening is like a safety feature in a car. You don’t necessarily realize how important it is until something takes place that makes you realize what could have happened without them.
A retail business is susceptible to internal theft and that can do significant damage to a business. When I was a Loss Prevention Manager I closed out at least 100 employee theft cases but the majority of those resulted in less the $1,000 worth of known or admitted theft per incident. In most situations I identified the theft fairly early on from the start of the employee’s start date. I would attribute this to the fact our company could afford to have Loss Prevention Managers and Associates in our stores. I will also say that Pre-employment screening and drug screening played a big part in keeping these numbers as low as they were. The screenings are like the unseen safety features of a car. Have them in place and they will protect you from serious damage should something go wrong. Notice that safety features don’t necessarily prevent accidents from happening but they do minimize damage to the occupants of a vehicle should one occur.
Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) is one company that can conduct comprehensive employee background checks on potential future hires for you. They have a wide range of research options an employer can request before a new person hired onto a team. Most people think of criminal background checks when they think of pre-employment screenings but there are more things that can be covered. Some of the things LPSI can dig into are driving records in case the applicant will be driving a company-owned vehicle. They can verify educational information if the employer requires a specific level of education. Sometimes people with checkered pasts move around frequently to try to hide their activity. LPSI can look into that information and validate prior addresses. There may be hidden dangers lurking in a job candidate’s past and LPSI provides the safety mechanism to help keep your business safe.
Let’s not overlook the hidden dangers of hiring someone who uses illegal drugs and seeks a job in a retail store. Side note; I am also including marijuana in this category. Though it may be ‘legal’ in some states, it is not legal as far as the federal government is concerned. I am also of the personal opinion that it can still cause liability issues for a retailer as much as an employee intoxicated by alcohol can be for a store owner. These applicants may choose to steal to support their habit. They may cause accidents or injure themselves while working costing employers significant amounts of money in lost work time, payment for damages or injuries and potentially lawsuits. Screening applicants before allowing them to start work may slow the hiring process a bit but the benefits to the employer are immeasurable.
I hope that the airbags in your car will never have to deploy. However should an accident take place these hidden safety features may save you from severe injury or death. In a similar manner employee background checks and drug screening can proactively keep your business safe even if you don’t see them in action. You try to hire the right people with applicant screening questions and interviews and pre-employment screening adds another level of safety. The chances of hiring a dishonest worker are significantly reduced when you have them in place. It is also important to know that should one bad character get past your screening LPSI can also do dishonest employee investigations to get you back on track again quickly limiting your injury from losses the associate may cause.
For more information on employee background checks contact us or call 1.770.426.0547
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the founder of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. and in the course of our discussion I was able to learn his philosophy on the use of Sensormatic tags in a store. I have written on my own opinions based on my years of Loss Prevention and retail management experience but getting Bill Bregar’s opinion was interesting. He and I have similar experiences from the military and Loss Prevention but while I moved no higher than a store level Loss Prevention Manager, Bill was at the upper echelons of retail as a National Director for Loss Prevention Departments for major retail chains. He has also been consulting with retail owners for many years helping them improve their financial numbers through theft and shortage reduction. His solution to shortage reduction is a balanced approach: stop shoplifting with Sensormatic systems, train managers and their teams on how to identify and stop theft safely and effectively and the use of background checks and drug screenings.
So what might a balanced approach to shortage reduction look like for you, the store owner?
• First a shortage prevention strategy should include an electronic article surveillance system and Sensormatic tags. As I spoke with Bill I was impressed that he doesn’t approach this aspect of a strategy with a “tag everything in the store focus”. Bill helps his clients focus on what is going to give the most bang for the buck. While I have always thought that as much as possible should be tagged, his approach in many cases is to focus on the 20% of the merchandise that causes 80% of the losses. What I really appreciated and I am certain Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. customers appreciate is that there is not a push to sell customers more tags than they need. If a business can grow or the need arises more tags can always be purchased.
• Some may argue that theft prevention begins at the personnel level. The employees a store manager hires can create more theft problems than a shoplifter for a store. They have full access to the store and can steal in many different ways. To prevent this from happening, a store should be conducting pre-employment screenings. Mr. Bregar told me that there are companies out there that will promise they will do nationwide background checks but as a former law enforcement officer he is aware that these are fake promises. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. puts the time and effort into the background checks they conduct. These checks may be criminal histories based on state searches or county searches. The check may include sex offender registries, education checks, driving records and more. When a store owner has Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. conduct their background checks they are assured there won’t be any shortcuts taken in the research of their applicant’s history.
• In the same vein as background checks, pre-employment drug screening is an important part of Bill’s theft prevention strategy. Workers with drug addictions may resort to theft to support a habit. These employees will also help friends steal by alerting them to opportunities they may see by texting or calling. The employee may also help assist in shoplifting by passing merchandise through a register without ringing it up for friends in exchange for drugs. Employers can stop shoplifting aided by employees and employee theft by weeding out problems before they happen. Drug screening is a useful tool in Bill’s shortage prevention toolbox.
• One more important piece in the shortage prevention strategy for a store is training. Whether it is training on tag placement, responding to an electronic article surveillance alarm or how to stop shoplifting, Bill knows how critical training is to any theft prevention program.
The biggest take-away I had following my conversation with Mr. Bregar is his focus on the importance of service and integrity in serving Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. clients.
Sensormatic tags and systems are a key component of any Loss Prevention program and Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can help get a store set up with what that particular store needs. An effective program is going to be one that incorporates multiple factors that impact theft and shortage. After my conversation with Bill Bregar I am more convinced than ever that Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. is your best resource for helping you reduce shrink and grow your profits.
Get more information on Sensormatic tags, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.
Pre-employment screening can assist store owners in identifying hidden problems that could cause major problems for a business down the road. I thought about this today as I am getting a used car my son purchased fixed up for him. My mechanic had located this car, gave it a test drive and told me that for the $900 we would pay for it we would be getting a great deal. There were a few concerns with how it was idling but he believed for another $500 he could get it running smoothly. $1400 for a car that would get my son to his new job for a couple of years is a bargain, no car payments to make. I purchased parts the mechanic said would be needed and delivered them to him. Later in the afternoon I got a call that there may be a different issue to fix. As he had dug into the engine he found that someone had done some home-made repairs that were possibly the cause of the symptoms he had thought were causing the rough idling. I had to spend another $170 on additional parts (I am waiting to see if these parts fix the issue and I can return the other parts I bought). The thing about this is hidden problems were masked until the mechanic dug into the motor to identify where the true fix needed to be made. I may be paying a few hundred additional dollars and I should have a reliable vehicle. Store owners that hire someone with a checkered past may pay a much higher price for those underlying issues. An applicant management center can help prevent hiring mistakes.
Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) can be your car mechanic so to speak. They can conduct pre-employment screening for employers that truly look past the surface information of an applicant to uncover information that could be hidden from you. Is an applicant lying about a criminal past or a job history? Maybe the job you need filled requires a certain level of educationa. There are applicants who will falsify applications for a shot at that job. LPSI can verify whether a candidate has the degree or education they claim. What would the potential ramifications be if you hired a person who is on the national sex offender registry and you were not aware of it? Yes, it is possible the employee would behave while working around other employees and your customers. But what is going to happen to YOUR business and YOUR reputation if you don’t bother with a background check and YOUR employee does assault someone? Even if they don’t do the offense while on the clock there is a strong possibility social media will get the word out on where that person works and lives. What will your other employees think? An applicant management center can help keep your business and reputation safe.
Lest you think the only service provided by an applicant management center is conducting background checks store owners should also be aware that there is much more available to them. Want to make sure you run a drug-free workplace? LPSI also offers drug screening for business owners. Have you ever wished you could organize your hiring process including files into one central location without dealing with mounds of paperwork? They can do that for you as well. Bill Bregar who is the Chief Executive Officer of LPSI has drawn from his background as a Loss Prevention Director for national chain stores and his experiences of running his own business to help other business owners. He knows the risks associated with hiring the wrong people and he is in tune with how to run profitable stores. That is why his company offers the applicant management center to ensure retailers can be profitable through better hiring.
Pre-employment screening won’t help you get your car up and running or fix an engine with a rough idle but it can help you run a smooth business operation. Get to know more about the people you are considering hiring by hiring a company that can uncover problems BEFORE they become your problem!
Pre-employment screening is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.