People lie, employee background checks don’t. As part of the pre-employment screening process, background checks should be mandatory in every company. As a Loss Prevention professional, I have seen the value of these checks first hand. In everyday life, we are careful with our wallets, purses, vehicles, and other personal belongings. You would not trust a stranger to hold your wallet just because they say they are “honest and trustworthy” right? Well, why would you trust an employee to have access to everything inside your company? Digging further than just face value should be a part of every retailer’s pre-employment screening process. One employee who is not honest could significantly drain profits right underneath your feet. I see this often with my own eyes while closing out high dollar employee theft investigations in my stores.
While working Loss Prevention for a retailer, there was an employee who everybody perceived as hard working, friendly, and trustworthy. The employee had a great personality and could speak well about his business. He was well liked by everyone, including my Loss Prevention team. One Monday morning, I received a call from my Operations Manager that we were missing 2 high dollar appliances from the warehouse. I first made sure he checked several possible locations where the merchandise could have been misplaced. But he was correct. Two appliances came in three trucks ago, and we were missing two items. I started reviewing several days of video and running reports to complete an investigation on where these appliances went. I come across some suspicious activity on CCTV where the item looks like it goes out the door to a customer in a red truck. I pull transactions and found that there were no customer pickups or purchases for that item on that day. I now know that the employee we trusted, had deceived us. I continued to investigate the second missing item. I went through several days of video and found that the same employee again pushed an item out the door, to the SAME red truck. No purchases or customer pickups for that specific item that day. I now was 100 percent certain we had a thief working in our building. I then started investigating more and found several more videos on non-paid items leaving the building. Once I had the theft investigation complete, I went to Human Resources to look at his folder. I was shocked at what I found. The employee did not have any type of pre-employment screening! I didn’t understand why we would not have completed one. Human Resources explained to me that they didn’t do any pre-employment screening on the people they hired during the holidays, mass hires, or certain positions in the store. I decided to request one to be completed, due to the investigation I was working on. The well liked employee who has been robbing us blind was a convicted criminal with several prior thefts. If we were conducting employee background checks on everyone we hired, we would have caught this!
I completed an interview on the employee right before we prosecuted him. He admitted to stealing close to $38,000 from us in the short two years he 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. This was just from one person. What about all of the other friendly people we hired during the holidays, our mass hire, or the employees who are working in non-required positions? Employee background checks are inexpensive and provide peace of mind about the 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. A simple pre-employment screening, will help you keep the individuals who could potentially harm your business away!
For more information about Employee Background Checks, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.