In today’s culture, employee background checks are almost more common than drug screenings. A pre employment screening can uncover some nasty little secrets a potential employee hopes you don’t find. I’m not just talking about criminal charges either. I work for a small retail pharmacy, and when we terminate people for theft reasons, we report them to an outside company. Their name is listed on this database for seven years, and many other retailers utilize it too. Reference checks are obviously important, but most of those are set up in advance. I always let my references know ahead of time that they may receive a call about me. I don’t want my friends and colleagues to be caught off guard, and I want them to be thinking of our experiences if they get a call.
I walked into a local retail store just two weekends ago. As I was walking around browsing in this store, I came upon a person I had not seen in about two years. She was certainly not someone I ever expected to see working in another store in our area, and she seemed to be in some sort of management position there. If they did perform some form of pre employment screening, they must not have used a very reliable background check company. This particular lady was a slick thief too. She was going to our different locations working her magic little coupon fraud scam, and it worked for over a year. She defrauded our company out of about $4,500 in that time frame. She was also taking advantage of the rewards program we offer. She would use her own phone number in place of the customer’s number so she could skim off their rewards. They added up significantly too, and she racked up on a lot of freebies just using that. When we interviewed her, she claimed she was just helping the customers. She said they didn’t have our card on their keyring, so since her phone number worked, they got the sale prices they were expecting. All throughout the interview, she never once took responsibility for her actions. Everything she did was for the benefit of others, or she simply denied knowing that her actions were illegal, unethical or immoral. It’s like she thought if she just sat there and continued making denials, we would just “let it go”. That’s when I pulled out her employee file, and brought out all her required forms and policies sheets with her signatures. There was the one that said employees were to NEVER use their own phone numbers, and the one that explained the proper use of coupons. Boom. Buh-bye.
So, when I walk into this store, she immediately comes over and starts chatting me up. I wanted so badly to ask how in the world she was able to weasel her way in and be a key carrier for this place; do these people not believe in background checks? It just does not add up. I never thought she would be back in any retail establishment again. I don’t begrudge the fact that she is working another job, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I know that she is capable of manufacturing scams, and a quality background check company should have caught her termination for a gross policy violation. Maybe she learned her lesson and has changed; I hope so. Leopards can’t change their spots though. I figure they must not perform pre employment screenings at that place. In 2015 that is hard to swallow, but that’s their business, not mine.
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