Avoid Hiring “Bad Santa” This Holiday Season by Background Checking All Holiday Workers
EmployeeScreenIQ advises employers to practice hiring vigilance by screening all new employees.
EmployeeScreenIQ advises employers to exercise good sense alongside their goodwill this holiday season when ramping up their hiring efforts. As a rash of holiday hiring gets underway before Black Friday, employers who hire temporary workers should consider the importance of a thorough background check.
“Temporary workers usually have access to the employer’s place of business, and they interact with their permanent work force and customers. They are likely trained on business systems, and may even have access to certain intellectual property,” says Angela Preston, general counsel, EmployeeScreenIQ. “Given the huge amount of access that temporary workers are given during a relatively short time period, it’s important to screen them just as one would other employees.”
According to the 26th Annual Retail Theft Survey released by Jack L. Hayes International, 78,085 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2013, up 6.5 percent from 2012. One in every 39.5 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2013. On a per-case average, dishonest employees steal 5.4 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($706.21 vs. $130.89). Screening is one way organizations can protect themselves, says Preston.
Malls, retailers, charities and other organizations that hire Santa Clauses to take pictures with children should also practice hiring vigilance.
“It is vitally important to conduct a background check on anyone who comes into contact with children,” says Nick Fishman, chief marketing officer, EmployeeScreenIQ. “We recommend conducting a criminal background check in all counties where ‘Santa’ has lived and a sex offender registry search at a minimum. For added protection, employers should consider including a multijurisdictional criminal record database search and a drug test.”
Keeping It Legal
The same screening laws and EEOC guidelines that apply to regular applicants also apply to seasonal or temporary workers. Employers should also be aware of any “ban the box” laws regarding inquiring about criminal history on job applications in effect in their areas.
Preston suggests some dos and dont’s from the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) for employers conducting background checks during the heavy holiday hiring period:
- Don’t take the DIY approach. Conducting a Google search or checking social media is not adequate or appropriate for vetting potential employees and could leave employers open to legal issues.
- Do hire a professional background screener. Partnering with a professional will ensure employers obtain the most comprehensive and accurate data to help make informed hiring decisions.
- Do treat all employees the same. Whether full-time, part-time or seasonal, they are still company employees. Their employment classification should not change the need for conducting a background screen.
- Do be aware of employer responsibilities under the law. Background checks are subject to state and federal laws intended to protect those being screened. Employers should have an understanding of what they are required to do to avoid penalties.
- Don’t fail to communicate with the job applicant.Applicants should be notified prior to conducting a background check and allowed enough time to resolve any disputes related to information on the background check.
EmployeeScreenIQ helps employers make smart hiring decisions through a comprehensive suite of employment background screening services including the industry’s most thorough and accurate criminal background checks, resume verification services and substance abuse screening. EmployeeScreenIQ is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction earned by less than two percent of all employment screening companies. For more information, visit http://www.EmployeeScreen.com.
Nick Fishman, EmployeeScreenIQ
HRmarketer for EmployeeScreenIQ