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Seasonal Hiring? How important is Background Verification

Businesses need to have strong background verification systems and policies to ensure that they hire the right candidate for the right job without sacrificing ethics and integrity of the company. Strong background verification processes map the candidate’s skills, experience, education and attitude to the requirement of the company.

They also check for possible criminal records and history of drug abuse that might bring dishonour to the brand name. The importance of conducting background Verification is well understood in case of permanent employees, but what of temporary manpower like seasonal employees?

Importance of background checks for seasonal hiring

A lot of businesses experience a peak in their demands during holiday seasons and other seasonal occasions. To ensure timely delivery of services, companies often hire manpower on a seasonal or temporary basis. Since these employees are not permanent, businesses often skip costs of hiring by cutting corners during background verification. Also, since temporary employees have limited access to company resources, one may find background checks to be unnecessary. However, this can be quite detrimental to the business.

A recent study by Jack L. Hayes International indicates that corrupt employees are about five times more likely to steal from the company than dishonest customers. Also, since the employees are aware of their temporary nature, they are liable to demonstrate leniency in their work and not follow company protocols. If a temporary employee is demonstrating skills and value to the company, then there is a high chance of them getting converted to a permanent position. This would again call for proper background checks and skill/education checks.

Some of the major problems faced during seasonal hiring in the absence of background verification are mentioned below:

1) Theft by employees: This is especially important for retail businesses. A recent survey of shoplifters identified that employees stole six times more than regular customers. Hiring employees on a temporary basis without checking criminal records can seriously affect the bottom line of your business. If an employee is assigned financial or inventory duties, then it is definitely advised to conduct proper background verification to check against any criminal background.

2) Fraud by employees: Combating fraud is a time-consuming and rigorous endeavour, more so during the holiday season when the company is already overworked. Tarnishing the image of the company, especially during a holiday season when customers expect most out of their service providers, can cause critical damage. It is not easy to detect fraud during such busy schedules as managers are already overworked. Hence conducting checks and background verification becomes vital during this time of hiring.

3) Employees exploiting loopholes: Hiring executives may be tempted to skimp or totally ignore the process of background screening during seasonal hiring. They may accept employees after only a cursory glance or face value. This can lead to the hiring of unsuitable candidates who may demonstrate value while on a temporary contract but can show their devious nature when made permanent. In order to prevent such repetition of efforts, hiring managers should thoroughly vet any candidate irrespective of the duration of their contract.

4) Fast hiring at the cost of quality: Due to the heavy workload during holiday seasons, companies often hire workers on a temporary basis either without conducting background screening or by showing leniency during the process. The hiring of an unqualified workforce can harm the quality of your services and products leading to customer dissatisfaction. Customer dissatisfaction during the holiday season can be extremely detrimental to the reputation of the company.

Also Read: Why is Background Verification Services Vital for Small Businesses?

It is vital to conduct background verification for employees, but the process should be carried out in an ethical fashion. It is wise to get a written permission from the employees before conducting such checks to avoid any legal or personal issues.