Why Employers Should Not Skip Background Checks for Seasonal Workers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. In case you blinked and missed it, the holiday season has already arrived once again. Everyone from retail stores to restaurants to decorators are in high demand and the hiring of these individuals may often be done in haste to fill the positions as fast as possible. The hiring rush often leads to corners being cut and flaws being overlooked.  Whether you’re a small business adding some sale associates or a homeowner looking to have your house painted for the holidays, background checks are just as important this time of year as they are any other. In fact, they may be even more important.

Consumer Risk

Employers often skip the formalities when it comes to seasonal hiring in an effort to get staffed as quickly as possible. While it is very important for businesses to have enough staff on hand to handle the uptick in volume during this busy time of year, it is equally important to ensure that the right people are being hired.

Customer complaints due to long checkout lines or long waits on hold for customer service help are often the things that employers fear most, especially when the competition is so fierce during the holiday season. This fear often leads to employers overlooking the importance of continuing the practice of using background checks. When this happens, consumer safety is put at risk.

Financial transactions in the form of personal checks, debit cards and credit cards rise dramatically during the holiday season. When employers, especially those in the retail industry, put unchecked seasonal employees in positions with access to this information, they are putting consumers at risk.

Companies that hire service personnel, especially those who will enter someone’s home, should be especially vigilant with background checks. Over the next several weeks, new entertainment systems will be delivered and installed, furniture will be assembled and food delivered to millions of homes all across the country. It is a perfect time for those looking to take advantage of these situations to take on seasonal jobs that allow them access to private residences.

Employer Risk

Employers who skip background checks in lieu of a quick hire for seasonal help are not just putting customers at risk, they are also putting themselves at risk. When a background check is done thoroughly and correctly, criminal checks are done, work references are verified and if necessary, drug testing is done. These checks are put in place for a reason – to ensure that the employee is a safe choice. Skipping these check points allows mistakes to be made which can be much more costly than taking the time to have the background check done.

Seasonal positions are known for their quick hires and paired down interview processes. Applicants with questionable backgrounds realize this and often flock to these positions. Criminal backgrounds are not necessarily a deal-breaker when it comes to hiring seasonal employees, but it is important that employers have the facts upfront. For instance, would you want someone who was listed as a sexual offender in a sales position at a children’s clothing store?  This type of negligent hiring can be the basis for a lawsuit that will cost much more than any background check.

Consistency Required

Employers should understand that skipping background checks on seasonal employees can also present issues with current staff who succumbed to a check when they were hired. Consistent hiring procedures, regardless of the time of year or length of employment should be used to prevent backlash from existing employees.

Seasonal employment often leads to the filling of full-time positions. Employers can save training costs by offering full-time employment to seasonal workers who already know the job duties. In the process of hiring someone who is already on the company payroll, employers may fail to follow the background check process if it wasn’t done when the person took on a temp position. In these cases the employee simply falls through the crack.

Inconsistent hiring processes can lead to discrimination law suits, theft, security risks and a myriad of other issues.

Final Thoughts

So, what should employers do during the seasonal hiring rush to ensure that they get the hires they need in time?

Start early. If employers find that their normal hiring calendar doesn’t give them adequate time to properly screen employees, they should plan to begin that process at least 2-3 weeks earlier. Not only will employers have time to run background checks, but they will likely have more candidates to choose from by starting early.

Background checks should never be forfeited in the rush to fill seasonal positions. SB Checks offers quick turnaround and concise record searches. Whether you’re a small, seasonal business just starting out or an experienced human resource manager charged with filling dozens of positions, our professionals are here to help you through the process. Call (888) 725-2535 or visit sbchecks.com today for expert guidance.