5 Tips for Conducting Background Checks for Seasonal Employees

Written by Andrew Dose on November 21, 2017

Once again, the holiday season has snuck up on you. Maybe you were distracted by the election, or maybe it was just the day-to-day grind that got in the way, but suddenly you’re staring down the barrel of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the Christmas rush, and you haven’t finished nailing down your seasonal staffing yet!

Ok, close your eyes… now take a moment to breathe.

It’s ok. You’ve got this.

The annual retail hiring explosion to accommodate the holiday shopping season can be stressful and hectic—much like the holiday retail season itself—but with the right systems in place and the right partners by your side, hiring doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

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Every retail operation is a little different, so there has to be one or more internal steps put in place in the application, interviewing, and on-boarding process before you’re ready for this. But for retail hiring in particular, the background screening of applicants is a vital piece of the puzzle, and it’s one that can add time and complication to an already tight schedule.

Never fear, though. We have this one covered.

How to get the right screening done quickly and accurately:

The following five tips will help make your necessary background checking process as fast and smooth as it can be, so you can get on to more profitable pursuits before the holidays get here:

  1. Determine your background check needs. If your seasonal hires are going to be handling only the most basic of responsibilities—greeting customers, stocking shelves, cleaning up—then the depth of research needed to vet them is going to be slight.
  2. The less they’re responsible for, the less screening they’ll need. From both a time and a cost perspective, that’s a good thing: the most basic of background screenings can often be completed within 48 hours at a very low price point. And, if you need a high volume of screenings completed, the price goes down as volume increases.
  3. But don’t sacrifice security for speed or savings. If you’re going to need your seasonal hires to take on greater responsibility—driving company vehicles, handling large sums of money, or working directly with children—the screening process should be more in-depth.
  4. Plan accordingly. Start the process by determining right now exactly how your seasonal employees will be used and, if possible, allocate as many of them as you can to roles requiring basic responsibilities so conducting basic background checks can save you time and money.
  5. Choose a reputable, reliable partner. Handling even the most basic of employee background screenings is a complex process with a lot of moving parts—there are a number of laws and regulations requiring delicate nuance in the way things are handled so that your company is fully protected along with your your applicants’ rights. The smartest way to carry this out is to work with a reputable, reliable partner company that specializes in coordinating and completing all-purpose employee background screening.

What if you decide to keep a seasonal employee after the New Year?

This is a common enough occurrence, and again, it’s no sweat.

If you decide to bring employees on permanently after the holidays and their responsibilities are going to expand, you can always pursue a more in-depth screening at that point relative to whatever role they’ll be taking on. Doing so only adds to the original screening: it doesn’t need to duplicate what’s already been done and result in wasted time or money.

Focus on hiring the best people

So, in summary, rather than stressing about the seasonal hiring explosion you’re going through, just slow down and focus on selecting the very best employees—the people who are going to be the most help to your customers and are most likely to achieve retail success for your business.

Let NationSearch worry about vetting them legally so you can make sure they’re as great as they appear, and protect your store from legal issues down the road.

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Topics: Background Screening Education

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