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Retail Background Checks

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September 9, 2011 Return to News & Events

Is It Really Almost Christmas? Retail Background Checks

With the end of Labor Day weekend the official summer season is over.  Kids are going back to school, college is starting back up, and the holidays are fast approaching. 

Is it really almost Christmas?

Every year the holiday retail rush starts earlier and earlier and retailers need to be ready.  Many establishments add employees to help cover the rush.  Hundreds of so-called temporary jobs are filled every year by a wide variety of individuals.  During the hiring process for these positions many companies handle the vetting of prospects and potential employees differently than permanent employees, especially when it comes to pre-employment background checks.

Temporary employees are classified in a different way but often are involved in the same exact duties as a permanent employee.  They handle merchandise and conduct financial transactions.  The level of responsibility is no less than a permanent employee.  And in times of economic uncertainty it is more important than ever to ensure a business or organization has taken every precaution against hiring a bad employee.

One of the most significant concerns of a retail operation is loss and many large chains have risk mitigation departments to help prevent inventory from walking away.  They conduct background checks as a part of the hiring process, generally with both permanent and temporary employees.  However, smaller companies shy away from performing background checks on temporary employees due to cost or, at least, the perception of cost.  This is a mistake.

Inventory loss within a retail organization often accounts for the highest percentage of preventable cost.  This holds true in both large and small organizations.  This risk can be mitigated by conducting a pre-employment background check on all category of employee, from permanent to temporary.  The cost is relative when one considers the expense of replacing inventory or outright theft from a cash register.

Retail organizations can conduct background checks for less than $30 per check.  Reports utilized should include:

  1. Social Security Number Trace – To establish county of residency as well as confirm first, middle and last name, as well as discover any potential AKAs or additional SSNs.
  2. County Criminal Records Check – Records held at the county level are often the most relevant and current.
  3. Sex Offenders Registry Check – A store owner certainly would want to know if an offender is applying at their establishment, especially one that caters to children or young adults.


The above three reports represent the bare essentials of a pre-employment background check and should be a central part of any background package.  Additional reports are always available and may include employment and education verification as well as State and National Criminal background reports.

Used in combination with an interview, a pre-employment background check conducted by an established background screening company can greatly assist in making a decision that could significantly impact your business.  The relatively low cost in this background check far outweighs the potential loss by a bad employee.

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching retailers of all sizes are getting ready with increased inventory, holiday decorations and additional employees.  Protect the investment, protect the profits, and conduct pre-employment background checks on all employees.

Visit for criminal background screening information and pre-employment screening services.  To consult with a sales representative about discounted pricing and/or to setup a monthly billing account simply send an email to and a representative will contact you.

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