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Seasonal Hiring and Background Screening: Is it Christmas Already

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November 14, 2014 Return to News & Events

Seasonal Hiring and Background Screening: Is it Christmas Already

In many parts of the country the temperature remains warm, with temperatures above normal.  In California a record drought continues and triple digit temperatures were recorded in October.  And Christmas is less than 60 days away.

Yes, less than 60 days away.

As summer blends into fall retailers across the country are prepping for another holiday shopping by hiring seasonal employees.

And this year promises to be better.

From (Sep. 26, 14):

In 2008, retailers hired about 325,000 workers for the holiday period. The figure’s been on the rise ever since, hitting 786,000 a year ago…seasonal employment gains in the retail sector to significantly outpace 2013.” Toys R Us, for instance, announced this week that it is hiring 45,000 seasonal employees, which more than doubles the company’s existing workforce, while UPS is planning on hiring 95,000 workers for the upcoming season.

As with long-term employment, seasonal employees should go through a background check.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states:  “Seasonal background checks are important, as with any measure of employment, and maybe more so.  A best practice is to work with a third-party background screening company to ensure the right kind of screening program.”

The key with any employment background check is risk mitigation.  Protecting employees as well as property are the main objectives of pre-employment screening.

Almeida states:  “While companies may not feel they have the time to conduct a thorough background check or the ability to afford such a process they should think again.”

There are a number of reports and records one can have reviewed in hiring a seasonal employee.  Typical pre-employment packages might include:

    1.  Social Security Number Trace:  Used in verifying residence by county.
    2. Criminal histories:  A helpful assessment tool.
    3. Sex Offender Registry review:  Assists in protecting other employees and the general public.
    4. Simple Employment Verification

In light of recent changes by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) companies large and small should be aware of hiring laws within the state of employment.

Almeida states:  “As the EEOC continues to crack down on hiring practices and the use of criminal histories, employers, including those that utilize seasonal workers, should be aware of relevant laws.”

The EEOC has provided guidance regarding the use of criminal history background checks.  Typically they are allowed after an offer of employment has been made and is not part of the initial hiring/application process.  Some states and cities have additional Ban-The-Box legislation in place that specifically outlines the use of criminal histories to the point that the “box” (yes or no to past criminal convictions) is not allowed on the application.

“Ultimately,” Almeida states, “a best practice for any company utilizing seasonal employees should be to work with a third-party background screening company.  Utilizing a third-party screener will help create a hiring program that will mitigate risk to property and person.” is a third-party background screening company that can assist companies large and small create pre-employment background screening policies unique to individual needs and requirements.  Whether it is long-term employment or seasonal, is ready to help.

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