Don’t Get Scrooged By Your Holiday Helpers... Protect Yourself with Background Checks

employee-theftHoliday helpers are necessary, but they also pose significant risks to retailers’ profits.  Research by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) says retailers can lose as much as 25% of their total revenues to fraud during the holiday season. That’s up from 5% during the rest of the year.

Believe it or not, the holiday season is really upon us. My own, very unscientific poll, shows mall parking lots are jammed and shoppers are getting down to some serious shopping. Retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online, are bringing in holiday workers at an astounding pace. Amazon alone plans to hire 80,000 people this season.

According to Jack L. Hayes International’s annual retail theft survey, dishonest employees steal more than 5 times the amount as shoplifters. Last year these ‘inside jobs’ totaled more than $55 million… and that’s just the amount that was recovered.  Retail experts say employee theft is the most severe problem facing the industry today.

So how do you protect yourself?  The key is not letting down your guard. Carolers might be singing about peace and goodwill, and you might be in a terrible rush, but this is not the time to relax your hiring standards.

All employees, especially, entry level and temporary holiday positions, need to have a thorough background check. These screens don’t have to be expensive or time consuming.  With the right background screening partner you can run a Social Security Number Trace, a National Criminal Record Search (NCRD,) as well as a County Criminal Record Search, and have most results back within 48 hours.

Don’t let this holiday season be a windfall for thieves and fraudsters.  Due diligence should never stop when the eggnog starts flowing!

For more information on protecting your company, download our whitepaper “Retail Employee Theft.”

Retail Survey Confirms One In Forty Employees Steal From Their Employer



Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company to hold both an ISO 27001:2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.


Background Checks

Jennifer Gladstone

Posted By: Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.