Retail Theft Study on Employment Screening

Nick Fishman

This is about a month old now, but an old friend from SHRM passed this study on Employment Screening in the retail sector which was published in Loss Preventation Magazine. See some key findings below:

The purpose of the survey was to benchmark large retailers’ current pre-employment screening programs. The survey was sent to the most senior-level loss prevention executive in ten leading U.S. retailers. The surveyed retailers ranged in store count from 250 to over 3,000 locations and included both hardline and softline retailers. The survey focused on five types of screening processes—drug testing, assessments, credit checks, criminal history, and motor vehicle checks. The scope of the survey included store, distribution centers, and corporate levels at each retail company. The survey was conducted in March, 2007.
The survey did not attempt to evaluate the ROI from a pre-employment background screening program. While this is outside the scope of this survey, many retail companies have an internal ROI process measuring programs such a pre-employment screening.
The chart below is a summary of the responses to the five primary questions. Conducting an assessment is clearly the most common pre-employment screening method employed, followed by conducting a criminal background check.

Screening Type: Store Distribution Center Corporate
Drug Screen 50% 60% 40%
Assessment 90% 40% 40%
Credit Check 0% 0% 33%
Criminal Background Check 70% 80% 70%
Motor Vehicle Record Check 0% 60% 40%

I am a little surprised that assessments beat out criminal background checks at the store level, but given the cost structure of screening tactics perhaps it makes sense. Also, I’m surprised that the Substance Abuse Screening levels and use of Criminal Background Checks vary from Store, to Distribution Center, to Corporate. I would think that if these things were important at one level, they would be important at all.

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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