Sector focus - Retail

Sector focus - Retail

In retail, employees are the driving force behind the success of the business, whether dealing with customers and clients, managing stock and sales, or steering the business towards new ventures or product lines.

Employee screening may not be the at the forefront of an organisations thinking within the retail industry, but it is a vital safeguarding against fraud, customer safety issues, and low staff morale.

Additionally, retail businesses face higher employee turnover and seasonal demand fluctuations, meaning hiring the wrong individual is a consistent risk.

At Reed Screening, we have defined best practice screening packages designed to mitigate risks and ensure your retail business’s reputation and bottom line is safeguarded. Here are some of the most important checks we recommend for new employees.

Referencing and employment history

According to recent data, it’s estimated that 40% of people lie on their CVs, including embellishing the responsibilities that they had in previous roles, lying about gaps in their work history, and misrepresenting their work experience. Therefore, checking a candidates work history for lies or exaggerations offers a good measure of how honest they are.

In retail environments, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace safety is of paramount importance, and candidates and consumers have high expectations of employers to ensure the safety and happiness of their teams.

Hiring the wrong person can jeopardise these efforts, as a dishonest, incapable employee who is a poor fit with the company culture can endanger other employees and customers, as well as reduce morale, and increase the risk of theft within the business.

Work history checks include a full review of cross referencing information supplied from application to CV, and then further analysis of those gaps in between. This can include candidates supplying evidence of their activity in the form of bank statements or travel proof.

A thorough review of the employee’s work history, their CV, gap evidence, and references themselves including analysis of the dates supplied and explanations required for any misleading information allows any discrepancies or signs of dishonesty to come to light.

It's also important to verify the source of a reference, to confirm that the individual providing the reference is in a position to do so, and also by checking the details of the establishment the worker was employed by eliminates any false information being taken into account.

ID and right to work

Checking ID and ensuring that new employees have a right to work in the UK is not only a legal requirement, but a smart move for employers overall.

Verifying that new hires are who they say they are and have a legal right to work in the country is a basic check that all employees need to go through – and provides assurance that the employee is honest and covers your business legally.

Previously, all checks needed to be conducted via face to face meetings and original ID documents needed to be physically presented and verified in person. This was often a tricky and time consuming process, especially if hiring people remotely, however since lockdown, these checks can now be completed digitally, meaning a quicker and easier process for both new employees and your team.

Sanctions check

Infiltration of financial, utility, regulatory and any number of other critical institutions within the UK is a chronic and serious problem, as international criminal and terrorist organisations attempt to covertly influence the policy and operations of organisations to ensure their ongoing benefit and survival. As such, conducting sanctions checks on your employees, particularly those who are in high level management positions, is critical to preventing serious financial, reputational and operational damage should you fall prey to such a malicious actor.

Using cutting edge matching algorithms, sanctions checks compare candidates against over 2,000 international sanctions, politically exposed persons and watch-lists to ensure your business is secured against insider threat and complies with relevant AML regulations.

Credit check

Retail businesses typically have high cashflow and significant capital tied up in stock, which is a considerable risk factor for theft and fraud. Particularly important for management roles, credit and fraud checks protect businesses against hiring people who are likely to commit fraud or theft.

Employment credit checks can indicate a candidate’s ability to manage finances, which for most positions does not have any bearing on a candidate’s competence in performing a role. However, they can identify candidates who are in financial duress, and therefore more likely to be motivated, induced or coerced to commit fraud, theft or numerous other crimes that may be of financial benefit.

As well as physical theft of stock, data theft such as sensitive customer information including personal details, passwords, and payment information is a considerable threat, as the amounts criminals are willing to pay for such data has skyrocketed in recent years. 

Employment credit checks are an essential element of mitigating the risk your staff pose to the business, by assuring you that there are no financial factors that could influence their motivations from benign to desperate, or even malicious.

How can Reed Screening help?

Reed Screening provides screening packages designed specifically for the needs of the retail industry, with packages pre-tailored to mitigate risk when hiring for popular roles such as facilities, sales assistants, or senior managers. We cover everything from permanent hires and fixed term contractors, to temporary/agency supply chain.

We can assure you that all your workers are screened to the high standard you need to ensure that your business is operating safely, efficiently and with appropriately qualified, responsible, and reliable staff.