Summer employment for companies can be a blessing and a curse. Hiring the wrong people without performing a summer employment background check can lead to bringing on staff with unsavory intentions.
Sure, plenty of high school and college students are itching to volunteer, intern, or even get a paid job while they’re out of the classroom. It’s great to have that extra labor over the busy summer months, but sometimes that extra labor can lead to extra headaches for business owners and managers.
While the majority of employers perform some sort of pre-employment background screening during the regular hiring process, summer hires, interns, student workers, and volunteers often slip through with no criminal or background screening whatsoever. In this guide, we’ll talk about the importance of instituting regular summer employment background checks for all temporary workers, and how employers can better protect their reputation and minimize the risk of hiring dishonest workers over the summer.
Why Background Checks for Summer Employees Matter
Some businesses think that thorough background screening is not necessary for temporary summer employees because they only have limited access to facilities and company information. However, dishonest workers can pose threats to the safety of your other workers as well as the integrity of your business well beyond their temporary employment.
According to the 2018 Jack L. Hayes International Annual Retail Theft Survey, one out of every 35 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer. Other jarring stats included 57 percent of companies surveyed saw an increase in employee theft apprehension, and 48 percent recovered more dollars from employees stealing from them year over year. These numbers can keep any company owner up over a summer night.
Here are some common reasons employers think summer employment background checks are unnecessary:
They won’t be hired on that long
Temp workers over the summer months typically only stay with a company for a few months. What are the odds someone here for that short of time can really cause any harm? Actually, the odds are pretty high.
Summer employees and volunteers are just as likely to be dishonest and damaging as full-time employees. Organizations that fail to properly recognize these risks are setting themselves up for risks that can include costly legal battles, lawsuits, stolen goods or property, or lighter cash registers.
Background checks cost too much
You might ask yourself, “Why should I make an unnecessary expense for a lower-paying job?” Couple that with the fact it’s a temporary position, and you could convince yourself it’s not worth the expense.
While background checks do cost money, it is smart business to realize the importance of checking out an employee’s background. This is especially true if they are working with vulnerable populations, such as children or the elderly.
They were referred by another employee
A friend of a friend is often the way summer hires get their jobs. Just because a current employee says you can trust someone doesn’t mean you should take their word for it when your company’s integrity and image are on the line. Believing that the friend is as honest as the current employee is a dangerous assumption for the employer to make.
Unfortunately, your employee might not be giving you the whole truth and is looking out more for their friend than you. Such secrets friends are hiding, like hidden criminal records or criminal convictions, could be dangerous for your company or non-profit to take on.
Tips for Minimizing Dishonest Summer Employees
Businesses that do not carefully screen temporary job applicants are also putting their customers and other employees at risk. The employer could be held liable for negligent hiring if a dishonest candidate caused harm to another individual while on the job. Here are some procedures you can put into place at your company to reduce the chances of hiring dishonest or dangerous summer employees.
- Become familiar with your local and state background check laws
- Establish a policy for screening all summer hires
- Obtain a signed authorization form to complete the background check
- Use all background screening tools that you have access to
- Obey Fair Credit and Reporting Act requirements should you deny employment
These guidelines will help you make the right hiring decisions for all summer employees.
Trust Barada Associates for Your Summer Employment Background Checks
At Barada Associates, we perform a variety of background check services, even for temporary summer employment. It’s best to go with the experts when it’s your business on the line. Since 1979, we have developed a reputation as the premier provider of reference reports and background screenings. Let Barada help you run your summer employment background checks. Contact us for more information or schedule a consultation to get started.