5 Tips for Hiring Seasonal Retail Employees

Posted on 10.16.2019

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With the busiest shopping season of the year nearing, many Canadian retailers are gearing up for hiring seasonal retail staff to make it through the holidays.

We recently wrote about the results of the 2019 National Retail Security Survey and employee theft trends. This is particularly important to keep in mind when hiring seasonal retail employees.

We have put together five best practices to keep in mind when hiring for the holidays. These tips will help keep your retailer protected and work to ensure a lucrative holiday season!

  • Screen candidates for all positions.
  • Stick to your hiring process even if you are desperate for staff or a current employee recommends a friend.
  • Don’t skip the reference checks.
  • Build pre-screening into the application process.
  • Centralize your pre-employment screenings with one provider.

Pre-employment background checks are a great way to catch potential issues with a candidate before they begin working for you. However, in a busy retail hiring season, like the holidays, it can be easy to skip this step. But this can be to a retailer’s detriment.

It also might be tempting to only screen candidates for cash-handling positions. But with the rise of “buy-online-pick-up-in-store” (BOPIS) services, and more retailers today offering delivery, many retail locations are being used as order fulfillment centres — which leaves room for theft and organized crime.

It is therefore in your best interest to screen all candidates handling product — those directly associated with cash and those fulfilling orders, working in the warehouse, and beyond.

While this may take a little extra work upfront, with a standardized procedure (like the pre-employment screening service offered by Triton Canada) it is much quicker and simpler than you might think.

The holiday retail hiring season can present many challenges for staffing — including sometimes not enough candidates.

Many employers across Canada have reported in the past year that they are having trouble meeting all their staffing needs. This could lead retailers to hire anyone who applies on the basis that they are desperate for staff. Or, if a current employee recommends a friend, retailers might skip the formal hiring process and approve the candidate based on the referral.

Again, while this may be tempting, it is better to stick to the process. A bad hire can do far more harm than being understaffed, be it through theft, harassment, or other long-term repercussions.

Reference checks are a critical part of the hiring process that are sometimes left out when in a time crunch or hiring for temporary positions. But reference checks can tell you far more than meets the eye.

For instance, a candidate might look great on paper, interview well, and have a clean criminal background check and credit check, but a reference will tell you they were fired for harassing customers.

Make the pre-employment screening part of the application process to save time, save costs, and normalize the process.

This could look like writing out who you will screen and when it will happen. For instance, you might only screen a candidate when you are sure you want to offer them the job vs. screening all candidates.

You can also communicate in job postings that this will be a requirement, so it doesn’t come as a surprise.

This is another way to save time and money during the pre-employment screening process.

For instance, you could centralize all of your background checks through Triton Canada. This would allow you to complete as many screenings as you need when you need them. Triton also offers fast turnaround times, making it even more efficient.

This way you can screen candidates while still hiring in a timely manner.

Make the most of the holiday retail season by working with Triton Canada to screen seasonal retail candidates.

Learn more about our pre-employment background checks by calling 1-844-874-8667 or visiting www.tritoncanada.ca/business.