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NAPBS Urges Employers to Focus on the Importance of Background Screening this Holiday Season

11/18/2013 | 11:24am EST

The Association Offers Do's and Don'ts for Conducting Employee Background Checks

It's that time of year again, when employers are in hiring mode for seasonal temporary workers to bolster their workforce in anticipation of the barrage of shoppers, diners and visitors this holiday season. The global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that retail stores will hire 700,000 temporary workers to weather the holiday shopping rush.

As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) reminds employers that properly screening job applicants is more important than ever.

"Seasonal workers are an absolute necessity to handle the increased volume of customer transactions during the holidays, but employers need to make sure they're not compromising their hiring process in the rush to find workers to meet the increased demand," said Judy Gootkind, NAPBS Chair. "Consumers willingly share their personal information in increasingly crowded stores and restaurants, and it's an employer's responsibility to make sure their workers are both skilled and trustworthy. Now is not the time to cut corners when faced with time sensitive hiring decisions."

Background screening enables employers to meet their legal responsibilities for providing a safe and secure environment for their existing employees and the customers they serve. By using a professional background screening company to conduct background checks, employers will receive the most timely and accurate information under the appropriate state and federal laws.

"For our part, NAPBS has developed educational programs and training aimed at helping our members to better serve their clients and to maintain the highest standards of professional excellence, accuracy and legal compliance, including a comprehensive company accreditation program as well as individual certification programs," said Gootkind.

Background screening is also an effective tool for mitigating risks, such as theft or violence in the workplace. According to the 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey released by Jack L. Hayes International, one out of every 40 employees stole from their retail employer in 2012, and on average, dishonest employees steal approximately 5.5 times the amount of retail goods than true shoplifters.

NAPBS offers some Do's and Don'ts for conducting effective background checks during the heavy holiday hiring period:


Don't try the do-it-yourself approach to background screening - Conducting a Google search or quickly checking social media is not adequate or appropriate for vetting potential employees and could leave you open to legal issues.


Do hire a professional background screener - Partnering with a professional will ensure you obtain the most comprehensive and accurate data to help make informed hiring decisions.


Do treat all employees the same during the background screening process. Whether full-time, part-time or seasonal, they are still your employees and will most likely be interacting with your customers every day. The classification of their employment should not change the need for conducting a background screen.


Do make sure you're aware of your responsibilities as an employer under the law - Background checks are subject to state and federal laws intended to protect those being screened, so obtain an understanding of what you are required to do by law to avoid penalties.


Don't fail to communicate with the job applicant - Notify the applicant prior to conducting a background check and allow enough time for the individual to resolve any disputes related to information on the background check.


The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is the leading national resource for issues related to the background screening profession. NAPBS promotes and advocates for ethical business practices and fosters awareness of privacy rights and consumer protection issues. NAPBS is the foremost leader in the movement toward establishing generally accepted and reliable standards for background screening professionals and organizations. For more information on background screening, visit our website at www.napbs.com.

National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)
Media Contact:
Abbey Race, 202-223-4933

ę Business Wire 2013
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