Needless to say, winter is an important time of the year for the retail industry.
This is, of course, reflected by data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing a sharp annual spike in hiring temporary labor.
Figure 1: seasonal hiring of temporary labor (department stores only)
With such a large influx of new employees, employers must carefully balance the need to fill much-needed positions with the risks associated with bringing on large numbers of new employees in a short time-frame.
Of course, on-boarding employees in the face of an in-congruent and rapidly evolving regulatory environment can quickly become a complex undertaking.
If we are to agree then that background checking is a necessary component of hiring, then employers should be asking: How to design a background screening program that on-boards the right people without hindrance while still ensuring that we act with due diligence and in compliance with all applicable laws?
Fortunately, there are best practices that can be followed to help extend a positive candidate experience into the background screening process:
- Audit last season – what worked? What didn’t work? One can learn much by looking at data.
- Start early – get a leg up on the competition by being more organized.
- Tap into existing labor pools – can you rehire the previously trained temps?
- Go mobile – your customers and your labor force are mobile. Your recruiting and screening program should be also.
- Mind regulations – compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), federal and state equal employment opportunity laws, “ban the box” regulations, and various other laws can be quite tricky. Make sure you understand your obligations. And if you don’t, talk to legal counsel who does.
- A very, merry screening experience – seasonal hiring can be a highly effective way to identify potential permanent staff members so you’ll want to work with a background screening vendor who focuses on the candidate experience.
Employers that require seasonal labor can avoid many of the potential pitfalls brought on by cyclical hiring by adopting a careful and thoughtful approach to their overall program.
Though the organization is under considerable pressure to meet the demands of peak season, proper planning can help alleviate some of this strain and make it a merry hiring season.
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