Business Owners: How to Prevent Employee Theft

Are you a small to medium sized business owner?  If so, you may wear many hats.  One of your duties is to prevent theft.  Unfortunately, most theft, even in the retail industry, comes from the inside.  What does this mean?  That your employees may be stealing from you.  So, How to Prevent Employee Theft from happening?

Know Who You Hire

When hiring a new employee, do more than just ask for a resume. Have all applicants complete an application.  Job applications are often reserved for the retail and food industry, but this simple sheet of paper can give you a lot of information.  All standard job applications have a section inquiring about criminal history.  With resumes, this information is rarely disclosed.  In most case, if you aren’t asked, you won’t be told.

As a business owner, you will encounter many people in your travels.  This may give you a good sense of judgment.  For that reason, use it.  Of course, do not just people based solely on looks, but follow your gut instinct during a job interview.  Do you feel as if you are being lied to or deceived?  Does the interviewee make you feel uncomfortable?  Always follow your first instinct, as you will be right a good percentage of the time.  Truthfully, are you really willing to take the chance?

As previously stated, the best way to prevent employee theft is to know who you hire.  This requires a background check.  Yes, extensive background checks do cost money, but all business owners should consider them a wise investment.  Perform a background check that includes a criminal history.  Do not hire someone who has been convicted of a theft before.  Their chances of recommitting are high.  If you want to do a good dead, hire that person, but keep them away from valuables and monitor their movements at work.

In addition to a background check, perform a credit check.  Unfortunately, this practice is occasionally frowned upon.  In today’s economy, good people have fallen on hard times.  For that reason, the age old saying of “a person who owes a lot of money is likely to steal,” doesn’t necessarily apply to today’s standards.  After all, that is why “good people,” want jobs; to improve their finances and their credit rating.  It is best to use a credit check combined with a background check.

Aside from a credit check and background check, the telephone is your next best investigative tool.  Use it to contact all provided references.  Never hire an employee without first speaking to a personal reference and a former employer.  References are provided because they will give a good response, so don’t rely solely on them.

If you truly want to know who you are hiring, use the internet.  You can learn a lot about a person simply by performing a standard internet search on Google.  Social networking websites, blogs, and other personally operated websites should appear with a standard internet search.  New hires do not expect to have employers reading their personal websites, so you can gain insight to someone’s true identity.  Is that a person you want to employ?

Background Check
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