Why Background Checks are Important When Hiring Seasonal Employees

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28 January 2022 >> , , , ,

Why Background Checks are Important When Hiring Seasonal Employees

Why Background Checks are Important When Hiring Seasonal Employees

KEY TAKEAWAY: If you miss this crucial step in your hiring process, you could end up paying for it in the long term. Here’s why background checks are important when hiring seasonal employees.

By Elly McGuinness

As the busy winter holiday season draws nearer, many businesses in North America will be looking to take on seasonal employees. When seasonal hiring is done well, it helps businesses to thrive during a time of higher work volume. This becomes possible without adding to the workload of permanent employees, who may want to take time off during this time of the year.

Overall, hiring seasonal workers is a valuable, money-saving strategy for many industries. It enables businesses to meet the demands of the holiday season without needing to pay all employees on a year-round basis. During the quieter times of the year, permanent full-time and part-time employees cover all the bases. And, during the busiest times, employers may bring in seasonal workers to meet the extra demands of the business.

Industries that may hire seasonal employees over the winter

Every industry has its unique ebbs and flows over the course of the year, and there are several that are most likely to hire seasonal employees over the winter season. These industries include the following:

The retail sector

Customers are looking to purchase gifts for friends, family, colleagues, and employees over the Christmas and New Year seasons. This makes it one of the busiest times of the year for the retail sector. 

As well as customer-facing roles, extra help is needed with administration, stocking shelves, and more. Retail stores and shopping centers may also hire their very own holiday characters, where seasonal workers are hired to dress up as a particular character.

The hospitality industry

Winter season celebrations, work functions, and an overall increased intake of food and beverages call for more hands-on deck in hotels, restaurants, and similar hospitality-centric businesses. 

The postal industry

Although holiday snail mail may be less popular than it once was, the soaring popularity of online shopping keeps the postal industry busier than ever over the Christmas holiday season.

Winter-specific jobs

There are plenty of new job roles that are created especially for snowy winter seasons. These include the many opportunities in winter recreation spots like ski hills, cold-weather resorts, as well as roles with snow removal companies, for example.

Why background checks are important when hiring seasonal employees

It might be tempting to skip the background checks for seasonal employees, given that they’ll probably only be with your organization for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. After all, skipping this step appears to save time and money.

However, background checks for seasonal employees should be considered just as important as those for your year-round employees. Miss this crucial step and you could end up paying for it in the long term.

Some of the main reasons that background checks are important for seasonal workers are outlined as follows.

Employee theft is a widespread problem that is estimated to cost 5% of a business’s annual revenue, on average 

A survey of 5,000 companies estimated a total financial loss of $42 billion from employee fraud. Employee theft has the potential to impact a business’s bottom line significantly more than the cost involved for background checks. 

It’s possible that the incidence of theft could also be higher during the holiday season when business is busier and financial stresses for employees may be higher. Additionally, seasonal workers may not hold the same level of loyalty to the company as long-term employees. Employee background checks help minimize the risk of employee theft impacting a business.

Knowledge of previous illegal conduct helps employers to make good hiring decisions

Background employee checks alert employers to any previous criminal convictions including violence, fraud, drug abuse, and theft. This allows the employer to make a more informed decision about whether the prospective seasonal worker is a good fit for the company.

Happy holiday customers

Thorough background checks of seasonal employees are important for keeping customers happy at an often-busy time of the year. If you skip essential steps when looking for and hiring seasonal employees, you may also be missing out on the competency, quality, and exemplary customer service that’s needed to keep customers happy during the often hectic and chaotic winter season.

Seasonal workers can become permanent workers or regular seasonal workers

You may choose to offer high-performing seasonal workers a permanent role after the winter season. If you’ve covered all the necessary checks from the outset, you’ll have an easier transition into the demands of the New Year ahead. 

Similarly, some workers in search of part-time seasonal employment may be interested in filling the same role every winter season. If you take the time to select the right seasonal employees from the beginning, they might wish to return for subsequent winter seasons. This saves both time and money in your future seasonal hiring process.

Tips for background checks of seasonal workers

Once you’ve determined that background checks are a good idea for seasonal employees, you’re still probably going to want to make the process as efficient as possible in terms of both time and cost. You may want to bring several seasonal workers on in a short space of time. It’s a busy time of year and you’ll want to ensure a high-quality and reliable seasonal workforce. Therefore, here are some top tips to streamline the process:

  • Outsource background checks to a professional company. This saves time because you don’t need to call previous employers yourself. It also ensures the process is carried out professionally and legally.
    • SureHire has your employee background checks covered. These include criminal record checks, and education and employment verifications to ensure you’re selecting the right person for your job role. Best of all, these are done quickly and efficiently to meet the needs of your business during the upcoming winter season. Find out about SureHire’s Pre-Employment Background Check Services here.
  • Use online background checks, rather than those that involve paperwork.
  • Plan early for holiday season hiring. When you plan early, you can get requests for background checks done early, and have more time available for onboarding and training.

Pre-employment background checks for seasonal workers are one important aspect to consider for the upcoming holiday season. It’s also important to remember that seasonal workers are protected under employment law and have many of the same rights as permanent employees. 

Set Your Business Up For Success

With the importance of background checks and the tips to help you successfully navigate the process in mind, you should be able to prepare your business to thrive in the winter season.

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