The summer season is upon us. During this time of year, many employers hire additional staff to attend to the increased demands on their business. Many young people seize on these opportunities by landing jobs to earn some income during breaks in their academic calendars. But in the haste of looking to fill what are often viewed as “temporary” positions, employers often do not devote the time or resources required to ensure that they are hiring the right people.
Every summer season promises to bring a sharp increase in the amount of young people looking for work. Many high school and college students look for employment during their summer breaks. In addition, recent college graduate typically enter the full-time job market for the first time. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that between April to July of that year, “the number of employed youth 16 to 24-years-old increased by 2.1 million to 20.1 million.”
Likewise, employers from various industries look to rapidly hire seasonal employees who can fulfill the growing needs of their businesses during the summer months. A huge amount of summer jobs open up in numerous industries like tourism, hospitality, entertainment, dining and farming.
But, far too many employers make the mistake of restricting their hiring budgets for the summer season. All too often, employers believe that it is not worth investing too heavily in the summer hiring process. They frequently make this decision based on the fact that many of their openings are for low-level jobs that will only exist for a temporary period. Employers usually convince themselves that there are ultimately no long-term requirements on their part.
As a result, business owners often take a frugal approach towards investing time and finances into finding out about the full backgrounds of their seasonal employees. They instead choose to scale back their usual processes for vetting regular full-time employees, when hiring seasonal employees.
This, however, can prove to be a serious mistake for several reasons. As a hiring manager, it behooves you to keep the following three variables in mind:
- Seasonal employees are on the front-line serving your customers. In most work settings, summer hires and regular full-time employees usually have the same level of access to customers. Seasonal employees often directly interface with the consumers that they are serving. As a consequence, they can really dictate a customer’s perception of your service delivery. Even worse, potential exists for a summer hire to unintentionally or intentionally physically harm your customers. Therefore, seasonal employees pose just as big of a liability risk as regular full-time employees. At a very minimum, a summer worker can damage your branding efforts.
- Seasonal employees can easily access your inventory, cash-flow, and private data. For the most part, seasonal employees usually work in industries that grant summer hires immediate access to a variety of valuable commodities. Depending on the nature of your business, your seasonal employees may have the same level of access to its cash-flow, merchandise and confidential records as your regular full-time employees. The possibility of employee theft has to be top of mind issues when hiring seasonal employees. You need to be thinking about how to minimize your potential losses.
- Seasonal employees can affect the mindset of your workforce and its productivity. Seasonal workers are typically integrated into the workforce of an organization just like any regular full-time employees. If you unknowingly hire a deceitful employee that has an unscrupulous past, their devious ways could corrupt your workforce. Other employees could now be influenced to behave in a deplorable and lawless manner. Moreover, even your hardest-working and most principled employees could become apathetic about working in such an environment. Worst of all, your employees could feel threatened if they end up having to work with a summer hire that is prone to acting violent.
As an employer, it is easy for you to rationalize not making a financial commitment towards vetting your temporary seasonal employees. But the aforementioned variables exemplify the inherent risks that exist in hiring summer staff. A deleterious seasonal employee could potentially damage your brand’s reputation and even cost your organization an enormous amount of money in lawsuits.
You need to approach your summer hiring cycle with a commitment towards implementing and executing a rigorous pre-employment screening program. You should establish a screening program that has definitive procedures and stringent requirements for hiring seasonal employees. You should be operating your summer hiring process with the same level of due diligence that you practice during your regular hiring cycles.
More often than not, it makes the most economical sense to work with an experienced background screening company that can provide the expertise needed to thoroughly vet your summer job candidates. You will want to be sure that they have the capacity to conduct comprehensive criminal background searches on all of your candidates. This will help to ensure that you do not risk unintentionally hiring a summer worker with a criminal history.
It is also imperative that your background screening provider is able to confirm your candidates’ work histories, professional references, and educational record. You should only consider providers that can prove they can offer efficient verification services. Such a service will verify your candidates’ employment credentials and educational background.
By taking cues from other employers who do not conduct pre-employment screenings on seasonal employees, you run the risk of costing your organization its reputation and potentially thousands of dollars. Many young people are about to converge on the summer job market, and you want to be sure that you are taking the steps necessary to choose the talent that will directly benefit your business.
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