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The Cost of Hiring the Wrong Workers

HiringHiring the right employees is an ongoing challenge for independent home improvement retailers, but failing to do so comes with a price tag.

One of the top two reasons for inventory loss/shrinkage in retail is employee theft, according to research from the National Retail Federation. The No. 1 cause is shoplifting, but the No. 2 cause, employee theft, costs a business more.

The average dollar amount lost per dishonest employee is approximately $1,234 versus $377 for shoplifting, the research shows.

Yet the measures retailers take to prescreen potential new hires are frequently minimal. Despite the expense of employee theft, nearly 40 percent of retailers don’t verify prospective employees’ employment histories and even fewer check personal references, the National Retail Federation reports.


Applied to Retail:

The costs of hiring quickly just to fill a position rather than finding the best person for your business can be high. Think through how you can improve your hiring process. If you and your managers hire without checking references or calling past employers, you may be exposing your business to unnecessary theft risks.

The benefits of hiring carefully are plentiful—a retailer not only can get a better feel for job applicants’ honesty, but can also reduce turnover by finding employees who will care more about the business and be a better fit for the company overall.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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