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Background Checks

Background Checks

Hiring the right people for your team involves a 3 step process

  1. Find the right person
  2. Onboard them the right way
  3. Treat them right

The Search

Finding the right person is not about hiring the best applicant. The right person may not have even applied. If you settle on the best applicant from a group of resumes that only meet half of the criteria of the job, you will have many hurdles, challenges, and frustration ahead of you.

Match the criteria of the job to the skill set of the individual. Ensure that the incumbent’s behaviour, beliefs, and ethics align with the culture of your company, and do not skip the critical step of doing some background research. Their education, employment, and integrity are well worth looking into. A criminal background check should be a standard in any organization whereby staff is trusted with cash, valuables, and customer safety.

Triton offers a cost-effective, online solution to meet the needs of retailers wishing to conduct criminal record checks. As a subscriber to Bottom Line Matters, you qualify for a discount on services.

If the right person has not applied, hold off! Go find them! Don’t settle for second best. You deserve better.

Your employees are a reflection of you when you are not around.


The first impression an employee has with an organization can be a long-lasting one. They will quickly judge your culture, and the habits they acquire in the first few days will stay with them for a very long time.

Many retail companies will skip the first few days of health and safety training for example. “We want to find out if they have what it takes,” they say. I would argue that if you skip giving them the tools, they will fail. Set them up for success and invest on the front side. The case study below gives an account of just how important the first few days are.



Data Source: NRMA 1987 Loss Prevention Conference 

Learning by osmosis can also have a negative impact on your organization. The “on the job training” that most companies subscribe to should be a formal approach where the person that the new hire job shadows is certified. The certification process should be a validation that what will be taught is according to your standard operating practices, and not shortcuts. Shortcuts can be bad habits and are usually the root cause of a retail gone wrong.


Treating an employee right has a lot to do with recognition, accountability, appreciation, and the resulting engagement they will have with your company.

Many years ago a study was conducted on the performance of teams. In brief, they concluded that behaviour increased as a result of observation by management, not just the changes that were made to the workplace. This is known as The Hawthorne Effect. It is also the root of Human Resources Management Systems and the notion that engagement increases performance.

Engagement (in the human resources model) is the emotional attachment and commitment one has to another (person or business). It is measured by what an employee says and feels about their employer. High engagement workplaces typically are associated with a strong “leader”. Low engagement workplaces typically have a “boss” at the helm.

The way a leader treats their employees is how engaged the employee will be.

A key point with respect to treatment and respect is accountability. If you see something that needs correcting, do not be afraid to immediately state that the behaviour is not acceptable. If challenged, remind the employee that accountability IS respectful. It sets the path for success. To ignore poor performance is actually disrespectful – because you do not allow the employee to learn and they will fail.


If you follow all three steps, the likelihood of a healthier bottom line increases exponentially.

About Stephen O'Keefe

As an independent consultant I leverage my experience and knowledge to help a number of companies achieve results. Clients range from non-retailers looking for guidance to serve their retail customer, to retailers looking for quick solutions to unique and costly problems, right to the Industry Association. Bottom line Matters!

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