According to a study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 25 percent of internal fraud (theft in the workplace & fraud in the workplace issues) issues amounted to a loss of 1 million dollars on average. That’s a whole lot of money for one business to lose. It makes us wonder how many business are doing the criminal background check on each hired employee As a private investigator firm, we were not surprised by these employee theft statistics, but how as an employer do you handle internal theft in fraud?
Before Hiring: Background Check Canada
Before hiring an employee, do you or your HR staff run the recommended criminal background check on a new potential hire?
Do you check with references for each new employee diligently? Do these references report glowingly on the new candidate, or hesitantly? Even if you like a new hire very much from an interview, call those references. People can put on a good face when they need to.
Checking references and completing the background check Canada recommends is a smart first step to secure trustworthy staff.
Background Check, Virtual Style: Social Media Research
Today many of your employees and potential employees will have social media accounts and other networking tools such as LinkedIn.
Before interviewing your candidate or perhaps if you feel a current employee could be a suspicious candidate, why not do a review of his or her social media habits to see if you can learn more about this potential or current employee?
Use networking sites like LinkedIn to find references as well as commentary on this employee’s past work history and view social media sites to see how this person conducts him or herself in the public virtual world known as social media.
Perhaps what you see could indicate that he or she might be a prime candidate for theft in the workplace, or maybe not.
Theft in the Workplace Warning Signs
Watch your employees carefully as they may exhibit certain behaviors such as:
- Overnight passion to his or her job, frequently working overtime into the wee hours
- Any sign or indicator of substance abuse should be a red flag for potential theft in the workplace issues
- Living a lifestyle way above the person’s salary
- Refusing to participate in workplace procedures related to supply and or finances
Don’t get lumped into employee theft statistics. Monitor your staff, use the criminal background check before choosing a candidate and review references thoroughly, and in the worst- case scenario if an internal fraud or theft issue arises try these strategies:
- Is it theft or fraud? In Canada, it’s considered theft in the workplace if an employee takes under and up to $5,000 but if the theft is over $5,000, you’ve got a case of internal fraud
- Make sure you have proof of theft. You need to have enough evidence to substantiate the claim, which may mean keeping on an employee before having enough evidence to make a charge. Again, did you do your background check Canada for this employee? If you didn’t, do it now.
- Document everything.
- Terminating the employee comes before pressing any charges if indeed you plan to. Look over all contracts and any agreements to be sure you as the employer are not breaking any legal and binding contracts. If the employee is an at-will employee, terminating the employee should be relatively simple.
- Keep the word mum: don’t share the reason for termination. Let the investigation commence and stay quiet about your reasons.
- Be safe: have an internal security system and adopt a zero-tolerance policy for stealing from staff members as well as the company.
Handling employee theft is difficult and can take time to prove and build your case, but the best prevention for theft in the workplace is smart hiring!