Employee theft

Workplace Theft: How to Prevent It During the Hiring Process

Workplace theft is a form of workplace violence that involves employees stealing or misappropriating company assets or resources. These thefts can affect both tangible assets and intangible ones, such as information, time, or ideas. Dishonest employees can cause significant financial losses and damage the company’s reputation, making the hiring process for workplace security crucial in preventing employee theft.

In this article, we will discuss how to prevent workplace theft through a proper hiring process. We will analyze the different types of controls that can be implemented during the hiring process, from thorough resume and reference checks to psychometric tests and detailed interviews.

Additionally, we will offer practical tips for identifying potential warning signs during the hiring process, such as inconsistencies in the employment history or unethical attitudes in interviews. We will also discuss how to establish clear and transparent policies regarding the handling of money and other valuable resources to prevent workplace theft. In summary, this article will be a comprehensive guide to help you protect your company against workplace theft through safe hiring practices.

The Impact of Workplace Theft

Workplace theft can have devastating consequences for a company. It not only represents tangible financial losses but also damages employee morale and affects trust within the team. Additionally, thefts can harm the company’s reputation and image with customers, suppliers, and business partners.

Financial losses from workplace theft can be significant, directly impacting the company’s revenue and profitability. This can lead to staff cuts, reduced investments, or even business closure in extreme cases. Moreover, the time and resources invested in investigating and resolving these incidents also represent an additional cost to the company.

However, the impact goes beyond financial losses. Theft creates a tense and distrustful work environment where employees feel insecure and demotivated. This lack of trust can negatively affect productivity and the quality of work performed. It can also generate tension among team members, affecting work relationships and hindering collaboration.

Causes of Workplace Theft

According to a study by the Spanish Association of Security Companies, 70% of Spanish companies experienced some form of internal theft in 2020, resulting in losses exceeding 50 million euros.

But what causes workplace theft? There is no single answer, as it is a complex and multifactorial phenomenon that depends on various individual, organizational, and social factors. Some possible causes are:

  • Job Dissatisfaction: When workers do not feel valued, recognized, or rewarded for their work, they may develop negative attitudes towards the company and feel tempted to steal as a way to compensate for their dissatisfaction or seek revenge.
  • Lack of Control: When security and surveillance systems are weak or nonexistent, employees may perceive a low probability of being caught or punished for stealing, reducing perceived risk and increasing the opportunity to commit the crime.
  • Economic Pressure: When workers face personal or family financial difficulties, they may resort to theft as a way to earn extra income or meet basic needs.
  • Social Influence: When workers see or know of colleagues who steal without facing negative consequences, they may imitate the behavior or justify it as normal or acceptable within the organizational culture.
  • Lack of Ethics: When workers lack moral values or ethical principles that prevent them from stealing, they may act out of selfishness, greed, or disrespect for others.

These are just some possible causes of workplace theft, but many other factors can influence each specific case. The important thing is for companies to be aware of the problem and adopt preventive and corrective measures to avoid or minimize it.

Importance of Hiring to Prevent Workplace Theft

The hiring process plays a crucial role in preventing workplace theft, as it allows companies to identify and hire trustworthy and ethical individuals. By carefully selecting candidates, companies reduce the risk of hiring people with criminal backgrounds or prone to fraudulent behavior. Additionally, by evaluating applicants’ skills and competencies, companies can identify those who demonstrate responsibility and honesty, contributing to a safe and trustworthy work environment.

The hiring process also involves verifying references and employment history to get a more complete picture of the candidate. Ensuring reliable staff from the start reduces the likelihood of workplace theft incidents and protects the integrity of the business.

Types of Control During the Hiring Process

By using the following controls during the hiring process, companies can reduce the risk of hiring untrustworthy individuals or those with problematic backgrounds:

  • Background Checks: Verifying criminal and employment records to identify any prior criminal history or fraudulent behavior.
  • Personal and Professional References: Obtaining information about the candidate’s personality and behavior in similar work situations.
  • Psychometric Tests: Evaluating the candidate’s skills and aptitudes, as well as their suitability for the position.
  • Structured Interviews: Obtaining information about the candidate’s work experience, professional ethics, and personal values.

Warning Signs During the Hiring Process

During the hiring process, it is important to be aware of certain warning signs that may indicate potential problems. Some of these signs include:

  • Discrepancies in the information provided by the candidate.
  • Evasive or contradictory answers during the interview.
  • Lack of personal or professional references.
  • Unstable work history or short employment periods.
  • Lack of relevant skills or experience for the position.

Suspicious behaviors or unethical attitudes during the selection process should also be considered warning signs. Being vigilant about these signs can help identify potentially problematic candidates and avoid future issues.

Characteristics of a Dishonest Worker

A dishonest worker is someone who lacks truthfulness, commitment, and ethics in their work performance, causing harm to the company, colleagues, and themselves. Some characteristics that can identify a dishonest worker are:

  • Lies or Deception: A dishonest worker lies or deceives to hide mistakes, evade responsibilities, gain undue benefits, or harm others. For example, they may lie about their work experience, results, schedules, or activities.
  • Manipulation or Falsification: A dishonest worker alters or distorts information or documents to deceive, hide, or benefit themselves. For example, they may manipulate report data, forge a signature or invoice, or plagiarize work.
  • Badmouthing or Criticism: A dishonest worker spends time badmouthing or criticizing bosses, colleagues, or clients without respect or basis. This attitude can create a negative, conflictive, and distrustful work environment.
  • Non-compliance or Betrayal: A dishonest worker does not respect or comply with company agreements, rules, or values. They act selfishly, irresponsibly, or disloyally without regard for the consequences to others. For example, they may miss a deadline, task, or promise or betray a colleague’s or client’s trust.

These are some characteristics that can define a dishonest worker. However, it is important to note that dishonesty is not a fixed or immutable quality but can vary depending on the context, circumstances, and motivations of each person.

Why Video Resumes Help Reduce Workplace Theft

A video resume is an innovative and effective tool for candidates to present themselves for a job. It is a short video, between 1 and 3 minutes, where they showcase their professional background, skills, and personality creatively and originally.

Here are some reasons why this format can be beneficial in preventing and reducing workplace theft during the hiring process:

  • Better Candidate Understanding: By seeing and hearing the candidates, you can have a more real and closer first impression than with a simple paper. You can assess their body language, tone of voice, facial expression, and attitude, and detect possible signs of dishonesty or falseness.
  • Reference Verification: By watching the video resume, you can compare the information provided by the candidates with the references they attach. For example, you can see if the work they show is really theirs or if they worked at the companies they claim. This way, you can avoid hiring people who lie about their experience or qualifications.
  • Promote an Ethical Culture: By requesting a video resume from candidates, you are conveying that your company values innovation, creativity, and transparency. This can attract people who share these values and identify with your project. This way, you can create a committed and responsible team that respects the company’s rules and resources.

These are some of the advantages that a video resume can have in preventing or reducing workplace theft. If you want to incorporate this format into your selection processes, we recommend downloading Cazvid, the only application for job search and hiring in video format.

Recommendations to Prevent or Avoid Workplace Theft

Here are some general recommendations that can help protect your business against workplace theft:

  • Access Control: Implement a modern and efficient access control system to prevent theft and theft within the company. With a smartphone door opening system, the security level of the business will be increased, providing greater agility in the entry and exit of personnel.
  • Assign Access Permissions: To prevent many of the internal thefts and robberies that occur in a business, one of the fundamental measures is the assignment of access permissions for staff, collaborators, and external agents (such as suppliers or maintenance services) to the company’s facilities. This way, access to the most sensitive or vulnerable areas, such as warehouses, safes, or offices, can be restricted.
  • Conduct Periodic Inventories: Keep a thorough control of the stock of products, materials, and resources to prevent workplace theft. By conducting periodic inventories, any anomalies or losses can be detected and appropriate measures taken to correct or sanction them.
  • Use Other Control and Surveillance Methods: Besides access control, other methods can help deter or prevent workplace theft, such as security cameras, alarms, detectors, or barcodes. These systems allow monitoring activity within the business and recording any incidents or suspicions.
  • Promote an Ethical and Responsible Culture: Finally, it is essential to create a work environment based on trust, respect, and responsibility. Inform and raise awareness among staff about the negative consequences of workplace theft for the company and themselves, establish clear rules and proportional sanctions for theft cases, promote participation and communication among workers, and offer anonymous reporting or advice channels for those who need them.

Conclusion

To prevent and avoid workplace theft and its devastating consequences, the hiring process is the primary source of your employee base. Its importance lies in that if you select poorly and the employees end up stealing, it leads to what is known as indirect complicity.

A video resume is one of the tools that, combined with others, can help improve your hiring process, especially from a human perspective. This tool is ideal for making your first resume screening, and Cazvid is the application that will undoubtedly help you achieve this.

 

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