Worker theft on the rise as cost-of-living crisis hits UK households
Businesses are being warned of the increased risk of worker theft due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis affecting UK households. Sterling, a specialist background screening and identity services firm, has advised companies to exercise caution when hiring new employees. According to reports by insurer Zurich UK, employee theft increased by 19% in 2022 compared to the previous year. With household budgets under further pressure, it is vital that employers minimize the potential risks of a bad hire.
In addition to this, employers are also facing a shortage of workers, with two-thirds of employers struggling to fill open vacancies, according to data published by BusinessLDN, FSB London, LCCI and CBI London. Sterling has warned businesses of the dangers of rushing through the hiring process without proper compliance and financial checks.
Steve Smith, President of International at Sterling, explained the potential consequences of a bad hire. “The cost of a wrong hire can be detrimental to a business on a number of levels. Aside from the wasted time and money invested, the risk posed to a firm is significant. During a period of continued skills shortages, there can be a tendency to focus on speed of hire, which has the potential to negatively impact robust and compliant staff screening.”
Smith highlighted the importance of robust screening processes that look beyond an individual’s right to work, qualifications, or experience. Social media screening, for example, can help identify the level of risk of fraudulent or unscrupulous behavior that an applicant poses to the brand. However, screening through online platforms needs to be handled with due care as it is fraught with compliance challenges.
In conclusion, the cost-of-living crisis has created a unique economic climate that has put pressure on UK households. This has resulted in an increase in worker theft, making it crucial for businesses to exercise caution when hiring new employees. A bad hire can have a significant impact on a business, and proper screening processes are essential to minimize the potential risks.