With seasonal hiring expected to be at its highest level in years, fraud experts warn that companies that loosen their usual processes to ramp up staffing can wind up increasing their fraud risk.
Research by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) indicates that workplace fraud jumps 20% during the holiday season. Seasonal hires don’t account for the whole increase—some regular employees take advantage of the holiday frenzy to raid the cash register, too.
But undisciplined holiday hiring can let in fraudsters looking for an easy score that may not be detected until they’re long gone in January.
Says ethics expert Eric Feldman, “A company’s first defense against hiring unscrupulous employees who are intent upon helping themselves to their own holiday bonus is through thorough.”
Permanent employees need training to detect fraud, says the ACFE’s Bruce Dorris: “With increased volume and intense crowds, all employees need to apply additional vigilance in implementing fraud prevention techniques. Are employees aware of procedures for reporting suspicious activity by customers or co-workers? Do workers know the warning signs of fraud?”
Advice: Train all staff on basic fraud awareness—and your zero-tolerance policy against lawbreakers.