Photo via iStockphoto/Yuri_Arcurs
An extremely high percentage of car rental professionals act in a responsible fashion and keep their operation’s best interest at heart while doing the right thing to serve their customers.
However, a few rotten apples can ruin the image, atmosphere and working environment of an operation in an instant.
On-site crime can take place in the form of employees taking additional liberties with your fleet, rental agents permitting additional discounts, unchecked team members “liberating” items from the lost and found or someone blatantly stealing from the cash drawer.
The following strategies will help lower your potential employee theft risk and improve your bottom line.
A Tough Interview Process Generates Good Employees
Establishing a multi-step interview process will provide your team enough checkpoints to spot potential trouble employees.
- Establish a stage-one interview screening call: This important stage will allow your human resources team to set expectations and gain the candidate’s consent for future background checks.
- Utilize background, driving and credit checks: This ensures candidates know that a job offer is contingent on a clean check.
- Check references: All too often references are just window dressing on a resume. Good operators utilize references as an avenue to learn more about the candidate and his or her potential limitations. Great operators ask for additional references not listed on the candidate’s resume.
- Ask open-ended and behavioral questions: Ask questions that make them think of witnessing a crime or unethical activity. Ask them how they would respond to witnessing a similar activity at your operation. Have them define character, integrity and accountability.
- Learn motivational drivers: Determine what motivates them and why they are leaving their current employer.
- Balance interview impressions with personality profile assessments: Understanding what makes candidates tick takes more than a brief interview. Personality profiles will help your interview team understand the candidate’s sincerity level.
Define Criminal Activities
It is no secret that the margins within the industry are thin. However, to some unscrupulous staff members the sight of shiny facilities, new cars, nice employee uniforms and lines of customers awakens a Robin Hood alter ego within them.
Educating your team on the financial realities of business as well as stressing the importance of inventory and financial control will set their initial impressions in the correct manner.
Educating your staff on what is considered criminal activity is a critical element of your loss prevention program. Defining potential losses into inappropriate activities under the headings of asset, customer and financial will help communicate expectations.
Basic examples of inappropriate asset activities include: unauthorized use of fleet vehicles, fuel theft, GPS theft, unreported damage caused to fleet vehicles and driving fleet vehicles with reckless intent.
Examples of inappropriate customer-related activities include: renting vehicles for personal use without a manager’s permission, presenting ancillary products in an unethical fashion and disclosure of customers’ personal information to a third party.
Examples of inappropriate financial-related activities include: cash drawer procedure violations, rental agreement discounts or “comps” for personal gain, manipulation of personal sales stats for personal incentive gain and manipulation of time card or log-in times.
These inappropriate and criminal activities need to be communicated within a new hire’s induction period. Involving your security, operations and HR team will set the correct tone.