If You Use Background Checks

EMPLOYERS MUST MAKE SURE TO UPDATE PAPERWORK.

Do you do a background check on job candidates applying for a position at your store using a consumer-reporting agency? Effective October 2018, employers must use the updated version of the “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” form. Employers who don’t follow the proper procedures open themselves up to the risk of employment lawsuits. 

In order to lawfully obtain a background check called a “consumer report,” employers have always had to comply with a number of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) rules, such as providing appropriate disclosures to a job applicant and getting their permission before obtaining a report. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently updated the summary-of-consumer-rights form to let a person know about their right to obtain a security freeze or fraud alert on their credit report. The freeze restricts “access to a consumer’s credit report, which makes it harder for identity thieves to open accounts in the consumer’s name,” according to CFPB.

States, of course, have their own additional requirements when it comes to using credit history information in employment decisions, and in recent years a dozen or more states and cities have passed laws limiting the use of credit reports. Even if the credit checks comply with all the legal requirements, many employment experts are questioning how useful a screening tool they are in making employment decisions. As employment attorney Jill Rosenberg said in a National Employment Law Institute presentation: “In many instances,” a credit check “doesn’t have a whole lot of relevance to the work that somebody is doing.” Ask yourself, she suggests, whether a credit check is actually “worth the effort and, potentially, the risk that comes with it.”

 

Pinterest Adds “Shop the Look” Pins for Small Retailers

Transforming “I want that” to “I’m buying that”

Pinterest has opened up its Shop the Look feature to creators and small businesses. (The visual search tool used to be available only to large brands like Macy’s and Target.) Now a small retailer can create shoppable pins with a self-serve tagging tool, much as it’s possible to create a Facebook ad campaign yourself.

Any brick-and-mortar with a Pinterest business account can pull together a shoppable look (leo, skirt, legwarmer), tag the various products in the Shop the Look pin and direct people to an online site where they can buy the product.

Here’s how it works for a shopper on Pinterest: Shop the Look pins have white dots that call out different parts of the look. People can tap the dots to view and shop the same or similar products featured in the pin. “If you have a Pinterest business profile, Shop the Look tagging allows you to manually tag pins from your claimed website with product links from any domain,” according to Pinterest.

The social-media platform now has 250 million monthly users, so using Shop the Look may be worth considering. When Pinterest launched shoppable pins, it found that people clicked on them twice as often as regular ones.

 

Facebook Stories Take Off

And Stories ads will help you catch the wave.

Three hundred million people use Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories every day, and the use of Stories on social-media platforms keeps growing. In fact, Facebook predicts that Stories will surpass the sharing that takes place in its feeds sometime in 2019. To help small businesses reach this audience, Facebook made Stories ads available to small businesses starting in September 2018, and Messenger ads will be coming soon, too. (Facebook had started testing Stories ads with larger brands in May 2018, with positive results.)

What people like about Stories is the full-screen immersive environment, the fun and quick content and, a survey reported, the way “Stories made it possible to experience new things outside their everyday lives.” Here’s the payoff for merchants: More than half of people surveyed by Facebook said they’re making more online purchases as a result of seeing Stories. But the impact isn’t just online. Thirty-eight percent of people said that after seeing a product or service in a Story, they talked to someone about it, and 34 percent said they went to a store to look for it. Note to dance stores: Almost half of users wanted Stories from brands to offer tips or advice—something dance storeowners are ideally positioned to do.

January 2019

Photos: Getty Images; courtesy of Pinterest 

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