What you don’t know about your employees could come back to haunt you. That should be
the only reason aquatics managers need for conducting thorough
background checks of all job applicants.
But if you still need another one, a consistent screening program can minimize
liability exposure based on negligent hiring and retention,
according to Alan T. Sklar, president/CEO of Creative Services Inc.
Headquartered in Mansfield, Mass., CSI is an independent security
consulting firm that has provided background screenings for Fortune
500 companies for 30 years.
Of course, not every municipal pool has the resources to outsource its employee
screening to a firm such as Sklar’s. So Aquatics
International asked Sklar for his insights on how to properly
conduct a background check for potential
The first step is to ensure that the employent application is legally compliant,
solicits the necessary information and is thoroughly completed,
Sklar says. Discrepancies in information or unexplained gaps in
employment can signal a potential problem.
He urges that the components of a background check should be appropriate to the
position and comply with any state, federal or industry
regulations. For anyone working with children on a regular basis, a
criminal history search should be standard operating procedure. In
fact, the PROTECT Act of 2003 and Children’s Safety Act of
2005 demand it.
Also, it is imperative that the employer inform job applicants that the
organization might conduct a background check. This step should be
documented by asking the applicant to sign a waiver that authorizes
the employer to perform a background search.
For aquatics facilities, a typical background check should include the following:
- A social security trace
- A seven-year criminal history search
- A sex offender registry search
- A verification of education
- A five-year employment verification
- Personal references
Other components may include checking motor vehicle records, credit
history, military records, professional licensing, fingerprinting
and drug and alcohol screening. These extra measures may go beyond
the capabilities of a small aquatics facility, which is why Sklar
strongly recommends that employers try to hire professional search
or human resources firms more equipped in this