Magazine article Dance Teacher

Ask the Experts

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Ask the Experts

Article excerpt

The benefits of background checks and the right time to start competing

Q Should I consider performing background checks on potential employees?

A Background checks are very important and can help divert potential problems before they have the chance to arise. Basic services run from $25 to $150, depending on how comprehensive you want to be, but the average price is about $50, which is money well spent.

First, you want to ensure that a potential staff member is in fact who she says she is. By conducting an automated search through one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) or another automated resource, you can verify that a person is not using a stolen identification. Then, based on that information, I also recommend doing a comprehensive criminal check, looking for any felonies and misdemeanors, and also ensuring that the person is not a sex offender or someone who has a history of violent crime. If a prospective employee has moved several times in the last few years, I recommend that checks are done for the former places of residence.

You may want to consider verifying a person's education as well. If someone claims to have completed a dance program or certification, or hold a degree in the arts, verify that. It is also advisable to talk to past employers and references.

Something else to consider is that instructors may sometimes need to deal with cash, so it may be a good idea to check a credit report to ensure the applicant doesn't have a prior bankruptcy. If someone can pay her own bills, that person may be less likely to steal from her employer.

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners is an ideal place to start: www.napbs.com.

Robert Capwell is the chief knowledge officer at Employment Background Investigations, Inc. in Owings Mills, MD.

Q I have a student whose parents want her to enter competitions, but I feel she is too young. …

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