Do You Know Who You Hired? Really? REALLY?

You need a new controller. You advertise, interview, check a couple of employment references, and have a candidate who really impresses you. You hire them. Two months later, the spouse of a board member happens across an article on the internet about that same employee having been arrested for embezzlement two years prior. Please take a moment to savor the exquisite anticipation of that next board meeting. Has the scenario got you popping Tums®? Good. It should.

Now think about how easy it is to check on potential employees before you hire them. (And yes, it really is easy.) Every employee you hire should be checked out in some way. How extensively you should dig is directly related to the position, level, and type of responsibility of the position.

Dishwashers, cleaning crew, basic labor in the golf course, and similar positions in your club do not require the same level of checks as a controller, daycare worker, or anyone else with sensitive responsibilities. In fact, an increasing number of states are requiring specific articulation as to why a particular criminal conviction would prevent a person from getting a particular job. If the dishwasher was arrested for simple marijuana possession two years ago, does that really matter? Some states say no, and you are barred from denying them employment based on that record. Be sure to know the laws in your state. On the other hand, if a golf course maintenance worker drives equipment around all day, then a history of drinking-related offenses may certainly be relevant. I know of an incident where just such an intoxicated employee crashed a Cushman and killed himself on the job.

You should be conducting a variety of different pre-employment checks including criminal history, credit checks, degree verification, interviews with the candidate (regarding their background), certification verification, extensive reference interviews, previous employment verification (definitely different than reference interviews), open source searches, sex offender registration checks, verification of each claim on the resume, etc. Yes, it is a big list, but remember, not all of it is needed for each position.

You also have to know what you are getting. When you are searching for a “criminal record,” that can be many different things. Also, you need to search many jurisdictions. There are city, county, state, and federal records, and they are queried differently. If the candidate lives in one county and has worked in another, which county should you search? – As many as you can identify, obviously.

How do you perform these checks? Some of them are easy and can be done fairly quickly on the Internet. Some are more complicated and may require you to hire a company to perform. In the next article I will provide more detail regarding the different areas that need to be checked. For now my goal is to get you thinking about the importance of background checks. If there is one very easy thing that you can do that can pay off big dividends in the future, it is making sure that you research your job candidates before you hire them. – KP

Kevin R. Peters
Kevin Peters is a retired federal agent and former club manager who conducts the candidate backgrounding for Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC. He is also owner of KR Peters Security, LLC, a security consulting company primarily servicing the private club industry.


Do You Know Who You Hired? Really? REALLY?2019-09-04T20:00:37+00:00

Ask Nan: “How does your firm work with regard to finding me a job?”

I would like to take this opportunity to invite our colleagues to “Ask Nan” about anything you would like to know about how we serve the Club Community in this section of our newsletter. I will start with one of the most frequently asked questions that come to mind:
“How does your firm work with regard to finding me a job?”

My response is: “We are an Executive Search firm specializing in the Club industry that is retained by our client clubs to search for their General Manager/COO’s, Golf Professionals and Golf Course Superintendents. We do not have a monetary affiliation with any of the candidates that we submit to the clubs.” I then invite the candidates to email their resumes and cover letters to us ( to save in our database and the respective Club folders of interest. Kurt and Dick then go about the delicate review of everyone’s qualifications to see if they are truly a qualified “fit” for a particular opportunity. Not everyone will be selected for a final interview but we do save everyone’s resume in the database for future possibilities. We ask that the candidates do their diligence and frequently visit our website at: to view the current or new opportunities posted. If they see another position that they are interested in all they need to do is send us a quick email to let us know that they are interested in another opportunity. We then copy their resume to the respective folders of interest and the process continues.

Here are a few tips to remember when submitting resumes and cover letters:

  • The preferred format for your cover letter and resume files is Word or PDF.
  • File names should be listed as: “Last Name, First Name File Type.” For example “Doe, John Resume.” Use the same naming convention for cover letters (“Doe, John Cover Letter”), reference lists, articles, etc. (Your file name also tells a story about your proficiency with computers.)
  • Remember that the spell check feature in Word is your friend! (But, NOT infallible! Always proofread!)
  • Generic cover letters do not speak to your sincere interest in this specific opportunity. Tailor the cover letter for the position and club you are seeking.
  • Keep resumes clean, simple, and factual. The resume should be no longer than 2-3 pages in length and should contain factual, quantifiable bullet points about your career accomplishments.
  • Remember to include your dates of employment at each position.

I look forward to receiving your “Ask Nan” questions and resumes. – NF

Nan Fischer
Nan has worked with Dick Kopplin for over 10 years. She is the Administrative Manager at Kopplin and Kuebler. E-mail your “Ask Nan” questions

Ask Nan: “How does your firm work with regard to finding me a job?”2019-09-04T20:00:38+00:00
Go to Top