Ensuring you hire quality, trustworthy people to fill your staff positions isn’t just a wise decision. It could save your bottom line.
A network of Gold’s Gyms in New Hampshire found this out the hard way, after discovering Nikki Donovan, a payroll manager, had stolen around $350,000 from the company over the course of a two-year period.
To embezzle the money, Donovan falsely reported the number of hours she worked for the health club. The crime wasn’t discovered until a new payroll manager was hired and the overpayments were unveiled, sparking an investigation. Donavan pleaded guilty, and is awaiting sentencing, which will occur on July 17, 2014.
Although I doubt anyone could have predicted that Donovan would steal from the company during the interview process, I think there are a couple lessons that can be learned from the situation:
1. Checks and balances are important.
Don’t put just one person in charge of payroll. In any part of your business, especially those that involve money, at least two people should be in charge of the process. This not only protects your business from fraud, but from human error. Humans make mistakes, some of which are unintentional. Both intentional and unintentional mistakes should have a checks and balances system in place.
2. Conduct background checks and touch base with references.
Even if the person you’re hiring isn’t going to be staffed in your kids center or daycare, conduct background checks and touch base with references. Often, a former employer can reveal information about your interviewee that isn’t revealed during the interview process. Ask, “Is this person trustworthy?” This goes for any position you’re hiring for, not just the payroll department.
Your business is your lifeblood, and it should be protected. Take hiring seriously, whether it’s for payroll, personal training, group exercise or the front desk.
What are some hiring lessons you’ve learned from?
Rachel Zabonick is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.