How well do you know your babysitter?


If someone else other than your mother takes care of your children when you work, the question you need to be asking is; “how well do I really know that person?”

For instance, how many parents ask for a babysitter’s driving record? Our survey suggests that not many do. If the babysitter is tasked with picking up/dropping off a child to and from school, wouldn’t it seem like a good idea to know if they have a history of speeding, have been charged with reckless driving or even have insurance?

The Linkedin Investigator marketing group reposted a story written by Basil Katz for Reuters in which two background investigators talk about the steps they take to check out a nanny for families. We have also been hired to do this, but it is strange that clients appear to be more concerned about checking out a new hire than the person entrusted with their own children.

As far as I am concerned, parents should be far more concerned about doing a nanny/babysitter/au pair check than a CEO when bringing on new staff. An employee can do things which are prohibited; waste time on the internet, call in sick when they aren’t, steal, etc. Have you ever stopped to think what an unethical/criminal child minder could do?

That is why the “nanny cam” industry has been exploding. If parents could rely on those who take care of their children, there would not be a need for so many hidden cameras in smoke detectors, wall clocks and inside teddy bears. Even if you don’t think your babysitter could hurt or neglect your child, what do you know about her boyfriend? How do you know he doesn’t come around when you have left?

If you are a parent and reading this, it is not meant to scare you, but to make you think and look beyond what appears to be for what could be. I have conducted thousands of investigative interviews and I can assure you that people don’t give reference names of those they think will say something bad about them.

If you are an investigator reading this, pay extra attention when conducting background checks on these types of job applicants. Experienced investigators will know the questions to ask to get the information they need to find people who aren’t “staged”.

Parents or investigators should never cut corners when finding out about potential child care applicants. Spend longer and look deeper. The children deserve it.

Why a guaranteed passing grade is not a good thing

There is a conversation going on at the moment over on a LinkedIn security site. Since it may be of use to current and future Executive Protection Agents, I thought we would take a look at some of the points raised.

Firstly, I would like to say that if making security is a long-term career goal for you,then you should take the time to research “LinkedIn” as it could be instrumental in your choice of careers (not just security either – with 75 million members, I believe that all industries and fields are represented).

The question was asked last week regarding the failure rate versus passing rate of students undergoing Executive Protection training. If you are new to the field, you may not be aware of the various schools, their licensing, topics taught, scenarios delivered or employment opportunities available.

While nobody wants to fail a course, especially one that you have had to save up in order to attend, it takes away from the value of the certificate awarded if anybody off the street is allowed to pass the training, just because they paid their money.

We do not have reason to fail many students, since the great majority know what they want, have made the sacrifice to attend training and give their all over the 90 + hours of instruction. Every once in a great while though, someone comes along who for one reason or other, is not cut out for Executive Protection and we have to remove them from the training.

We do not let them continue as it is unfair on the other students who are being forced to slow down by this one person, or be otherwise distracted. When we make the decision, we calculate how much time is left and refund them the portion of the remainder of the course.

This is the ethical thing to do. Not only does their attendance interfere with the other students’ training, but by allowing someone to pass and graduate who does not fully grasp the requirements and seriousness of the job, that school is endangering all Agents and Clients who come in contact with that one problem Agent.

Unfortunately, most of us know of someone like this who was “rubber stamped” by some other training school because they either didn’t want to lose the revenue or were afraid of being sued if they turned someone away. Many of us went through training programs and were told that not every one would make the grade, yet all did, even the one(s) that everybody knew did not belong.

Some schools would have you believe that there is no need to fail people since they screen potential students so well. I say; Rubbish. I have seen students with no previous security experience (but plenty of life experience), who make first rate protectors. Screening them or someone else with 15 years of documented security experience, will tell you very little about that person.

The only way a school could be fairly certain whether a potential student would fit into a training program would be to submit them to a barage of tests – psychological and personality testing the likes of which Police candidates experience. I have never heard of a school doing that. Perhaps a proprietory training program would, but only for those they were interested in hiring.

Don’t be afraid to attend any school who are particular about who they train and pass. Embrace the fact that they don’t take their money in one door and send them out the other door with a certificate, whether they deserve it or not.

Congratulations to our new Personal Protection Specialist graduates

We apologize for a lack of blog postings these past weeks, but we were busy training a new Executive Protection class and then assisting them to find jobs and interviews.

The current economic climate is still pretty dire and those looking to enter the workforce or transitioning into a new career need all the help they can get. That is why it is important to get to know and understand the power of Social Media marketing. If you do not have a business to market, then you can market the service you provide.

I was following a discussion on LinkedIn (great business tool which allows you to build a professional profile)today and an interviewer was writing about interviews he was holding for a position. Believe it or not, but a number of the interviewees had to be asked to put away their IPhones/Blackberrys as they were not paying attention to the questions being asked of them.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can get you noticed and can allow people to find you and view your skill set, but do not forget that your main aim is to make it to an interview. If you disrespect the interviewer by having to be told to refrain from “surfing the net”, in the middle of an interview, you can bet that you are not going to be receiving a welcome letter from that company anytime soon.