When was the last time you checked up on someone? Properly checked up on them?
Are you still just taking people at their word…
Did you check that they were actually a member of an industry association; or that their qualifications were current and valid; or that they had appropriate insurance; or even credit checked their company?
Financially we have come a bit unstuck with a couple of clients who still owe us money. Even with a credit check we would probably be in the same position so we are willing to chalk this up to experience, though we are getting much better at seeing the signs and harder at chasing the pennies. But having spent the weekend in the company of some of the UK’s leading event safety specialists we will no longer be shy about asking anyone who wants to work for, or with, us to show us the evidence behind their claims of competence.
The checklist goes something like this:
- Industry associations: what’s their membership number and when does it expire?
- Insurance: are they covered by employer & public liability insurance, and professional indemnity insurance if applicable?
- Qualifications: do they actually have them or did they just attend a course, when did they take them, are they valid, when were they updated?
- CRB/Security checks: both for themselves and their staff if applicable to the audience
- Are they registered with the ICO (or your country’s equivalent)?
- Do they have the relevant experience and can they back it up with references?
Ignorance is no excuse, because you never know the effect on your business of someone who destroys a great client relationship because of their lack of skills or personality, or who lands you in court because they were not competent to do the job in the first place.
It’s a salutatory lesson that it would be better not to learn through personal experience.