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February 19th, 2018 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

Background Checks for Olympics-style Events

Like most of the world, I have been glued to the television watching the PyeongChang Olympics. The competitions have been fierce, exciting to watch and it has been fun to learn about new winter sporting events and athletes from around the globe. Putting on an Olympics is a huge undertaking for the host country and city. Facilities need to be built or renovated, housing for the athletes and spectators need to be organized and staff and volunteers need to be hired. All of this has completed within the eight years of being selected with most of the work having to be done within the last few months before the Olympics take place.

PyeongChang, South Korea is expected to host over a million spectators and nearly 3,000 athletes for the Olympics competitions, concerts and parties taking place for 16 days this month. The events are held at 13 venues throughout the counties of PyeongChang and Jeongseon as well as the coastal city of Gangneung. According to Forbes, the Winter Olympics will have approximately 60,000 security personnel, over 5,000 South Korean military and 13,000 police officers in place to protect these visitors. Security services have been running background checks on everyone involved in the winter games denying those who fail to meet the specified criteria including the over 51,000 employees and nearly 15,000 volunteers of the Games.

Staffing Quickly and Efficiently for Special Events

If your company hosts larger or special events, then there might be a need to hire temporary staffing. Event planners will have to coordinate with staffing agencies to find employees or volunteers for the event. Performing background screening checks helps to protect staffing companies from possible bad hires, which can cause undesirable situations at an employer. If a staffing agency fails to do due diligence in their hiring processes and puts a worker who is unfit for employment or causes a threat to the employer, then the staffing agency may be liable for breach of contract claims. Therefore, staffing companies must develop a comprehensive background screening policy that explicitly states the types of screening that will be performed for the positions they are hiring for.

Just like any business, the organizers of the PyeongChang Olympics had to win the race to hire the right personnel for their event. Hiring thousands of people over a short amount of time requires skill and precision, just like the athletes who competed in the games. The PyeongChang Olympic producers had to coordinate with recruiting, staffing and security agencies to hire the best paid and volunteer staff. These agencies had to accurately review thousands of prospective workers in a short amount of time. They also must be current on the ever-changing rules and regulations governing event staffing. Knowing these rules and being able to handle the extreme pressure of hiring the right people is vital to having the Olympics be successful for spectators and athletes. These rules will differ per state and country, so what is currently legal in the United States, might be different in South Korea. It is very important to know the distinction between the regulations as you prepare for the events.

Background Checks for Olympics-style Events

Background checks are important because it protects a company’s property, assets, reputation, brand and ultimately its biggest asset, the people.  Screening is vital for staffing of large public events such as the Olympics to keep the competitors, spectators, volunteers and workers safe. Event planners need to have the peace of mind that the background screening can be done quickly and correctly. It is critical to have a background check policy in place.  The most common background check is the criminal records check. Criminal record checks are a vital step in making intelligent and informed hiring decisions.  The key to minimizing the legal risk associated with criminal record checks is to have a well-thought-out hiring policy in place that accounts for applicable legislation, guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the overall candidate experience.

Having the best staff is crucial to events ranging from corporate meetings to Olympic-sized experiences. To find out more how Sterling can help you with your event staffing screening contact us before your next big corporate event. Find out more about developing a background screening policy for your company by downloading our Background Screening Policy Considerations Checklist.

Download the Background Screening Policy Considerations Checklist

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.