Best Posts of 2014: Our Top Three

The start of a New Year allows us fresh beginnings, hope for change, or the calmness that comes with accepting ones path.

But it also brings with it reflection on the previous year. You can’t help but think about those 365 days and what you did with them.

For Active Screening, 2014 brought a tremendous amount of prestige, exposure and accomplishments.

We are proud to be one of the most innovative, secure, and trustworthy Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) in the industry. With an eye on the exciting possibilities that 2015 brings, we invite you to look back at our most popular blog posts of 2014. We’ll be posting our top three most viewed articles and hope that you’ll re-visit them this week with us.

Without further ado, here is our third most popular blog post of 2014.

How Well Do You Know Your CRA: USIS Employee Pleads Guilty

I start many of my mornings on Twitter. It’s my favorite news source. Mainly because I know what is in my feed: the perfect mixture of news, educational articles and celebrity gossip.

This morning as I scrolled through, it wasn’t George Clooney’s engagement or the Clippers basketball scandal that caught my eye but something much more tragic. Something we see too often lately.

The Headline read: 6 injured after shooting at FedEx center in Atlanta

Was it a disgruntled employee? Maybe an angry spouse? Or a random act? The details are still vague. What we do know is that for some reason a person left home this morning with the intention of hurting people and succeeded.

Our thoughts are going out to the staff and family members of the people involved in this situation. As a CRA it is our goal to help organizations create and maintain safe working environments. Not always but many of these situations are preventable with proper precautions; such as background screening in the hiring process.

Three Strikes and USIS is Out

This particular post is inspired by a company who was hired to help prevent disasters but ended up enabling them instead.

It was almost a year ago that Edward Snowden, a government employee, leaked classified documents and fled the country. He was vetted by the CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) USIS. Know that background checks are not a ‘be all and end all’ solution. Some people may have a clean record just because they haven’t been caught yet. So it’s possible that Snowden slipped through the cracks and got lucky. This was strike one against USIS.

Strike two occurred when a man named Aaron Alexis killed 12 people at a Navy Yard in Washington DC. Again Alexis was vetted by the same company, USIS.

It was then that an investigation started into the vetting process. The investigation uncovered evidence that suggested USIS had been using a practice called dumping in order to speed up the screening process. Unfortunately, in this case, a faster process meant incomplete background checks and false results. Read more about the investigation in this post.

USIS had denied the allegations until last week when the Government received the news it was dreading. An employee from USIS pleaded guilty to ‘falsely claiming he had conducted background checks.’  While this man is facing jail time, the government now is repeating over $100,000 worth of background investigations.

That’s strike three and USIS is benched.

USIS isn’t totally out of the game yet – The contractor is refunding the money to the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) and an OPM representative said they are stilling using USIS for employee background checks.

What You Should Take away from this Case

How would you feel if your doctor drew your blood, charged you but never actually ran the test? This is essentially what happened to the OPM. When it comes to important decisions you can’t cut corners. Choosing a CRA is like choosing your doctor; you have to ask questions, be thorough and trust that they are going to do their job.

Tips to follow when choosing a CRA:

  • Do your homework: Vet the CRA before contracting it.
  • Be cautious: Does anything stand out to you? Investigate more. Ask questions. Review results.
  • Ask about turnaround time: Remember there is no such thing as instant results.
  • Do they offer comprehensive checks? For government positions we suggest the check include: Identity & Credit, MVR, Criminal Records, References & Credentialing and drug testing.

What You Should be Asking Your CRA

One person in the case has pleaded guilty and 19 others are being convicted of charges relating to work with the government. It is important to know the company that is vetting your employees. These questions will help determine if the CRA is capable of producing thorough and accurate results.

  • Is the research performed in-house or outsourced?
  • If outsourced – ask where?
  • Are the employees and contracted workers properly vetted?
  • How controlled is the environment?

Thursday I am going to continue with part two of this is post. We will look at the importance of choosing a CRA with a controlled research and verifications process.

Have any questions or comments about vetting employees or government screening solutions? We would love for you to share them in the comments below.

This entry was posted in Applicant-Entry Solutions, Background Screening, Criminal Records, General, Human Resources, Industry Solutions, News, References & Credentialing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia’s clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter – give her a shout @pattycfreelance.

 
        
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

"I wanted to share my appreciation for your wonderful service...switching background screening companies could have been a stressful task, but your company made the transition seamless. Your website was extremely easy to navigate and the turn around time has been great. I appreciate when information is missing or entered incorrectly during ordering, your company notifies me right away to ensure that my error does not hold the reports results, causing us a delay in hiring an individual...Active Screening has been great to us and I would definitely refer them to others."

Active ScreeningTerry S. Property Management

"Working with Active Screening over the last year and half has been a wonderful experience. They deliver fast and informative results at the best price. Their level of professionalism and the speed they respond to our issues is a benefit that any company can value from. I would highly recommend using Active Screening and their amazing team."

Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

"The Active Screening team is very informative; they provided a complete consultation on all the services, so I understood what I needed, and saved me hours and hours of my time learning the various services. Their reputation, as being on the cutting edge of employment screening best practices, certainly held true in this instance. The expertise they brought to the table was invaluable to our understanding of our applicants backgrounds. I highly recommend Active Screening to anyone with the task of screening large numbers of applicants and needing reliable customer support."

Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.