This is a 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) interview is with AccuSource, a provider of background screening services. Below is a quick Q&A with Cynthia Woods, the vice president of sales and marketing.
Who is AccuSource? Tell us everything, just as you would someone approaching your booth and asking you this question at #SHRM19 in Las Vegas.
AccuSource is celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. We provide employment background, drug and occupational medical services for clients in a wide variety of industries both in the United States and abroad. We offer over a hundred services including criminal record searches, motor vehicle and credit records, employment and education verifications, and lab-based and instant substance abuse testing in over 230 countries and territories worldwide. AccuSource views every client as a partner and strives to provide customized, compliant full-service screening programs specifically tailored to each client’s unique business needs. We place a heavy focus on employing the latest technology to minimize processing times, streamline entry processes and minimize risk while ensuring each client receives individualized, professional care from our US-based customer service and account management team.
Let us in on the magic. What’s the hiring process like at AccuSource? How do you utilize your own tech and processes to ensure you’re hiring the best talent?
AccuSource utilizes job boards and industry-specific recruiters to help identify top talent. However, our greatest asset is generally our relationships across the screening industry. Many of our key positions are staffed through personal referrals. Once onboard, we ensure staff is provided with ongoing training and career development support so team members can continue to grow in their roles and advance to new positions. We also provide numerous forums for staff to voice their opinion and connect regularly with both management and leadership.
What makes AccuSource unique among other background check providers?
AccuSource strives to always find the optimal balance between engaging and developing technology to streamline processes and minimize turnaround times while ensuring both our clients and their candidates/employees receive a quality human experience. Where many providers have turned to outsourcing key processes and functions including employment and education verifications and client care to overseas providers in an effort to increase profitability and promote rapid growth, we have maintained control over these processes resulting in an industry-low average unable to verify rate (UTV) for education and employment verifications of less than 7 percent for all verifications attempted. Our organization remains nimble in our ability to quickly assess and adapt to ever-changing employment screening landscape. Our in-house attorney-led compliance department stays abreast of new legislation and regulations impacting employers and provides a wealth of resources to clients through periodic webinars, blog posts, informational videos and more. AccuSource ensures their clients benefit from the wide-range of service options and resources commonly offered by large providers yet still maintains the highly level of individualized, personal care often only afforded by smaller boutique firms.
What are the biggest challenges companies face when screening potential employees? How do they overcome those challenges?
In employment screening, time to hire is critical. If a background screen takes too long to process, applicants may grow weary and seek employment elsewhere and employers can often be left with key positions open, leading to labor shortages. While some delays are unavoidable due to court processes, holidays, and other factors outside the control of both the employer and their screening provider, many delays can be minimized or eliminated completely through client/provider partnership and continuous process improvement. Reducing time to hire can often yield employers greater overall cost savings than simply reducing direct screening costs.
Additionally, employers are often challenged to ensure their employment screening programs remain compliant in a legal climate where new legislation and regulations emerge almost daily. Key areas of legislative change include fair chance laws (Ban The Box), restrictions in asking questions related to salary history during the recruiting process (Salary History Bans) and laws protecting employee cannabis use for both medical and recreational purposes. Employers with decentralized business operations and staff in multiple states and jurisdictions can easily become overwhelmed by constant legislative change and newly required notice and consent requirements. AccuSource strives to provide a wide variety of resources to notify employers of legislative and regulatory change and help ensure compliance including technology enhancements on our processing platform that ensure federal as well as state and municipality-specific required authorization, disclosure and consent forms are provided to job candidates for acknowledgement and e-signature within the application based upon the candidate’s defined residential address.
What do you wish more HR professionals and recruiters knew about employment screening?
Employment screening providers can differ greatly in the overall scope and quality of services they provide. Our industry went through a period of time when many HR professionals began to view employment screening as a commodity product with price being the chief differentiating factor driving buying decisions. Employment screening is a service industry and the full value of the services provided is often not defined by price alone. For example, a provider with longer than average turnaround times, a low standard of client care, or lack of compliance expertise generally costs employers more than partnering with a provider who promotes a high standard of care for both the employer and their candidates. HR professionals are becoming more savvy buyers thanks to organizations like SHRM that promote education and awareness through content and direct training but many employers are still working with inferior screening programs.
AccuSource encourages HR professionals to engage in full program reviews at least every 24 months to ensure their screening programs meet both compliance requirements and risk management goals. Additionally, we recommend engaging with providers certified by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Certified providers are audited for security standards and overall legal compliance affording employers additional assurances.
For anyone who won’t be able to make it to the AccuSource booth in Las Vegas, what do you want them to know?
The SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition is a great opportunity to connect with our team. However, our team is just phone call or email away all year long. Please connect with us via our website at AccuSource-online.com, by phone at 888.649.6272 or by direct email. Whether you are actively seeking a new provider or simply looking for compliance and education resources, AccuSource is proud to support SHRM members in their efforts to facilitate and manage quality screening programs for their organizations.
Visit the AccuSource booth #2757 at #SHRM19!