Miller Electric Mfg. is an electrical contractor with customers throughout the United States. They service government agencies, financial institutions, data centers, healthcare systems and communications giants. They’ve been in business for 90 years and have about 1,500 employees. Most of their hires work in the field as electricians, foremen, superintendents and apprentices. They screen their office personnel as well.
Their client list is full of household names such as Bank of America, Facebook, Google and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Every single client has different needs and requirements when it comes to background screening and drug testing. Miller must make sure each person they send out on a job has a background check that meets that client’s demands.
Last year Miller conducted 417 background checks for new hires, but that number changes depending on the requirements of their customers. Risk Management Administrator Carolynne Nichols says they screen depending on their clients’ needs, which can include pre-employment criminal history, drug testing and even annual re-screens.
Their searches can vary dramatically from customer to customer. Some companies require just a Social Security Number Trace and a National Criminal Database Search. Others want state and county searches along with employment and education verifications and professional references. Some even require a check of the Global Terrorist Watchlist.
When looking for a background screening partner, Miller’s biggest challenge was the fact that each new hire potentially needs a different search package. Ms. Nichols also says many team leaders often wait until the last second to tell the office they need more hands on the job, so quick turnaround time is a top priority. "Our guys are notorious out there in the field, if they need background checks done for a specific customer, they’ll wait until countdown time and they are spread thin," says Nichols. "They think we can just get these back immediately, no matter how much we stress that these things take time!"
They were also facing accuracy problems with previous vendors, and issues with customer service. "They were so slow to get back to me," says Nichols. "That caused a lot of frustration for me."
The fact that everything with EBI is US-based is extremely important to us. I would say that is probably at the top of our list, along with the very good turnaround time… and you guys are easy to contact!Carolynne Nichols
Risk Management Admin, Miller
Miller is unique in that they constantly need a different screening set-up. EBI has helped to refine and simplify that process. Today, all Ms. Nichols needs to do is email a scanned copy of the background screening requirements in a client’s contract to her Account Manager, and the EBI team assembles the packages she needs to properly process the hires. Nichols says there are so many moving parts that it can be difficult to make sure each client gets what they need. "You really have to stay on top of it, and we can, thanks to you guys."
Since partnering with EBI in 2008, Miller has expanded its screening program. In addition to the original pre-hire background screens, Miller now uses EBI’s drug testing platform as well, performing a 10-panel screen on candidates using EBI’s nationwide network of labs. EBI also manages any post-hire and annual re-screens that Miller’s customers request. Finally, Miller has added the EBI Candidate Portal so their candidates can enter data a single time, which speeds up the process and minimizes errors.
When asked about their top priorities for choosing a screening partner, Ms. Nichols listed several things, including accuracy, turnaround time and good customer service. But there was another important factor. "The fact that everything with EBI is US-based is extremely important to us. I would say that is probably at the top of our list, along with the very good turnaround time… and you guys are easy to contact!"
Miller Electric uses Newton as its Applicant Tracking System, as well as EBI’s integration with Newton. Ms. Nichols reports that her HR Manager is very happy with the integration’s seamlessness and ease-of-use.
When I email directly with the customer service team, they turn around and respond within the next few hours. We get a quick turnaround which is awesome!Carolynne Nichols
Risk Management Admin, Miller
The Results and Benefits
When asked what she considers the best part about working with EBI, Ms. Nichols said she could not name just one thing. She did point out a recent audit Bank of America conducted regarding their background screening. "It turned out awesome, they were very impressed, and we have you guys to thank for that." She continued, "Thanks to you guys helping me, we passed, and the client was very happy."
Earlier in the partnership, the Miller team spoke daily with the EBI team. Now they have settled into weekly conversations. Whether they need their Account Manager or the Customer Service Team, Nichols says the response time is always impressive. "When I email directly with the customer service team, they turn around and respond within the next few hours. We get a quick turnaround which is awesome!"
So, the million-dollar question: Would Miller recommend EBI to other companies to handle their screening programs? According to Ms. Nichols, "110%!"