The EBI team just spent a few wonderful days in Orlando for the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) annual conference. The NAPBS conference is a time when competitors come together to talk about what we can all do to improve the industry as a whole.
Most sessions at these events focus on the extremely complicated laws that govern all background screening. But there was one really eye-opening session this time around that talked simply about what customers want from their screening partners.
The panel was moderated by Boeing's Rebecca Weiser, who chairs the End User Advisory Panel. Panel members included Nikki Holton from Eli Lilly and Company, Diane Sausman from Boeing and Mark Williams from the University of Delaware. They are all familiar faces around NAPBS because they come to these events so they can be well-informed on this issues facing background screening. They understand that not knowing and understanding the technical details can get their companies in some serious trouble.
Nikki Holton talked about how important it is for everyone to remember that both the client and the screening company have their necks on the line if there is a lawsuit. She said, for that reason, she values quality and accuracy above all else. She says while turnaround time is important to Eli Lilly, it’s more important to get things right. If you make a mistake, own up to it and get it fixed ASAP. Holton says making excuses is the fastest way to lose a client.
Boeing’s representative Diane Sausman wants a screening partner that has good communication to keep her aware of changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as the various rules and regulations that always seem to be changing. She echoed what Holton said about being honest and transparent if there is a problem. Doing anything less, she says, will quickly kill a relationship. Sausman also pointed out that technology is nice, but you have to have that personal connection. That relationship helps your screening partner to know what is important to you. She even suggested companies invite their screening representative to come visit so they can see a day in the life of your company. There is no better way for them to understand your individual needs.
One of the interesting points was how valuable many end-users find webinars. In fact, Mark Williams said that after 25 years on the police force he thought he knew everything there was to know about background screening… until he started watching webinars. That’s when he realized how much he didn’t know! Now he says he understands things like the FCRA, and that makes him a better client.
All three of the panelists are members of the NAPBS End-User Advisory Group, which now has about 35 members from 17 companies that use background screening services. They meet monthly and work for a more effective, transparent, and efficient background screening system for everyone concerned.