The word accredited has many definitions, but to be an accredited business means that your organization has passed many rigorous obstacles and are recognized as one of the leaders and innovators of your industry. In the background screening industry, accreditation means that you are a nationally recognized organization with a commitment to excellence and adhere to an established industry standard. When looking for a background screening company to help with your organization HR needs, you may ask yourself, why does accreditation matter? Here is an example of what can happen if you partner with a non-accredited background screening company:
On November 9, 2012, the Today Show aired a segment on the use of pre-employment background checks. Jeff Rossen of NBC made the argument that background check companies are causing innocent people to lose jobs by mistaking them for felons, armed robbers and sex offenders. The example NBC investigated was a stay-at-home mom named Katherine Taylor who had a potential job offer with the Red Cross as an accountant. A week before she was supposed to start, the job offer was revoked due to a “past criminal record” of drug felonies,the problem was it was not her. The company that the Red Cross hired to run her criminal background check, Choice Point, ran a database search for Catherine Taylor and ended up mistaking her for another Catherine Taylor that only had the same date of birth but nothing else in common. Choice Point is not an accredited background screening company and the consequences of using one can be devastating to your company, not only in costly lawsuits, but to your public image as well.
The NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) oversees the application process and is the governing accreditation body that ensures the background screening organizations seeking accreditation meet or exceed a measurable standard of competence. To become accredited, Hirease, as well as others passed a rigorous onsite audit of its policies, procedures and best practices as they relate to six critical areas: Information security and consumer protection, legal compliance, client education, researcher, data and verification standards, product and service standards, overall business practices.
You still may be asking, so how can these rigorous audits and best practices benefit our organization? Here are some benefits that show you what can get out of partnering with an accredited background screening company:
- They have prestige, credibility and positive public image.
- They have public trust and confidence knowing that the CRA is taking responsibility for ensuring accurate consumer reporting activities.
- Government agencies acknowledge the value of accreditation therefore accredited CRAs may be less likely to be targeted and scrutinized.
- They have improved efficiency and effectiveness where policies and procedures are documented and translated into practice.
- They provide assurance to current clients that the officers and employees of the CRA have essential skills and knowledge to conduct the requested service and protect the information entrusted to them.
- Being accredited is a desirable indicator of a CRA’s quality and viability.
Don’t just take our word for it though; look at how one of our clients, a healthcare company, chose Hirease because of our accreditation and commitment to quality:
“Hirease committed to us that they were the right background screening company to use because they showed us why being an accredited company mattered. They took the time to show us that they employed the right people by keeping them up-to-date on training and certifications.
Hirease also was very helpful; we were and still are able to speak to a live person during normal business hours, whether it is our Client Liaison, or someone who is just as qualified and willing to help us.
They showed us how they keep their clients informed of change by offering webinar training, and sending out alerts to clients that are pertinent to them.
While all of those factors helped in our decision their accreditation standards are what won us over. These standards are integrated into their ECHO’s philosophy. Every member of the Hirease team lives and breathes their ethos of ECHO; Working with Ethics, being Customer-centric, being Honest and Humble, and taking Ownership of every aspect of our work. Their commitment to accreditation is shown in their responsibility to their clients and to ensure that we have always received the highest quality of information and to serve in our best interests.”
Simply put, accreditation in our industry means that we share our commitment to data security, uncompromised ethics, unmatched client service and customer education while guarding the confidentiality and integrity of the consumer information within our custody.