We read and hear more and more about legislations addressing background screening and research information. We continue to learn more and more about poor deliverables, incorrect information and client violations that prompt the need for restrictions and legal rulings. The screening industry now warrants watchdogs to curb abuse and inappropriate practices.
The industry now pays the price of being the focus of a myriad of regulatory agencies. Now they have ethical and statutory guidelines to assist and guide information providers and their clients in exercising due diligence. Is this necessary? The answer is yes.
In turn, employers are learning that they must do their part in conducting due diligence in the selection of their workforce by adhering to more stringent ethical practices that avoid legal sanctions and enhance their public image.
We constantly read of crimes and violations committed by employees, volunteers and contractors that were never screened by their employers. No workspace is immune; abuse of the elderly by caregivers, fraud and malfeasance by employees, workplace violence and a myriad of other mostly avoidable incidents can be found time and again. The list is endless.
Will regulations help? Yes. Will audited compliance help? Yes. Will this be all the screening industry needs to get back “on the right track”? No, not necessarily.
Let’s not forget the fundamental commitments of the screening industry. Following these precepts serves well in maintaining the ethics of the background screening profession. If the job is done right, errors, violations and non-compliance are considerably reduced.
- The role of the information provider as a consultant and educator:
Information research begins with assisting and educating clients as to the components necessary for their workforce by category, level of responsibility and exposure to liabilities. It also involves the education of the clients’ understanding of Federal and State regulatory standards.
- The responsibility of the information provider to deliver quality:
Delivering quality and compliant information that addresses the needs of each client is the information providers’ fundamental responsibility. This should include educating the client on how to best (and legally) use information delivered.
- The cost-effectiveness and timeliness of the information delivery:
Educating the client regarding realistic timetables for the information required in order to avoid unrealistic expectations or inferior deliverables.
- The responsibility of providing excellent customer support:
It has always been the information providers’ responsibility to address and help remedy the multitude of possible hiccups governed by “Murphy’s Law”.
The screening industry has picked up the gauntlet to assure continued education for the industry as well as each client, providing cost-effective quality products supported by excellent service.
Carl Diaz is the Executive Director of The Cedalius Group, LLC, a background screening and research provider based in Atlanta, GA with satellite offices in Utah. “At Cedalius, we practice the basic ABCs of the industry: Accuracy, Best Practices and Customer Service.”
For more information, visit The Cedalius Group online, or call us directly at (404) 963-9862.
The Cedalius Group offers insight into the background screening industry for educational purposes. We always recommend you consult with your legal counsel to determine practices that best suit your business needs.