Previously I shared my vision of future trends of background screening, now it is time to discuss how these trends and innovations will help in creating value for the client.
Development of Background screening as a service.
Talking about background screening services we usually discuss SOURCES (Public and prepaid databases, OSI, HUMINT etc.), TASKS (Identity check, Education check, Pre-employment screening, Creditability check etc.), GEOGRAPHY (Local, Regional, Global).
I think that it is reasonable to change the point of view and think about HOW the client will apply contractors/employees background screening results in his everyday work.
What a junk! – you’ll probably think – Isn’t it obvious?
While I was preparing this post I checked about 50 Internet sites of leading background screening companies and I’ve found out that mainly these companies present their services as tasks (see figure above). Why even with strong financing these leaders prefer to sell TASKS?
I think that the reason is in remarkable differences between the way background screening results can be read by shareholders, top-managers, functional and linear managers. If we assume that the client is a well-structured enterprise with transparent business-processes we should identify decisions and data required for decision making at the certain level of management.
The simplest case is contractor screening before signing of the contract. In most mid-sized enterprises the contractor will be screened by security department (check if the company was duly registered, shareholders, affiliated bodies) or (and it is better) by compliance manager. If there are no obvious red flags, the contract will be forwarded to the chief accountant and executive manager for signing. But can we declare that above mentioned red flags is exactly what chief accountant needed for his decision making? Not at all.
Russian tax authorities is very strict when the company signs contracts with so-called “odnodnevki” (financial agents for tax reduction or cashing) and for identification of these financial agents tax authorities use special instruction based on the data available during basic background screening. None of Russian risk-management companies ever presented or analyzed raw data this way. Should I mention that chief accountant can read the balance of the contractor much deeper then security professional?
The same problem is with arbitrage records and background check for legal department. Analyzing civil court records full-time law advisor of the company can assume how the contractor protects himself, is he good in corporate law etc. Sure, we have courts’ records section in our reports but personally I never even tried to sell background check for legal department as a separate service.
Public media search… We often screen open media to dig raw data but have you ever heard about check of the influence of the contractor’s public reputation on the image of the company? I haven’t yet, but most top-managers of public companies pay much attention to this indicator. They forced to assign staff managers to do this job for them.
Summarizing the above, I think that it is time to review structure of our background check reports and to prepare the list of target-oriented services to help managers of different level to make good decisions.