Baker’s Dozen: Workplace Screening— Case Study:Staffing Firm Finds a Better Option In Outsourcing Screening Services

Parker Staffing Says its initial service provider failed to deliver. But engaging An alternative solution led to better results.

by Todd Owens, General Manager, Screening Services, Intelius, Inc.

A privately held staffing company based in Seattle, Parker Staffing Service, LLC, provides temporary, contract, and full-time work in administrative, call center, IT, IS, development, QA, healthcare IT, and sales and marketing positions. Its staffing division focuses on the Pacific Northwest, while the technical and search divisions place candidates nationwide. In 1999, Parker decided to outsource background checks on every candidate it placed. Prioritized services with its first provider included SSN verification, seven-year background checks, credit checks, and employment and education verifications, depending on a candidate’s resume and client demand.

After implementation of the screening program, however, Parker Staffing noticed a number of areas in which results fell short of the company’s needs, including:

• Access/Turnaround Time.
The vendor was in a different time zone and had inflexible business hours. Coupled with a lack of responsiveness, this caused Parker to lose entire business days for simple search and report processing.

Reporting. Parker failed to receive timely communication from its vendor about basic success indicators such as hit ratios, turnaround times, and search progress, ultimately costing the company time following up on search requests, progress, and issues.

Service. Parker was dissatisfied by the provider’s lack of emphasis on service. Questions and issues consistently failed to be addressed in a timely fashion, and provider-driven issues weren’t resolved with what Parker staff considered “a customer-first mentality.”

As a result, the staffing firm chose to do what many other dissatisfied outsourcing buyers have done before them: switch vendors. After a thoroughly exhaustive due-diligence process that included a side-by-side test of vendors, Parker selected a new vendor to address the company’s requirements for accuracy, responsiveness, and service.

In choosing the new vendor, Intelius, Parker Staffing sought to establish new standards in background screening service levels. To do so, the company looked for improvements in screening service, as well as the promptness of results. The company then worked with its new vendor to focus on improving the screening process.

By communicating clearly with Intelius about its previous experiences with a screening partner and identifying its priorities and pain points, Parker in cooperation with Intelius was able to establish processes and benchmarks. These processes included setting up performance reports and offering ad-hoc reporting capabilities, which delivered Parker detailed and on-demand insights into program progress, screenings completed, and results. This facilitated measurement of critical screening metrics including turnaround times and hit rates.

Implementation of the new solution was nearly immediate. Vendor availability, flexibility, and responsiveness were critical in the early stages of the relationship, and ensured that Intelius identified and met Parker’s evolving needs to the company’s satisfaction.

A Better Result
Since making the change, Parker Staffing has consistently reported a significant improvement in nearly every aspect of its screening program.

Turnaround. Significant improvements were noted in turnaround time—64 percent of all search results in the first three months were returned in fewer than 24 hours. During the holidays, a time of particularly high volume, credit checks were often returned in less than 30 minutes. Parker also reported saving 15 to 20 minutes per check in management time—a significant savings for an organization performing hundreds of checks each month.

Reporting. Parker management receives regular performance reports and has the option to leverage Intelius’ ad-hoc reporting capabilities, gathering additional reporting data at any time from anywhere.

Cost Efficiency. While financial savings were not a primary driver for Parker’s decision to replace its vendor, the company saw a reduction in spend, with better hit rates and more accurate results upon implementation of Intelius.

Quality of Service. Parker also reported dramatic improvements in service following the switch. Improvements included direct access to account management, immediate responsiveness to questions or issues, and periodic meetings with the vendor to ensure Parker’s screening program is running at
peak efficiency and in line with its priorities and expectations.

Parker Staffing’s experience with outsourced background screening reflects other buyer success stories in today’s maturing outsourcing market. By clearly defining its service expectations and undertaking an exhaustive due diligence effort, the company was able to markedly improve the services it received, demonstrating that not all screening services are alike—and finding the right one takes a bit of effort.

Posted November 10, 2007 in Talent Acquisition

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