Boardroom
Kroll

In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Barry Nadell
Senior Vice President
Background Screening Division
Kroll
www.Kroll.com
NYSE:MMC

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Barry. Please give us an overview of your background and your role with Kroll.

Barry Nadell: I have been involved in the background screening industry for more than 10 years, first as the founder and president of InfoLink Screening Services in Los Angeles, and now as a senior vice president at Kroll. I am also a board member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, having served as co-chairman of the board in 2006.

In 1994, I started InfoLink to provide background screening to employers throughout Los Angeles, California, and the surrounding area. By March 1995, we had grown to provide screening services nationally. In reviewing the industry, I gained great insight into the federal and state laws that govern background screening, and began advising clients on how best to perform pre-employment background checks while adhering to the law. I have written numerous articles on the subject, spoken at various conferences and human resources associations, and provided expert commentary to the media. I eventually wrote a book that summarizes the background screening laws in all 50 states, and in fact began working with California legislators in 2002 to help revise some of these laws.

In March 2006, Kroll, the world’s leading risk consulting company, acquired InfoLink to augment its rapidly growing background screening division.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Please give our audience an overview of Kroll’s Background Screening Services.

Barry Nadell: For more than 30 years, Kroll’s Background Screening division has helped organizations verify the backgrounds and résumés of potential new hires. We screen job candidates at all levels, from executives to entry-level staff, at organizations of any size and in every industry. Our comprehensive solutions are tailored to meet the screening needs of corporations, educational institutions, volunteer groups, or government agencies.

SecurityStockWatch.com: We read your recent press release with great interest with respect to the fact that, “Employers are seeing an increasing number of “red flags” in job candidate background checks” May we have an overview of the report? Is the report available online?

Barry Nadell: We've seen a year-over-year increase in criminal record hits (from 8.5% to 9.1%) and discrepancies in past employment verifications (from 36.5% to 49.4%) and education verifications (from 14.1% to 21.6%). I attribute this upward trend to four primary contributing factors:

– Companies are digging deeper, following best practices to obtain more comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional background checks.

– In the past, many companies were screening only managers. Today, more companies are screening all of their employees, temps, vendors and consultants.

– Background screening and drug testing are no longer used only by large organizations or companies whose industry regulations mandate their use. Today, companies of all sizes and industries screen their employees, vendors and consultants.

– The expanded scope of services and technology advancements in the background screening industry are making background screening methodology more sophisticated.

The full report is available online at http://www.kroll.com/about/library/hit_ratio/.

SecurityStockWatch.com: One will read on Kroll.com that, “Verifying employees’ legal right to work in the United States has become of paramount concern.” What is your perspective on the market drivers for Kroll’s Background Screening Services at this time? Is this particular employment issue and I-9 Compliance one of them?

Barry Nadell: In general, employers continue to be concerned about internal fraud, violence in the workplace, theft, and risks to their reputation or brand image. Background screening job applicants is one of the very best methods of mitigating hiring risks, and the screening industry is growing as more employers recognize this.

In regards to I-9 compliance, this originates with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, a 1986 law that requires employers – in good faith and to the best of their ability – to only hire individuals that have a legal right to work in the United States. Since immigration is such a hot-button political and legislative issue today, I expect that we will see increased attention paid to I-9 compliance. As immigration and hiring laws continue to evolve, employers will want to continue to be responsible and ensure that they are following the law – and Kroll will continue to help them make good and legal hiring decisions.

Further, with new laws and regulations, employers may now comply with IRCA by using a paperless Form I-9 process and instantly verify a new employee’s right to work in the U.S. Kroll now offers a fully paperless Form I-9 eSolution to save employers time and give them peace of mind that all forms completed are error free.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Without divulging any confidential or sensitive information, are there one or two success stories you’d like to mention?

Barry Nadell: One of our clients is a home health agency in northern California that requires full background screening on all candidates who apply for a position that includes placement in one of their client’s homes. In one instance, we performed a background search on a job applicant for the agency and found that she had been convicted of burglary two years prior. The agency did not hire the woman. Three weeks later, this same woman’s name and picture were in the local paper after her arrest for the kidnapping and murder of a child.

Another organization asked us to review a new employee’s workers’ compensation claims. We learned that the prospective employee had filed five workers’ comp claims with five different employers, though he had only disclosed one claim on our client’s employee application form. After confirming with the other four employers that the individual had indeed worked for those companies, our client rescinded the employment offer on the basis of falsifying the application.

A large charitable organization requested a social security trace, criminal records search, and a driving record review for a new applicant. The applicant’s criminal record looked fairly clean after we searched all counties of residence indicated on the social security trace report. However, the driving record indicated that the individual sometimes used a different name – essentially an “AKA”. Our researchers went back to the court and searched under the other name, uncovering several felony convictions. The organization was able to mitigate their hiring risks by requesting a thorough screening.

SecurityStockWatch.com: What about Kroll’s strategic relationships in this business – are there one or two you’d like to mention?

Barry Nadell: Some of the most important strategic relationships for Kroll’s Background Screening division are actually internal to Kroll.

Kroll provides information, insight, and analysis to help clients make critical decisions that reduce risks, solve problems, and capitalize on opportunities. Many of Kroll's services – whether investigative, financial, security, or technology – are directly linked to background screening, including substance abuse testing, vendor screening, identity theft and fraud solutions, and business screening and investigative due diligence.

With such a broad range of expertise, we can provide clients with a comprehensive combination of services to help protect and grow their business. And background screening fits neatly into any overall risk strategy.

SecurityStockWatch.com: It’s not often that we have the pleasure of interviewing a published author. Please tell us about your book “Sleuthing 101, Background Checks and the Law”. What is the subject and who is your audience?

Barry Nadell: Sleuthing 101 is a primer on the legal issues surrounding background screening for human resource and security professionals. It began as a three-inch manuscript – an encyclopedic reference on all aspects of the subject – but I edited it down to provide a concise description of federal law and easy-to-read summaries of the laws in all 50 states. Further, as laws do change over time, instead of having to issue new versions constantly, I provide website URLs for locating the latest update of law in any particular state. I also share some of the tips that I have learned over the years as a background screening professional, including a list of seven free steps that any employer can take immediately to reduce the risk of making a bad hire.

The book has been reviewed by Security Management Magazine, PI Magazine, and SHRM, the largest human resource organization in the world. It is available through Amazon.com, other retail establishments, and ASIS, SHRM and PI Magazine.

SecurityStockWatch.com: What resources such as webinars, webcasts, podcasts, “white papers” and “case studies” are available for end-users on www.Kroll.com?

Barry Nadell: There are several case studies available in the Background Screening Services section of kroll.com. I would also encourage readers to check out our Insights & Reports and other sections of the website to learn more about the wide range of expertise within Kroll – and how that expertise helps our clients.

Some of the articles that I have written are available at http://www.barrynadell.com/Articles.aspx, and I have several webinars and speaking engagements coming soon. Upcoming topics include background checks and the law, drug testing, and immigration and the form I-9. Anyone looking for more information about upcoming events or previously written articles is invited to contact me by email at bnadell@kroll.com.