How Background Investigations Facilitated a Mortgage Company Merger

Written by Andrew Dose on November 22, 2017

Between high profile data breaches, the ongoing plague of identification theft, and just old fashioned lying, cheating, and stealing, it seems like big financial services companies are in the news as much for what they do wrong as they are for what they do right. This isn’t necessarily right or even fair, but it makes an important point that all financial service executives need to consider:

When you’re forced to live under a microscope, it pays to take a closer look at yourself.

The root cause of scandals

While there are countless reasons these unfortunate events occur, from downright intentional fraud to shocking levels of carelessness, when all the dust settles and cooler heads are able to look back to figure out exactly where the ship veered off-course, it almost always comes down to a small group of employees — or just one — who probably shouldn’t have been trusted.

Granted, in some cases, there’s no way a company could have known that at the point of hire. But, in other cases, a more effective employee screening service solution could very well have pointed out potential issues that only came to light later on.

The power of customized, comprehensive background checks

This underlines the importance of going beyond the bare minimum when screening employees during the hiring process. For financial services companies especially, it takes more than a cursory ID verification to weed out those employees who are most likely to drag your hard-earned reputation through the mud down the road.

 

Of course, at the same time, it doesn’t make sense to invest in “extreme vetting” of every single employee, which would cut significantly into profits. No, the best solution is a custom approach where every certified background search is designed specifically for the role you’re filling and optimized to match the level of trust you need to have in that individual.

Following is a brief case study outlining how a large mortgage company required this level of fast but thorough screening of over 250 employees in preparation for an acquisition.

The Problem

Our client — a leading mortgage company in a growth phase — acquired one of their competitors and required the screening of over 250 new employees. Time was of the essence because the deal needed to be completed as quickly as possible to maintain optimal provisions.

The company could easily have ensured a speedy completion of this large task by farming it out to a high-volume, automated background screening company offering near-instant results. But they knew that level of speed comes at a high price: potential non-compliance with strict industry regulations, and a significant chance of something important being overlooked.

So, they chose instead to employ NationSearch to handle their screening project.

The Solution

Although the company being acquired had been in business for decades and enjoyed a stellar reputation in the industry, the screening process turned up numerous criminal records. From DUI to domestic violence, and even cases of money fraud, the employees our client was getting ready to bring into their fold included convicted felons and a large number of people who had clearly proven they didn’t mind stretching the ethical envelope.

Soon enough, it became apparent that this pool of existing employees may have never been screened at all. An initial pool of 250 current employees quickly turned into well over 750 names as a number of employees had more than one (both aliases and numerous marriages). For screening purposes, each additional name has to be treated as an entirely new individual. This, plus the incredible amount of illegal activity we found, made our time-sensitive goal a real challenge.

With the project expanding as it did, our client could likely have done it much faster through an instant service, but this would have left them in a state of vulnerability and non-compliance. They chose the route of compliance which protected their clients, employees, company and reputation.

NationSearch completed the project in a week and a half, and met our deadline.

The Point

For financial services companies looking to maintain optimal security while supporting healthy margins, the best option is to partner with a professional background screening company with proven experience in performing comprehensive background checks that are customized to each position’s specific hiring needs.

While settling on a quick, simple, one-size-fits-all screening procedure can seem like a faster and more economical solution, the risk of bringing on the wrong people can be much more expensive in the long run. And, as you can see from the situation described above, it’s not uncommon for a certified background check to identify someone whose past actions indicate they’re an unacceptable risk.

Working with the right partner will save time and money in the long run by mitigating that risk, maintaining compliance with all applicable regulations, and ensuring you receive a comprehensive screening of every candidate based on what’s most important for you, not just what happens to be part of “the package.”

Working with the right professionals will also provide you with access to the tools, skills, and experience needed to keep the process streamlined and stress-free. When looking for the right employee screening service, make sure to ask these questions:

  • Are you FCRA-compliant? Complying with the necessary guidelines ensures that an FCRA compliant background check company and their clients are always up-to-date on the latest legal requirements and best practices.
  • Are your background check results and reports easy to read and understand? Reporting sources (i.e. county, state and federal courts) can be written in what seems like different languages, using different descriptions and acronyms for almost everything. The right background check partner will deliver reports you can clearly understand without the help of an attorney.
  • Do you have capacity to coordinate additional screening? Value-added services like a pre-employment drug test, or SSN Verification and Validation can provide additional pre-hiring insight, especially if you are on the fence about hiring someone.
  • Do you provide live support? The ability to call or email your background screening company and knowing you’re going to get a quick response goes a long way in helping you make the best decision.

NationSearch is an FCRA-compliant background check service focused solely on conducting background verifications that are designed to be easy and effective for applicants and employers alike. We customize the employee screening process to ensure the results are always specific and relevant to your company’s unique needs.

We know the employee background screening process can be confusing, stressful and time-consuming. We make the process seamless by providing efficient, timely methods and delivering critically accurate results.

If you’d like to take the next step and implement a more comprehensive certified background screening procedure, contact NationSearch today to discuss your options.

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Topics: Statistics & Case Studies

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