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Interview: SJV's Verifications Team Tackles Verification Challenges

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To learn more about how SJV Data Solutions is uniquely suited to help CRAs meet the challenge of the moment, we sat down with Jamie Cover, SJV’s Manager of Verifications Operations.

Jamie is responsible for running SJV’s verification unit as a separate P&L, reflecting our philosophy that, rather than being a loss leader, the best company at employment verification work can and should provide the service at a profit (for you and us).

Q: How large is the SJV verifications team currently?

Jamie: We have around 400 people in the verifications department right now.

Q: How were you able to achieve such a large size so quickly?

Jamie: During COVID, we’ve been able to streamline our hiring process — from application to start date — down to two weeks. That is one factor driving our scalability. Our training is a big differentiator, as well. The standard time to get somebody productive on the floor, for most CRAs, is four to six weeks. For us, we get people on the floor and at a production level of about 75% within the first week.

Thanks to our finely-tuned training program, our ability to scale up to meet demand is faster than anything else in the industry. So, if a client comes to us and is looking to give us a capacity of 400 to 500 verifications a week, we can staff that up. Just give us three weeks, and we can have that ready for you.

Q: In the background screening business, every end-user has different requirements for call frequency, number of calls, and so on. Different CRAs have varying in-house procedures, as well. How does SJV accommodate the customization needs of each CRA within the same group of callers?

Jamie: It’s all about taking a basic process and adding in the nuances that make each individual CRA unique. All of our processes are streamlined to fit the needs of any given CRA, and then, we add in those backend processes that are special to what each individual CRA does for their clients.

We always tell our clients, ‘Think of us like your newest employee. We know how to do verifications, but we don’t know — yet — how you do verifications.’ So, we ingest that, build it into our process, and we do it that way every time.

Q: But doesn’t that pressure your calling staff to remember the correct procedure for countless different clients?

Jamie: Not at all. Any customization that we build, we build into the system. Anytime you ask somebody to remember something for one client versus another, you’re bound to generate human errors. We take human error out of the equation.

For example, I love drop-down menus — no typing. They’re consistent, quick, and efficient. Tools like this error-proof the system.

Q: So, how long does it take to get all this customization work done and start making verification calls for a client?

Jamie: If customers don’t need any customization at all, it’s a 30-minute phone call, and then we’re ready. If they need customization, it can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours.

Q: That is blazingly fast. Are there any customization requirements you simply cannot handle?

Jamie: “Not really. One of the things I want our customers to know is we can help them with extremely specialized requests. Often, a company looking for a background screener will say something like, ‘Our standard call pattern is one call every day, but then in certain situations, we need you to call the first two days, skip two days, and then call.’

These very specific requirements may be challenging for CRAs to handle internally, but we can accommodate them! We can configure our system to help you answer that RFP and possibly win that business.

 Can you describe the ongoing relationship between SJV and your clients?

Jamie: It is a true partnership. It is us finding solutions to allow clients to feel comfortable not worrying about verifications. Our clients can then use their people to bolster different parts of their business.

We want to take the burden of verifications off of our clients’ shoulders and earn their trust that we have their back — that we're going to do what we need to do to perform for them and their end-users.

Q: Speaking of trust, why should a CRA trust SJV’s people, processes, and technology to complete employment verifications as well as (if not better than) an internal team?

Jamie: I’ve been in this industry for over 15 years now, and other leaders of our verifications department have been in the industry for well over a decade. We built our processes and efficiencies based on our combined experience.

In addition, all of our processes are built to align with Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) standards. If you use us, it checks off all the boxes you need for that accreditation.

Finally, we never rest on our laurels. We’re constantly innovating and improving. Serving over 200 CRAs gives you quite the dataset to learn from!

For us, the question is always, ‘What can we do better?’ What changes can we make to get people the results faster?’

We understand the industry. We know that it’s all about turnaround time and the impact on someone’s life. The work you’re doing as a CRA — and therefore, SJV’s work — has a direct impact on someone getting a job. And so, quality, accuracy, and speed are paramount.

Is your background screening company fighting to keep ahead of the backlogs? Is your CRA drowning beneath a flood of employment verification orders? SJV’s industry-leading people, processes, and technology can help release the pressure.

Get in touch and let SJV help with your verfications challenges.

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