I hope that you are enjoying your summer and have had a chance to take a nice relaxing vacation. In southern California we have been experiencing a ‘heat wave’ and it is unseasonably hot. I am sure I am not getting a lot of sympathy from those you in places where the temperature regularly exceeds 110 plus, like Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc.

Speaking of hot places, I will be presenting at the West Coast Pacific West HR Conference in Palm Springs in September 14 -16, 2009. If you are planning on attending please come by my session on The Background Screening Paradox During Hard Times. To get conference details go to

Check out’s and Tazworks new spiffy ads. The caliber of ads we are now seeing in the industry is second to none.

If you want a get a good laugh read The Other Side Of Social Networking to see some postings on Twitter that you won’t believe. Some employees seem to have forgotten Twitter has public viewers.

On a more serious note, I read the following excerpt from an article called ‘Stormy Weather (referring to our current economic times)’ and thought it was right on target. “People fail in business if they are fair weather folks, afraid of or paralyzed by foul weather. The world is currently experiencing economic foul weather. Many will fail by surrendering. That’s certainly their choice, but it need not be your choice. In fact, their exit means more opportunity for you. Orphaned or neglected customers to acquire, market share to gain. This is the time to learn more, do more. Learn more about profit management and do it. Learn more about your best customers and craft better products, services and [value] propositions appealing to them. Learn more. Do more. Get more. And, this is not the time to disconnect or withdraw from good sources and associations that contribute to your learning more and doing more. Being alone and isolated on an island assaulted by a violent storm is not a good thing, Think ‘Cape Fear.’ (Source: Kennedy, Dan, ‘Stormy Weather,’ Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, OC Chapter, June 2009)

Thanks again for reading The Background Buzz and please let me know what you think about it and any ideas you have on how we can improve the service we provide to you.

Have a safe and blessed week.

W. Barry Nixon, SPHR


PS - Sawubona (Zulu greeting hello)

Volume 5, Edition 7, July 2009



When Is It Safe To Hire Someone With a Criminal Record?New Carnegie Mellon Study Provides Empirical Basis For Employers To Use in Assessment of Prior Criminal Records

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created a model for providing empirical evidence on when an ex-convict has been “clean” long enough to be considered “redeemed” for employment purposes. The new study, which appears in the current issue of Criminology, estimates that after five years of staying clean an individual with a criminal record is of no greater risk of committing another crime than other individuals of the same age. The research comes at a time when President Barack Obama’s crime agenda includes breaking down employment barriers for people who have a prior criminal record, but who have stayed clean since their earlier offense.

For More Information Go To:

Social Networking Profiles More Accurate Than Resumes

In the debate about whether to search for candidates online before they’re hired, here’s another reason hiring managers may consider doing so: Candidates are often more honest in their LinkedIn profiles than in the resumes they send employers. At least that’s what LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman said at the Social Recruiting Summit held recently at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

For More Information Go To:

The Berg Report - SHRM 2009 Annual National Conference

As expected, attendance this year at the conference was significantly off from 2008. SHRM reported attendance of only 6,800 vs. 12,000 for 2008, off 44% (does this sound similar to your year-to-year sales volume drop off?). It’s interesting that they also reported 3200 exhibitor personnel this year, equating to 2.1 attendees for every exhibitor person working their booth. Surprisingly the number of pre-employment exhibitors was up from last year. 2008 had 36 companies concentrating on background checks and 41 this year. Plus there were a couple of drug screeners and several assessment testing companies. It seemed like some of the larger pre-employment screening companies not only downsized their booth space, but they also downsized the number of employees they brought to the show.

For More Information or To Read The Full Report:

Key Findings Of KPMG Background Screening Survey

The background screening industry has matured and providers have experienced substantial growth over the past several years. Participants have increased revenue and become vital partners with their customers in the overall screening process – whether related to employees, customers or tenants. Many of the survey questions this year focused on financial performance, outlook and challenges in light of the current economic climate.

The following chart depicts Actions Taken by Screening Providers as a result of the economic situation:

In order to place the results in context, note that respondents completed the survey during March 2009 so full year 2008 results were known and Q1 2009 was partially complete.

For More Information or To Read The Full Report Click Here

Railroads Find Common Contractor Screening Solution

In the years since 9-11, the transportation sector has gone a long way toward mitigating potential threats within its own work force, most often under government mandates like the Transportation Worker Identification Credential and the requirement for criminal background checks of hazmat truck drivers. Yet, one major personnel security initiative was industry-driven and has grown into a best practice: the e-RAILSAFE program. North America’s Class I lines, which are the larger operations, use this program not only to vet and credential contract workers, but also to administer security awareness training that is mandated by federal regulators. E-RAILSAFE’s other participating railroads include Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway and CSX, Inc.

Personnel security vendor e-VERIFILE.COM developed e-RAILSAFE. Participation in e-RAILSAFE is a condition of the railroads’ contracts. Applicants are flagged for denial sectorwide if they have outstanding criminal warrants, felony charges, or a felony conviction within the prior seven years; served a prison sentence within the prior five years; or raise Social Security fraud alerts. Higher criteria may be imposed by individual railroads or based on the nature of contracts. Participating workers are rescreened at least once every two years, says e-RAILSAFE spokesman Tony Cooper.

For More Information Go To:

ICE System Catching Immigrants With Criminal Records Through Secure Communities Program

Secure Communities, which debuted in the fall, aims to target the “most egregious” of the estimated 300,000 to 450,000 suspected illegal immigrants eligible for deportation each year from the nation's prisons and jails, said Richard Rocha, an ICE spokesman. The system works by simultaneously checking suspects' fingerprint submissions against the FBI's database of criminal records and DHS' master immigration database. When a suspect has a “match” in the system, ICE officials are electronically notified, and can file paperwork to detain suspects before their release from local custody. Local and federal authorities say the system has significantly helped identify suspected illegal immigrants, particularly those who have multiple fake identifications and aliases. “We have the capability now of identifying foreign-born inmates that have committed a crime within minutes if they're in the ICE system — versus waiting for hours or missing them altogether.”

For More Information Go To:

June’s Jobless Jump Worse Than Expected; More Economic Turbulence Ahead

Recession-racked employers in the U.S. slashed 467,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department reported, far worse than the 363,000 that economists expected and a grim signal that the path to recovery will be bumpy. The national jobless rate rose to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent in May, a 26-year high. The report—one of the most closely watched economic indicators—disappointed investors who had become encouraged by positive signs recently that key areas of the economy including housing and manufacturing were showing modest signs of improvement. Nationally, the June jobs report was the latest blow to the market’s confidence about the economy.

For More Information Go To:


United States: Latest Developments In Employment Verification Enforcement

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that it will begin to investigate workplaces in all 50 states to identify employers who are hiring undocumented workers. Specifically on July 1, 2009, ICE launched a comprehensive audit initiative and issued Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 652 businesses nationwide. ICE did not issue that many NOIs in all of 2008 ICE reported that the 652 businesses that were presented with a NOI on July 1 for a Form I-9 audit were apparently selected as a result of leads and information obtained through other investigative means. The names and locations of the businesses have not yet been released. ICE's actions are directly in line with President Barack Obama's pledge to fight illegal immigration by going after employers who hire undocumented workers. States are also apparently beginning to enforce their state immigration compliance provisions.

For More Information Go To:

 LEGAL (continued)

Sexual Assault at Virginia Assisted Living Facility Ends in Huge Verdict

Cote De Neige Home for Adults assisted living facility was hit with $750,000 damage verdict after charges were brought against a former certified nursing assistant (CNA) who was accused of sexually assaulting a mentally disabled man. The lawsuit accused the facility and its owner of failing to exercise "reasonable care" when they hired the CNA, Junious Boyd Batten by failing to conduct an adequate pre-hiring background search before hiring a CNA. According to claims made in the lawsuit against Cote De Neige, Batten had been charged with thirteen criminal offenses before and during the time he worked at the facility. The lawsuit claims Batten was charged with 13 criminal offenses-- including four criminal convictions (public intoxication, two assault and battery charges and one contempt of court charge) during the course of his employment as a CNA. The lawsuit alleged that the facility "knew or should have known that (Batten) was unfit, unsuitable, untrustworthy, and incompetent for the position...and was likely to cause injury and harm to residents.”

For More Information Go To:


Corporate Screening Announces Safe Harbor Recertification

Corporate Screening has achieved Safe Harbor Recertification from the United States Department of Commerce, which signifies that Corporate Screening's international background screening services are in compliance with the data protection principles set forth by the European Union. "Our Safe Harbor Recertification means that we can continue to provide our clients with access to background information on European job candidates," said Dennis Drellishak, President of Corporate Screening. "We are well-positioned to serve our clients in this respect as the demand for international talent has increased." The United States Department of Commerce and the European Commission developed the Safe Harbor framework in order to allow for the safe transfer of personal data from European countries to the United States. Safe Harbor bridges the gap between the different approaches to privacy adopted by the European Union and the United States.

For More Information Go To:

 Welcome to the Legal Challenge Question!

Sponsored By:’s 2009 Marketing Portfolios for:

2009 Marketing Portfolios for:

Background Screening (CRAs) Firms
International Background Screening Firms
Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry

We Specialize in Promoting the Products and Services of businesses in the Background Screening Industry. Click on the specific Marketing Portfolio above that fits your business.

As the background screening industry continues to get more competitive the firms that will ultimately succeed will be those that create competitive advantage through their people by offering continuous learning opportunities to heightened their knowledge and capabilities. We believe that having employees that are very knowledgeable about the legal landscape of background screening is essential to continued success.

We are grateful to Pam Devata, Seyfarth Shaw LLP for providing the expertise for this valuable endeavor. For information regarding the answers to the Legal Challenge Questions, please contact Pamela Devata at Seyfarth Shaw LLP at or 312-460-5000 or visit

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:

Which state places some restrictions on employers seeking to require employees or job applicants to pay for their own background reports?

A. New Hampshire

B. Minnesota

C. Texas

D. New Jersey

 ANNOUNCEMENTS (continued)

S2Verify Chooses deverus as Software Provider

deverus, Inc., a leading provider of software and hosted support services for background screening companies, announced today that S2Verify has selected deverus’ Verocity 2009 software platform to provide an enterprise- level solution for its background screening services, pre-employment screening division. S2Verify, located in Roswell, GA and Chicago, IL, is a full-service background and pre-employment screening company. Jim Zimbardi, President of S2Verify, stated, “deverus’ enterprise Verocity 2009 platform fits our strategic needs better than anything in the marketplace today. It is a user-friendly professional platform and tool that allows us to market to the largest of clients without concern for normal enterprise system challenges. It will also accommodate our smaller clients as well without overwhelming them. Simply stated, deverus provided us with software that is very intuitive and sophisticated but simple to use.”

For More Information on Verocity 2009 Go To:

NASSCOM Selects Matrix As One of India’s 50 Emerging Companies

Matrix Business Services India Private Ltd (Matrix), one of India’s leading employee background screening companies and a member of NAPBS, has been included by NASSCOM in the “Emerge 50” – a list of India’s 50 “Emerging Companies.” NASSCOM ( is the premier trade body and chamber of commerce for the IT & BPO industry in India. Matrix helps mitigate business risk through its verification services by providing its clients a suite of services including (i) Audit and Assurance Services in the supply chain space (ii) Employee Background Check Services in the HR domain and (iii) Financial Risk Management Services for Banking & Financial services clients.

For More Information Go To: or contact R. Swaminathan at

Innovative Launches OffenderScan™ Sex Offender Screening

Innovative Enterprises, Inc. announced the release of its OffenderScan™ sex offender screening utility. Developed in consultation with the firm's industry-leading consumer reporting agency partners, OffenderScan™ significantly bolsters existing efforts to identify registered sex offenders who may be attempting to gain access to vulnerable populations. Traditional sex offender searches use simple name matching logic in an attempt to identify matches and close matches to the name being searched, resulting in a "double downside." False positives, cases in which records are returned that don't belong to the subject being searched, and false negatives, whereby relevant records are missed, are common. This has always made the process of screening for sex offenders a very imprecise science, at best. "The logic behind OffenderScan™ is much different," clarified Ryan Chesney, Innovative's Chief Technology Officer. "We've built a matching process that attempts to view the records as a human researcher would, so that rather than dealing in black and white absolutes, OffenderScan™ considers probabilities and similarities. By doing so, we overcome many of the obstacles that stump traditional matching logic such as name variations, hyphens, apostrophes, periods and spaces, and other common errors such as transposed, duplicated, inserted and deleted characters." OffenderScan™ is available to select professional employment screening agencies, private investigators performing background investigations and tenant screening firms doing background checks on prospective renters.

For more information, please visit


Tighten Background Checks Everywhere

The article "Sweep snares 169 fugitives" reported that Frank Bempong, an employee of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and a wanted felon, was being arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service. He passed a fingerprint background check when he was hired. That's great. The problem is that in all the years he worked there, he was never rerun through the fingerprinting database. Another July article was "Caregiver mum on charges" reported that an in-home health-care employee, Tristan J. Quintero, was charged with raping a patient's neighbor. His initial background check, five years ago, was clean. Yet, he was convicted of weapons-related charges in 2008 that would exclude him from even working in this field. Quintero was supposed to report these convictions to his employer.

For More Information Go To:


6 Dumb Ways To Get Fired

Luckily for managers, Twitter, a popular new Web tool makes it easier to catch lying and rule-breaking employees. Here are some examples of most ridiculous workplace Twitter gaffes, according to the online resume service ResumeBear:

1. “I used a new Autosend email feature last night on my boss. Completely fooled him! He called me this a.m. to thank me for working so late!”

2. “I’ve been sleeping with my boss for years and haven’t gotten a promotion yet. It’s not worth it.”

3. “Work was crappy today, my boss is a stupid idiot.”

I am really sure the boss will be real happy about the second item being posted online.

For More Information Go To:


Employee Fraud And Misconduct

The recession has brought more than just layoffs and losses; it is increasing employee fraud and misconduct. As senior management teams have focused on reevaluating 2009 by restructuring departments and business units, and in many cases dramatically reducing the size of the company, employees have increasingly become cynical about the ethical culture of the typical corporation. That cynicism has translated directly into a lack of respect for the company and its rules and a rise in fraud and misconduct. Based on a survey of more than 125,000 employees in 75 countries over the past five quarters, the Corporate Executive Board has seen startling trends in this area, including:

• A 20% increase in observations of misconduct from the first to the second half of 2008;

• A 5% decline in frontline employee perceptions of senior management's commitment to integrity;

Moreover, the Corporate Executive Board's research shows that business units with the weakest cultures have experienced five times the amount of misconduct as those with the best. In other words, when employees perceive a weak ethical culture, misconduct significantly rises.

For More Information Go To:

Employees are Seeking Revenge

Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that employees are increasingly reacting to their layoffs and terminations with varying degrees of revenge. HR leaders need to create processes and procedures that minimize that risk.

  • A woman, anticipating an impending layoff, makes claims of sexual harassment against her supervisor and sends them off in an e-mail to corporate headquarters. An investigation later determines the claims are unsubstantiated.
  • A terminated IT employee embeds a virus into the company's computer system -- timed to go off two weeks after his departure so it wouldn't look like he did it.
  • An employee -- permitted to pack up his belongings after being terminated -- flips a switch behind a panel that everyone else had forgotten about and shuts down the business' operations for about three days, while company leaders try to address what they thought was a "virus."

These are all actual examples of employee sabotage and retaliation that took place after terminations.

"This stuff happens and I think it's just a question of employers not appreciating where people can do harm -- identifying where their risk is, anticipating it and preventing it," says Merrily Archer, a labor and employment attorney in the Denver office of Fisher & Phillips.

For More Information Go To:

 TENANT SCREENING and TransUnion Launch Co-Branded Tenant Screening Services The National Landlord Tenant Guide and TransUnion today announced the launch of a co-branded website, an affordable online solution to help independent landlords and multi-family operators better evaluate prospective applicants' rental applications. The solution comes at a time in the rental market when there is a greater need to verify a person's credit history in a timely, cost effective manner. While tenant screening is becoming widely adopted by independent rental owners, it is often time consuming and expensive to manually order credit reports or there has been no easy method to conduct background checks, sometimes taking days to receive this information. In addition, many owners have no processes in place to maintain, store or protect this type of information as required by Federal Law. TransUnion's SmartMove provides a new level of security for consumers as they do not have to share their personal information with the landlord - while landlords improve efficiencies because of the instant online screening process.

For More Information Go To: or


SHRM Reports July Hiring Expectations at a 5 Year Low Although Evidence Shows That The Job Market May Be Improving

Hiring expectations for July are still far behind the levels of one year ago, but compared with the first few months of 2009, a growing number of companies in the manufacturing and service sectors are starting to take on new employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) survey.

Continuing a recent trend, July hiring expectations are at a five-year low. Though hiring is down in July compared with the same time in 2008, more companies in both the manufacturing and service sectors will add jobs rather than conduct layoffs. That is the first time this has occurred since November 2008.

There is some evidence that the job market is gradually improving. July marks the highest level of hiring in the manufacturing sector since November 2008. In the service sector in July, the hiring rate will surpass the layoff rate for the third consecutive month.

For More Information Go To:


10 Tips to Consider Before Placing an Order with a Record Retriever
Accurately communicating needs and expectations goes a long way to avoid major misunderstandings between clients and retrievers. Be clear at the outset on what you expect a record retriever to do for you. Here are ten aspects of a search we think are essential to review before you hire a retriever. Of course, the one big question not on this list that you will want to ask the retriever is “What is the cost?” This answer cannot be determined until the ten items in this article series are clear to both parties.

Tip # 3. Decide the Time Period to Search
When hiring a retriever to search public records, you need to give specific instructions on how far back to make the search. Better yet, ask what is the retriever’s norm or standard search period for that particular county. Many local jurisdictions have computerized an index to records, but the index may only go back a limited number of years. If the date range of the index does not meet your needs, the retriever will need to perform a separate, manual search of the older records. This will trigger a higher fee if the search entails looking at two docket locations. Knowing this at the outset will eliminate possible billing disputes.

This article is coming from the Public Record Retriever Network - PRRN

For More Information Go To:


Background Screening and Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspectives
By Barry Nixon, SPHR, and Kim Kerr, CPP; Reviewed by Peter Psarouthakis

Managing risk in the hiring process can be a challenging task for an organization’s human resources (HR) and security departments. Having the right resources and experience to properly conduct a background screening or an investigation is vital. Fortunately, there is a growing amount of valuable material available. Background Screening and Investigations is one of them. Authors Barry Nixon and Kim Kerr lay a good foundation by explaining the risks posed by not having an appropriate screening process. Next, they address how legal issues can affect background screening and an organization as a whole. The authors then explain how security and HR must collaborate in this important process. The chapter titled “Background Checking Policy” is one of the book’s many highlights. Nixon and Kerr explain the importance of having a policy in place and the laws governing background screening.

The usefulness of this chapter cannot be overstated. The reader could easily use the authors’ detailed arguments in making the case to management that a policy is needed. Later, the chapter provides detailed examples of hiring policies, focusing on specific issues the documents must address. Other chapters in this book are just as detailed and informative. Those who conduct background screening or investigations know the importance of keeping current on the ever-changing environment of background screening. Background Screening and Investigations is an important resource that anyone involved in hiring or the background screening business should keep close at hand.

Reprinted with permission of Security Management magazine. This is not intended to be an endorsement by Security Management magazine or ASIS International.

 One Site! Many Suppliers!

Looking for the Top Suppliers in the Industry? Need to find a new Supplier?

Visit’s VENDOR SHOWCASE which features suppliers to the Background Screening Industry (go to, click on ‘Click Here’ and then scroll down to Vendor Showcase for Background Screening Industry Suppliers)


We can help you have a high quality e-newsletter to help nurture your relationship with your clients and attract new clients. Our customized newsletter service will take over your newsletter task or create a new one for you. We can manage the creation of your newsletter for you.

We are constantly researching information to use for The Background Buzz and you can put our research to use for you. Using the information rich content from The Background Buzz (minus the ads and competitors information) we will create a custom newsletter for you.

Use your staff’s time to do more valuable work and save all the hassle of researching or writing articles, formatting and managing all the other ezine tasks with our customized ezine process.

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Crackdown On Teacher Violence

West Australian students who assault teachers have been put on notice. The State School Teachers Union's Anne Gisborne says that from next term, teachers who are assaulted by students will report attacks to police. This goes to the heart of creating a safe workplace for a teachers and a safe education environment for our students. About 40 teachers have been seriously assaulted by students this year at a cost to the government of an estimated $5 million in workers compensation.

For More Information Go To:


Protecting Employers From Insider Threats Initiative Launched (PREFIT)

It’s a well known fact that employer organisations face an increased threat when times are hard, and dealing
with their employees who may be struggling with mortgages and/or bills to turn to low (and sometimes high) level criminality. To combat this growing threat the Metropolitan Police has created the PREFIT Initiative as part of Operations Sterling which is designed to develop industry groups that eventually become self-sustaining and self-sufficient. Areas that have already been tackled include recruitment, property, the construction industry, motor vehicle advertisers and the travel and hotel sectors.” PREFITS inaugural kick-off event’s welcoming address was given by Peter Burns, Metropolitan Police, who is the chief architect and implementer – and self-confessed “honest broker” – of the Sector Fraud Forums run from the Yard. “Today is an historic day for the vetting and screening profession,” said Burns. “In co-operation with Operation Sterling that sits within the Economic and Specialist Crime Unit at New Scotland Yard, I can validate what is being done with PREFIT.” Peter Hurst the chief executive of CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service also spoke and he noted that “ background screening is a first line of defence against fraud.” (source: Control Risk Screening). David Chernick, senior manager for KPMG Forensic, is the chairman of PREFIT and has garnered the support of Dr Bernard Herdan, executive at the National Fraud Authority. Herdan said: “By bringing together lots of agencies with industry we can start to create a very strong anti-fraud network.”

What will PREFIT do with that network?
To help delegates in that regard, the CPNI produces several guideline documents. These include Personnel
Security Risk Assessment, the Good Practice Guide to Pre-Employment Screening, the Good Practice Guide to Ongoing Personnel Security and Personnel Security in Offshore Locations (

For More Information and to Read The Full Article Go To:

Security Director Guilty Of Working Without Licence

A Blackburn woman has been found guilty of working as a security director without holding a licence from the Security Industry Authority. Tracy Brownridge was a director of Universal Security Solutions Limited, based in Accrington, Lancashire. This week she appeared at Accrington Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to five counts under Section 3 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 – working without an SIA licence and one count under Section 9 – failing to adhere to licence conditions. This is a classic situation where had the business conducted a credentials verification it would have save them a lot of time, money and reputational issues.

For More Informationi Go To:

Background Checks On The Rise

Background checks are increasing in their importance to recruitment, according to candidate verification service Experian Background Checking. Experian has revealed that the volume of recruitment background checks carried out in the first quarter of 2009 has increased by 3% against the same period in 2008, despite a sharp drop in recruitment levels.

For More Information Go To:

CIPD Sees Little Evidence That Rate Of Redundancies Is On The Decline

According to the CIPD' "Our data offers little comfort that there will be any significant let-up in the redundancy rate in the next few months . . . moreover, with 300,000 redundancies recorded in the first quarter alone and, as our helpline data suggest, more on the way throughout the remainder of the year, one should probably avoid putting too positive a spin on the impact of this recession on the workplace."

For More Information Go To:

Drug Testing On The Rise

According to drug charity Release, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of employees being subjected to drug testing by their employers, and that more workers are being dismissed from their jobs as a direct result. Many employers now carry out random drug tests on their employees, particularly in areas where health and safety are of paramount concern. Any employer who wishes to put a drug testing scheme into effect should first have a clear policy in place which sets out the circumstances in which they can ask an employee to take a test and also the implications of a refusal to comply.

For More Information Go To:

Jobs Market Shows Early Signs Of Recovery

Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), stated "The UK jobs market shows signs of life." The jobs market is beginning to show signs of improvement as the number of people gaining employment has declined at the slowest rate for more than a year. The Report on Jobs by REC and KPMG showed that the index reading for the number of people placed in permanent positions in June was 48.6 - on a scale where 50 indicates no change - which was the slowest rate of decline in 13 months. In May, this figure was 41.7. The number of vacancies available in June also declined at a slower rate with an index reading of 39.2 - compared with 34.4 during the previous month. Meanwhile the sharp increase in the number of people looking for work has slowed. The rise in availability of permanent staff rose to an index reading of 74 - compared with 75.1 in May - which was the smallest rise in nine months. The rise in temporary and contract staff was indicated by an index reading of 76.7. But Mike Stevens, partner and head of business services at KPMG, warned it was still too early to talk of a recovery in the jobs market. He said the continued improvements could be attributed to employers' attempts to seek alternatives to redundancies.

For More Information Go To:

We invite you to pull up a chair, grab your latte and take a break while you join us for this month’s issue of The Background Bistro. This week’s guest is Pattie Annunziata, National Sales Executive for Merchants Credit Bureau located in Savannah, GA.

Pattie focuses on new sales with resellers. She spends a lot of time making sure that a new client fully understands and complies with legal permissible reasons for having access to personal identifiable information. She takes this portion of her job very seriously.

She has been with Merchants Credit Bureau going on four years and knows she made the right decision to join them after her previous employer, Credit Data Services of Florida, was purchased by Experian. She has been in this segment of the industry for more than 5 years and the credit industry for 12 years.

She loves being in the background screening part of the business and thoroughly enjoys working with and helping people. She smiles as she says despite having a business relationship with her clients many of them also want to know about their own personal credit situation and generally have a lot of questions which she is happy to answer.

When I asked her ‘what led her to get into the background screening industry’ she reflected for a moment and thought it was the right place and right time. She then shared that once her daughter, who plays softball in the under 12 years old league, started playing organized softball she recognized the critical importance of coaches and volunteers that work with the girls having background checks. The beaming mom shared that her daughter plays shortstop, third base and pitches. Her team recently won a travel tournament in South Carolina and placed 2nd for the state of Georgia.

When asked about her observations of the industry she noted that customers are wanting to get more educated and appreciate the focus on compliance and adhering to regulations such as the new ‘Red Flag’ rules. Pattie emphasized that by educating her clients many of them have revisited their approaches and she sees many of them ‘going back to basics’ as oppose to just relying on a lot of databases. She sees herself as a coach and feels very positive about being able to take this role. She noted that the protection of the consumer must always be at the forefront and the attentiveness to details is extremely important because something that on the surface may appear to be minute may be something that needs to be paid close attention to. She also made a point of mentioning that ‘there is always a reason for rules” and they need to be followed. She recalled an example of when someone had sent sensitive credit information in an email and it got intercepted by a scam artist in Nigeria. There is a reason why we should not send sensitive information via email as was learned in the situation she mentioned.

On the personal side she loves to cook and likes to cook a variety of foods. She has been thinking about signing up for a culinary course. She loves sushi and authentic Mexican food.

She also likes to travel and two of her favorite places are the Caymen Islands and Costa Rica. She likes their serenity and simple beauty. In the future she is looking at vacationing in Navarre Beach along the Panhandle of Florida.

She likes sport and was definitely routing for Orlando during the recent NBA Champions Series and the Los Angeles Lakers. Maybe next year she will be able to cheer them onto victory.

She also enjoys spending time with her family which includes her daughter, 12 years old and her son who is 18 months old. She is reading ‘Twilight’ with her daughter and mentioned she recently had re-read “The Little Red Book of Selling.” She also mentioned she is gearing up for the terrible twos and wishes there was some way to skip over that phase.

Although originally from Hawthorne, CA she considers Orlando, Florida home. This is where she grew up. She graduated from Oviedo High School and attended University of Central Florida.

Reflecting on her company and where she sees the industry going she believes there is a lot of opportunity for growth in the industry and that we should also expect a lot more regulations. She applauds NAPBS and the leadership role they have played in the industry and she is expecting bigger and better things from them in the future. She thinks that customers need more education because on many issues they are ‘out in left field’ so they need a more detailed understanding of the mechanics of how things work. She was also excited about a new sales agent program initiative in her company that she believes will expand opportunities for her company and clients. In essence, the program allows clients to refer business to MCB to take on opportunities that may be to complex or large for the client to handle. The client will earn a commission on the business, thus, they do not lose out on the opportunity and still will earn money from it. She sees a bright future of MCB and the industry.

For More Information On MCB Go To or contact Pattie at



2009 Events (Click Here to View full list of 2009 Events) – Updated Monthly

SHRM State Conferences, visit

Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), 2008 Training Course Schedule, visit

National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), 2009 Webinar Schedule, visit

World Federation for Personnel Management, Events,


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