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Title: “Quick & Detailed Background Checks With A Specialized Touch”
Guest: Phil Sharkey – The Hire Authority
Interviewer: Jonathan Freedman – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jonathan (0s):
Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs. I’m Jonathan Freedman and our next guest up who is actually a wonderful reporter for Radio Entrepreneurs who often needs no introduction, but we will nonetheless Phil Sharkey of The Hire Authority. Always. Great to see you.

Phil (14s):
Great, Jonathan, thank you so much. It’s great to be here and I look forward to talking today, how you do

Jonathan (19s):
Excellent. Thank you. You’re always bringing us wonderful news in the, in the world of screening and hiring. And since this is such a challenging market for a lot of employers, I’m often giving them great advice in terms of how to make sure they get the right people on board. Tell us a little bit about why The Hire Authority, what’s the, what are you guys providing to, to people in the marketplace and helping employers achieve?

Phil (41s):
Thank you, Jonathan. I appreciate that that lead in. And again, we are seeing approximately 40% of the background checks we conduct turn out fraudulent was previously 30%, 40%. So a huge number. Again, these are people that we’re not sneaking in and grabbing. These are people that know a background check is going to be conducted, but it really wanted to focus today on our services as I’ve worked in the past for these larger screening companies and in such an and I think there is a huge difference to our, our profile, our platform, where we want to focus on a quick diligent, Detailed Background report, but just as important as ease of services that I’m dealing with. HR directors, HR, generalists, HR managers, office managers, business owners, they don’t have a lot of time to be bogged down in my work.

Phil (1m 24s):
And it’s sort of a, I’m going to sort of probably anger some of my screening cohorts and open the doors to, to how the process goes. But a lot of these larger companies really have such a volume of work that, that your importance really falls down. You’re just a number. And for us, we do conduct approximately 500 to 700 backgrounds a month. It was a thousand before COVID and in that number, we can really offer the specialized service and make it easier for our clients to, to use our services.

Jonathan (1m 54s):
So let me ask you this, Phil, is it very much that sometimes when you’re dealing with the large national players, it tends to be a little bit more of a cookie cutter approach. You know, it’s, it’s a canned sort of approach. You can’t alter it, but in talking to a company like yours, if I have specific needs or specific interests or specific information I’m looking to uncover, you guys will tailor, you will do things a lot more oriented towards the particular situation and an applicant pool.

Phil (2m 21s):
Yeah. Jonathan, exactly three things I see as first of all, it’s senior level people at my firm handle your work. It’s all senior senior level investigators at the large firms. Again, you’re dealing with a huge moving parts, a lot of employees. And trust me, they’re very transient. They move on as I did myself one day. So the level of professionalism and the second is that we have a system. Every background check needs a signed release authorization from the individual. You cannot skirt that no screening company can. What I see in other firms is they have a portal or a database system, and they sell that so much, Jonathan, they, they, they, they promise you the world. They make it seem outstanding, but they cause more work for you.

Phil (3m 1s):
You have to enter in the information. If you spell the name wrong, if it’s compliant, ski, and you misspelled that that’s going to be on you. I’ve always taken it as to that’s our job and he’s portal systems that they enter into deputize. You, they make you like another employee of the company. And for us, again, you’re paying quite a fee, a service fee, that’s our job. And we have that back and forth. As you mentioned in your question, the, the, the conversation, and we set the expectations with the clients initially, and then after report that up, I’m always available. Other senior members are available, often spend 30 minutes on the phone talking to the results that are very important for a client because the background checks information and how they utilize that information is really key.

Phil (3m 44s):
And sometimes information comes back and the client really needs to clarify what’s going on here. So what was that a conviction? What does there’s no little contender. I mean, not a Rhode Island. How can I act on it? And that’s really our expertise, that extract information, but also to be available, to, to go over the results with people.

Jonathan (4m 0s):
That’s very interesting. You point that out because I imagine again, if you’re dealing with a large national company, that’s screening, perhaps hundreds of people a day, that it is very much a here’s your report, you know, go with God, so to speak, you know, best of luck, as opposed to really understanding and digging in and finding out, you know, what are important details, what are not, because I think as we’ve talked about in prior segments, you know, just because there’s a piece of information there, it might not always there, there, it might not be a tip of an iceberg. And so it needs some interpretation and really understanding what’s behind it. Is this something of note, given the particular position, the person’s applying to, you know, what, what, what do I do with the information?

Phil (4m 40s):
So true. And it’s something I’ve been doing a long time. We’ve been in business here for 20 plus years. So I know all the ins and outs, and it’s simply put, we are a large company as well. We do screening coast to coast as well as internationally. The difference is how the information is submitted to us. These portal systems they’ll talk about security, but they often get cracked and breached as well. We have a dedicated computers that comes in by encrypted email. Everything is very secure here. And then the turnaround time we give a three-day turnaround time. These portal systems, they say, you can go in Jonathan, check on your work. How’s it going on? You sent it on Monday. Now it’s Wednesday. What good is checking on your work and just see that it’s pending compared to our style where you get it back in three days.

Phil (5m 20s):
And then we can talk about the results, discuss anything compared to waiting. I’ve had some of the larger companies, you know, my clients tell me, they’re waiting seven, 10 days, 14 days. That’s too long for a background report. You lose good people. You have a position to fill and you know, for you to be following up and checking on your work, that’s, that’s unacceptable. You need to get the results as soon as possible. And three days is a timeframe that we go by feeling

Jonathan (5m 45s):
Well, since you opened the door on this one, I’m going to ask the question. What, what sort of expectation should your clients have in terms of their time commitment? Not, not obviously over the three-day period, but you know, you talked about the setup. You talked about the involvement. Talk about time for debrief. What does it look like from the client’s perspective in terms of effort and time? Is it a half an hour upfront, half an hour on the back end, or, you know, what should the expectation be over those three or six days or however long? The whole process will take them in a particular screening.

Phil (6m 13s):
Yeah, John, that’s a great question to submit the information to me, it shouldn’t be harmless. It should be minutes. They should not have to take a lot of time. All we need is a signed release. Again, we’re a more detailed company, a full background investigations. We often need the application and resume. That’s sort of my roadmap that gives me the education. And then your job is done. The next time we talk, we’ll be in three days long, the background report comes back. Everything’s fine, outstanding. If there are issues, we notate it. And that client often calls and says, I have questions. Why is there no degree? They claim there’s a degree. What can we do? We often also now speak with the applicants. Many of our clients do drug screening and we set that up and it was a back and forth with the applicant.

Phil (6m 54s):
Many employers, they, especially in the pharmaceutical field, they’ll say they worked at ABC company, but they didn’t. They were placed from another company much like a, I know you have mark on today from legal staffing. That’s where you need to go to get the actual records and they don’t provide that. So sometimes we can cut down on your involvement and go right to the applicants, say, listen, you were working at Pfizer, but that was not your employer who placed you there. That’s what I need to help you to, to finish your background report. So there’s that expertise as to how we’re going to go best about extracting the information to make them as fast as possible.

Jonathan (7m 26s):
And do you find over the 20 years or 20 plus years that you’ve been at The Hire Authority or even longer in the industry, that candidates tend to be more or less resistant to hearing from a company like yours today?

Phil (7m 39s):
That’s a great question, Janet than I think much less resistant today. There was a time when there was really standoff back off. Who are you? Big brother? What are you doing? Well now I think most of the professionals understand what’s going on. That I actually try to turn and say, help me help you like the line from that movie where I can’t verify your employment, unless you tell me where you actually worked and who your employer was. So they understand most of the professionals more involvement. We still get some pushback. And of course, when negative information surfaces, they have a entitled to a copy of their background report and they often speak with me. And what I do is try to help them for the future and say, listen, man, this is going to show again, you know, you have this record, you need to be upfront about it.

Phil (8m 20s):
You can overcome it. It’s your background. And here’s what you need to do to understand it’s going to surface every time and be prepared.

Jonathan (8m 27s):
Yeah. I’d imagine from a candidates perspective, looking at it the way you’ve just described it, you know, you’re actually, you know, a guy that can help them to tell their story, whether it’s in this particular instance or moving forward. So in, in a lot of respects, even though they may not be paying for it, they may be benefiting more. So in terms of color, career advice,

Phil (8m 46s):
It was like, you know, job coach. And I’ve had some people actually call and say, can you do a background? Check on me for me as I’m going to be going to more and more jobs. And I want to know what’s going to sort of, I always tell people, there’s no reason I should know more about you than you Jonathan. If I do your background check and people go to me, well, I didn’t know that it’s like, you should know that this is you. It’s your background. And again, unfortunately that usually those people that will go back and forth, it’s a 30 to 40% of people who just prominently are not at all who they claim to be. And those are the ones that, that draw the huge red flag.

Jonathan (9m 17s):
Phil, I’m not going to ask you to do it. I don’t even want to find out about my past. I remember more, I forget more of it than I remember. It’s a good thing.

Phil (9m 27s):
What do you mean my license is suspended. I just moved on like, well, there you go. You had a speeding violation. You didn’t pay. It’s very Anakin. This is that big. But right now, do you know, you’re driving on a suspended license. And if you get pulled over today, big stuff’s going to happen. And they’re like, I didn’t even know.

Jonathan (9m 42s):
Right. And that can give them the impetus to really go and rectify those relatively benign situations and, and clean up the record so to speak.

Phil (9m 50s):
Absolutely. And again, the process is so easy and I see a lot of these large companies, not that to pick on them, but you know, they’re doing a lot of different things. They’re doing payroll for the other. Sometimes involved in many working pieces. We just do background screening. That’s what we feel is our expertise. And whether it’s here in California, Texas, the game doesn’t change for what we do. Just the playing field and other, the clients who do appreciate that approach. You always get a person when you call here. I had a client once in the convenience store chain, large client in the Massachusetts areas. You know what I like best about you guys fill in the course. I thought it’d be me. Or a process was like, no, not at all. He said that a person answers the phone. When I call little things, little details to make it easy as possible, ease of service.

Jonathan (10m 30s):
Absolutely. And it sounds like you and The Hire Authority are all about to making this as painless as possible for the, for your clients and for the applicants as well and getting closure and getting people hired. That’s really what it’s all about. So helping out, helping out business, helping out the individuals, The Hire Authority is what you guys are all about. Phil Sharkey. It’s always a pleasure to have you on Radio Entrepreneurs. If people want to reach out to you talk more about the process. I wonder if you’ve ever had a candidate, as you alluded to call you up and say felt, can you do a background check on me and I’m not applying for anything, but as you said, I want to, I want to make sure what’s the skeletons out there. Another opportunity to create some, some, some work for you. I guess

Phil (11m 9s):
Meredith is then I’ve had people call as well. Like I might list a, you might have a supervisor. It was a reference. And I’ll talk to the reference. And before they call me back, they’ll call you up Jonathan, who’s this guy, what’s this higher authority. What is going on? And that person will them calling me. And I have to remind them, have you applied for a job recently? You know, at ABC, company’s like, oh yeah, I’m like at the, on their behalf and you listed, you know, this person has a reference. That’s what I was calling them. They’re like, oh, I totally understand. But as far as reaching those Jonathan very easy that the number 5 0 8 2 3 0 5 9 0 1 on the web, we’re a sharper higher authority. And my email is Pete Sharkey. My name at higher off com

Jonathan (11m 47s):
Excellent. Always a pleasure to have you on Radio Entrepreneurs, Phil Sharkey of The Hire Authority. And it will be right back with another segment on Radio Entrepreneurs.

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