Reducing Bias in the Background Screening Process: How One Screening Company Has Committed to Social Justice for 15 Years

Discrimination, diversity, and inclusiveness are raising questions surrounding best practices for many organizations however, PlusOne Solutions has been committed to social justice since the company was founded in 2005. Here are six ways the consumer reporting agency (CRA) has committed to reducing bias in the screening process.

Recent media articles demand that organizations who handle criminal record checks be accountable for their role in social justice and the impact these records can have on various groups. Data organizations have been called to task for perpetuating discrimination by using and sharing criminal record information that is obtained from a system that is known to be flawed and unfair to some in our population.

At this crucial moment in history, PlusOne Solutions is proud to highlight our ongoing, continuous efforts and commitment to social justice and underscore the acceptance and accountability we take for our role in society.

The Role PlusOne Solutions Plays in the Background Screening Industry

Each year, PlusOne Solutions conducts thousands of background checks on individuals across the U.S. and Canada. Often these reports include driving record searches, criminal record and arrest information, global watches and database searches, and demographic information which is used in our matching and identification process. How we use, protect, and share this information with Customers, our end users, and the opportunities we afford the individuals about whom we have information, creates the base for our social justice efforts.

6 Ways PlusOne Solutions Commits to Social Justice throughout the Background Screening Process

1. Provide More Opportunities Through an Appeal Process

Before a final decision is made regarding the individual’s inclusion in our Customer’s service network, the individual has the opportunity to appeal the decision. This allows the candidate to explain why their past experiences or criminal history should not be a disqualifying condition.

2. Use Identification Numbers in Place of Individual Names
PlusOne ID process encourages equality as each individual is assigned a unique number, which they are fully aware of. The ID is used in many of the Customer’s platforms and systems and reduces the need to surface names that may provide ethnic, gender, or other information.

3. Create a Custom Risk Relevancy Matrix Based on the Role

Each Customer we work with provides a risk relevancy matrix that outlines which types of records are pertinent to the role the candidate will hold and when reviewing records, we use this guide to determine which records are considered. The matrix removes the subjective decision-making process that can occur and allows an individualized assessment of the candidates’ suitability for work in our Customer’s network.

4. Sharing Only Relevant Information 

When reviewing details of background screenings, our team often has access to a plethora of demographic information on an individual – descriptors, tattoos, age, height or weight, complete legal names, gender, and possibly transgender situations.

The final report contains only relevant details and summary information for the Customer.

5. Managing the Submission and Use of Potentially Discriminating Information

Individuals being screened submit their information into a secure online system. During the screening process PlusOne Solutions excludes gender-specific questions but other demographic details like DOB, previous address information, and other names, are captured and used but not generally shared with the Customer. 

When issuing reports, we also protect the individual’s full date of birth, so as not to unnecessarily disclose PII, which protects the individual and our Customers from using age in any of their decisions. 

6. Sensitivity to Gender

Communications contain a sensitivity to gender and use primarily the PlusOne ID, or in some cases, we will use the individual’s name. In doing so, this eliminates the opportunity for gender confusion. Additionally, we do not rely on gender-specific pronouns thereby preserving the individual’s dignity concerning their gender identification preferences.

To learn more about the company’s commitment to social justice, read the full statement here:

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit http://www.PlusOneSolutions.Net.

Media Contact:

Katrina Poggio, Marketing Strategy Manager
Phone: 407-359-5929 x7020
Email: Katrina.Poggio@PlusOneSolutions.Net

Source: PlusOne Solutions, Inc.


Categories: Human Resources

Tags: background checks, background screening, consumer reporting agency, hiring practices, human resources, social justice

About PlusOne Solutions

View Website

As the industry's most trusted provider of contractor compliance solutions and only comprehensive risk management, and mitigation provider, PlusOne Solutions protects you from the risks associated with your contractor and vendor relationships.

PlusOne Solutions
3501 Quadrangle Blvd (Ste 120)
Orlando, FL 32817
United States