NAPBS 2015 Annual Conference

2015 NAPBS Annual Conference

September 20-22, 2015, Austin, Texas


Somehow these conferences keep getting better and better.

The attendance numbers were at an all-time record.

Year     Total Attendees    Companies Attending     Exhibitor Attendees   # of Exhibitors

2008           642                             261                         170                        49

2009           525                             224                         146                       65

2010           508                             213                         156                        56

2011              572                          219                         143                        48

2012           655                                      data not available

2013           674                             259                         188                        55

2014              640                          223                            180                   45

2015               763                         316                         160                      57

The number of new members and first time attendees was quite significant.  So many new faces! J

NAPBS now has 826 member companies.  15% of CRAs are Accredited.  737 individuals are FCRA certified by NAPBS. The increased membership keeps the financial position strong but more income can always be used to invest in protecting our industry’s position.

The committees and NAPBS have accomplished a ton of work this past year.  So many people are working extremely hard, volunteering their time, energy and knowledge, to accomplish things for our industry.  In addition, the Board had a two and a half day strategic planning meeting in August to create a 3, 5 and 10 year plan.  Can you imagine taking 2.5 days out of your busy schedule (plus all the pre-meeting prep time and the post meeting follow-up work and the airfare and the hotel and meal costs)!!  These volunteers are really dedicated.

If you are not a member of NAPBS, just join.  It really is not expensive, especially compared to the value you receive.  The annual NAPBS budget is about $1,300,000. Contribute, join, learn, be active, benefit.  Governments (federal, state and local), continue to make decisions that impact your business.  As a member, your dues contribute to our legal costs to defend you and your industry before all these uninformed, misinformed and biased legislators.

Conference Presentations included some great topics.  I was so busy on the exhibit hall floor talking with folks (even during times when the exhibits were not “officially open”) that I was only able to attend one educational session, Criminal Record Provider Guidelines presented nicely by Nate Borsh.  I think maybe I need to Xerox myself so I can get to more sessions. The conference is a non-stop learning experience.  Of course you learn so much from the educational sessions and company presentations, but you also learn from talking with suppliers in the exhibit hall and with competitors during meals and bar time and just meeting new people and just schmoozing. Remember, if you come away from a conference with only one good idea, it more than pays for the conference.  And, you will come home with much more than just one good idea. 

Industry Trends

The mood of the attendees was definitely upbeat.  There is nothing like a good economy to boost sales, profits and moods. Many reported sales up 100% from two or three years ago.  A lot of this is due to more hiring but a lot also due to the unemployment rate being lower, creating more opportunities for employees to leave one job for another thereby creating a string of employment background checks.  I call this “churn”.  The tighter the labor market, the more people are willing to leave their current job for a better job or a better wage.  This creates an opening that must be filled and that opening creates a background check and the person that fills that opening left an opening at their previous employer who must find a replacement, and repeat.  It’s a beautiful thing!!

The key to this growth and success remains centered on service to your customer and customer service.  All CRAs get the same data from the same primary source, it just how well and how fast you do it and how you respond to your customers when they call with an issue.

International continues to grow their screening and NAPBS is in the process of forming a direction to create international standards for integrity and compliance.  Background screening in the international market is becoming more and more the accepted practice just like it has developed in the USA over the past 25 years.

Conference Stuff

The reception on Sunday night was again excellent.  Fastest five hours ever.  From 5-6pm was a new member/first time attendee meet-and-greet. Then 6-7pm for the opening ceremony and then 7-10pm on the exhibit floor with food, open bar, exhibitors, networking, information exchange, old and new friends, hugs and handshakes.  We really do have a good bunch of people in our industry.

Monday night was open and several companies entertained their clients and then everyone had a nice place to go with good entertainment and good food (put on by Innovative) and activity continued on in the hotel bar with dancing and talking and sharing until the wee hours.

The hotel was outstanding. It is a brand new Marriott that was one of the top 10 hotels I have ever stayed in and I have travelled the world.  Sure, the physical facility was superbly done, but the service by the well trained staff was what really impressed me.  Does this “outstanding service” sound like a theme I continually emphasize regarding how to be a successful CRA??.



Well, here is an interesting development and an indication of how far we have come:  There is much talk of creating an accreditation for end users. Organizations at all levels have been found by the class action lawyers to be good targets for non-compliance with federal and state FCRAs, EEOC guidelines and other state and local laws (e.g. Ban the Box). HR departments at all organizations create a huge risk exposure for their employers if not properly educated and are not in compliance. Whether this accreditation will be organized by NAPBS or in conjunction with SHRM is yet to be determined but the movement is afoot.

And how about this organization you may have never heard of with 5000 members, The Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics.  Is the head of your compliance function a member?  Are they certified?

Sixteen years ago at HireCheck I appointed one of my customer service reps to be our first person to be responsible for Compliance.  Today a company that size might have four or five people assigned to Compliance, attempting to keep the CRA and the end user out of legal trouble. 

Status reports on orders

Employers are looking to have their CRAs to provide instant (e.g. on-line) status condition of every search component (e.g. when will it be completed and what steps have been taken).  Just one more customer service desirable that keeps your customer happy, informed and minimizes the phone calls to you to find out status of a delayed report.  I heard this called a “dashboard for delivery”.

People Stuff

– Debbie Klarfeld is soon to be with a company to be announced.

– Hilda Jensen, co-owner of Human Assets South and very active in NAPBS and a year ago suffered a serious brain aneurism, continues to make a remarkable recovery.  Her company was sold to an industry buyer.

– John Benson of Tenant Data Services is continuing to make a recovery from a very serious stoke.  This recovery is after months of physical therapy that will continue for some time.  He is back to work on half weeks and we hope to see him in person at the conferences in the future.

– Bon Idziak, former Applicant Insight and former HireCheck, now with Checkr, had some unplanned major surgery but I am happy to report was very much on the mend.

– Shannon Scott celebrated his 40th birthday at the conference and didn’t seem too happy about getting to that age.  I think he felt better after I told him that I had shoes older than that.

– Jim Hall (former NBD and others), is now with PeopleG2 as their Sales Director.

– Danny Davila is the new Executive Director at GroupOne Services.

– Reid Rodriguez, Softech, has retired from the industry.  Thanks for the good times Reid.

– Eric Scott (formerly GroupOne) has opened his own Consultancy (HR Integrity Consulting, LLC) working with HR departments and Government agencies on employment compliance issues niching in healthcare arena.

– Tim Dowd (formerly Choicepoint, USIS) has taken on the role of President and COO at Accurate Background.

– Paul Reyor (formerly FADV) is now VP of Enterprise Solutions at Accurate Background.

– John McLaughlin (FADV) is now VP of Sales at Trak-1.

Remember:  if you want to see who is hiring or to find candidates with background screening experience.

Company News

Don Owens sold his Prime Information Center to DISA.

CHR has significantly expanded into NJ. 

A Different Screeners Conference?

Yes!  The original screeners conference put on by Brownstein and Straightline (this is the predecessor to NAPBS and from which NAPBS was actually created), is planning to re-start.  Save the date of 2/28/16 in Clearwater, Florida at the Sheraton Hotel.  This will be sponsored by the vendors with a very low registration fee for the attendee.  These were always great conferences and I look forward to their re-birth.

NAPBS financials were presented to members only, and are available on the napbs website, but suffice to say, NAPBS has a $1.3M budget with a goal of creating the highest level of professionalism in our industry and to communicate that professionalism to our federal and state lawmakers, the FTC, the CFPB and the press.  A big job accomplished almost entirely by members unselfishly devoting their time and energy.

Christine Cunneen is the immediate past chair for 2014-2015

Julie Hakman is the new NAPBS Chair for 2015-2016

Dawn Standerwick is the Chair-Elect for 2016-2017

It costs less than a cup of coffee a day!!

The Mid-Year conference will be in Washington, DC, April 3-5, 2015.  Be there.

The next annual conference is in Palm Desert, CA, Sep. 18-20, 2015.  Be there too