ORLANDO, Fla., July 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Recent consumer research about in-home service contractors conducted by Mindspot Marketing Research & Solutions indicates that consumers place a high value on background screening and related verification, according to PlusOne Solutions, a recognized industry leader in managing the risks associated with contractor and vendor networks.
More than 90 percent of consumers surveyed believed that service contractors who had provided in-home services had been background screened and carried worker’s compensation and liability insurance – even if these assumptions were not correct. One in five consumers, however, did not feel safe or secure when these individuals were in their home.
Of this number, 35 percent were still concerned about their safety even after the service person had left their home.
“Background screening is increasingly important to consumers and to the companies that use contract networks to service their customers’ needs. The research shows that consumers expect contract workers who enter their homes to be experienced, licensed, capable, skilled and insured,” says Craig Reilly, CEO of PlusOne Solutions. “Without confirmation that these workers have received thorough background screens, there simply is no way for the customer to feel assured that contract workers meet these standards.”
Reilly adds that the service landscape has changed dramatically since the days when in-home service calls were handled by personnel working directly for local, long-established companies. “That’s no longer the case,” he says. “While most of us assume that the contract worker entering our home has undergone a criminal background screen, the reality is that this is not necessarily true. Because of this, consumers need to be more aware of service companies’ background screening policies and practices and make their decisions accordingly.”
Consumers in the survey, who on average had in-home service work performed three times a year, echoed these sentiments, indicating they preferred to work with service companies that properly screen their contractors. In fact, 96 percent of those surveyed were more likely to hire a company with a background screening certification, when given the choice. When asked about the importance of criminal background screenings and drug testing, nine of 10 consumers believed that it was extremely important or very important. Women were more likely to place importance on criminal background screenings and were also more likely to feel unsafe even after contractors had left their homes.
From a corporate point of view, background screening of service workers has gained traction among manufacturers and other businesses that are concerned about the financial and reputation impact caused by incidents involving unscreened technicians. As more of these companies require their servicing companies to provide background screening, those that do not may find themselves at even greater risk of liability caused by actions of contracted workers.
“Servicing companies are still evaluating the importance of background screening and compliance management, reflecting an apparent disconnect with what consumers in the survey said,” says Reilly, who referred to additional research performed with this audience:
- Of the servicing companies surveyed that are required to provide background screening for technicians, many still do not perceive a direct benefit from the process, nor do they consider screening to be a consumer demand. They often provide the screening because they are required to do so by manufacturers or insurers.
- Servicing companies that are not required to provide background screening are looking for competitive advantages and may decide to screen technicians to help with the hiring process, reduce insurance rates and/or reduce liability.
“As risk management becomes more important across industries, we believe we will see even more interest in compliance management, including background screenings,” adds Reilly. “This will ultimately result in companies being able to concentrate more on their core business and less on liability and reputation management, leaving those concerns to us.”
About PlusOne Solutions:
PlusOne Solutions assists companies with the management of risks associated with contractor and vendor networks, thereby enabling them to reduce legal exposure and financial risk while providing a safer work environment. With a focus on elevating the professionalism of service contractors, PlusOne meets the highest standards for full-service compliance management – whether assisting with safe hiring and contracting management, insurance compliance solutions, license, and certification validation or web-based content management.