Whether moving irreplaceable family photos or
a valuable vintage car, Atlas believes customers deserve to know that their belongings are in trusted hands.
That's why Atlas now requires background checks on all of its agents' permanently employed laborers hired after
May 1, 2005. Since May 2005, Atlas and its agents have screened more than 2,300 applicants using an innovative online
system developed by ChoicePoint, a data verification company. Atlas is the first company in the industry to require this important safeguard
for the customer's peace of mind.
"No matter what else we do, we have an obligation throughout the relocation process to assure our customers that their belongings
will arrive safe and unharmed," says Senior Vice President of Transportation
"A major step toward making that assurance is to require background checks. It's something the entire industry
should be doing."
The relocation industry has long struggled to establish standards for background checks and, in recent years,
public concerns about security have intensified. So Atlas executives moved forward with a program to bring added safety
to every customer. Background checks provide a criminal
history search to help verify the qualifications of workers who help van operators load and deliver customer
belongings. Based on the success of the program for
permanent positions, this year Atlas will expand the
program to include temporary laborers.
"About 60 percent of our relocations occur between
May and September," says Dennie. "That makes it impossible for agents to survive on
permanent laborers year-round.
We want to ensure that all Atlas personnel who enter
our customers' homes/residences-permanent or
temporary-have been adequately screened."
When initial findings raise concerns, additional screening must be performed before the applicant is deemed
eligible. Since the program began, 89 percent of candidates have successfully completed the process.
To obtain a background check, Atlas agents submit names via a link on the Atlas Web site. Typically,
results are available within minutes. If initial findings indicate a more thorough check is required,
the report may take 24 to 48 hours. The process costs about $10 per name, a cost that Dennie says is
a real bargain, given the critical nature of the information.
"This is an idea that our industry needs to embrace," says Dennie. "Protecting our customers
not only makes sense, it's our responsibility."