Labor Certification

Aug 03, 2006

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 Dennie Lynn. "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."




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