In the background screening industry, important decisions are made every day. These decisions directly impact the safety and livelihood of people; and the reputation, productivity, and profits of organizations. The decisions to hire, fire, promote, and retain employees are made in large part on the basis of data that is collected in mass quantities through a dizzying array of sources. What happens when the quality of that data is unknown or known to be poor? How can CRAs be sure the data they deliver to their clients is highly reliable?
As a CRA, you count on your research provider to deliver accurate data time after time. This means your provider must be highly reliable, and have a solid process for delivering quality data.
What is a High Reliability Organization (HRO)?
High reliability organizations are able to avoid catastrophes while operating in environments where accidents and errors can be expected due to significant risk factors and complexity.
In the same way naval aircraft carriers, nuclear power plants, and the aviation’s air traffic control system successfully avoid disasters that could conceivably occur with great regularity, background screening research providers and CRAs must strive to become HROs.
What does high reliability look like?
Prominent scholars in the field of HROs, Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe, have worked on models that expand the idea of high reliability to industries as far-reaching as healthcare, banking, and manufacturing. We believe these principles can also apply to the background screening industry. Consider these five principles of high reliability:
1. Preoccupation with failure
HROs look deep into mistakes to find the true underlying cause.
2. Reluctance to simplify
HROs do not apply generalized terms to describe sources of failure.
3. Sensitivity to operations
HROs continuously evaluate outcomes to determine if they are in fact meeting the operational goals of the organization.
4. Commitment to resilience
HROs can weather the impact of a failure, continuing to operate under degraded conditions while marshalling resources to restore capacity.
5. Deference to expertise
HROs defer to the true experts in a given situation, knowing that the expert involved is the person with hands-on knowledge of the operation at the point of a failure, not the “expert” as defined by hierarchical authority.
At Wholesale Screening Solutions, our sights are set on sustaining near-perfect records of quality and reliability. To learn more about our approach, check out these recent articles and view our state of quality.