Jessica Cruz, Business Executive Director
Your name is the key to your identity and individuality. It represents what you own and what you owe. Your signature, with your name on it, allows you to make transactions, vote in elections, buy a house, or get a job.
An applicant’s name plays a crucial role in employment screening. Simple entry errors or an incomplete name can often result in accessing incorrect records. There are even instances where different legal systems or cultural history possibly impact standard naming conventions, thereby delaying an otherwise efficient background screening.
For example, Puerto Rico—an U.S. territory in the northeast Caribbean Sea—follows a legal system that is sometimes different than the one followed in the U.S. mainland. Even though Puerto Rico is as a U.S. territory since 1898, having been a Spanish colony for more than 400 years resulted in a mixed legal system of both common federal laws and Spanish civil laws.
One of the ways Spanish influence still plays an integral part in Puerto Rico is the way we write person’s name: Island residents use both their paternal and maternal last names along with their first names. As a result, when a company runs an employment screening of a Puerto Rican individual based on only their paternal name, they might not gain access to the correct data of the person registered in Puerto Rico. Having realized this gap in data, Smart Screening, a local cloud-based boutique firm—specializing in employment background checks—has risen to the challenge to connect the identities of their job applicants.
With an extensive knowledge of the Puerto Rican legal system and culture, Smart Screening has carved a niche around wide-ranging background check services for islanders and employers who want to recruit people with Puerto Rican descent.
Jessica Cruz—new business executive director at Smart Screening—highlights this: Considering the increasing number of fresh graduates and talents in Puerto Rico, the island is a treasure trove for many employers. However, while employing any Puerto Rican, employers need toAn applicant’s name plays a cruciala contact both federal and Puerto Rican governing bodies to verify all the background information of the potential employee. This issue is not only limited to hiring Puerto Ricans. If any resident of the U.S. mainland stays in Puerto Rico for work and needs to go through a background screening later, they would also experience similar gaps in their background screening. To ensure that such candidates pass background verification easily, Smart Screening imbues its knowledge of the Puerto Rican legal system on top of its routine background checks.
And through these steps, Smart Screening offers full-spectrum employment background verification services to U.S. employers and other also other background check companies. “We go the extra mile to provide our clients with all the necessary background information they require while ensuring that every candidate gets a fair judgment,” states Jessica. What’s more? In addition to standard criminal history checks at the state and federal levels, the company curates customized background checks for a client’s industry-specific needs.
We go the extra mile to provide our clients with all the necessary background information they require while ensuring that every candidate gets a fair judgment
Smart Screening also strives to stay digitally and virtually available at any time or day. Their cloud-based operation can cater to a client’s needs in near real-time. If, for instance, there arose an urgent need for a position to be filled for a client, Smart Screening’s 24/7 customer care services prioritize the request and drive all its efforts toward satisfying those priority demands. “With our powerful but user-friendly system, you can send an invitation to a candidate for background check provider in less than 30 seconds,” expresses Jessica. Such quick turnaround capabilities have made Smart Screening a preferred choice for many renowned employers and background screening companies who want to strengthen their capabilities pertaining to the Puerto Rican markets. Besides, being one of the well-managed boutique background screening companies, Smart Screening has a local office which conducts the field work, necessary in Puerto Rico along with every necessary security protocols in place.
The company also works with clients that operate with the strictest employment regulations. “We take our role as background check partner very seriously, and we can confidently pass any certification needs that some of the big companies may have, because we are compliant,” underscores Jessica.
To explain more about Smart Screening competencies: Jessica shares a story of a particular client. Even though the client was conducting over 4000 criminal background checks a month, they were experiencing an extremely low hit rate. After reaching out and leveraging Smart Screening’s services, the client witnessed a staggering increase of 4-6 percent in their hit rate. This was possible due to the Smart Screening’s intuitiveness and its pre-existing databases of different criminal records across Puerto Rico. “With our extensive understanding of the Puerto Rican legal different data bases, the client got a higher hit rate for the background checks,” explains Jessica, underlining the company’s attention to details and its passion for effectuating fair employment.
Moving forward, the company intends to continue improving its services and delivering effective background checks for clients throughout the U.S. As there has been an influx of over 500,000 Puerto Ricans for employment in North America following the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, it is an especially crucial time for Smart Screening. And now, with the COVID-19 situation at hand, even though Smart Screening saw a slower pace of background checks done, the company is planning to expand its footprints to South America in the near future.