Elaine Rosenberg: Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, I ran all the way east to Yale University for college. Those were a great four years, and they helped me realize what a wonderful place Oregon is to live. Now I enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, riding my horse, and a variety of other Pacific Northwest activities with my husband when I’m not busy at Advanced Reporting.
ER: I studied political science and the history of science and medicine in college. When I graduated I decided it was time to do something completely different. I had never studied finance or business, so I applied for a position at Maps Credit Union (Advanced Reporting’s parent company). I learned both the front and back office operations of a financial cooperative, then I moved into the CUSO (Credit Union Subsidiary Organization) segment and joined the Advanced Reporting team. I learned the screening industry from the ground up, and I’ve had the pleasure of serving on both the Best Practices and Education Committees for the National Association of Background Screeners.
AR: What is it about the industry that has kept you motivated and interested?
ER: Knowledge is power. And if you don’t know what risks you are facing, you can’t effectively prevent them. Screening shouldn’t be exclusionary; it should be a powerful tool that allows organizations of all types to manage risk effectively. I recognize that our clients put their trust in us every time they submit a request and I’m motivated every day to provide comprehensive, cost-effective and compliant reports that live up to that standard.
AR: What about the industry has changed the most since your career began?
ER: When I first joined Advanced Reporting, there were still organizations that did not screen their applicants in any way. Seven years later, we rarely meet a new client that doesn’t conduct some form of screening already. That said, advanced in technology have also changed the industry. There are more and more data aggregators that compile a variety of public record information and make it available online to anyone with a credit card. This access to information is both good and bad. Used by an experienced investigator as a supplementary tool when conducting a background check we find these databases can be very helpful, but when used by an inexperienced end user they provide a false sense of security and can be a real danger to consumers when they provide incomplete or inaccurate information. The inappropriate use of such information is one reason why the industry has come under attack recently and is facing increased regulation on the federal and state levels. At Advanced Reporting, we believe that it’s our job as a risk management partner to help our clients mitigate their compliance risks as well as the risks associated with their applicants.
AR: Why are you so passionate about helping businesses with their risk management?
ER: Our people are our greatest assets and our biggest risks. If we can provide our clients with that critical piece of information that helps them make an informed decision, it can have significant impact on their organization long-term. I appreciate how much trust is placed in us, and I’m committed to living up to it every day, every report.
AR: What changes or challenges do you see happening in the industry?
ER: Today over-regulation is the biggest challenge facing our already heavily regulated industry. In the business v. consumer tug-of-war, businesses need to be able to protect themselves by making educated, informed decisions about their applicants, and consumers need to be protected for being adversely affected by incorrect information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) already provides consumers with this protection, but there is a perception that it’s not enough. Instead of creating more regulations that tell businesses exactly what information they can and cannot take into consideration, consumer reporting agencies and businesses need to work together to only produce and use compliant reports. This will protect consumers while allowing organizations to customize their screening programs based on their unique risks and needs.