Tucked behind the East Side’s Burlington Coat Factory off North Green River Road sits Reference Services, Inc., a company well-versed and nationally accredited for pre-employment background screenings. Their office buzzes with productivity, with phone lines open 24/7 for their extensive local and global clientele of manufacturers, churches, coal companies, universities, staffing agencies, school corporations, and many others.
In 2005, Evansville business leaders — Dave Stinnett, Robert Leich, Linda Cox, A. Joseph Frederich Jr., John Stanley, and Brad Odil — launched RSI with an appetite to break the River City’s void in full-service background screening companies. “The team initially thought they would be working primarily with property management groups,” recalls Stinnett. Now, seven years later, RSI boasts a portfolio with more than 600 active clients, of which more than 400 actively request background screenings varying from once or twice a year to 200 reports a day.
With each client, RSI utilizes 13 databases to run background screenings — criminal reports, financial negligence, legal citizenship, etc. — and in-house verification specialists to confirm references to assure companies are making wise hiring decisions.
Debra Keller, director of operations, says that in less than a minute, nationwide criminal records, Social Security traces, motor vehicle records, and credit reports are produced. In-depth reports, adds Keller, such as individual county courthouse records, average 31 hours since they’re pulled from around 3,400 court jurisdictions across the country.
Regardless of the screening, RSI’s reports deliver extensive, reliable data. Stinnett recalls when a local client came to RSI for a second opinion after a previous agency reported their applicant’s background was clear. “We were able to come back with literally 10 pages of felonies and misdemeanors on the same individual,” he says.
RSI’s board members continue to lend their expertise in strategic planning, developing new clientele, and seeing that RSI manages their growth responsibly.
Since its inception, the company has gained 20 Fortune 500 companies as clients, and was accredited by the National Associate of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) this April. Keller admits that preparing for NAPBS’ physical audit took seven months and was a “grueling, yet worthwhile process” in which they were examined on every standard from how they shred or file documents to how their office is secured and the quality of information gathered. RSI is the only agency with this accreditation headquartered in Indiana., says Keller, and out of the 750-plus agencies in the U.S., it is one of only 22 in the U.S. who have passed.
“We focus on continuous improvement,” says Keller, “which is key when you’re a growing company that operates using best practices, with the highest standards in customer care.”