Carco Group

Discussion in 'Jobs I Have Had' started by Ken Anderson, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Since my job with Blue Buffalo was only thirty hours a week, weekends and evenings, my wife and I both went to a temp agency.

    They sent us both to CARCO Group, which was a background investigation company. Our clients were mostly employers wanting to have the accuracy of job applicant's resumes verified or, in some cases, of current employees who were up for a promotion.

    It was a very high pressure job. We started there with a group of about twenty people from the temp agency, and most of them didn't last more than a couple of weeks, and only a few were hired as regular employees.

    About the time that we were invited to become employees of CARCO, as opposed to the temp agency, my wife found work as a medical transcriptionist with Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, which was something she had been trained to do.

    I stayed on at CARCO for a few months, but less than a year.

    Although the criteria differed from client to client, basically we would call schools to verify degrees and qualifications, and we'd call former employers to verify employment.

    We were expected to make a certain number of calls per hour, and one of the supervisors would be on the PA system pushing everyone to be quicker, while other supervisors would come around to let you know if you were behind on your call quota.

    Frequently, a supervisor would tap someone on the shoulder, after which they were escorted to the door. More often, there were those who were told not to return after lunch.

    Besides the call quotas, we were expected to complete a certain number of cases, and there was no toleration for inaccuracies.

    Randomly, a supervisor would listen in on our calls to make sure that we weren't violating any ethic standards.

    Most calls were straight forward. I would make the call, and the records office for the school would verify degrees and, for some schools, that could be done online.

    Employers were another matter because many of them would rather not get involved. Although we were not allowed to lie about who we were, or what our purpose was, there were times when it helped if they thought we calling for a government agency, so if they got that idea, I would never deny it.

    There were other tricks that I learned to get people to take the time to look things up, or to be willing to give me the information, but it was all above board, pretty much.

    Being older, I did not respond to the frequent urges to hurry, hurry, hurry. I knew that I wasn't taking any more time than I needed to in order to get the information that was required, and that I wasn't wasting time in between calls, so I tried not to worry about whether I was keeping up with quotas. It bothered me when I was told that I wasn't, but there wasn't anything that I could do with that information.

    Then there were the international calls. CARCO had an international team to handle the verification of information from countries where English was not the common language.

    However, when cases were passed on to the international team, I was still responsible for them. Frequently, I would pass something on to the international team, and not hear from them again for a week, during which I was being pressured about completing that case.

    There were times when, having heard nothing from the international team, if the language was Spanish, I would complete it myself, typing what I wanted to say into Babelfish and read that off. Having lived in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for twenty years, I had some knowledge of Spanish, although I could understand more than what I could speak.

    Once, having completed a case that way, the supervisor came over to congratulate me for the innovation, as she had been monitoring that call.

    However, the international team would file complaints against me when I did that because, whenever they finally got around to handling it, the information was no longer relevant.

    During the time that we were in North Carolina, we were working at building up our online business again, and eventually we succeeded, so I gave my notice with CARCO.

    Although they asked for two-weeks notice, like many companies, once someone gave notice, they were done.

    CARCO was an interesting experience, but I'm just not cut out for that kind of stress.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    One thing that a lot of people don't understand is that when a company uses a background investigation company to verify and filter the applications that they receive, there may be no margin for error.

    In the jobs that I have had, I have rarely had to fill out an application because I was usually approached by the employer or referred by someone else. In one case, I filled out the application a couple of months after I had gone to work for them, just so they'd have it on file.

    Going back in my own employment history, I am pretty sure that I could get the years that my employment with various companies started and ended right, but not in all cases, and in no event would I be able to tell you what precise date my employment began or ended.

    However, when we were verifying employment applications, and someone had said they had begun work for an employer on April 5, 1982 and it was actually April 7, 1982, that was marked as false. Basically, the options were true, false, or unverified, on each point of the application, including promotions, etc.

    Consequently, I would think that if an employer received a large number of application for a position, they would probably only look at the ones that were verified as being true in all aspects, so they might not even look closely at your verification to see that you were simply off by two days, unless they really wanted to hire you, of course. We would note the specific information verified, so the actual date would be there.

    When I have been in a position to hire, I have never had so many applications that I couldn't look closely at everyone applying for the job but when I was on a pastoral search committee to find a new pastor for a church that I was a member of, we received a couple of hundred applications. Rather than looking at all of them, there are some things that were important to various members of the committee, and since the final choice had to be acceptable to every member of the committee, we used those to filter the pile to a more manageable number.

    For example, two members of the committee insisted that the pastor be married so we didn't even look at the applicants who weren't married. Some of them might have been perfect for our church otherwise, but they weren't even considered.
     
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