Christine M. Cunneen has been elected secretary of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. Cunneen is CEO of Hire Image LLC, a background-screening and drug-testing company, and has been a member of the NAPBS board since 2010. As secretary of the association, she will be responsible for leading the board in reviewing and updating the organization’s strategic plan. Cunneen is also a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Society of Human Resources Management, among others.
PBN: How important is background screening in the overall hiring process?
CUNNEEN: I believe background screening is critical in the hiring process. It makes sense for employers to know who they are hiring. I liken it to buying insurance: It is a small fee upfront to avoid financial devastation due to theft, fraud and workplace violence from hiring the wrong person. Background screening is used in all industries, and we have seen an increase in demand in all, but particularly those working with the vulnerable population (children, elderly, disabled) and in finance. We have also seen an increased demand from companies who have contracts with large corporations or the government.
PBN: What are some challenges hiring managers currently face?
CUNNEEN: Hiring managers face many challenges in recruiting and hiring the right person. Since Sept. 11, 2001, employers have realized the importance of knowing who they are hiring. Laws and regulations have also changed quite a bit over the last 10 years. Not only are there federal laws to deal with, but many states and municipalities have further restrictions on employers. The information age and the global economy have also made it necessary for employers to understand working with remote employees, as well as the international environment, as it relates to their work force.
PBN: Are there any specific updates or initiatives you hope to put in place as secretary of NAPBS?
CUNNEEN: As secretary of NAPBS, I am tasked with making sure we are on target with our strategic initiatives. I have surveyed the membership to ensure the association works on items critical to our member companies. Our No. 1 priority, as an association, is to focus on our legislative advocacy. We are currently communicating with federal legislators and agencies, as well as building our network at the state level, to stay ahead of any regulations that may limit our ability to provide the most comprehensive screening an employer may need. •
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