Kroll Background Screening

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2.2 13 reviews

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Michael A. Petrullo


25% of employees recommend this company to a friend
13 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    No stress but no advancement

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Nashville, TN

    ProsBenefits were good before they got bought out in June 2010 and there was no probationary period. Deadlines were more than reasonable and the work was challenging but not stressful. Folks helped each other out across teams. You were exposed to many different technologies.

    ConsDuring my last couple months we found out a main competitor, HireRight was interested in buying us, which it ultimately did. Thus I wound up leaving and most folks jumped ship shortly afterwards. There was very little room for advancement and most folks filling the higher positions came from outside the company. Salaries were very low compared to market across all levels.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep the talent you have happy and try to promote more from within.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Over-worked and under-valued

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Nashville, TN

    ProsThe long-term plan for maturing as an organization technologically was shared during the interview and motivated me enough to leave a position with a stable, honest organization. I took the job with assurances that my previous experience would be put to good use.

    ConsAfter analyzing the current technology stack and factoring in the growth potential present, I compiled a summary of recommendations to address the immediate needs, along with a plan to incrementally improve in other areas to achieve the long-term goal with minimal disruption. That's when I became aware of the true culture of "if we want your opinion we'll give it to you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLeverage the experience of the talented people you have, give them the tools, opportunity, and recognition to grow and prosper with the organization

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    It was ok

    Quality Assurance (Former Employee) Westminster, MD

    Prostalk to interesting people and learn investigative skills

    ConsNo opportunities to move up in pay or status

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    The Burger King of background screening, but with lower employee morale

    (Former Employee) Nashville, TN

    Pros- Sifting through legal records can be interesting, as other reviewers have said. However, 95% of the time it's tedious at best.
    - Kroll offers benefits, such as insurance, retirement packages, discounts at other businesses, and free coffee.
    - You won't look back after you leave.

    Cons- Kroll operates using assembly line production of background screens. Employees outside of management are trained to do such specific tasks that they are essentially unskilled and cannot carry their experience over to any other job; as well, they generally cannot spot mistakes outside of their area of focus. Thus, Kroll's results are prone to error, and customer service is regularly inundated with calls and e-mail from unhappy clients. Also, most of Kroll's production is done with software from the mid 90s that is slow and criminally inefficient.

    - As another reviewer writes, office politics plays a huge role in how promotions are handed down. More than a few managers I worked with came into their positions from outside the company because they were personal friends of current managers. Professional growth is much, much more rare at Kroll in this economy than it was prior to ~2004. The company has been shrinking for several years, and you are likely to have your job combined with someone else's with no increase in pay or change in title.

    - Management tries to steer production to meet unreasonable quotas by spying on employees, squeezing them, and instituting arbitrary process changes without understanding what each employee does and how changes in policy will effect their work. Suggestions by employees generally fall on deaf ears.

    - Kroll Background Screening has two policies in effect for all employees of which you should be aware:

    1. Managers, supervisors, and Human Resources cannot discuss former employees, other than to verify their job titles and dates of employment. They will not acknowledge any of your duties or accomplishments to your future potential employers who may call to inquire about you. Regardless of how awesome you are, they cannot recommend you externally.

    2. You must sign a non-compete contract at the beginning of your employment that includes not communicating with current employees for 1 year after your employment ends. Everyone receives a strongly worded reminder of this policy after they leave (but nobody actually adheres to the policy, because it's ridiculous and intrusive.)

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in better software for your production team so that they can hope to meet your goals. Don't expand your client base beyond your service capacity. For middle management: Listen to employees without contempt. For upper management: Establish an atmosphere in which office politics don't control your corporate ladder.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Kroll

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsInteresting work with attention to detail and an intensive emphasis on interpersonal relations. High profile employment activity with the benefits of working from home.

    ConsWork from home without an office does not allow for much human interaction with co workers other than interviewing and other formal interactions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllow for a centralized office environment to allow for staff to interact and work together on projects while sharing positive ideas.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Office Politics, unrealistic expectations, poor compensation make the Background Screening sector of Kroll unpleasant.

    Supervisor (Current Employee) Nashville, TN

    ProsSome of the projects can be interesting because you get access into the private information of people being screened. Because there is a sort of "comrades under fire" mentality amongst hourly workers folks share info and help train each other.

    ConsTypically the Background Screening division of Kroll doesn't pay enough to attract long-term employees with the education level needed to be successful at the tasks demanded of them. Employees in other divisions of Kroll enjoy a level of professionalism and compensation that is appropriate to the tasks of their position, but the employees in the Background screening part are considered expendable and management focus is on whipping them into faster production with little regard for compensation or training. Stress is high, morale is low, and turnover is constant. Because of the reliance on cheap unskilled labor, output production is often of poor quality. To keep their jobs, employees are forced to meet unrealistic production quotas. They are punished when they fail to make the quotas but there is little incentive to excel or even do a good job. Employees are told that if the work hard they can rise up in the company or change to other divisions but the reality is that if you come into the company via the Background Screening division, you will have to fight the stereotype of being a poorly-educated factory type worker not suited for white collar professional positions. The power structure at Kroll Background Screening evolved during a period of rapid growth in the early part of the decade. If you had gotten into management with them at that time, the company was small enough that you could rise beyond Supervisor. Now, that the power base is firmly entrenched, you have to rely on playing politics for promotions. Merit is not rewarded but paying court to the higher ups is.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRecruit the proper talent for the tasks, stop trying to make do with cheaper labor and older equipment. Devote resources to properly train employees. Place more of a focus on reward and less on punishment. Promote a workplace environment that makes employees feel cared for rather than exploited and spied upon. This could be a really great job. The main problem is that some individuals in management focus on their personal career growth at the great expense of those below them and have cost this division of the company greatly by driving hard working and knowledgeable workers away for years.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Not the best place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Nashville, TN

    Pros1. Insurance is great
    2. Hours are good

    Cons1. No advancement opportunities
    2. Poor communication between management and workers
    3. Had no raise for four years

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay more and you will receive more dedication.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Satisfactory employer, but not suited for a lifetime

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Nashville, TN

    ProsYou are able to work reasonably independently; the work is a desk job and co-workers are very helpful and knowledgeable. The pay is decent for an entry level position, and the actual tasks performed can be interesting at times (calling people's references and former employers can sometimes make for interesting conversation). There are a variety of health insurance plans, and finding an affordable plan is not a problem. The location is nice, and the office has nice accomodations. The company is established and reputable, and under the larger umbrella of MMC.

    ConsSupervisors and management are not very knowledgeable of the processes taking place within the department. Depending on the department, there is not very much room for advancement. The pay is decent, but not great, and definitely not enough to raise a family on unless you move up into supervisor/management level.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpend time learning the actual functions of the jobs being performed; you cannot improve processes which you do not fully understand.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Good performance either makes you invisible or earns you more work.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIt's a fascinating industry. I have learned so much. Things here are constantly on the move. Introductory pay is very competitive. It's a nice company for those who enjoy working independently. Background screening in general can make you feel like you are doing something good for a living.

    Cons1. There is a great divide between management and the lower ranks. There is no collaboration and very little communication. Changes are swift and inflexible without any input from the people who actually do the work. Inter-departmental collaboration and communication is non-existent.
    2. There is a great deal of talk about promoting from within. However, there is no path of promotion. There is no tier of positions available. When HR is asked for this, you are told to speak to your supervisor if you are interested in a specific position. When you apply for a position within the company, if you do not get an interview - no one speaks to you again about your application. Retention does not really seem to be a priority.
    3. In operations, there are extremely high production standards to meet, mostly at the detriment of quality of work. If you do consistently meet these goals, there is no merit or reward. You are farmed out to other departments to take up the slack. Hard work and consistent production is never rewarded. But, coddling of troublesome employees and lower performers is a constant.
    4. What others have said about the company being set up like a factory is true. We have even received promotional materials about our position in the "assembly line." Many operations employees are given one rote task to do for the full day, rather than having different duties. All in the effort to increase productivity, but it makes for a very tedious day.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInclusion and collaboration. Make the employees feel like they have a stake in the company. Keep variety in the workday!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good experience despite a challenging environment

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros- Well respected name in the industry
    - Smart and highly engaged people
    - Made good contacts and friends
    - Great benefits

    Cons- Communication with senior management could have been better
    - Customer service was inferior to company Kroll acquired (InfoLink Screening Services) and got progressively worse with each staff reduction
    - Cross-sales with other Kroll divisions and MMC companies was almost non-existent
    * The Altegrity / HireRight acquisition may have helped right the ship

    Advice to Senior Management- Focus on the customer experience to avoid the vicious circle of recent past... poor service, lose clients and revenue, staff reductions to counter, further drop in service level
    - Encourage two-way conversations between senior leaders and management and other team members - be more collaborative

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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