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A star-studded approach.


IN TODAY'S ENVIRONMENT, WHERE drug abuse and drug-related crime have penetrated all economic classes and geographic mobility is part of life, it is more critical than ever to know as much as possible about job candidates.

For a security firm, it is vital that every security officer be of solid character, responsible, and drug-free. An officer who is not will not perform his or her duties well, in spite of careful training and regular supervision. That failure to perform can be costly for two companies at the same time: the security firm and the client that depends on having effective security.

Drawing on its investigative expertise, experience, and nationwide resources, the company has developed and implemented a preemployment screening program designed to paint as complete a picture of an individual as possible. In addition to examining basic qualification criteria and conducting personal interviews, Wells Fargo uses a system of background record checks and on-site drug screening collectively known as the Five Star Preemployment Screening Program. The record checks, conducted locally by computer, provide factual, objective information about an individual. Drug screening is also done at the interview location, and results are available within minutes.

The key elements of Wells Fargo's Five Star program are the following:

* Drug Screen. A completely portable drug-screen urinalysis is used to detect the presence of cocaine and its derivatives, like crack; heroin and its derivatives, including morphine and methadone; marijuana; and amphetamines.

* Criminal record check. This consists of checking county and municipal cout records to uncover felony convictions.

* Consumer credit reports. The appliant's name and address are verified, and his or her credit history is reviewed to examine the applicant's responsibility toward his or her obligations.

* Social security number verification. This step confirms the applicant's identity and the validity of his or her social security number.

* Driver's license records. Regardless of whether the applicant will drive a company or client vehicle, this check is performed to verify the person's identity, including physical description and residence. The records also point out any serious violations, such as drunk driving.

Wells Fargo Guard Services has direct access to data bases across the country and uses this factual information about the applicant's background to compile a more complete picture of the person. This objective information, together with the results of instant drug screening, affords the company better insight into the individual before he or she is trained, given a uniform, and assigned to a client.

The company implemented the Five Star Preemployment Screening Program in early 1989, and the system has already begun to show its merit. On average, nationwide, one person in 10 who enters a Wells Fargo office and reads the posters stating that background checks and drug screening are required for employment leaves without completing an application. This saves the time and expense of processing potentially unreliable individuals. Of those processed, fewer have been offered positions. However, among those hired, absenteeism and tardiness have started to decline.

Wells Fargo security officers are aware they have met what are not the most stringent employment standards in the security industry. The officers demonstrate a sense of pride in themselves and their work.

Even in areas of the country where unemployment is extremely low, the program has enhanced the recruitment and selection process. One branch office now has a waiting list for hire! The "silent majority" obviously wants to be recognized and counted.

Jack D. Donohue is vice president of sales and marketing at Wells Fargo Guard Services in Parsippany, NJ.
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Wells Fargo Guard Services uses its preemployment screening program to screen potential security officers
Author:Donohue, John D.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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