9/11 and the Background Screening Industry

Jason Morris

Its a day none of us will ever forget! I remember exactly where I was, how I heard about it and what we did to keep ourselves informed.  I remember trying to frantically get a hold of my wife who was in downtown Cleveland, not answering her cell phone.  I was in a panic because Cleveland news was reporting a rogue plane flying over the the downtown area.  I remember sending an employee home to grab a television so we could watch everything unfold from the office.  I had a 9am conference call with a large corporation a few blocks from the World Trade Center…..all phones calls into New York City yielded an “all circuits are busy” recording.

EmployeeScreenIQ was a young company then, just over two years in this thriving industry. 9/11 was a date that would change our industry forever. A background screening service that was once a luxury would be transformed into a necessity for all positions.  I believe on September 10th 2001 we were a country that didn’t think much about security.  On September 12th nothing would be done going forward without considering it.  I am often asked if 9/11 could have been prevented if screening was more prevalent, the answer is no, not a chance. However, when building any type of security program you have to start somewhere, your people can be your biggest liability.  The cornerstone of any good security program is making sure you have the right people in the right places.  If you turn a blind eye to those in your organization you are setting yourself up for failure.  We all know good people can be a companies greatest asset, but we have also learned over the years that they can also be your biggest liability!

Its important we learn from our mistakes.  Remembering those who’s lives were forever changed on 9/11 is important.  Its equally as important to never forget the mistakes we all made prior to those events.  Securing your organization, planning for disasters, backing up your data, keeping your eyes open to suspicious activity and screening your employees are only a few of the tenants of a post 9/11 world.  I know its cliche but it is important to “Never Forget” how we got here and work hard to never experience this tragedy again!

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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