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LexisNexis PeopleWise Background Checks Come Up Aces for MGM Grand

"We have a 33 percent faster turnaround time, and results are more accurate." --MGM Grand Detroit VP Surveillance and Investigation, Thomas Boyd

September 18, 2003
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In the fast-paced gaming world, fortunes rise and fall on the integrity of a casino’s employees as surely as on the roll of the dice. The MGM Grand Detroit Casino takes its responsibility for integrity seriously, working closely with LexisNexis PeopleWise to perform detailed background checks on potential new employees, vendors and suppliers.

When MGM and PeopleWise got together a few years ago, "we were looking for a vendor to give us more detailed information," remembers Thomas Boyd, VP Surveillance and Investigation. PeopleWise, part of the LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group, combines the best of online research with personalized background research to provide thorough information that covers local, county, state, national and even international public domain credit, civil and criminal records, according to Vic Holove, PeopleWise account executive. "We send people to every county courthouse in the nation," Holove says, "to physically pull criminal information," and thus ensure timely, accurate data.

"We can access a lot of information for identification verification, including social security records, credit history, police records, driving record and federal records, including a limited FBI search," Holove says. Not all research has to be this thorough, however. In some cases, an InstaCheck verification of such things as name, address, phone number and past employment may be sufficient.

Although the depth and reliability of information was paramount in the decision to switch vendors, Boyd says that PeopleWise’s online capability was another strong selling point. "One of the best things is the ease of entering data," elaborates Charles McEwen, background investigator for the MGM Grand. "PeopleWise’s Web application doesn’t require a lot of information, but it’s all vital." Because data is entered directly, without re-keying or waiting for fax-back services, the Surveillance and Investigation department do more with fewer staff. Consequently, Boyd says, "We have a 33 percent faster turnaround time, and results are more accurate."

Implementation was seamless. It was literally as simple as going online and filling out a form. "We provide the individual’s name (and other identification) and PeopleWise runs it through their extensive databases," reports Boyd. It’s very user-friendly.

By working with PeopleWise, "turnaround time for personnel background checks has been reduced by 33 percent," Boyd says. In fact, the program is so well regarded that the MGM Grand Detroit Casino recommended it to its outside vendors, Prestige Security and Pro Security and Investigation. PeopleWise worked diligently to ensure a smooth transition to outsourcing, McEwen says.

It’s clearly a win-win situation. As Richard Nixon, owner of Prestige Security, explains, "PeopleWise provides MGM a set rate, and they provide me that same rate. It’s a very good asset. There’s no other vehicle I know of to get this information."

In the approximately two years that PeopleWise and the MGM Grand Detroit Casino have worked together, "they have been really good to us," Boyd says. "They’ve adjusted programs in the system to accommodate us," by adding features or changing formats to enhance the user experience.

"If you’re looking for a good program to help pre-screen your applicants, give LexisNexis PeopleWise a serious look," Boyd advises.

Workforce, July 2003, p. 63 -- Subscribe Now!

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