Small Business

National Screening Bureau checks out possible employees for others

Todd Sutcliffe
Todd Sutcliffe

National Screening Bureau doesn’t find new employees for clients, but it helps them narrow the search in a variety of ways.

The goal, owner Todd Sutcliffe says, is to “help them replicate their good employees.”

National Screening Bureau performs background checks, drug screening and assessments. The company is a finalist in the 2019 Greater Wichita Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards for Tier 2 companies, those with six to 20 employees. Other finalists in that category are Headshots Bar & Grill and Medical Provider Resources.

Sutcliffe started the company 15 years ago, after being laid off when the credit bureau where he worked was bought by another company. During the second background check he did, he discovered a sex offender working for a school district, which fired the employee days later.

Today, he does work for Wichita’s USD 259 plus about 150 more school districts around the state, along with many banks and other employers. Some churches and other nonprofits engage his company to check out volunteers.

Sutcliffe started with one full-time employee, while he worked part-time and held a full-time job with another company to provide health insurance for his family. After about six months, he said, “I didn’t know whether we were going to make it or not. I was debating whether to order new business cards or find another job.”

A contract with Builders Inc. to run background checks on potential renters “basically saved our business,” he said.

Background checks consist of looking for criminal records and credit checks and making sure academic credentials, employment histories and licenses are valid. Sutcliffe said he has access to records in 250 countries around the world.

“We use a lot of technology. We actually utilize robots to do some of the searches. Not the cool little ones with fingers,” Sutcliffe said, likening them instead to computer software.

The robots save clients time and money, he said, although employees review every report before it’s sent to a client. Most background checks can be completed within a day.

The company has drug-screening locations in east and west Wichita and is part of a network that conducts tests anywhere in the United States.

National Screening’s third service line — assessments — grew out of Sutcliffe’s own challenges managing the company. While “dreaming of building a successful company, I found myself dealing with headaches,” he said. “They were headaches I had hired. I was like ‘Oh my goodness.’”

He acquired an assessment program called “S.H.A.R.P.,” for “successful hire and retention program.” It measures 15 behavior categories, such as sociability, that are related to specific jobs. “Salespeople have one model, line workers have another,” Sutcliffe said.

The company has 10 employees — each of them thoroughly checked out, of course.

“We’re a fun office,” Sutcliffe said. “It’s about the people. We’ve got the right people in the right positions.”


Address: 515 N. Ridge Road

Phone: 316-263-4400

Owners: Todd Sutcliffe