John Wither, Managing Director, Intercity Reliant Limited t/a Priority Investigations

shanelong2We invite you to sit back, relax, and join us for a great interview with: John Wither, Managing Director, Intercity Reliant Limited t/a Priority Investigations

I started our dialogue by asking John about how he got into the business. He sat back in his chair, smiled and said, “I come from an investigative family with many relatives having police/military service and/or working in the private investigation industry. Our family business has been in this sector since 1960 and my father’s frontline retirement led me back into the industry in 2012 whereupon I took control of the Priority Group (Priority Investigations, Priority International & Intercity Reliant) in April 2013. The primary focus of our business since the late 90’s has been providing national and international services in the background screening industry.”

Prior to returning to the business, John worked in Antarctica for 10 years, where he was a Base Commander for the UK Governments, British Antarctic Survey and a British Antarctic Territory Magistrate from 2005 to 2012.

He paused, and then beamed as he shared that in 2013 he was awarded the Polar Medal by Her Majesty the Queen for services to the United Kingdom in the Antarctic.

John noted that in his former role, he spent many months each with recruitment, short listing, interviewing and hiring. He fully appreciates the work and effort that it takes to complete a recruitment campaign and the absolute need to ensure that the appropriate candidates are matched to the appropriate role. This whole process is based upon the hirer having all of the correct and verified information on hand for each applicant so that a fully informed decision can be made. He said he now gets great satisfaction in providing his clients the information that they need to make their business decisions and to play a part in the continued success and growth of their enterprises.

Turning our conversation to the company, he shared that the company’s mission is to maintain and build upon the many relationships that have been developed over the 50 years of work in this sector. “We strive to pace ourselves with the fast changing and shrinking business world to ensure that we continually provide our partners accurate information to enable them to make their business decisions.”

He mentioned that the United Kingdom and Ireland are due to introduce the regulation of the investigative sector over the next 12 months, bringing both countries into line with most of the European Union Market. The regulation does appear to include the screening Sector in some aspects, and it is vitally important to educate the clients to the advantages of entrusting their assignments to licensed services providers wherever possible.

One point John really emphasized is that over the many years the company has been in the investigative and screening sectors, they have developed a wide international base of entrusted and affiliated resources, enabling them to provide a truly global reach for their clients. He emphatically added that the advantages of both time and cost saving by utilizing Priority cannot be overstated.

He went on to say that they work hard at understanding their client’s needs and strive to find answers to all challenges or problems in a speedy, yet economic way and in accordance with all local controlling legislation plus full compliances with the company and association’s ethical codes.

He pondered as I asked him my favorite question about having a crystal ball and projecting what is coming down the road for the background screening industry. He said without a doubt, technology is making the world smaller and allowing businesses to expand their operations faster and easier. This trend, which he sees accelerating, will increase the ability for staff/contractors/suppliers/clients to be based worldwide and this will emphasize the need for reliable international screening to make informed business decisions.

Before ending our discussion, I asked if he had read any interesting books recently to which he responded he recently finished reading ‘Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War’ by Margaret MacMilan. He thought it was a fascinating look at the peace conference after World War 1, which in his opinion shows where the foundations were laid for some of the world’s recent conflicts.

The person he would have really liked to meet revealed a lot about John. He smiled as he said the Polar Explorer in him (this explains the picture) would have relished the opportunity to meet Sir Ernest Shackleton, a truly great leader.

My final question was, “do you have a favorite quote?” and he shared, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

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