Keypoint full time employee BI job...I'm interviewing now...? As bad as it seems?


#1

I applied for KGS as a full time employee (not contractor) BI job around 3-4 weeks ago; just this week had a phone interview form the recruiter, who passed me to the next phase, a 'video' interview. Third is an in-person or another video interview, then the formal job offer.

A little background on me- ~recently retired police detective, and have been dabbling part-time as a private investigator for the last year. As a PI, 99% of the work is for ambulance chasing lawyers finding someone to sue. It is not something I want to keep doing, so I'm looking at options, including OPM work.

I would be starting at the bottom as an investigator at Keypoint, Level 1. Payrate is $17.34 an hour. .54 a mile reimbursement plus any parking/tolls/etc paid biweekly.
Recruiter mentioned OT is available 'iff approved by supervisor'. She also admitted the workload is tremendous.

I'm not afraid of hard work, as long as the goals are realistic and attainable, but I refuse to work 50-60 hours a week for 40 hours pay. Glassdoor and Indeed reviews of this job and KGS are absolutely terrible!

So, for anyone actually working there, doing this job, is it really that bad?
A couple points of hesitation for me- once the job offer is made, I sign a contract saying I'm goint to work for them upon completion of my own BI, which can takje 4-6 months 'or longer'. Once BI is started, if I bail, I owe them 5 grand repayment.
After BI, I get scheduled for the next available 2 week long virtual classroom, at home, then go to Colorado for next available 2 weeks in class. Again, these classes can be several weeks out after being hired. Pay starts upon beginning virtual class.

If offer is finalized in February (her estimate) BI may be done as early as June, or as late as August or longer, then off to class or finishing classes in October.
Once working, another contract is signed committing to 12 months with KGS or there's a $7.5 grand repayment for training costs.

I know this is the nature of the game, but I just see a lot of red flags on this- 10 months to start working a job is a long time to wait to then find out what the job actually is doesn't seem quite right.

Any insight from someone actually working there now would be awesome.

thanks!


Is the Investigator Job a Good One for Vets?
#2

I was at KGS for years. I've seen it when it was a decent place to work. Now it's descended to somewhere between a Foxxcon assembly plant in China and an Amazon distribution warehouse in Oklahoma. I.e., it's much worse than the bad reviews and red flags suggest. Every new hire must be aware of the bad reviewers but harbor the same delusion. They say to themselves, "Most people are lazy. But not me. I go the extra mile and have gotten nothing but praise and rewards at every job I've worked in the past 3 decades. And it seems like a job I'd get into and wouldn't mind all the demands." And for such a person the company and job is especially destructive because it will destroy your self-esteem while generating feelings of inadequacy. I'm sure it'll be the first time where you work 30 hours over what you're paid and in return all you'll receive are harrassing emails and phone calls about the status of cases "the company needs closed". As an FTE expect to work no less than 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. If you don't set up lots of appointments quickly, drive fast, walk briskly, type fast, etc., you'll fall quickly behind after putting in just 60 hours per week. It's kind of like a cut-throat sales job (think the movie Boiler Room with Leona Helmsley as your manager).

OPM cares only about timeliness and relatedly, quantity. The investigation is process follows very specific and extensive bureaucratic case requirements. OPM investigations are 99% bureacratic box-checking and 1% investigative. For KGS they are 100% about profit-making. KGS is OPM's go-to contractor even after all the wrong-doing, so don't hold high hopes for even passable quality.

The report writing is so onerous and bureacratic you will loathe it. And there are thousand and one asinine bureaucratic elements in a report you must report or disclaim your chances of a re-open and rework of your report and case is about 100%. This will add to your burden and extreme pressure to placed upon you to close a re-open quickly. It is constantly having to re-do done work while doing more work.

If still you decide to give it a go I can promise you a few things. You will have constant stress. You will become short-tempered and angry much more often. You really won't have any downtime or days off. If you need to take off a day, no problem, it only means you have one less day to do the same amount of work on the same deadline.

I hope this helps.


#3

I just got a break from family chaos to read your email; thank you for responding candidly, I appreciate it. I was just telling my son and wife about all the negative reviews and red flags I've gotten after looking into it, most of all being locked in to waiting 6 months plus to start...
I was the police for two decades, so I'm used to bitter cynicism and complaints, but most of the time they were warranted, so I figured dozens and dozens of people stating the same thing about KGS couldn't all be wrong...
Well thank you, I hope things get better for you, and just know you've done a great service for me!
Ron


#4

Ron, RZzzz comments are right on the money, my observations would almost mirror his or her experiences regarding the KGS full time investigator position. If you can still switch to contractor, do it as you will be 200% happier and less stressed out than going hourly. As far as training cost pay back, I think it depends on the situation. First off, it is a pro rated reimbursement, so depending on when you choose to quit would impact the amount. To date I have never heard of anyone having to repay those training fees. I know of a KGS hourly who quit 6 months after NIT and did not have to pay reimbursement. But he chose to end his career as a background investigator. If your plan was to jump to a competitor before the one year was over, that may be viewed differently by Keypoint who may attempt to recoup the overstated training/BI investment costs, prorated. KGS Conversions (hourly to contractor) to my knowledge usually don't incur a reimbursement either, but you generally are eligible for conversion after the one year is up. Again, I am sure there are exceptions to all of these rules.
As far as the 10 month time to start working without knowing it will work out issue: A) I hope you are keeping very busy until you get the call that your clearance is done and you are ready for NIT. Take this opportunity as a job option, but not the Only option for you. B) The work is good in the correct format (I am a independent contractor working investigations for more than one company now). One way to get there is to work the hourly position, learn the ropes and get paid a steady wage for a year to learn from your mistakes. Then you can decide where to go from there. Options are better now than they have been in the past with the expansion of other entities onto the OPM contract C) Understand that the average times to complete a legacy SSBI TS background check (i.e., the folks you will be investigating) is over 12 months through adjudication. Mine was done in approx. 6 months. This is relatively fast, but you have to really be patient, keep working and exploring while you are waiting (pretend like it will never happen!) and when you get the call re-evaluate and go forward the best way for you and your family.
Good luck to you !!
Skcubrats


#5

I'm with you on everything you said, and I would stay in the process if it weren't for the fact that if, in that 6+ month time frame a better job offer came along, I was contractually locked in to KGS, or pay them five grand...


#6

I can only mirror absolutely EVERYTHING RZzzz said. Do yourself a favor and keep looking. KGS has taken everything that was absolutely horrible about USIS and hyper-injected it with even more negative steroids and seem to think there's nothing wrong with it.

Their one laser focused modus operendi is this: "The beatings will continue until morale improves!"

KGS had a nasty track record of doing across the board level step-downs of its workforce in the year before the USIS meltdown in 2014 and Mr. Hess was rightfully taken to task for it right here on this blog as he was begging people to come to his company and the [email protected]@rd flat out refused to answer for it... because they've done nothing but the same bad behavior of throwing their workforce under the bus ever since then! They have no intentions whatsoever of allowing anyone to be paid what they're really worth for this work! If they do, that person will have royally paid for it with their own blood... it's not worth it.

There's too many former USIS management within KGS and if OPM and the new players in the game were smart, they would permanently divorce anyone above Investigator/Reviewer level completely OUT of this industry altogether, by not allowing them to cross over anywhere else, anymore. It's a cultural thing that spreads like a virus once they've moved and it moves with such speed that a cockroach infestation would be jealous!


#7

You would be smart to find a different career. I've been doing this job for 10 years (see that I called it a job not a career). Keypoint Government Solutions (KGS) only cares about the bottom line and very little if any about the contractor or F/T employee. KGS is blind to the fact that their current contractor workforce and F/T staff is being targeted by CSRA/ISN and Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services. You would think that this would make KGS be a little more considerate and kind to their contractors with two competitors targeting their workforce....but nope. KGS management is so arrogant that they will allow their staff to be cherry picked and picked off one by one until they are are no longer a relevant player in the OPM industry. Believe me people are and will continue to leave in droves from this company until they make drastic improvements. I'm not holding my breath that they will and it will be good for KGS to have some competition to humble the arrogance and quit turning a blind eye towards the morale and overall sentiment at this company.


#8

Oh, don't kid yourself... they're not "blind" to it at all, they're just not doing anything about it! They can choke on their arrogance just like USIS deservedly did!


#9

I'm sorry to tell you, but KGS is not just as bad as it seems. It is downright horrible!! I worked as a full time BI for over a year, and that was the most miserable year of my life. You will be overworked, underpaid and unappreciated as well as taken advantage of until they can no longer use you. Then you will be terminated. I went through this firsthand and made a promise to warn anyone considering working for this company. Don't do it!!!!!

The process begins with a phone interview in which you are promised frequent pay raises due to promotions, as well as bonuses. In the year I worked there, I received neither and my fellow classmates did not either. Most people in my class quit within 3-6 months. By the 1 year mark, there were only 3-4 left as a result of termination or quitting. I've never worked for a company with such a high turnover rate. I've also never worked for a company with such miserable and unhappy employees.

The management is unprofessional and unorganized. They constantly harass you, often several times a day, asking if your cases will meet the deadline. The caseload is outrageous, making it next to impossible to complete cases on time. When you finally do complete the cases, the is a QA department with self righteous reviewers who find anything wrong with your reports. These "mistakes" are so petty, such as forgetting a comma. All of these mistakes prevent bonuses and promotions. Obviously, the company encourages QA to find mistakes to prevent advancement. Investigators get so discouraged and truly get to the point of not caring anymore.

KGS also does not advance internally. USIS was under fire when I was there. Instead of promoting its own investigators and management, they hired USIS refugees at a higher rate than its own employees. They were put in management positions that should have been given to KGS managers.

The whole company is unprofessional and truly looked down upon by its employees. Please, listen to your heart and gut feeling and do not work for KGS. You will regret the day you ever answered the call from the recruiter who promised you the world. I hope this helps!


#10

Previously I heard stories of how poorly the investigators were treated at USIS and CACI... guess this makes the trifecta. Is it any wonder investigations are such a mess? How can OPM or NBIB manage these contracts better so the investigators can be in a better position to be successful?


#11

Oh yes! The investigators are treated terribly. I heard through a senior investigator who sat in on a board meeting that the investigators are referred to as "disposable containers"! Knowing that, it gives the investigators the feeling that they can be let go at any time because they'll just hire someone new. There needs to be some sort of overhaul of the system. Possibly hire more investigators and cover a smaller territory. Most of my day was spent driving when I could have been at home typing reports that met the high QA standards. Instead, I was in the field from about 8 am until about 6 or 7 pm then type reports until close to midnight and then back up at 4:30 to type more. The job really becomes your whole life. I even worked weekends as a favor to my supervisor to meet deadlines. All went unappreciated. People wonder why some unsavory people get through the background investigation process. When investigators are overworked, underpaid, stressed, exhausted and not appreciated, corners are cut to meet unattainable deadlines.


#12

Just going to pull the pin and roll this in for everyone's digestion: there are pizza delivery drivers in my part of the country that make the same starting hourly wage as Level 1's with KGS. AND they make tips! So congratulations all my fellow COLLEGE GRAD investigator's, your 4-year educational toil is not considered worth more than the average menial UNEDUCATED pizza delivery driver! A look at any teams amount of Level 1's on staff and the higher paid levels that were forced to endure shameful step-downs in the name of all too strict and ridiculously impossible to obtain "performance parameters" this past year, are a scathing indictment.


#13

I never thought after the USIS debacle that there would be a worse company than USIS, however, KGS has proven this theory wrong. I guess that is what happens when you hire ex-USIS management flunkies to be in management positions.

CSRA/ISN & Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services (SCIS) are following the same business model of hiring ex-USIS flunkies. Disaster waiting to happen.


#14

You got your answer: It's all true. Run....and don't look back.


#15

Done ran! I can take a hint!


#16

I do know a few CSRA people who are really quality people. Not ready to throw this into the "USIS at my company" pile yet.


#17

US DOL is looking at Keypoint for violating the Wage Determination by assigning special investigations to Level I and Level II investigators who the DOL consider trainee positions. In other words, KGS is underpaying their FI in violation of the DOL standards just as USIS did for many years until the DOL caught them.


#18

SOSDD = Same Old S***, Different Day. UGH! What do you expect when they can't keep people because they are under-cutting wages so bad and they have 6-month old Level I's doing all their training now? Back in the USIS days, I knew very FEW people who even at minimum of two years experience in the field, were yet qualified to even remotely start training others! But at the end, it was getting as bad with USIS since they had burned so many bridges with high time experienced INV's that had gotten tired of their garbage and rightfully moved on. Please somebody, end the madness/stupidity of USIS and 2.0 (KGS)!

I can't believe that KGS thinks they can demand Level I's to be credentialed on all contracts without paying the monthly incentive bonus that USIS did for each set of credentials. The greedy cash grab by KGS at the sacrifice of the work force is so transparent it is sickening.


#19

Interesting @reginv. I wonder if said Wage violations are because of greed or the margins being so thin that they have to do this to survive. If it's the latter, they still shouldn't be doing it from a legal, ethical and moral standpoint. You should adjust your bid accordingly when OPM solicits contracts for BI's.


#20

It may be a combination of both. The thin margins are caused by OPM because they set the Wage Determination that is the only one not regionally adjusted. Even the DOL investigators were shocked to see that a FI in rural Alabama has the same minimum rate as one in New York City. OPM has corrupted the system so they can get other agencies to pay them for the clearances then turn around and pay the contractor companies artificially low rates for the fieldwork.