PeopleCheck Start Date: 2006
Summa is a qualified Criminologist who has been in the background checking industry since 1998 when the industry was in its infancy in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. In these early days, Summa was instrumental in developing the principles of international screening in the Asia-pacific region as demands developed from the USA and UK.
Summa was the former owner and Managing Director of PeopleCheck, established in 2006. Summa grew PeopleCheck from a start-up micro-business to a highly successful enterprise with a strong, well-known and respected brand and industry reputation. The growth of PeopleCheck led to the acquisition by HireRight in October 2019 and Summa continues to oversee Australian operations within the HireRight family.
Summa is Country Manager for HireRight and PeopleCheck and is responsible for building local service delivery, developing local product expertise and knowledge, enhancing customer relationships and driving HireRight’s growth in Australia and New Zealand. Summa works collaboratively and strategically with the broader HireRight teams, bringing global initiatives into local Australian operations.
Summa prides herself on being an active leader and believes in “getting her hands dirty” to ensure she is in touch with our clients, candidates and PeopleCheck’s day-to-day processes. When starting PeopleCheck in 2006, Summa’s goal was to establish a unique background checking provider with three core philosophies – customer service, industry knowledge and flexibility. These key goals continue to underpin PeopleCheck’s service delivery to this day and directly align with HireRight’s value of a “service-first” mindset.
Summa’s passion lies in educating the market and clients about background checking solutions with an emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. Her product knowledge and experience in the background checking industry is well recognised in her speaking engagements at various fraud prevention conferences, industry webinars and in publications. Summa continually assists her clients and colleagues across all aspects of the process including: initiating and implementing a background checking program; guidance on privacy and security; understanding reported results; and client communication strategies with candidates and stakeholders.
Summa is a founding member of the APAC Professional Background Screeners Association (PBSA) Council, and is on the Board of Directors for the PBSA. Summa was also a member of a small taskforce made up of global PBSA members, tasked to transform the Association from a US-based organisation to the face of background checking globally, which was achieved in 2019.
During her career, Summa has initiated and overseen ongoing background checking programs for clients in Australia, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Prior to establishing PeopleCheck, Summa worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers for six years as Manager in the Forensics Division. She worked on fraud investigations and it is here that she began to specialise in background checking, working on global assignments.
In 2004, Summa joined RISQ Group (now Sterling RISQ) as Operations Manager and was key in expanding its Employment Screening division as an independent and stand-alone business from the rest of its fraud-risk management operations.
In these roles, Summa trained and managed background checking teams in Australia and Europe, as well as refined and developed processes to address individual client demands and requirements. One of her most complex challenges early in her career was the implementation and ongoing management of an international background checking program for a large global financial services client. The project was run from Sydney and involved undertaking background checks in over 40 countries, managed out of two offices in Sydney and Belfast.
Summa has worked with clients across a myriad of varied industry sectors including (but not limited to); financial services, utilities, information technology, construction, retail, recruitment, international background checking firms, professional services, mortgage industry, mining, banking and insurance.