Picture of David Torok

David Torok

A Love of Data and Leading a Team

David started working with Accurate on May 5, 2014—Cinco de Mayo—which, he says, makes it easy for him to remember his work anniversary.

He’s a “data person,” he says. It’s work he loves, and, looking ahead, it’s work he says he’s happy to continue doing. While he’s less directly involved these days, he still supervises a team of data professionals at Accurate, which,  he says, he equally enjoys.

“I was kind of pleasantly delighted that I can actually do that as well and actually enjoy that as much as working as a lone contributor.”

But, while working with data has always been the type of work David loves, he didn’t know much, if anything, about background screening when he first came to Accurate. He had been working for a television provider when his department was eliminated. Fortunately, a former colleague told him about opportunities at Accurate, which, even then, was expanding and growing.

It’s been “a big, big journey,” David says, from being “the kind of person who could work in a closet with nobody around to touching base with a team of almost 20 people regularly.”

Growth Has Been the Biggest Change

Looking back, David says that Accurate’s growth has been the biggest change he’s noted during his tenure with the company. It’s growth that has put Accurate’s name on the map—and on the tongues of customers and prospects.

“We’ve gone from being this unknown small company to where we’re in every conversation, and everybody knows who Accurate is in the industry,” he says. “That’s the biggest change.”

When thinking about what’s changed the most, David says he also thinks about what hasn’t—the culture. “From Dave Dickerson, at the top, and everyone on down, it still feels like a small company. I can send an email or talk to anyone—I don’t feel there’s this arbitrary wall in between different levels or even different departments that you might find at a big company.”

So many people have been with Accurate for years, David says. “We kind of have that sense of this is our company. This is not just where we work.” He acknowledges being actively protective of the culture at Accurate.

Culture Matters

“When I’m interviewing either for my team or if I’m asked to help out for someone else’s team, I’m looking for somebody to fit into that mold of who we want to work with and who will be a good fit with our company. We have a protective kind of instinct. We don’t want someone to mess it up.”

Accurate’s culture is built on four core values pillars that unify the company with a common purpose, define where they’re headed, indicate what they’ll do to get there, what they believe in, and how they will behave with each other and their customers. They are:

  • Take ownership: be accountable for your actions, your team, and the company.
  • Be open: be open to new ideas.
  • Stay curious: stay curious even as you move forward.
  • Work as one: work together to create the best customer and workplace experience.

The one that resonates the most with David is “stay curious.” “Being a data person, I always question things,” he says. And, he adds, “a lot of time you can’t keep doing things the way you did in the past because things have changed.”

A Focus on Team

David is committed to building a strong team—something that has been challenging for many during the pandemic. Fortunately, though, he’s worked remotely for a long time, so that wasn’t new to him. It was to some of his team members. Now, though, he says, “nobody is full-time back in the office.” He says he hasn’t even personally met about a third of his team members.

Efficiency, he says, has been a byproduct of the ability to work from home. Accurate, he says, “seemed to adapt as quickly or quicker than most companies to working remotely during the pandemic.”

As a team leader, David recognizes the importance of communication and getting to know his team members. He’s used the DiSC assessment as one way to help him get to know them and them to know each other better, including helping to understand their communication preferences.

He has regular calls with his team members not just to cover work-related issues but also to get to know each other better—maybe talking about sports or fast food interests. With team members located in different geographic areas, they’ve discovered that regional food interests vary.  These discussions have been a good way to build camaraderie while working remotely—always focused on supporting the Accurate culture.

“I think you really have to know your team,” David says. “One size doesn’t fit all.” One culture, though, does.