Background checks are a crucial part of selecting candidates for employment opportunities as they give the employer insights into the candidate’s work history, educational qualifications, financial records, and commercial and criminal history. This information helps employers make the best decision for their organization and hire the right person more confidently.
When an employer hires a candidate after running a background check, the chances of a potential threat to the organization in any form because of the candidate are low. There are several types of background checks, ranging from simple to complicated.
Various factors may affect the turnaround time for a background check. Here’s a section that elaborates on common types of background checks and what aspects may affect the turnaround time for these checks and verifications.
Aspects That Affect Background Check Turnaround Time
If you wonder how long background checks take, some background checks happen swiftly, while others may demand more time than expected. These variations in the turnaround time for different types of background checks result from various reasons, some of which are as given below-
Missing or Incorrect Information
One of the most common reasons why the turnaround time for background checks may be slower is incomplete or inaccurate information provided in the request form. It is imperative that all the mandatory fields of the form are filled, and correct information is provided in order for your background check to be processed quickly. Further, if the employer does not have the necessary authorization or written consent, it might take longer than usual for the background check to be completed.
If you have used name variances in different forms or documents in the past, it takes longer to process the information and determine consistency so that the background check is accurate.
Criminal Record Searches
While criminal record searches at your country’s level may not take a lot of time, there are various factors that might still cause a delay in checking criminal records. The process typically takes about 72 hours, but in some cases, it might take more than three days. This generally happens when the application has a common name.
Additionally, if the agency runs a check that goes back 10 or more years or the check requires the assistance of a country clerk, a delay in processing the criminal history information can be expected. When substantial manual verification is required to run a criminal history check, and when there is a greater number of criminal records for an applicant, it takes longer than expected for your criminal record search to be completed.
Complete Employment Verification
When conducting complete employee verification, it involves various aspects, such as contacting the candidate’s employers or HR personnel from their previous organizations. Further, sometimes the employer may also need to have the candidate’s self-employment period verified. Since complete employment verification is a more comprehensive process, it takes around two to three business days or longer.
If the employment verification also involves international jobs, the turnaround time for verification may get extended even more. And in some cases, past employers may refuse to share information about the candidate unless the candidate signs the consent form for the same.
There are a variety of identity checks, and while some may be fairly instant, some might take more than two days. In an identity check, the employer may want to verify the identity of a candidate by checking the details on ID cards, such as their driver’s license or passport. Such simple checks are more likely to take less than two days.
However, when a risk-averse employer opts for a comprehensive identity check, which involves verifying a candidate’s identity in different documents and checking their addresses over time, it may take longer for the employer to receive the results of an identity check.
Checking at Various Locations
If the candidate has pursued their education or certification and has worked overseas or at a different location, the employment background check may get delayed. Since the agency or the employer is supposed to get in touch with different people and organizations across the country or world, the process naturally demands more time.
In criminal background checks, checking global watch lists is more time-consuming. This is, again, a type of verification that is required for high-risk jobs. It covers searching through watch lists for potential terrorists, people with regulatory sanctions, and known fraud practitioners. A global watch list check may take about two to three days.
Fingerprint Background Checks
Often used along with other types of background checks, a finger background check is common in the area of employment. It is generally carried out for employment in government-run institutions, fire departments, hospitals, airports, and law enforcement agencies.
A fingerprint background check compares your fingerprints to the database (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) of a collection of nationwide fingerprints that is maintained by the FBI. Generally, it takes about three to four days to receive the response after successfully matching your fingerprint.
One of the several reasons that cause delays in receiving a response after the fingerprint background check is the poor quality of the fingerprints taken. In some cases, it might be required for you to submit your fingerprints again if the quality of the fingerprints is not satisfactory or causes a delay in processing. Yet another aspect that affects fingerprint background check turnaround times is if your fingerprints have an associated criminal history.
While certain delays may not be in your control, the best way to ensure that your background check does not get delayed at your end is to be completely honest when disclosing any information to the employer. Forms that have accurate information are more likely to be processed quickly.
When asked to provide relevant information, make sure you provide the exact information, such as former salary, dates of employment, education qualification, and more. Since screening providers generally reach out directly to the candidate to seek information, you can facilitate the process of background checks by being upfront and cooperating with the screening provider.