How Long Does a Background Check Take?

Background Check

Determining the job background or hiring background of any applicant is necessary. But how long do pre-employment checks take? The answer to this question is quite complicated and integrates several layers.

This is because there are many checks which an employer can undertake to know the background of the prospective employee. Moreover, each test has certain variables that depend upon the dynamic nature of the people and other processes. 

Attributes that determine each pre-employment check can vary from time to time. Such characteristics include the types of information requested, legal requirements, and data sources.

However, it can take approximately 3-6 days to complete the employment screening of an individual.

But there is no such proof that exhibits a strict adherence to such timings. Individual circumstances and conditions may expand the time of the employment check.

Delays in Employment Screening

There are primarily two reasons for the delays in pre-employment screening. The first reason pertains to the employers submitting incorrect or unfilled information request forms.

Secondly, sometimes employers fail to procure the signature of the applicant on the release and authorization forms. The federal law requires such release forms and an individual letter of the applicant.

Such carelessness can cause delays in the employment check. This is because employers cannot initiate employment screening without the applicant’s signature on the copies.

Also Read: What Does GED Stand For? What’s Its Purpose?

To combat the delays in employment screening, you can procure the services of employment background check companies.

Sometimes an applicant had resided in another country for studying or working. In such cases, if the span is more than ten years, then an international background check is conducted. A period of 20-30 days is taken for such inspections.

Other hurdles in the process of employment screening come when there is a lack of data with universities or colleges. Sometimes, the courts also do not hold computerized records of the countries. 

The previous employers of the applicant may also not have data recorded into databases. Moreover, they do not pay heed to proffer the required details under strict time schedules. This heightens the time of the employment background check process.

Common names can also shrink the performance of the checks. Say, for example, the name of the person is Bill, Biley, or Billie.  Now, the agency has to search for each name’s background in such cases.

To combat the delays of the hiring background process, the candidate should proffer all the required documents to the agency. Moreover, he or she should make sure that the information is complete. 

Remember to proffer your signature on the authorization and release forms. Taking time to proffer the required information is better than the delays of the process.

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For example, you should furnish the prospective employer with the correct details of the past employers along with their contact information. 

On the other hand, employers can also speed up the process. For this, they should hinge on an agency that proffers information online, thus truncating the time of employment screening.

Now let us glance at various employment screening processes and the relative time they take to complete.

TAT for Global Watchlist Check

Global watchlist checks only require a day or two. Such tests pertain to surfing the comprehensive list. The list contains the names of terrorists, international fraud practitioners or persons with tainted legal records.

TAT for Criminal Background Check

national criminal database
National Criminal Database Screenshot

The turn around time for a criminal background check is approximately two to three days. The process combines manual verification and checking with other organizations.

The prospective employer can get an insight into the criminal records and other information of the applicant through such verification.

To aid the process, a credible service provider can use the already existing databases like the national criminal database. So, in this case, you can get the information very quickly due to the vast experience of such service providers.

But, conducting criminal checks outside the US can take 10 to 30 days.

TAT for Professional Qualification Verification

Personal Qualification Verification
Personal Qualification Verification

Such verifications usually require two business days. There are various types of professional qualifications, like certifications, organizational memberships, or different licenses.

TAT for Identity Check

Identity Check
Identity Check

The turn around times for identity checks is 2 to three days. However, the time is extended if the prospective employer conducts an extensive search for the same.

As the name suggests, the identity check aims at verifying the identity of the applicant through various documents. Such documents integrate the passport, ID card, or driver’s license of the individual.

TAT for Employment Check

Employers who hire new candidates conduct employment screening. An employment check is a complicated and arduous process.

In an employment check, the prospective employer has to inquire about the previous employers and other people. The process depends upon the type of information solicited by the employer.

The turn around times for employment checks can take four to five days. If data contains only the basic info, its credibility check can complete in a few minutes. The process extends if the employer has to interact with specific organizations.

Getting an insight into the job background of the individual requires his or her signature. Moreover, the prospective employer also has to check the self-employment history of the candidate. 

TAT for Academic Check

Academic Check
Academic Check

The employer must conduct academic checks to have an understanding of the candidate’s educational verifiability. To perform the academic checks, an employer interacts with the schools and universities. Sometimes, these organizations also require the applicant to sign a release form.

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So the turn around times for academic checks is 2 to 4 days. However, the time expands if the schools are closed in summer vacations or holidays.

Moreover, in the case of international institutions, the whole process becomes more complicated, and thus, the span heightens.

TAT for Credit Verification

Credit verification implies gaining an insight into the credit records of the individual. To perform the credit check, the employer goes to the Credit Bureau to solicit such information. 

Hence, the process is easy and does not take much time. It just requires one to two business days.

TAT for Federal Background Check

As the name suggests, the federal background check examines the crimes of an individual at the national level. So, a federal background check is a component of the criminal check.

Generally, a federal check involves searching for the data of the past seven years or longer. However, various government regulations or certain circumstances may modify this span.

The time expands, in case there are complicated information and data sources. This can happen when the prospective employer incorporates the state-level search with a federal check.

These checks can relate to checking federal tax payments, identity thefts, or other related crimes.

TAT for Motor Vehicle Records Check

It may take approximately a couple of weeks or even a few days to complete the motor vehicle check. But, your state and its regulations may modify the period.

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