Ariel Frogge

How Long Do Background Checks Take?

Discover how long a background check typically takes and what you can expect during the process.

How Long Do Background Checks Take?

What Is A Background Check?

The most practical and surest way to gather information on a person is to perform a thorough background check which is an accumulation and confirmation of a person's details or accounts from public and private references. Background screening is the primary source of receiving essential facts and information about the upcoming engagement or employment from sources other than the applicants.

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What Are The Reasons For A Background Check?

There are numerous reasons why a background check is being conducted. The company looking to hire personnel wants to ensure they engage the best applicant with the necessary skills and credentials for a specific work position. The aim is to establish a safe, sound, risk-free, and favorable work atmosphere for the company and its employees.
Background checks are also needed when applicants provide erroneous information about themselves or submit false documentation. In this kind of circumstance, the company can be faced with complaints and litigation. But this scenario can be prevented if a thorough background screening has been conducted.

What is Included in a Background Check?

Background check goes further than checking the criminal record of a person. It can provide the company with necessary details and validation of the person’s identification, employment history, educational accomplishment, or professional credentials, which can help develop a sensible decision for work or business engagement. The scope and type of information that a background screening delivers will be according to the features and extent of the investigation.
The prospective applicants should not fear the background check process since their legal rights are being considered and are protected by the applicable state, municipal, and local legislature.

How Long Do Background Checks Take For the Pre-Employment Process?

Pre-employment will depend on the kind of investigation the company chooses to emphasize, which can take two (2) to five (5) working days at the maximum. But the background check needs to contact past employers for employment history, educational background, accomplishments, or credit history. In that case, it might take more than a week or one (1) month. It will all be determined by the coverage and extensiveness of the investigation needed.

How Long Do Background Checks Take For Employment?

The employment background screening can include the entirety of the person’s information, from the basic details reflected on the curriculum vitae to previous jobs to civil court documents and criminal records. Processing times for the verification of every detail and information may differ.


How Long Do Background Checks Take For Criminal History?

Validating the applicant's criminal history will pull out information from the federal, state-wide, local, and national files and is not limited to the person's residence or place of dwelling. So the response to this question is diverse based on the following:

  • The number of stages included in the criminal background check;
  • To which criminal information records are being categorized and arranged and;
  • If the background investigation includes international findings, which commonly takes an additional two (2) to three (3) weeks.

How Long Do Background Checks Take for Other Kinds of Screening Procedures?

As mentioned, a background check is more than investigating a person's criminal record. Below are the other screening procedures and their time frames included in the background screening.

Motor Vehicle Registration

Motor vehicle registration generally includes license class and rank, expiration date, and records for traffic violations or apprehensions that account for license terminations or suspensions. The period of time for this is contingent on which state as they may have various procedures for verification; usually, it takes about 1 to 3 working days but can also take up to several days or even weeks.

Credit History

Credit history is frequently followed for job positions that entail financial responsibility. And often, this background check involves little time to serve. But the law mandates that the establishment should become the end user of the Consumer Credit Report to be able to obtain the history record. It will take an additional 14 days for the application and approval procedures.

Civil Court Searching

Searching for civil court history can benefit the company in knowing if the candidate was involved in civil disputes or conflicts. The time frame for civil court searching will depend on the kind of court you will get the information. For the county court, obtaining the data might take longer than the federal court, which is quicker, usually 1-2 days to process.

Federal Background Checks

For applicants who wish to be employed in the federal government, background screening procedures are necessary to ensure that the applicant is honest, dependable, of good moral character, and dedicated to the nation. The timeframe for this kind of procedure is defined by the degree of consent needed for the job position, and it may take several weeks to months.

Bankruptcy History

When an individual has a record of filing a bankruptcy, the details are documented in a U.S. bankruptcy court. The turn-around time for this kind of investigation usually amounts to 1 to 2 business days.

Social Security Verification

A background screening may also include social security verification to confirm identity. The social security number will validate the applicant's qualifications for working in the U.S. and ensure if a pseudonym or "aliases" have been used or connected with the criminal check investigation.

What are the Usual Causes of a Delay in a Background Check?

Below are some of the usual causes of delays in the background check.

Providing Incorrect Information

Provide correct details to the company to ensure the background screening is completed on time. Once the company finds out the erroneous information the applicant provided, a rigorous and comprehensive investigation might be performed, which will take more time to process.

Numerous Uninterrupted Screening

When the company performs several uninterrupted background screenings, i.e., processing the list of all applicants before deciding who is the best candidate, anticipate delays in the process.

International Experience

Suppose the candidate has a history of working internationally. In that case, the company might experience challenges obtaining relevant information from the verification process, not to mention the data privacy act protection law, which can longer delay the background check.
Long List of Previous Employment History
When the candidates have several job experiences, the company may need to validate each reference, which may cause long delays.

Authorization Issues

When the company needs to secure authorization permission from the applicant, and the latter is not submitting one, the background check cannot progress. It can cause a delay in processing the candidate's application process.

Final Thoughts on How Long Background Checks Take

There is no direct response on how long background checks take since each procedure can take shorter or longer days to fulfill, depending on the aspects and kind of investigation needed and the parties' assistance.
Both the company and the applicants hope for rapid procedures.

And when choosing between a brief background check and a comprehensive one. As such, we strongly advise you to partner with a reputable company that will assist you in finding the best candidate to satisfy your company's need to fill that job vacancy.

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