The duration of a background check can vary, in addition to other aspects of background checks, such as the price and scope. Elements of background checks differ in themselves as well, which accounts for the vast differences in check timelines. For example, the background check site CheckPeople can run near-instant screenings of job candidates, while an in-depth check can take up to five days.
In addition, if you applied for a job and underwent a background check as part of that, the recruiter might not get back to you immediately. This further obfuscates the timeline issue. The employer might be running multiple screenings on many applicants and might want to finish and go through all of them before reaching out.
Moreover, it will take longer if unplanned circumstances or other issues emerge. In this article, we’ll discuss the length of time it takes to clear each of the different types of background checks. We hope this will shed more light on the matter.
The identity check, which basically involves verifying someone’s identity, is the most basic kind of check. This is why it can be near-instantaneous. Depending on how someone chooses to carry it out, it can take up to two days to get the results. It can include checking driver’s licenses, passports, or another official ID document.
Identity checks often involve tracing someone’s Social Security Number too. This procedure is a bit more complex. It includes full name verification, address history, and where and when the number was issued to the person.
As employment verification is a great deal more complicated and takes more time to check. To do this check, the screening company needs to contact the HR departments at the person’s previous jobs. Periods of self-employment are also time-consuming to verify. Usually, it takes around three business days to complete this check.
In the US, criminal history screening normally takes up to two days. Holidays and staffing issues at courts tend to prolong the timeline. If you want to check an applicant who’s lived abroad for a criminal record, it can take as long as one month. It depends on the procedures the authorities abroad have in place. You might need to do in-depth research or even check records manually in case your candidate’s name is common in order to prevent a mismatch. The language barrier is not to be underestimated by any means.
Typically, it takes around three days to verify education history. Of course, it takes longer in summer and during holidays because academic institutions can be understaffed during these times. The background check company needs to get in touch with schools to confirm the degrees obtained and credentials. This is not without effort and time. You can expect your timeframe to increase by at least a few days if your applicant has studied abroad.
Not every school will agree to provide information without a release form. This applies both to schools in your home country and abroad.
Certificates, licenses, and memberships in specific industry organizations can take up to two business days to confirm.
Motor Vehicle Records
Companies hiring for positions that involve driving will screen candidates’ driving histories for obvious reasons. This can take as little as a few days, but in some cases, it might take up to several weeks, depending on the state.
Making The Check Go Faster
You can’t speed background checks up because many things are beyond the screening service’s and the potential employee’s control. To make it go as fast and as smoothly as possible, ask your candidates to have all their documents ready. Relevant information about previous addresses, degrees, and employment dates should be at your fingertips.