How long does a background check take?
A background check can get completed in a few minutes and can also take a few days based on the data sources and the information requested. You will get all the details related to the background check process in this intuitive guide.
Background checks in a recruitment process make some applicants hesitate and some excited.
Numerous individuals across the globe have a common question in mind, ‘how long does a background check take?’
Here we have tried to answer the following questions regarding the background check process:
- What is a background check?
- What do background checks consist of?
- How long does a background check take for a job?
- Why do some background checks take too long to complete?
- What if a background check goes wrong?
A job background check is one of the most underrated yet essential parts of your recruitment process. Let us dig a bit more about this process and the steps it follows.
Meanwhile, get your resume reviewed by professionals here at Hiration's Online Resume Review.
What Is a Background Check?
As its name defines, the background check is a process of ensuring a clear professional and personal history of an applicant. In this process, the recruiter will analyze all of your details and connect with your previous employers and other sources if needed to get your detailed report.
It is one of the most important parts of a recruitment process that maintains a healthy and responsible workforce in the organization. For a smooth background check process, you are recommended to mention your detailed professional history during the application process.
What Do Background Checks Consist Of?
A background check can differ as per your targeted opportunity, however, there are 3 important factors that every employer considers before onboarding you:
- Education History
- Employment History
- Credit History
The employer will verify all the educational degrees mentioned in your resume. Hence, it is very important, to be honest in terms of highlighting your education details to avoid discrepancies. Apart from this, your employer will ensure the accuracy and relevancy of all the professional experience points listed in the resume.
Make sure that every detail is accurate and validated with suitable proof if required at any point. Some companies also check the credit history of applicants to ensure their financial stability and credibility.
Background check procedures and policies change according to the territory in the United States. Hence, you need to ensure the job background check types of your targeted company to estimate your selection chances.
Also Read: How to Write a Resume?
How Long Does a Background Check Take for a Job?
Numerous job applicants are struggling with a single question, “how long do background checks take?” Let us clear this out with a pinch of research.
Background checks for employment can be of many types and their turnaround time depends on the data source limitations, the type of requested information, and all the legal requirements. Here you can check out the average background check time:
|Type of Background Check||Average Time Required|
|Federal Background Checks||2 days|
|Fingerprint Background Checks||1 to 3 days|
|Employment Background Checks||1 to 5 days|
|Universal Background Checks||2 days|
|Criminal Background Checks||1 to 2 weeks|
The time of your background check can differ as per the company location and number of applicants. Hence, you are advised not to stick with the timeline mentioned above and be patient to get the final results.
Why Is My Background Check Taking So Long?
There might be an issue if your background check takes more than two weeks. It is also possible that your recruiter has rejected your application after checking your background. In such a case, you can expect your recruiter to contact you and clarify some details.
The delay can also be caused by the background check company as the higher authorities have a lot of tasks to deal with. Hence, you need to keep patience for some days even after the estimated time.
Apart from this, there might be chances wherein the recruiters might have completed the background check but are unable to make the final decision. The number of applicants can be a reason for this issue, which needs time to get resolved.
Also Read: How long should you wait after an interview to follow up?
Reply from Your Recruiter
As you can see, background checks may take more time than anticipated, and for which, you might not get an immediate call. You can feel free to send a follow-up email if you do not get any update even after one week.
If you still do not get any response, it means your employer is still engaged in the background check of applicants. Hence, you must wait for at least a week to follow up next time for the required details.
Does Your Recruiter Have to Disclose the Reason for Your Failed Background Check?
Yes, it is your right to get a detailed report of your background checks to see what went wrong. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), every employer has to pass two notices to the applicant while taking any action based on the information obtained in the background check report.
Generally, applicants get a detailed report of their background checks. However, if you do not get any copy of your background check report before your rejection, you have all the rights to take action against the employer as per the FCRA.
Also Read: Phone Interview Questions
What If My Background Check Is Wrong?
Firstly, you need to get the report of your background check from your recruiter. After that, you can ask the background check service provider to re-investigate your outcomes. The company might ask you to provide additional information and verify the existing details.
The updated information will help them in rectifying the incorrect information present with verified proof. You will get a new background check report after this process that can be sent to your recruiter.
Also Read: What happens if you lie on your resume in the States?
Are Background Check Delays Possible?
Yes, background checks can be delayed due to numerous reasons. Getting a job can take many days due to the huge number of applicants and lengthy processes. You might have to wait even after getting shortlisted in the interview round. A background check generally delays due to the following reasons:
- Lack of paper trail
- International experience
- Name verification
- Multiple checks
- Multiple residences
An applicant can avoid delays by following these guidelines:
- Sign release forms and authorizations
- Provide accurate information
Also Read: What is and isn’t a lie on a resume in 2023?
FAQs on Background Check Process
Here are some FAQs related to the background check process:
How can we check the status of our Background Check Process?
Initially, you can contact the authorized person in the company wherein you have applied for a job. If you get no response, you can also contact the company that is handling the background check process if you have their contact details.
Should I contact HR if I did not get my background check report but got selected?
No, if you are selected that means everything is fine. Your recruiter would have contacted you with rejection news if there were issues in your background check.
It has been 4 days since my recruiter checked my background. Should I follow up?
Have some patience as your recruiter will have to check the background of numerous individuals to pick the right fit for the company. You should contact your recruiter after one week to get precise information.
My background check report returned with a statement that I am not eligible to work at the daycare. Why?
There might be some reasons that popped up in the background check that made you unsuitable to work with children. You can ask for the background check report to get the issue from the company to which you are applying. If the company is unable to provide the same then you can pursue claims against your recruiter under the FCRA.
What should be the turnaround time for most common background checks in the United States?
The below-given table has the turnaround times for common background checks in America:
|Background Check Type||Average Turnaround Time|
|Bankrupcy Reports||1 to 2 days|
|County Civil||3 to 5 days|
|Federal Civil||2 to 3 days|
|Federal Criminal||1 to 3 days|
|National Warrants||1 to 2 days|
|County Criminal||1 to 3 days|
|Statewide Criminal||Varies according to state|
Other information collected during phone interviews like education, and employment details also require background checks.
Check out the below-given table to know the turnaround time for all other background checks in the country:
|Background Check Type||Average Turnaround Time|
|Employment Verification||2 to 3 days|
|Professional License Verification||2 to 3 days|
|Education Verification||2 to 3 days|
|Reference Checks||2 to 3 days|
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Reaching the background check round is great, however, you should not stop your job hunting until you get a job. We have elaborated on every part of the background check in this reference guide, however, you can contact us at email@example.com for any kind of assistance or confusion in your background check process.