A common question among employers and candidates alike is “How long does it take to complete a background check?” Keep reading to discover the answer and learn more about background screening.
How Long Does It Take To Complete a Background Check?
Generally speaking, a background check can take anything between two or five business days and a few weeks. The precise answer will depend on a number of factors, including the type of check being performed and unforeseen disruptions such as holidays or strikes.
Type of Check
Although all companies use the term “background check,” not all background checks are the same. A background check can include one or more of the following:
- Criminal record (county)
- Criminal record (federal)
- Education verification
- Employment verification
- Civil record report
- Reference checks
- Driving record report
- Address verification
Some checks take more time than others, making it difficult to provide a precise timeline for completion. For example, some jurisdictions still use paper records, which are more time-consuming to read and manage than electronic records.
Needless to say, the more types of checks are involved, the longer it will take to complete the process.
While the number and type of checks is the main condition determining the time needed to complete a background check, other technical aspects also play a role.
- Number of locations. If a candidate has lived in several locations, it will take longer to verify all the necessary information.
- Type of position. Some professional credentials are more difficult to verify than others.
- Mercy of the court. In some jurisdictions, background checks are “at the mercy of the court,” meaning that they are subject to the court’s will (and ability) to handle the requests. In understaffed jurisdictions, this means that delays are highly likely.
In addition to technical aspects, other more mundane factors can impact the time it takes to complete a background check. Some common examples include:
- Information omitted or not provided by the applicant
- County or federal workings on strike
- Bad weather
- Delays caused by institutions such as previous employers or colleges
As you can see, background screening turnaround time can be hard to predict. However, there are things you can do to ensure that your background screening is completed within the shortest possible timeframe.
Plexus Global: Background Screening Services in California
Plexus Global is a background screening company located in Riverside, California, serving organizations all over the U.S. and abroad.
Contact us today by telephone (844-516-1008), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.