How Long Does A Background Check Take?

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Often we think that doing a background check would be a tedious job. However, it isn’t as hard as you might think it is.

If an employee is required to be verified as part of a pre employment screening process, he/she may be asked to fill up necessary forms such as the ‘employment background check request form’ while submitting their job application form. He/she would be asked to give written permission to their employers to conduct a pre employment background check by filling up the ‘Applicant Authorization & Release Form’.

As background checks differ from company-to-company, the time frame may differ at all points in time.

Generally, one can receive a complete background check report within 1-3 business day(s) though if it includes a complete criminal records check, it may take 3-7 week days. This is because educational institutions, courts and government agencies usually take enough time to get back with required details. Another issue is not all institutions keep their records in a digital format on a computer which is why it may take even more time. Also, they close down for longer periods of time during holidays and are many-a-times not reachable. If a criminal background check process includes an FBI background check, then you may add 30 days to the whole process as well. As all details are gathered from a variety of sources and synchronized at one place in the end, one must remain prepared for the number of days it may take.

Many a times, it becomes difficult to even correctly identify an individual’s record so that may further delay the background history check process. Once a record is identified, it is then decided upon whether it requires to be synchronized within the background check report. Each record once identified has to be verified as well.

Mostly, it depends on how far back a background check requires to go so as to verify an individual’s credentials for a certain purpose.

Popular questions that come to mind:

  • What shows up in a background check report ? (Very recommended! Click to learn more)
  • Why is a background check being performed in the first place?
  • Who is the person in question that requires to be verified and for what position?
  • How deep is the process required to go? Does it include financial credit records, educational records and professional history?
  • How many years does a background check involve?
  • How far back does a background check go?

Usually in case of an employment background checks, it goes far back up to seven years of employment background history as is requested by most employers. It may also include county criminal record checks, verification of educational qualification(s) held, and confirmation of social security number through a social security number scan. Some employers may go deeper or even further far back in the number of years within an employee background check verification process in case the position on offer is ‘sensitive’ or requires a high level of trust.
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