Blog Reviews

How Long Does a Background Check Take?



When you make the decision to use background checks on new hires or job applicants (which is a great choice!), one of the questions you may ask is, “How long will this take?” The hiring process can be long depending on one’s standards, but it shouldn’t be painful or mysterious. A comprehensive check done by a professional and reliable search firm should only take about 72 hours. However, there are many factors that go into this timeframe, namely staff cooperation and the filing systems of the records you need to access.

Think about it: there are thousands of local, regional and state government records systems across the United States. Not surprisingly, few use the exact same technology in their filings and documentation preservation. Some use limited technology, still relying on handwritten notes, paper records and burdensome filing systems. There is simply no standard to follow when doing a background check. That’s one reason that a dependable and reputable vendor is important when doing checks.

Court System May Cause Delays

A large portion of the information we seek is available through the court system. Court clerks and researchers are generally assigned to these tasks. A clerk assisted search means we cannot physically go to a court and retrieve records -- they must be released to a screening company by the clerk of that court. Depending on the nature of the court and how busy it may be, this may sometimes cause a delay. Some courts will accept a rush fee for a quicker turnaround.

Researching court documents means we must rely on court personnel to help. The cooperativeness and competency of those assigned to research and access records is vital. Delays can be common if phone calls are missed or key personnel are out of the office. But again, background screeners by companies like Risk Assessment Group stay vigilant, and generally meet the three-day time frame with minimal issues.

How long does an International Background Search Take?

One source of delay that is fairly standard for the industry is when an international search takes place. These types of searches are important for employers as information on resumes and applications is obviously harder to verify. Yet it is critical for you and your company when hiring abroad. One challenge is the culture and climate of the country where records or references may lie. Does the country enjoy the many freedoms of places like the United States, or do they live under more restrictive governance? The latter can lead to delays of weeks when trying to access important information on people’s education, work, credit and criminal records.

We'll Do the Hard Part

The decision to use background searches in your hiring is a solid one. There are so many hiring matters that have the potential to negatively affect your business. Utilizing a responsible and dependable firm removes much of those potential issues.

We say it often because it rings so true: employers have many burdens to overcome throughout the hiring process. Recognizing this and using the right tools – like background checks from those of a reputable, professional background check company, can help you identify those red flags as you look for your next hire.


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