How Long do Background Checks Take for Jobs

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How Long do Background Checks Take for Jobs

You may be wondering how long do background checks take for a job, if you are a potential employee or an employer. You might have a tight deadline and be eager for a speedy turnaround on candidate background checks if you are trying to fill a position. If you’re looking for work, you probably just want to know when you’ll find out whether you got the job or not. It depends on the type of check, in either case, is the same answer.

Background checks come in many different forms, and depending on the information needed, the constraints of the data source, and the laws in force, different turnaround times apply to each type.

A background check may take up to five business days, or it may be completed in less than a minute, depending on the specific information an employer needs. If manual searches or assistance from other organizations, such as professional license certifications, universities, and previous employers, is necessary, it might take longer.

When you apply for a job, employment background checks are frequently required. To ensure a safe workplace, employers frequently conduct ongoing background checks on current employees through annual criminal background checks or routine employee drug testing.

Your work history, education, credit history, driving record, criminal history, medical history, use of social media, and drug testing are just a few examples of the things that can be included in an employment background check.

What is Revealed by a Background Check Before Employment?

Are you curious what your background check will reveal to employers?

With the aid of services like Global Background Screening, you can conduct your own background investigation and social media search. Here is some typical data that employers may legally look over during your background investigation:

Employment History

Employers want to confirm that you did, in fact, work where and when you claim on your resume (pro tip: never make this information up!).

They occasionally inquire about your previous performance and completed tasks from previous employers.

Make sure your resume is always accurate to avoid being disqualified for a position because 53% of all job applications contain inaccurate information.

Education History

Employers will verify that the education information on your resume is accurate. Your diploma, degrees, and years of study with the listed academic institutions will all be reviewed.

Make sure your educational history is accurate, just like your prior employment history. You might be shocked at how frequently candidates—even senior leadership—intentionally fabricate their resumes and lose their jobs.

Criminal Histories

Normally, it’s important for an employer to look over your criminal history, especially if you’re applying for a job in childcare or with the government.

Any criminal activity will be revealed in a background check, so be honest with your prospective employer about any felony and misdemeanour convictions before the check is conducted.

Credit History

Generally speaking, a credit report is most important if you’re applying for a financial position. The following is what the employer might see on your credit report:

An employer may quickly conclude that you might be a risk in a financial role if you have a poor credit history, such as a string of bankruptcies.

Work Eligibility Documents

Employers will request documents like a copy of your driver’s license and SSN card in order to verify that you are who you say you are. They also want to know if you have permission to work in the United States.

The background check procedure can be sped up by providing all necessary documentation when requested, so be sure to finish as soon as you can.

Driving records and social media accounts are two additional pieces of background check data. It depends on the employer and the position.

Criminal Background Check Turnaround Times

Depending on the database being searched, such as the National Criminal Database, the turnaround time for a criminal background check can be much faster than the standard one to three business days.

Background Check Turnaround Times on Federal Orders

Sex offender databases, county criminal court records, watch lists for domestic and international terrorist organizations, and federal and state criminal records can all be searched as part of a criminal background check. Depending on the demands of a manual search, additional searches of these databases may take one to three days.

A federal background check typically takes one day to complete. A federal background check looks for violations of federal criminal law, including federal tax evasion, mail fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, interstate trafficking, and crimes committed on federal property, across the 94 federal courts in the United States.

Most employers will search both federal and state criminal records to get a complete report on an applicant’s entire criminal history, especially if they are hiring for C-level executive positions, CPAs, public sector employees, or someone who will have access to confidential financial information because a federal background check only looks for crimes prosecuted on the federal level and does not check for convictions at the state level.

Records from seven years ago or more are typically included in the check, depending on state laws and unique circumstances.

Reasons for Background Check Delays

Here are a few of the things that can delay things.


We only estimate how long a screening might take during business days. In most cases, ordering a check just before the weekend will extend the time required for screening.


Many county courts, businesses, educational institutions, and other offices were either closed during the COVID-19 pandemic or operated with shortened hours. Closures may also result from holidays, national emergencies, or other situations. These closures slow down our ability to gather data, which extends the vetting process.

Verifying Names

As straightforward as it may sound, name ambiguity can result in delays. This kind of delay can be minimized by giving points of contact all known names and aliases.

Multiple Ongoing Checks

Delays frequently occur because the employer wants to wait until both background checks are complete before making an offer to a candidate whose background check is also ongoing.

These are some of the facts to consider in case you are wondering how long do background checks take for a job. As the information points out, there are many factors that influence the time for background lookup results.

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