How long does a background check take?

How long does it take to screen a potential employee?

Typically, employee background check reports are completed in 48-72 hours but it all depends on what is being investigated.

If the background check includes Academic and Employment Verification completion times vary depending on the companies and schools being contacted and their response time. Every effort is made to return a completed request quickly without compromising accuracy.

If a criminal record is found the entire file must be investigated and this can take time. In order to remain complaint and protect the applicant the information on record must be confirmed with their identity and submitted for review. Generally, this means a court clerk needs to pull the paperwork and submit it and this can add 24 hours to a few days depending on the court.

In rare cases a background check may take longer than 48-72 hours for the following reasons:

  • Contacting a former employer and/or educational institution has been difficult. This can be caused by incorrect or false information supplied.
  • An extended delivery time for criminal record checks caused by courts being closed for a holiday or backlogged.
    An employer requests a drug test and a Medical Review Officer (MRO) needs to contact the applicant regarding test sample results
  • If an applicant's background history contains information outside of the United States. Releases or other documentation may be needed in order to conduct research in another country. Language barriers, non-US government procedures and backlogging may delay the background check delivery time.
how long does a background check take