Why Is My Background Check Taking So Long

young businessman looking at his laptop

You’ve already gone through the application and interview processes, but the recruiting manager still requires a background check. If you are relatively new to the process of looking for work, it is possible that you have not come across this information until now and you must be anxiously left wondering, ‘Why is my background check taking so long?’

Many businesses wait until the later phases of the hiring process, when they are down to comparing one or two job applicants, before conducting a background check on them. This leads many people who are looking for work to wonder how long it takes to complete a pre-employment background check and how soon they might anticipate receiving a job offer.

However, to obtain a security clearance, you must pass a much more extensive background check than is customary for most jobs. Investigators will look into your academic history, employment history, criminal history, and financial history.

Overall, accessing and examining all of those documents can be a lengthy process that frequently requires the assistance of a third party. In this article, you will learn why your background check might be taking longer than you originally thought.

1. Records with Incomplete Information

There are occasions when records are not properly maintained due to a variety of factors: the screening process might be greatly slowed down by having data records that are either incomplete or contain incorrect data. 

Sometimes the problem can be traced back to a single typo in the spelling or an unintended mix-up in the labeling of a piece of information.

The fact that these errors could pass unnoticed until the screening process is already well underway is the root cause of the issue, which ultimately results in the screening process being stopped.

When a person who does background checks gets in touch with an organization to verify certain facts, the entire screening procedure is dependent on how quickly the organization responds. This could add days or even weeks to the expected amount of time needed for screening, depending on how efficient they are.

2. Varying Federal/State Regulations

Since the regulations that govern background checks might vary from one location to another, further quality assurance may be necessary if you have ties to more than one jurisdiction, such as living in one state while working in another. 

Your screening agency often applies its expert touch to each report in order to ensure that only compliant information is provided back to you. This is because managing these regulatory challenges without causing a compliance offense is an absolute necessity.

Background checks are standard for most firms, but in places where it’s not, it’s common to overlook important information about hiring candidates. Business News Daily has a list of different types of background checks that employers need to run on their potential candidates.

3. A More Exhaustive Fact Check Is Necessary For The Job Position

A more thorough investigation is required if you are looking for a position that handles highly confidential information (such as those in the healthcare and banking industries) as a cursory glance won’t do the work in this case. 

In each of these industries, an individual’s history must be investigated in accordance with the pertinent norms and laws. Nevertheless, gathering this information may take more time than expected. 

4. Disruptions That Were Not Anticipated

Unanticipated events frequently result in unwelcome delays throughout the process of conducting a background check. Conditions of the atmosphere, such as storms, floods, and even hurricanes, are prime examples of anything that might make an information center physically inaccessible. 

Moreover, unforeseen technical glitches and system failures can emerge without warning, leading to delays in retrieving and processing essential data. Even the most robust and reliable systems can experience unexpected downtime, adversely affecting background check operations. 

Companies that heavily rely on specific software or databases for their screening procedures may find themselves at the mercy of these unanticipated disruptions.

It is also possible for the capacity of the companies that do background checks to become overburdened during high hiring seasons or when numerous businesses are conducting screens at the same time. As a direct consequence of this, the amount of time required for processing may exceed the typical timeframe.

Are There Different Kinds of Background Checks That Take Different Amounts of Time?

It is true that different industries require background checks of varying degrees of sophistication, which can have a considerable impact on the amount of time it takes to finish a background check. 

The screening procedure will take significantly more time if additional information is necessary. 

If you work in an industry where background checks aren’t the norm, then companies will simply look up information about you that’s publicly available, just to see if you’re a suitable candidate. They can do this with the help of online background check services (like this site) and your social media profiles.

In fields like education and healthcare, where employees have direct responsibilities for the well-being of other people, you’ll frequently discover that employers do the most in-depth and extensive background checks. The failure to do adequate background checks prior to filling these posts might have severe ramifications from a legal standpoint.

How Can I Tell if I’ve Been Cleared After My Background Check?

A candidate may be required to wait for longer than the average amount of time even if the turnaround time for background checks is often very good. 

Before making a final hiring decision, employers may conduct background checks on a number of applicants and give consideration to the results of those checks. 

If you have successfully completed the employment background check, the job offer will most likely be communicated to you by email. 

Be Patient as You Are Undergoing a Background Check

Since conducting a background check is yet another time-consuming stage in the recruiting process, you shouldn’t become concerned if you don’t hear back right away. 

You should give it at least a week before calling the company to inquire about your background check!

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