How long does it take for a company to do a background check?
When you’re hired at a new job, you want to start working right away. If your employment is contingent on passing a background check, how long will you have to wait before you start earning money? The answer depends.
What Type of Background Check Does Your Employer Use?
Many types of background checks exist. An instant, online-only service will search through a few databases. An FBI background check will reach out to multiple state and local law enforcement agencies. When you apply to a small business or entry-level job, you’ll probably pass your background check quickly because your employer doesn’t want to invest hundreds of dollars in a detailed investigation. Checks for high-level jobs could take weeks or even months as employers will want to know you’re trustworthy.
How Common Is Your Name?
If you have a unique name, it will be easy for background check companies to find your information. If you’re John Smith or Jane Doe, record companies will have to sort through thousands of files to pull the correct data. You can help the process by providing previous addresses and phone numbers, using a middle initial and making sure the background check agency knows any nicknames or aliases you’ve used.
Are Your Former Employers Modernized?
Background checks can be completed in seconds if all of the necessary records are online and indexed to search databases. If you’ve worked for a small business or stuck-in-the-past bureaucracy, your review could take longer. The agency might need to print out a letter, mail it to former employers and wait for their reply. This could add weeks to your timeframe.
How Can You Speed Up the Background Check Process?
You can follow a few steps to keep things rolling along. Make sure you sign any necessary paperwork with your employer to authorize the background check. Submit copies of your fingerprints right away. Ultimately, you have to exercise patience and wait for the background check to finish.