There are different reasons why background check delays happen. Different background checks have different turnaround times based on the type of research that goes into creating a report. It includes the source from where the information comes from and other factors. Not all background checks are researched from the same source and collected the same way. A criminal record report may consist of research from different courts, state repositories, police stations etc. It is therefore important to select a background screening vendor that is efficient enough to collect data as quickly as possible from reliable sources.
(Read more: Ingredients of An Ideal Background Screening Vendor)
Factors that can Cause Delay in the Background Check Process
In a perfect world, a recruiter might want an access to a website that can give them precise and up to date information about candidates and help them make a quick hiring decision. But unfortunately no such website exists. And so quite often background check and verification process happens manually, which is where most of the delays happen. Given below are some common reasons for delay.
- Incorrect candidate’s information, including their Social Security Number (in the US), Adhaar number (in India) Date of Birth, Name etc. which results in the delay.
- While conducting international screening, certain reports require additional information that can result in delay due to delayed permission from court to acquire the details.
- In the US, federal databases are not scrutinized while checking a candidate’s criminal history, which can result in providing an incomplete picture. A criminal background check needs to be performed personally by visiting the county court and getting relevant records where the candidate has lived. Most of the times the process gets over very quickly. But, there are times when the court orders the research to be conducted by their own clerks. This results in a bottleneck in the entire process resulting in a delay of two or three weeks.
- In India, the other delays can happen due to too much manual processes.
- In the US, India and other international markets background checks are normally done by actually calling up schools (education check) and past employers (employment check) and going to courthouses. Normally, it would take a few days to complete the background check process, but, there are times when there are delays which are not in anybody’s control. For example when a past employer (reference) has gone out of business, or a school or university (for education verification) is closed for a holiday or requires a release sent by mail.
- In the US, one other example of delay is when there are potential criminal record matches of the individual and the court clerk delays producing the file.
How to Speed Up the Background Check Process?
While conducting the background check process use these universal tips to quicken up the turnaround time of the reports.
1. Make sure that the candidate’s information is accurate
The number one reason for the turnaround time delay is due to flawed information in the background check request. When the basic information pertaining to the candidate like their Social Security Number (in the US), Adhaar number (in India) Date of Birth, Name etc. is incorrect, you need to waste your valuable time in either contacting the client or the individual to verify the information. This delay is compounded when the candidate does not respond quickly to your request. The best way to counter this problem is by ensuring that the information provided by the candidate during the application process is precise and accurate to get quality background reports.
2. Provide additional documentation upfront if required
Certain types of background checks require additional documentation to get started. This is most commonly found in international background checks, neglect searches etc. Whenever these additional documentations are required, a release form from the court or agency is required. This can unnecessarily delay the report. To speed up the turnaround time of the background report it is important to provide additional documentation upfront if and whenever required.
3. Take a judgement call in case of non-critical data insufficiency
There are times when a recruiter is not able to get all the relevant data pertaining to a specific area of concern, but can make a judgement call and close the report. For example; While verifying previous employment, if you are able to get the requisite information about the candidate’s previous employment but are unable to get information pertaining to their earliest employment it should not be taken into consideration as it is less relevant. If the candidate worked in a fast food restaurant six years back after completing graduation and the fast food place does not pick up the call or is shut down then this should not be the reason to delay the completion of the screening report especially if the screening firm has obtained the most recent and most relevant job verifications.
Experienced recruiters understand that background check is a vital component of the hiring process. It is therefore crucial to hire a professional background screening company like cFIRST that has the requisite knowledge, resources and experience to conduct the screening process in the most accurate way to combat this situation. The right vendor will help you to extract relevant data, thereby, reduce the turnaround time and quicken up the background screening process to ensure that you hire talented candidates as soon as possible.
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.