Background Check for a Job: How Long Does it Take?
During the job hiring process in the U.S., candidates must go through several stages; submit their resume, go on an interview, take tests (in some cases), and go through a job background check. This type of check is very common for practically every job opening, but people are still confused as to how the process works, and how long does a background check take for a job. So, if you are up for a job, or you will be searching for one in the future, here is what you need to know about job background checks.
What is Job Background Check?
A job background check is a check performed by employers as part of the employment screening process. Employers who wish to get to know the background of potential employers, and discover if there are disqualifiers that may exclude certain people from getting hired to perform a pre-employment background check.
The check is performed based on the full name and social security number of each job candidate, and the parameters that show up in such a check include:
- Criminal records (state, county, and city)
- Employment history
- Credit history
- Driving record
- Work authorization
- Medical records (restrictions apply)
- Education history (high school, college, etc.)
There are several restrictions that apply for job background checks, as established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The following information does not show up in background checks:
- bankruptcies after 10 years
- civil suits and civil judgments and records of arrest after 7 years
- accounts placed for collection after 7 years
- paid tax liens after 7 years
* FCRA restrictions do not apply for job positions with a salary $75,000 or more a year
How is a Job Background Check Performed?
If you go on a job interview and the employer asks to perform a background check on you, they have to get your written consent for it. So, you will need to sign a paper stating you allow the employer to perform the check. You will also be required to provide your full name, social security number, and other identifying details, so the check can be performed. After you fill out the necessary forms, the employer will run your name through a background check system that will provide information about you.
In most cases, employers will pass on the forms to a third-party company that performs professional background checks. In certain cases, the FBI will be the one performing the check, especially in cases where national security is involved.
How Long Does a Background Check Take for a Job?
There is a certain urgency when hiring new people, so job background checks take about 2-3 days to allows employers to make quick decisions. In certain cases, these checks will take up to a week to complete. FBI background checks are even more complex, and they can take up to a month to finish.
When the check is complete, job candidates will receive an email that includes the results of the check. If something shows up on the background check report that is a disqualifier, the employer will notify the candidate what it is.
Unfortunately, there are cases in which background check reports are not completely accurate; when there are several people with the same name or similar names, when the check is not thorough, when the search is incomplete, etc., you might end up getting rejected from a position based on a disqualifier that is inaccurate.
What Can Be Done About It?
If you get a background check report that is inaccurate, you can notify the employer about the errors. You can also prevent mistakes from happening altogether by performing a background check on yourself to see what comes up on the report. How can you perform such a check? By using a website that scans public records and performs professional background checks for individuals.
Spokeo, PeopleFinder, GoLookUp, and similar websites can provide you with the best background check service. To perform the check, you will need to enter your first name, last name, and state of residence into the directory you chose. Once you do so, the search engines on these websites will scan public records registered to your name, and provide you with a full background check report about yourself.
The report will include your name, aliases, contact information, employment history, criminal records, and more. With the help of the report, you will be able to see if there are errors in your report and contact the authorities that registered the errors to correct them.
Free Background Check
All the sites listed above are professional paid-per websites that can provide you with full access to public records. There is another website that can provide you with free access to public records, but they are limited in the data they provide; when using a free background check service, you will not be able to view all the public records registered to your name.
Why? Because full access costs money, and websites that do not charge usage fees do not have the means to tap into all the public records in the country. So, if you want to get an accurate background check about yourself, you need to use a website that has full access to public records.
A job background check can make or break you, and it is a vital part of the application screening process. To make sure you get a good chance of getting hired, you should perform a background check on yourself using a professional website. If something comes up that may interfere with your employment, you can ask to correct the errors, and know that employers view only accurate information about you.