Background Check Explained: How Long Does the Process Take?
Most people who have gone on job interviews have had a background check performed on them, and it is very likely that if you intend on getting a job in the 21st century, you will also be subject to a background check. While these checks are very common in the U.S., for job and gun licenses mostly, people are still unsure of what is a background check and how long a background check takes.
What is a Background Check?
As the title suggests, a background check is a check into a person's background, meaning their past. This type of check is performed mainly by employers who want to make sure job candidate's do not have red-flag disqualifiers in their past. When employers perform a job background check, they will check if the candidate provided them with the right name and social security number. Then, they will check for previous job experience, education, and references. These are the main things that employers check on potential new employers.
Additional criteria in a background check include criminal records, medical history, credit history, sexual offenses the candidates might have, history of theft, and more. The purpose of the check is to make sure the work environment remains safe, and that future employees were honest when they provided their personal information.
As of today, a background check is mandatory in most places, and employers are required to perform them on prospective employees. So, if you go on a job interview, you should expect to be asked to give your consent to perform a background check on you.
How is a Background Check Performed?
To perform a thorough and legal background check, the first thing employers need to do is get consent from job candidates. The future employers need to sign a consent form allowing the employers to perform the check on them. Also, candidates will need to provide their full name and their social security number so that employers can run a check on them.
After the paperwork is done, employers will perform the background check. They can also pass on the consent form to a third-party company that specializes in background checks. These types of companies perform background checks on a regular basis, so they provide employers with accurate results. When undergoing a check such as this, it is important for you to know your rights and not let employers perform checks on you unless you give your written consent. An employer who performs a check on you without your consent is breaking the law.
How Long Does a Background Check Take?
So, now that you know how a background check works, it's important to know how long such a check takes. Well, the duration to get back answers regarding a background check depends on the employer or the company they hired to perform the check. In most cases, a background check is complete in under a week, and employers send the results to the candidates. Depending on the nature of the job and the hiring company, a background check can take up to a month, and sometimes even longer.
There are certain factors that cause delays in background checks, which delays the results and the answer you will get from the employer. In case there is a delay in background check results, it might be because the form you filled out is incomplete. You can prevent this from happening by reviewing your answers before you submit the consent form. You can also call the employer to find out how long the results will take, and if the problem is indeed in the forms you submitted.
What if the Background Check Results are not Accurate?
There are some cases where the results of background checks are not accurate, meaning there are things in your report that are not true, like your criminal record. This can influence your employment, so it is important to make sure this doesn't happen. How can you do this? By performing a background check on yourself. Today, there are wonderful websites that offer public records search services you can use whenever you desire.
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These sites can perform a background check on you as well as other people, and provide you with a full report in a matter of minutes. The report will include your name, criminal records, contact information, educational history, employment history, and other information about you. The results you get are the same results the prospective employers will get when they run a check on you. So, you will be able to see if there are errors in the records registered to your name. If you notice such mistakes, you will be able to contact the proper authorities and ask them to correct the mistakes.
What about a Free Background Check?
The services mentioned above charge membership fees for public records checks. When using these services, you can perform unlimited background checks on yourself and other people. Aside from these services, you can also run a free background check to see what comes up in your reports, but you will not get complete answers; this is because free background check websites do not have full access to public records.
When sites do not charge users for any fees whatsoever, they cannot afford to pay for full access to public records. As a result, you will get partial background check reports, and you will not be able to see if there are mistakes in your data. So, the best course of action is to use a professional background check website that will provide you with all the information you need.
A background check is a very important check performed by employers, and it is an imperative part of the hiring process. When undergoing such a check, it is vital that you know your rights, and make sure there are no errors during the process that may affect your chances of getting a job.