BlogWhy Is My Background Check Taking So Long?

Why Is My Background Check Taking So Long?

Background checks are becoming more and more common by the day. Most corporations, small businesses, and even private companies run background checks on applicants to ensure that they’re a good fit for the job. 

Most background checks verify identity, check for criminal records, and comb through other public records to learn more about someone. While a background check should only take a few days, sometimes the process can be held up due to a lack of information, errors with provided information, and even issues that are beyond the applicant’s control.

The good news is that we’re here to help. If you’re wondering; why is my background check taking so long? You’re in the right place. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

What Is a Background Check?

A background check is the process of verifying someone’s public records. Essentially, its purpose is to explore an applicant’s paper trail to see if they are who they claim to be and that their information lines up. 

Background checks will usually verify previous employment, check education records, and comb through court and criminal records to see if someone has been arrested. Some background checks can also require drug testing, financial verification, and driving record searches.

How Long Does a Background Check Take? 

A background check can take as little as 10 minutes or more than a year; it depends on the type of background check. If you use a public records search tool like UnMask, a background check will only take about 10 minutes. On the other hand, the background check process for joining the FBI can take more than a year. 

That said, your average pre-employment background check should take less than a week. If there is a drug test involved expect to have your results in about 48 hours – hair and blood tests may take longer to process.

What Can Delay a Background Check? 

Background checks can be delayed for a handful of reasons. You may provide the wrong information or it might be taking a long time for employers to get in touch with your references. 

For this reason, it’s important to explore all of the possibilities to help you prepare. We also offer solutions for each problem to help you get your background check back on track.

Issues With Information

The biggest reason that your background check is taking a long time is an issue with the information. Whether it’s on your end or the employer’s, if you don’t fill out the paperwork properly, or the right paperwork, it can delay a background check. 

Employers can also forget to provide you with the right paperwork or things can get lost in translation. To ensure that everything is accurate when you submit a background check, we recommend using a tool like UnMask’s people search.

A public records search tool like UnMask will help you check your public records to ensure that everything is accurate. If you notice that you made a mistake you can then contact the employer and fix the problem. 

In fact, we recommend using this tool before you get started to address any discrepancies before they happen. Plus, your potential employer might even find you more resourceful.

Red Flags in Your Records 

Unfortunately, sometimes a background check can take longer due to red flags appearing in your record. If you have court records or a criminal history, this can cause delays in the background check process because employers will have to look through them and consider your eligibility for the role. 

This can also occur due to a failed drug test but the company or agency will often notify you right away if you failed. We recommend checking your records before submitting to a background check and bringing up any concerns with your potential employer before you start the process to avoid delays.

Trouble Contacting Your References

Most pre-employment background checks will check your professional and personal references. To do so, they will often contact people, universities, and your previous coworkers. However, if someone is no longer working at the company or of a school representative you listed retired, this can delay the process. 

You can use a tool like UnMask to find out if someone still works at the place you’re listing on the report. There is also a phone number search tool that can help you provide accurate and current contact information for your references.

Avoid Background Check Delays

Background checks are delayed for dozens of reasons and most of them come down to missing information or failed contact with references. We always recommend using a people search tool like UnMask to avoid these problems from surfacing in the future. 

Plus, knowing what your records should say can help you dispute any issues that arise during the background check process.

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