What to Consider When Submitting a Background Check: Turnaround Time Demystified

What to Consider When Submitting a Background Check: Turnaround Time Demystified
Marketing Specialist

As an employer in healthcare, running employment background checks is an integral part of your hiring and talent qualification process. It reduces compliance risk and ensures your due diligence in promoting a safe working environment to deliver quality patient care.

However, when submitting a background check request, there are several factors that can influence or even extend the final timeline of your report, says Ryan Trevino, Product Manager for PreCheck’s background screening solutions. These factors can be separated into the following two categories.

Reasons for delaying the start of a background check:

  • Missing client certification - Employer must certify that they have secured an authorization and disclosure form for each background check order.
  • Missing or incomplete information – This includes social security number, former addresses, other aliases, etc.
  • Placing the order later in the day - PreCheck recommends that orders be placed as early in the day as possible to ensure all requests are distributed to the various departments, which allows for attempts to be made on the first day.

Reasons for delays once the background check has begun:

  • Holidays – Nearly all schools and most employers are closed on the holidays (public, state, and federal), which will extend the turnaround time of a report because companies must wait until they reopen. Moreover, courts are closed on federal holidays, which will extend the turnaround time for public record searches.
  • Winter, Spring, and Summer Breaks - This affects the education component because schools will be closed completely or have reduced schedules for employees in charge of handling verification requests.
  • Inclement Weather/Natural Disasters – Employers, schools, and courts will either be closed completely or have reduced staff/hours when there is inclement weather or natural disasters in certain regions of the country.

When is the best time to submit your background check order?

As stated above, it is recommended that background check requests are placed as earliest in the day as possible. “PreCheck recommends a general rule of thumb—the earlier in the day you can send the request, the better,” says Dana Sangerhausen, PreCheck’s Vice President of Operations. “We don’t publish a hard and fast cut-off time because we know that volumes and hiring practices can fluctuate, but we suggest sending in orders during the first half of the day.”

Here are a few things Sangerhausen recommends considering when submitting a background check order:

  • Similar Business Hours - Most employers, schools and courthouse keep similar hours to you and your office. So if you receive a request for employment verification at the end of the day, like most other employers, you’re probably not likely to respond at that time.
  • Submit Early - Much like our recommendation for you to submit orders early in the day, our criminal record researchers request the same from us. Depending on the county, some researchers head out to the courts either once or even twice a day. Late submissions typically go out the following day.
  • Court Clerk Queues - For those court record searches that must be conducted by court clerks, after the researcher submits the search request to the court clerk, that request sits in the queue until the clerk runs the search.
  • Peak Hiring Season - Peak hiring months such as May, June, and July, employers, schools, and courts are hit with higher than usual request volumes. Experts found that during these months, candidates are looking to start fresh in the springtime, after their reviews, and companies are trying to get a jump on hiring before the end of a year when everything slows down.

While the time it takes to complete a background check varies and depends on several factors, we hope the general guidelines above will help both hiring managers and candidates better understand what may affect and delay their final report. Have any more questions? Please leave a comment below.

PreCheck Background Screening Resource Kit