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Background Checks Taking Too Long? What’s the Hold Up?

Conducting pre-employment background checks helps organizations make informed decisions about potential employees. Most of the time, a background check comes back quickly and adds negligible time to the hiring process. However, there are instances when background checks may take longer than usual. Let’s explore five key reasons why delays occur. 


1.  Inaccurate or Incomplete Information

One common reason for delays is when the provided information from the candidate is inaccurate or incomplete. This can include misspellings, incorrect addresses, or missing details such as previous employment dates or educational qualifications. Verifying and cross-checking these details requires additional time and effort, leading to delays in completing the background check.


2.  Court Record Retrieval

Obtaining court records is a vital part of a comprehensive background check. However, the time required to retrieve court records can vary significantly depending on the jurisdiction and the court system’s efficiency. Some courts may have outdated record-keeping systems or limited resources, which can lead to delays in accessing necessary information.


3.  Reference and Employment Verification

Contacting references and previous employers is another factor that can contribute to delays. It often takes time to schedule interviews or receive responses from individuals who need to provide feedback or verify employment details. Additionally, if the candidate has worked for multiple organizations or held numerous positions, reaching out to each reference or employer can be time-consuming.


4.  Education and Credential Verification

Verifying educational qualifications and professional credentials is crucial, especially in industries that require specific degrees or certifications. However, this process can take longer if educational institutions or credentialing authorities are slow to respond or require extensive documentation. Additionally, if the candidate completed their education or obtained credentials from international institutions, the verification process may involve extra steps and require coordination with foreign entities.


5.  International Background Checks

International criminal background checks introduce a layer of complexity that can significantly slow down the verification process. Gathering information from different countries, including criminal records, employment history, or educational credentials, often involves navigating different legal systems, languages, and time zones. Coordinating with international agencies, conducting translations, and waiting for responses contribute to significant delays in completing the background check.


Reliable Results are Worth the Wait

Pre-employment background checks are essential for ensuring a safe and reliable workforce. By understanding the potential delays, you can plan accordingly and maintain transparency with candidates throughout the verification process. Whatever you do, don’t skip the screen; the results are always worth the wait.  


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