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How Long Does a Background Check for a Job Take to Complete?

Whether in the employer’s seat or on a job hunt, you’re likely wondering how long an employee background check takes. Employers often seek a speedy turnaround when looking to fill a role, while job applicants eagerly await a final response. In both cases, the answer remains consistent — the duration changes depending on the specific type of background investigation.

Estimating the Duration of Employment Background Investigations

One of the challenges in determining the time needed for employment background verification is that it typically involves multiple types of checks. The term can be misleading since it implies that the employer can find all the information he seeks in a single comprehensive database.

In reality, employment background checks encompass a range of elements, including criminal records, resume details, and civil court documents. Turnaround times for checks related to these data categories differ, thus impacting the answer to the question, “How long does a check take?”

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Duration of Criminal Record Checking

In many employment contexts, “employment background verification” is often synonymous with a “criminal history check.” Thus, when people inquire about the time it takes for background investigations, they usually refer to criminal checks.

The time frame for criminal checks can vary based on several factors, including:

  • Number of Steps: The complexity of the criminal check process.
  • Type of Criminal Records: The specific criminal records being requested.
  • International Involvement: Whether international searches are part of the process.

Our proprietary multijurisdictional background check databases at ADC can provide instant results. Reports are typically returned within one to three business days for data unavailable in our electronic database. 

It applies to county-level, state-level, and federal-level criminal searches. State-level checks exhibit the most variability, with some states delivering results in one business day while others may take several weeks.

Additional steps, such as alias and address history searches, can lengthen the overall processing time. These supplementary checks can assist employers in planning which states or counties to target. 

International involvement is the most unpredictable factor in the duration of a criminal check. If international criminal history checks are required, the processing time typically adds two to three weeks.

Employment Verification 

An employment background check can be a complex, time-consuming process, often posing a significant challenge for busy Human Resources Managers juggling various responsibilities.

Complicating matters further is that individuals may only sometimes have a clear recollection of their past employers. They might recall working at a company like FedEx. Still, the reality could be that they were employed by a FedEx subcontractor or a staffing agency working on behalf of the company. Numerous tools, including costly third-party verification services like the Work Number and Thomas and Company, exist to help streamline this intricate and accurate background check for employment verification.

Employers often find it extremely challenging to verify an individual’s complete employment history without the expertise and resources accessible to our fully trained verification team. Our years of experience in employment verification prove to be highly efficient and valuable to our clients. Despite these challenges, ADC LTD typically completes a candidate’s employment history verification in less than three business days, with many verifications accomplished in minutes.

Lab-Based Drug Screening Process

Upon receiving a lab-based drug screen order, we swiftly identify the nearest collection site for your requested service. We then send the candidate detailed instructions on where to go and how to request the service, ensuring convenience for all parties involved in the employment background check process.  Once the candidate visits the clinic and provides a specimen, it is sent overnight to the testing lab. The lab conducts the necessary tests, and if the sample meets the testing criteria, the results are electronically transmitted back to us by the lab.

For a negative test result, it typically takes around 48 hours from the specimen collection to make the results available to the client. If the collection site misses the cutoff for overnight delivery, please add a day to the turnaround time. In cases where a specimen fails the lab test, the specimen may be forwarded to a Medical Review Officer (MRO), who will contact the candidate to obtain prescription information and other relevant details of the said background check for employment. The process duration changes depending on the candidate’s responsiveness to the MRO.

On average, the entire process of lab-based drug screening typically takes between 48 and 72 hours to complete.

Clinical Services

The completion timeline for fully coordinated occupational health services depends on the candidate’s responsiveness and availability. These services encompass DOT Physicals, DOT Physical Exams, Breath Alcohol Testing, all Post-Accident requirements, Flu Shots, TB testing, and more. Usually, these services can be finalized within 48 to 72 hours of the order placement.

Credit Reports

For credit reports, the process is swift and efficient. Credit reports are instantly provided, with the average turnaround time measured in seconds.

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If you’re searching for a background check partner that consistently exceeds your expectations regarding quality and service, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

ADC LTD — Your Reliable Partner for Swift, Accurate, and Legally Compliant Background Checks

At ADC LTD, we simplify the background verification process, ensuring a seamless experience for employers and candidates alike. Our background investigation packages typically boast a one to three-day turnaround time, providing you with prompt and essential information for making well-informed hiring decisions.

In background verifications, the question of how long the process takes can yield diverse responses. However, our approach remains unwavering at ADC, characterized by consistency, comprehensiveness, and full compliance.