At Backgrounds Online, we have a vision of an "ideal" background screening scenario. It begins with a motivated applicant providing current, accurate information. This allows us to start processing immediately. Our goal is to prepare a useful, compliant report within two to three business days.
In our scenario, the courts we contact provide records promptly. We're able to access the public records we need quickly. There are no delays.
The employment and education history we receive is correct and concise. It includes the contact information we need to reach each person directly. Everyone we call is responsive and happy to offer honest feedback.
We are able to complete the research expeditiously and deliver a report that helps our customer make an informed hiring decision.
But it doesn't always work that way. There are several factors that can delay a background check.
Navigating the Wild World of Criminal Court Records
When a customer requests a county criminal search, our team obtains data directly from the local court. This ensures that the information we provide is current and reliable. We're usually able to obtain the data we need quickly, but sometimes a court employee must find and access records as their schedule permits.
Some counties are known to have extended turnaround times for retrieving criminal records. This can happen if a court has a limited staff that is dealing with a backlog of orders. Cases that have a large number of records can cause additional delays because the court employee must then locate each one individually. If you need data from a county that is backlogged, you can expect a delay on your report.
Courts that usually have fast turnaround times will sometimes take a little longer to provide records for people who have common names. Clerks may be able to find and verify a record right away if the subject has a unique moniker, but the process can take much longer if the subject has an especially common name.
Reporting Criminal Records - Missing Information
Our team reviews numerous records to build authoritative background checks. If the documents we receive from courts or other sources are not complete, then we need to dig even deeper.
For example, a record could be missing a key piece of information such as the date of birth (a personal identifier). We rely on this data to help confirm that the records we're reviewing are for the right person. If we don't do this, it is possible that some of the data on a report could be about the wrong individual.
A similar issue occurs when criminal records do not include a disposition date. Numerous state and federal laws dictate what can and cannot be used in a background report. Most convictions are only reportable within a specific time frame. If we don't confirm relevant dates, there is a risk that a report will not be compliant with federal or state regulations.
Verifying Employment, Education And Professional References Isn't Always Easy
It may seem like verifications or Reference Verifications should be simple and quick, but that's not always the case. Several factors could delay this process:
A former supervisor might have a different job and a new number
Applicants could inadvertently provide incorrect contact information
Companies occasionally purge older employee records
People are often busy and may not have time to offer a reference
Many schools close temporarily during the winter and summer seasons
We Offer Ongoing Guidance And Assistance
Our team is always developing innovative ways to keep you updated on the progress of your reports. We're actively working on a new Alert System that informs you a background check is taking longer than expected and explains why. We are also available to help you understand your options.
As a Backgrounds Online customer, you have a dedicated account manager who can help you determine the best way to proceed if a report is delayed. He or she may offer advice about omitting a county court search with a long turnaround time, skipping a verification that cannot be completed within your required time frame or developing other options that best suit your needs.
Backgrounds Online is your partner in the hiring process. We are committed to helping you understand and assess the status of your background checks. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff Monday - Friday from 5am to 5pm PT.