On average a background screening check should take no longer than 24 – 48 hour to complete. However, depending on the scope or complexity of the actual searches turnaround times could be delayed. Let look at four factors that can contribute to lengthy background screening results:
1. Positive Drug Tests – in the event an applicant tests positive for an illicit drug there is a crucial step that must be followed. An MRO (Medical Review Officer) contacts the applicant and conducts an interview where the applicant is provided an opportunity to explain why the drug tests results are positive (i.e. prescribed drugs from a medical doctor that could trigger a false positive test). If the applicant doesn’t respond to the MRO interview then the report would stay pending until the results are verified and validated.
2. County Courthouse Delays – certain counties throughout the nation have their own policies when requesting public criminal records. These county courthouses are identified as “clerk assisted” which means an employee of the court is the only one that has access to court record information, therefore a “back log” can arise which will cause a delay in receiving the records. Additional factors could be, government holiday’s as well as low staff due to budgetary constraints.
3. Establishing contact with employers/educational institutions – When conducting employment and or education verifications background screening companies contact the respective employer or institution to validate what the applicant is providing. However, there are times when contact information for the verification party must be researched, or the applicant provide inaccurate contact information (causing a delay in completing the verification). Additionally employers/institutions aren’t returning any requests for verification due to low staff handling these requests, or there isn’t an established policy in conducting verifications.
4. International Searches – If you are screening applicants you have resided or completed work/education outside of the United States results could be delayed.