On average, a background screening check should take no longer than 24 – 48 hours to complete; however, depending on the scope or complexity of the actual search, turnaround times could be delayed.
Here are four factors that can contribute to lengthy background screening results:
- Positive Drug Tests
In the event an applicant tests positive for an illicit drug, there is a crucial step that must be followed. A Medical Review Officer (MRO) 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 does not respond to the MRO interview, the report would stay pending until the results are verified and validated.
- 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.” This means an employee of the court is the only one that has access to court record information; therefore, a “back log” may arise which will cause a delay in receiving the records. Additional factors could be government holidays or low staff due to budgetary constraints.
- Establishing Contact with Employers and/or Educational Institutions
When conducting employment and or education verification, background screening companies contact the respective employer or institution to validate information that the applicant is providing. There are times, however, when contact information for the verification party must be researched, or the applicant provided inaccurate contact information (causing a delay in completing the verification). In addition to this, employers and/or institutions may not be returning any requests for verification due to low staff handling these requests, or a lack of an established policy in conducting verification.
- International Searches
Screening applicants who resided or completed their education and/or work experience outside of the United States could delay results.