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Hiring a new employee is a risky proposition for an employer. That’s why careful screening is so crucial to the new hire process. One of the tools business owners often use to mitigate their risk is the background screening process. How does a background test work, and how long should it take? What are the benefits of these screening tools? 

Understanding a Background Check 

A background check is a process of verifying the person you’re hiring is who they claim to be. You can check employment history, criminal record, education, and other details they may have supplied during the interview process. There are all kinds of background checks to use, including: 

  • Employment background checks 
  • Criminal checks 
  • Fingerprint checks 
  • E-verify 
  • Credit checks 

According to, 96% of employers conduct at least one type of background check. Each of these checks send out for data from state or federal agencies and can take time. How much time should you allot for a background check? 

How Long Does a Background Check Take? 

The turnaround on a pre-employment screening can range from one to five days to a few months depending on the type of background check you order. FBI checks can take about 30-days. There are “instant” background checks out there, but these can rely on incomplete data to speed up the process. Having a thorough and accurate report is very important, but the process can experience delays. 

For example, a background check can delay if the employer makes mistakes on the forms sent in with the application. The candidate must sign a release form, and the employer must notify them that the background check will take place. These signed forms must go to the agencies conducting the background check before the check can occur. 

A background check could also be delayed because the screening agencies may be gathering information on the candidate. Instead of relying on the candidate’s information, they may be reaching out to former employers and schools who may not even have computerized records, which could delay the process. For example, it can take up to 48-hours in some states to even receive a driving license report or criminal report. 

Looking to Offload some Admin Tasks?

When you consider all the different databases that a background check could query, it makes sense that the process could be delayed. Now imagine how much easier this process would be if you leveraged an Employer of Record like FoxHire. Our firm handles the heavy lifting around hiring so that corporate HR departments, staffing firms, and recruiters can concentrate on managing the people portion of the candidate hiring process. Talk to our firm and find out how we can help your business. 

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