Are you frustrated by delays in the return of background check results? Well, your frustrations are our frustrations and we are working on ways to cut some of the delays. The first thing we need to work on is our expectations – what you expect from us and what we expect from you.
One thing that enables us to drive shorter turnaround times is the completeness of the information you provide to us and, ultimately, the information you require of your applicants. Here are some of the things that can cause delays:
1. Illegible handwriting on employment forms.
■ Incorrect information brings incorrect results. A “best guess” on a SSN or Driver’s License number can lead to additional information being required such as actual copies of the Social Security Card or Driver’s License.
■ Our screening system includes an Applicant Invite process, which allows the Applicant to complete the application online. Part of that process involves the ability to download a copy of the FCRA Summary and sign a Consent form. With the burden of data entry now on the Applicant, it frees up more time for the Employer. Applicant information is entered via an emailed link to the screening software where required fields can be accessed and completed on the Applicant’s phone, tablet or computer, so there are no problems trying to decipher handwriting. The Employer is only required to enter the candidate’s first name, last name, and email address.
2. Incomplete Information: When ordering Employment and Education verifications, it is important to give us all of the available information.
■ In the case of an Employment verification, this means the employer name, contact information, location, dates worked, and job title. Our reports typically show a comparison of what information the candidate provided and what information the employer reported. This gives you another means of judging your candidate’s truthfulness.
■ In the case of Education verifications, we need to know the school name, location, type of degree, etc. If we are verifying a High School education, we need to know if it was a diploma or a GED that was received. Diploma and GED records are maintained by different entities, so it eliminates the need for additional information from you or your applicant if we know at the beginning of the process what type of degree they received. There could be additional delays if the school cannot find the student at all. Then we would require a copy of the diploma or GED certificate to send to the school for further research. Unfortunately, these often end up being fake documents identified by incorrect graduation dates and forged signatures of school officials. Sadly, we have encountered enough of these fake degrees, from all levels of educational institutions, to wallpaper a whole wall in our office!
NOTE: Due to summer holidays, we are finding many High Schools who have closed their offices during the summer. This will mean that requests for graduation records from those schools will be delayed until the school offices open in late August.
3. If you are ordering drug tests as part of your screening package, we usually allow 3 days for the candidate to get to the collection site.
■ If they went on the third day, a negative result will usually be reported 1-2 days after the collection was completed. This would mean that a negative result would be reported to you within 4-5 business days from the date the test was ordered.
■ A non-negative result could take longer because of the MRO (Medical Review Officer) process. It is also important to impress upon your candidates that they need to go to the lab before the Authorization expires. Re-ordering a missed test and waiting for the results could add another 5 days to the final results. In addition, you might want to consider ordering your background checks and drug tests separately. That way, one wouldn’t hold up the other.
Normally, you can expect turnaround times of 2-5 business days from CIC. We usually find that the most time consuming searches are the criminal searches. We continuously monitor our court researcher turnaround times and make adjustments where needed if we see turnaround times falling. There are some situations where we are simply at the mercy of the courts. These include court closures due to weather and scheduled holidays, staffing issues, and manual or clerk searches often found in the smaller courts. The time it takes to get results from a court search varies greatly from court to court and depends a lot on the level of automation each court has put into place.
Identifiers are an important part of a court search, especially if the name is a common one. The correct date of birth and a middle initial or name help the researcher save valuable time in completing their research and in assuring that you have the correct and most up-to-date information for your candidate.
Working together, we can make every attempt to get you a timely, complete, accurate and compliant report. We work diligently to provide services to help streamline your processes and give you the information you need to make smart employment decisions.
Carolyn Klemett is the coordinator of our Pre-employment Screening Services at Corporate Intelligence Consultants. For more information about this article, the report ordering process, or general Employment Screening Services, please contact Carolyn at 1.800.573.2201 / 419.874.2201.