How long does an employment background check take?

  •  01/15/2018
  • By Andrea Collatz
  •  Credit history , Criminal Background

As a small business owner, you want to find the best employees in the shortest amount of time. That means you not only need to make sure you’re thoroughly vetting your job applicants, but that you’re using efficient and reliable tools.

There are various ways to perform a background check depending on your needs and timeline. Background checks can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks, and for many employers, time is of the essence. What kind of timeline can you expect? That depends on the service you use.

Traditional background check services offer a variety of reports, but can take several weeks to return results, which impacts your ability to hire the right person quickly. On the other hand, online screening options can offer a quick, comprehensive view of your applicant’s background. Below we’ll cover your options and what you can expect with each.

Why Is It Important to Complete a Background Check Quickly?

You want the quickest turnaround possible when screening candidates, and for good reason. The cost of an unfilled position can quickly add up through losses in productivity. Great candidates may also be snatched up by competitors if the screening process takes too long.

According to a Bersin by Deloitte survey, it costs an average of $4,000 to fill an open position, but the hidden costs can go much further. Combine the time spent interviewing and onboarding with the loss of productivity, and the overall cost of your unfilled position can quickly add up.

Add a time-consuming background check into the mix and you’re looking at steadily increasing costs —in both time and money.

calendarTraditional employee background check can take weeks to complete

How Long Does a Traditional Background Check Take?

A traditional background check can take longer than you might expect, generally anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Unfortunately, it’s common to wait weeks for results from traditional background screening services. What are the reasons behind the delay? It depends. Numerous factors can extend the timeline of results in a traditional background check.

Inaccurate Forms

Many times, delays in the background screening process are due to employer error. If the background check request form isn’t filled out accurately, you’ll have to start back at square one.

Inaccurate Identifiers

A job candidate may go by a different name. For example, if they list their nickname instead of legal name on the application, the background check may provide incorrect or insufficient results.

County Level Criminal Checks

One of the most time-consuming checks that may be performed is a manual county-level criminal record search. This type of search requires a person to physically visit a courthouse to check county-level criminal records and can take as long as 30 days to return results.

The Amount of Information Returned

Employers looking to fill positions that require extensive screening may wait longer because of the volume of information needed.

While traditional background check services offer a variety of reports, you may be left waiting days or weeks for results to return. If you’re looking for faster screening results, online pre-employment screening services can offer a comprehensive view of your applicant without the wait. TransUnion ShareAble for Hires delivers screening results in minutes to ensure you fill that open position with the best possible candidate—in the quickest amount of time possible.

people talkingFast pre-employment background check

How Long Does a Background Check Take With ShareAble for Hires?

TransUnion ShareAble for Hires delivers results in minutes, letting you access the information you need for quicker hiring decisions. Vetting candidates shouldn’t slow down your company’s productivity and progress. ShareAble for Hires delivers the results you need in just four easy steps.

How Do I Use ShareAble for Hires?

Simply create a free account and input your job applicant’s email address into the system. ShareAble for Hires will email your applicant a screening request. Once they approve the request and verify their identity, the reports are sent directly to you. Because the process is completed entirely online, you receive accurate results in just a few minutes rather than a few days or weeks.

ShareAble for Hires’ employer dashboard enables you to manage all of your screening application in one convenient location so you can stay organized. Easily track the status of different applicants and view their screening results in one place.

Do I Get the Information I Need to Make the Right Hire?

You don’t have to sacrifice accuracy for speed. ShareAble for Hires pre-employment screening is backed by TransUnion, a trusted credit reporting agency with 40+ years of experience in the industry.

Do you need to understand how an applicant handles money? ShareAble for Hires credit reports contain important information about your applicant’s financial status, including payment history, potential bankruptcies, and the amount of debt they hold.

Worried about the safety of current employees and clients? Our criminal reports scour nearly 300+ million national and state criminal records, taking information from Most Wanted Databases, the National Sex Offender Public Registry, and more.

Want to be sure your applicant is who they say they are? Built-in applicant identity verification gives you confidence that you’re screening the right person.

Are ShareAble for Hires Checks Compliant?

ShareAble for Hires provides consumer reports that comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines. We monitor our solution to ensure it complies with the latest laws and regulations governing consumer reporting agencies.

Unlike a traditional screening in which an employer pulls an applicant’s consumer report, ShareAble for Hires allows job applicants to “push” their reports directly to the employer. This process enables the employer to receive results in minutes and also meets the permissible purpose requirement.

No matter which type of position you’re trying to fill, it’s important to verify your job applicants’ identity and credit and criminal history. Background checks are an essential step in confirming your hiring decision.

people waiting for applicationVerify job applicant identity with employment checks


The hiring process can be lengthy when you consider the amount of time it takes to post a job, read resumes, interview candidates, check references and screen. But with the right pre-employment screening tool, you can confirm your hiring decision sooner. ShareAble for Hires delivers reliable, comprehensive screening results in minutes so you can make faster, better-informed hiring decisions that protect your company, your employees, your customers, and your reputation.

Senior Marketing Analyst, TransUnion ShareAble

Andrea Collatz

She focuses on topics that empower small business owners through data, insights and industry best practices.