How Long do Background Checks Take

If you’re thinking about applying for a new job, one of the first things you’ll likely want to know is how long the background check will take. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to that question. Every company has its own process and procedures for conducting background checks, so it’s impossible to say exactly how long they will take. However, in this post, we will provide a general overview of the process and give you an idea of what to expect.

Why Do Employers Conduct Background Checks?

Background checks are conducted for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason is to ensure that the person applying for the job doesn’t have any criminal history that would make them unsuitable for the position. To conduct a background check, employers will typically request a copy of your criminal record from the state or county where you live. They may also run a national background check, which will search for any criminal history in all 50 states.

Once the employer has your criminal record, they will review it to see if there is anything that would disqualify you from the job. For example, if you’re applying for a job that requires a lot of travel, they may not hire you if you have a DUI on your record. Or, if you’re applying for a job that involves working with children, they may not hire you if you have a history of violence.

In addition to criminal records, employers may also check your employment history, education, and references. They may even do a social media check to see if there is anything on your profile that would reflect poorly on the company.

Other Types of Background Checks

In addition to the standard criminal and employment background checks, some employers may also require other types of background checks. Here are some examples:

Driving Background Check:

If you are driving as part of your job, the employer may run a check on your driving record. An example of this might be a nanny that has to drive children around. Truckers, Uber/Lyft drivers, and delivery drivers will also typically have to undergo a driving background check.

Social Security Number Trace:

This is a check to make sure that the social security number you provided belongs to you and that it’s not being used by anyone else.

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Credit Check:

Some employers will run a credit check as part of the background check process. This is most common for positions that involve handling money or financial assets. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a banker or accountant, the employer may want to see your credit history to gauge your responsibility with money.

Drug Test:

In some cases, the employer may require you to take a drug test as part of the background check process. This is most common for positions that involve safety-sensitive duties, such as operating machinery or driving a vehicle.

How Long Does the Background Check Process Take?

The length of time it takes to complete a background check will vary depending on the employer and the position you’re applying for. For positions that require high levels of security or safety, such as in the healthcare field, employers will often take longer to conduct background checks. In these cases, it’s not unusual for the process to take several weeks or even months. For less sensitive positions, the process may only take a few days.

What You Can Do to Speed Up the Process

If you’re concerned about how long the background check will take, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process:

– Request a copy of your criminal record from the state or county where you live. This way, you’ll have it on hand when the employer requests it, and you won’t have to wait for them to get it from the government.

– Be upfront about any potential red flags in your background. If you know that there’s something in your history that might disqualify you from the job, let the employer know up front so they can decide if it’s something they’re willing to overlook.

– Provide your references in a timely manner. The sooner you provide your references, the sooner the employer can contact them and complete that part of the background check.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that the background check process goes as smoothly as possible.


Background checks are an important part of the hiring process for many employers. By understanding what they entail, you can be better prepared for the process and help ensure that it goes smoothly.


IITSWEB is the Chief Business Development Officer at IITSWEB, a Magento design and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is a Member of the Magento Association and an Adobe Sales Accredited Magento Commerce professional. Jan is responsible for developing and leading the sales and digital marketing strategies of the company. He is passionate about ecommerce and Magento in particular — throughout the years his articles have been featured on Retail Dive, Hacker Noon, Chief Marketer, Mobile Marketer, TMCnet, and many others.

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