As with most processes in the business world, reference checks and verifications are susceptible to delays. The best practice for these situations is patience. So, to help you understand why some things take longer than others here are some possible problems that could arise and cause background verifications to be delayed:

Problem: The CRA spends a great deal of time verifying the identity of your job candidate because her name is Sarah Brown. With all of the Sarah Browns in the world, it could take awhile to make sure they’re verifying information for the right one. Depending on the verifications you requested, the CRA will also spend time researching contact information for past employers and institutions.

Solution: Provide the CRA with as much identifying information as possible for your job candidate and their past employment. Usually, providing the full employer or school name you need verified with city and state information, candidate name used at the institution and full contact information for a reference call is sufficient.

Problem: The employer requires a signed consent form from the candidate before sharing the information requested. Some employers require different levels of security when it comes to consent forms such as a wet signature over an electronic signature. If the CRA doesn’t have the proper forms on hand, this could also cause delays.

Solution: Make sure to provide the CRA with a signed consent form from the applicant. A hard copy with a wet signature will help speed up the process if the CRA has it available on file.

Problem: There are several types of verification for employment screening. If the CRA verifies all of the background information on a candidate from past salaries to drug tests and criminal records, it will take longer and cost more than a simple employment history verification.

Solution: Only request that relevant information is verified. If you need to verify where the applicant worked for a specified amount of time but not their salary, make sure the CRA understands this. It takes more time to request private information such as salary than it does to check dates and job titles.

Other causes for delays are beyond your control and the control of the CRA. Because your candidate’s past employers are probably just as busy as you are, they may not respond to the CRA’s questions in a timely manner. CRAs usually plan for this by establishing a maximum number of times for calling the employer so you don’t have to pay for endless attempts at contacting them. Delays such as waiting for responses from schools, certifying agencies, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), and forms mailed through the U.S. Postal Mail arise frequently and all you can do is exercise patience.

If you have more questions about the background check process, please contact us. As a CRA, JD Palatine is here to help you with risk management!