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11 Great Ways to Speed up Your Background Checks

speed up background check

In today’s tight labor market, hiring the right candidates quickly is extremely important.

Expediting your background checks can help you retain quality candidates before they move on.

Did you know that 40% of employers reported they had lost candidates because of a slow background check process?

Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to complete a fast background check and land the right talent.

Based on our experience completing background checks for employers across the nation, we’ve written this guide to expediting employment background checks.

Let’s get started.

Why Is it Important to Run Fast Background Checks?

When you’re looking for the right talent to fill your open positions, hiring speed is critical.

Candidates with the right experience and backgrounds tend to move quickly since they are in high demand. They are rarely unemployed for long.

If your background check process is slow and complicated, you risk losing out on the best candidates and might struggle to fill your open positions.

A slow and complicated background check and onboarding process also reflects poorly on your company.

Here are the main benefits of expediting your background check process:

  • Reduce drop-out rates caused by lengthy hiring processes
  • Hire top-quality candidates before they’re snatched up by competitors
  • Simplify the onboarding process by minimizing the follow-up work required

11 Helpful Tips for Speeding up Your Background Check Process

1. Retain the Right Screening Provider

The first step to expediting your background check process is to retain a reliable background check provider like iprospectcheck.

Instead of basing your decision on cost, you should instead focus on your provider’s overall value proposition, which includes favorable turnaround times, excellent client support and high-quality reports.

Focusing on cost as your sole deciding factor can lead to higher costs over time because of productivity losses and potential liability caused by inaccurate information.

You should choose a provider that has extensive resources and that always complies with the mandates of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and relevant state and local laws.

Importantly, choose a provider that offers a fast turnaround time.

Here at iprospectcheck, our advanced research methods and technology allow us to return FCRA-compliant employment background checks in as little as a few hours.

2. ​Integrate Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Your company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) helps your HR professionals track candidates and where they are in your hiring process.

CareerArc reports that almost 40% of employers use an ATS to track and pre-screen applicants.

Working with a background check provider that offers ATS integrations can help you to avoid problems, including entering the same information into multiple systems or letting candidates who need background checks fall through the cracks.

Integration enables data to directly flow from your ATS to your background check provider without manual entry or transfer. This helps you save time and resources.

3. Automate Important Processes

Minimizing or avoiding manual data entry can help to prevent data entry errors while also speeding up your background screening process.

You should have an automated system in place for electronic authorizations and the delivery of results.

Automation also helps to eliminate paper costs and waste while providing digital timestamps of every action you take with each candidate.

It also helps to ensure that your candidates’ data is properly filed and stored so that it can easily be retrieved later when needed.

4. Benefit From Online Data Collection

When you work with a provider that gathers data about your candidates online, you can benefit from greater efficiency in hiring.

ATS integration and online progress tracking can help to reduce data entry errors and expedite gathering your candidates’ authorization for background checks.

A streamlined online process can also help improve your candidates’ experience with your background check and hiring process.

5. Provide Candidate-Friendly Solutions

A paperless background check process increases the efficiency of the hiring process for candidates and HR staff.

Your applicants will appreciate a seamless background check process that includes everything from their authorization to the delivery of their results.

Providing your candidates with the ability to enter their information directly via a mobile app is particularly helpful.

With iprospectcheck’s SwiftHire Mobile app, your candidates can enter their background information, schedule pre-employment drug screening and other clinical services, and receive a copy of their completed report in their very own secure SwiftHire Portal.

The SwiftHire Mobile app keeps candidates engaged throughout the entire background check process.

They can use it to do all the following things from their smartphones:

  • Receive and review disclosures
  • E-sign authorizations
  • Input background information
  • Track their progress
  • View their results

6. Use a Digital Disclosure and Authorization Process

Under the FCRA, you must provide advanced notice that you intend to conduct background checks on your applicants and obtain their written authorization before you can proceed.

If you use a digital disclosure and authorization process, you can send your required disclosure electronically for your candidates to review. They can then review and sign the authorization documents electronically and submit them back to you.

A digital process can ensure that your company has a time-stamped record of when you made your disclosure, and you will also have a safe way to store your candidates’ signed authorizations.

This helps you comply with your obligations under the FCRA and avoid potential legal action.

7. Provide All Required Documentation

Before your background check provider can conduct a background check, it must have specific types of documentation to comply with the law and to have sufficient information to run a search.

Make sure to submit the following types of information to your background check provider:

  • Candidate’s full name
  • Candidate’s Social Security number
  • Candidate’s Date of Birth
  • Signed authorization forms

Failing to provide the necessary information can result in delays.

8. Use Checklists

If you submit background check requests directly to your background screening provider, it is a good idea to use a checklist before placing an order.

Make sure your staff reviews the checklist to confirm your candidate has supplied all of the necessary information and that you have a signed authorization in place before submitting your request.

9. Use a Paperless Drug Screening Process

If you want to condition job offers on pre-employment drug tests, you can incorporate your screens into your background check process.

A paperless drug testing platform can help to recognize which candidates will need to complete drug testing and provide them with instructions for scheduling their tests electronically.

You can choose the positions that require drug testing and ensure the right types of tests will be performed without having to enter the information separately.

A paperless system can also notify you when your candidates have signed their authorizations for testing so that you won’t lose time between receiving their results and moving forward with the hiring process.

10. Send Your Requests Earlier in the Day

Submitting your requests earlier in the day might help you receive your reports faster.

Courts and clinics generally close at 5 pm each day. By placing your orders in the morning, we have the whole day to get the order processed.

11. Automate the Adverse Action Process

Under the FCRA, you must complete an adverse action process when you decide not to hire a candidate based on information revealed in a background check report.

Start by sending a pre-adverse action notice in which you identify the problematic information and give the candidate time to correct it or submit mitigating evidence.

If you still don’t want to hire the candidate, send a final adverse action notice that includes a copy of the candidate’s rights under the FCRA.

An automated adverse action process enables you to generate pre-adverse and final adverse action notices, track activity, and provide customized notifications.

Why do Background Checks Get Delayed?

Here are some of the main reasons background checks can take longer to complete.

1. Failing to Include Written Authorizations With Your Requests

Background check companies can’t efficiently complete background checks without a signed authorization from the candidate.

You must provide a written disclosure to your candidates and obtain their signed authorizations.

To avoid this problem, make sure you always disclose your intent to perform background checks and get your candidates’ signed authorization before submitting your requests. This is where SwiftHire is priceless.

2. Providing Incomplete or Inaccurate Candidate Information

Another reason why your background check reports might be delayed is if you or your candidates fail to submit complete, accurate identification information.

The background screening provider will need your candidate’s full name, date of birth, and Social Security number so that they can complete the research.

Without all the necessary information, it can take time for the company to correct the data with the help of the hiring manager or the candidate.

Inaccuracies can also cause delays. For example, if you misspell a candidate’s name, it can cause a delay in the search.

You can avoid this problem by verifying your candidate’s full name, including his or her middle name, and the spelling of the name.

Having your candidates enter their information electronically through their phones can also help to avoid these types of problems.

3. Institutional Delays

Holidays and school breaks can lengthen the turnaround times as Courts close and schools become more difficult to contact.

4. Non-Digitized Records

Background check speeds can also be affected when the records are stored in paper-based files instead of in a database system or are otherwise not available to the public.

Some schools and courts keep paper-based records.

If your provider needs to access information from a paper-based system, it will take longer because a manual search will have to be conducted.

In this type of situation, what could have otherwise taken only a few minutes might stretch into a few days.

5. Acts of God

Unforeseen events can cause delays in the background screening process. A recent example of this type of phenomenon was the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in court, schools, employers, and agency closures.

Other natural events that can cause delays in background checks include storms, floods, or blizzards. These types of events can temporarily limit access to information sources.

Another type of disruption that can happen occurs when someone with important information delays responding to a request.

For example, if an employer or school registrar fails to return a call or reply to an email, it can slow down the process.

Working with a reliable provider with extensive access to reliable databases and resources can help to cut down on delays caused by these types of incidents.

iprospectcheck: Your Partner for Fast, Reliable Employment Background Checks

Expediting your background check process can help you hire better candidates.

At iprospectcheck, we leverage our broad resources and cutting-edge technology to quickly return comprehensive, accurate, and FCRA-compliant background check reports – while maintaining a smooth, enjoyable candidate experience.

Contact iprospectcheck today to learn more about our employment background checks and clinical services: 888-808-9997

DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

Know Before You Hire

About the Author
Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers is a highly accomplished business executive with over 30 years of experience providing strategic vision and leadership to companies ranging from the fortune 500 to iprospectcheck, a company which he co-founded over a decade ago. Matthew is a valued consultant who is dedicated to helping companies create and implement efficient, cost effective and compliant employment screening programs. Matt has been a member of the Professional Background Screeners Association since 2009 . When not focused on iprospectcheck, he can be found spending time with his family, fly fishing, or occasionally running the wild rivers of the American west. A lifetime member of American Whitewater, Matt is passionate about protecting and restoring America’s whitewater rivers.