Believe us, we totally understand. Based on experience, you expect a pretty consistent turnaround time for your background screens. But every now and then a file might take longer than expected, and the delay leaves you scratching your head. We’re not fans of delays either, but we’ve seen what can happen during the screening process, and recently put together this list of top reasons you might experience a delay in the process. Not anywhere near as entertaining as most Top 10 lists, but we hope in some way it helps explain what can happen along the way.
1. Paper Records
Many courthouses, schools and businesses have not yet taken the time or allocated money to digitize their records. So it may take a little time to wait for results while they search through their file cabinets, cross reference old card catalogues, or pull out microfilm.
2. Records Stored Offsite
Similar to above, there was a time when everything was stored on paper. Computers certainly made our lives easier, but sometimes it’s not that easy to migrate old documents to an e-format. To save time and money, paper docs just get archived somewhere. That means waiting for someone to visit an offsite location . . . picture the warehouse from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
3. Strange Rules
Maybe it’s because documents are stored offsite, or maybe because their resources are focused on other tasks. Whatever it is, many courthouses will only accept requests for, or provide results to public record requests on certain days of the week, have limitations regarding the time of day requests can be made, or how many can be made each day.
4. Please send a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope
While this happens less frequently now, we still occasionally have to mail requests or wait to receive results by mail. At least it’s not by carrier pigeon or stage coach.
5. “Can’t you see I’m busy?”
We’re just like you. We want to get information back as fast as possible, and then get it to you to help wrap up your candidate’s placement. Unfortunately—and we understand—folks are busy, and we simply aren’t at the top of the pile when it comes to priorities. Fortunately for your employment process, we are gently and politely persistent, and work closely with our contacts to keep requests moving along.
6. “Sorry, but we’re backed up.”
Sometimes it’s just a simple issue of bandwidth. As polite and persistent as we can be, it could be a company’s busy season, graduation time for schools, or even an unusually busy week down at the courthouse. We do everything we can to work closely with our busy contacts to keep your screen moving along.
7. “Can’t you just do a Google search?”
So, this isn’t necessarily a reason things get delayed, but it’s worth mentioning, since we’ve been asked a time or two why the background screening process isn’t as simple as a Google search, or why we can’t just tap into that magic program with unlimited access to fabled “Permanent Records” we were all told about. If only it were so easy. While about 50% of the services we complete are through a website or other electronic service, we still have to rely on good old fashioned phone, fax and mail to get information more often than you might think.
8. “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
With A-Check’s offices located in sunny Southern California, it’s hard for us to remember that there’s weather conditions elsewhere—cold, rain and snow. Those conditions can cause government offices, schools and employers to close down temporarily. We still aren’t 100% convinced it’s true, but someone here in the office told us they saw snow once, and that it’s real!
9. “We will be closed on Tuesday in observance of . . .”
There are 10 federally recognized Holidays in the U.S. when most schools, courthouses and banks shut down. That, combined with additional holidays recognized by individual states, winter vacations, summer vacations, spring breaks, and you’ve got delays at least once per month caused by a temporary closure or disruption in service.
10. “Your call is very important to us . . .”
We spend a lot of time listening to on-hold music and being transferred. To help limit this, we’ve created a database of official verification contacts we’ve had success with previously. Even with this tool we still hear our fair share of on-hold music, and occasionally have to reach out numerous times, to multiple contacts over a few days to reach someone that can get us the information we need to complete the background.
For questions about turnaround time or your screening program don’t hesitate to give us a call at 877-345-2021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.