Background Checks For Federal Employees
We all know the excitement of getting a job offer.
But what if the offer was immediately followed by the words you might not actually get the job?
If you applied for a federal job, this could be your fate.
All federal employees are subject to background checks and cannot receive a formal offer until theyve been given proper clearance. I wrote this post to help potential federal employees navigate their background checks and land their first federal job.
Please do not confuse my personal blog for financial advice, tax advice or an official position of the U.S. Government. This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
What You Should Know First
Before we begin, its important to note that both pre employment and general employment background checks vary significantly in both process and duration. Standards in background screenings can also differ significantly by industry, and even by job title !
Today, background checks are used to ensure safety, legal compliance, potential liability issues, company fit and more. Employers may have an in-house team that researches potential candidates , or work with a third-party to gather as much relevant information as possible. Or they may use a combination of both. Some of the data channels that employers use to conduct background searches include social media scans, Google results, government documents, etc.
Based on the fact that there is no standard-issue background check, it should come as no surprise that there are a lot of answers to the question of how long does an employment background check take.
However, you can use a number of factors to get a good estimate so you have a better idea on what to expect.
What If I Have Done Drugs
The SF-85 only looks back 1 year on drug use. If you read my post on drug testing for federal employees, you should know what drugs the government tests for and their residence times in your body. I think the safest bet is to be honest about your former drug use.
The Security Clearance subreddit has a great post about drug use and obtaining a security clearance. While the typical background check for federal employees is not as intense as a security clearance vetting, it appears that honesty is the best policy here.
FYI- you have plenty of space to explain any irregularities on the SF-85 and if you do disclose prior drug use, I would recommend explaining what happened and how you will avoid illegal drugs as a federal employee.
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Position Profile/depth Of Background Check
How long the screening process takes depends on what the employer wants to accomplish. Generally speaking, the higher the level of trust and responsibility of the position, the more comprehensive the check will be. For example, chief financial officers and other positions that deal with financial matters will most likely require a full background check, including a search of federal criminal records. Government positions, executive-level hires, and people who handle sensitive data may also fall into this category. The deeper the records check, the longer the reporting timeframe.
The turnaround time is also influenced by how many jurisdictions need to be searched for a particular candidate, whether the scope is 7 years or 10 years, and whether past employers still exist or have gone out of business.
Employment Screening Faq Series: Whats Taking So Long
The hiring process always seems to take longer than you want it to, so when you finally have acceptance on a contingent job offer, you dont want any further delays. If you expect every background screening report to come back within 24 hours, however, you may be in for some disappointment. Some background checks can take a few days or longer to complete.
In todays edition of our employment screening FAQ series, we explain why some background checks take longer than others.
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Fair Credit Reporting Act Regulations
The FCRA limits the adverse information that a reporting company or credit bureau can report to an employer. Under the FCRA, background screening companies cannot include bankruptcy cases if the reports are older than ten years. Despite these decade-long lookback periods, the FCRAs most well-known length limitation on checks is the seven-year lookback rule.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Federal Job
First, its important to understand the federal application and hiring process. Once you apply to a job, the hiring agency goes through many steps to review your application and make sure youre eligible and qualified for the job.
The amount of time it takes to hire someone varies and it depends on the job youre applying to, how many people have applied and the hiring agency. The hiring agency is responsible for evaluating applications and giving you a status at four points in the application process:
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Why Is My Background Check Taking So Long
If it has been longer than two weeks, there may be an issue with your background check. Itâs possible that there is a red flag like conflicting employment information. If there is an issue, the employer may reach out to clarify some information.
It could also be that there was a delay by the background check company.
Lastly, it could be that the background check was complete but they still have not made a final decision. It is common for multiple candidates to go through a background check before the employer makes a final decision.
Inconsistencies Or Lies On Resume
Another aspect that can disqualify people from a federal employment check is dishonesty during past employment opportunities, lying about qualifications, or embellishing the truth regarding skills.
If a person lies on their application or during an interview, government officials will most likely catch this since they conduct an extremely thorough background check.
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Employment History Verification And Professional References
Your employer will want to ascertain that you have worked in all the places that you say you have on your application or resume.
This may be as simple as asking your previous employer for a reference, asking a previous employer to write an employment verification letter as proof of past employment, or it may be a more thorough check conducted using a third party.
What Shows Up On A Washington State Background Check
What you can expect to see on a Washington State background check from iprospectcheck will depend on the types of information you request. While Washington employers might request different types of job-specific information, most employers ask for information about their applicants criminal history, education and credentials, and employment history.
Here is what you might expect to see on a background report in each of these areas.
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How Do I Get A Background Check In Washington State
Now that you have become familiar with the state and federal background check laws, it is time to determine where to get a background check in Washington State.
There are a few options, but not all background checks are created equal.
You can request a criminal history report from the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Washington State Patrol Criminal History Division. Though, according to their website, while the public may request and obtain records, the information provided may be limited.
Moreover, the governments background checks can take two weeks to receive. When you have an open position to fill, you do not have time to wait for background checks. A more effective way to conduct a background check on a potential employee is to partner with a third-party background screening company.
At iprospectcheck, we provide comprehensive background checks with a typical average turnaround time of one to two days. We understand the hiring and budgetary needs of employers, which is why we are quick and cost-efficient. We provide employers with reliable information that free services simply cannot offer. Plus, we accomplish this quickly -while staying compliant.
How Long Does A Background Check For Employment Take
The turnaround time for background checks varies depending on the type of search, the scope , and the access method used. On average, the standard turnaround time is between 1 and 5 business days. Some checks are available online and can provide results instantly. Other searches may take longer if special forms are required or if your background check provider needs to use a third-party resource .
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Types Of Background Check
Typically a background check will look back at the past 7 to 10 years, although this varies from state to state.
For some checks , the relevant information may be from even further back.
Your employer will start by checking the details contained on your resume, and may also ask you to complete specific forms.
Here are some of the most common checks you may face during the recruitment process. Your employer will have to carry out some of these checks as they are mandatory by law, others will depend on the role you have applied for, and the needs of your employer.
How Long Does The Government Credit Check Take
A background check for employment in the government is mandatory. But how long does the federal employment background check process take? How long does a background check take for a government job?
The National Agency Check with Inquiries, including the law enforcement check, records evaluation, credit check, and written inquiries of past employers and landlords, can take 2-3 months. Conversely, most Secret or Top Secret security clearances take between 2-6 months.
Depending on the applicant and the position, the process can take 9-12 months.
Common Occurrences For Employees In California You May Be Entitled To Further Compensation
Did you know that many unemployed people may have suffered from labor violations such as wrongful termination, workplace discrimination, unpaid overtime, unpaid wages, missing breaks, and other labor violations during their last employment? We know that you are here for different information, but we also want you to know that you MAY be entitled to compensation due to labor violations during your last employment.
If you feel like you were wrongfully terminated then please dont hesitate to schedule a 100% FREE consultation or click HERE.
If you feel like you were discriminated against in the workplace then please dont hesitate to schedule a 100% FREE consultation or click HERE.
If you feel like you are owed unpaid wages from a previous employer then please dont hesitate to schedule a 100% FREE consultation or click HERE.
How Long Does An Employment Background Screening Take
It depends. If you’re applying for a non-federal job, the background check will take about a week. If you’re applying to a federal position, the background check can take a couple of months. Of course, these timeframes are for the background check itself. You are not likely to hear from the company the same day they get the results. They have to review the results before they reach out to you.
The most likely reason for a background check to be delayed is a discrepancy with the information, so provide complete and accurate information to speed up the process.
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Federal Employment Background Check Process
The background check process might be stressful for federal job candidates, but its a routine process for the government. Note seven questions that most often concern candidates:
How long does a government background check take?
Most background checks are done in 2 to 5 business days. But for some higher-level positions, the process can take up to 30 days.
How long does a Public Trust clearance take?
A Public Trust clearance doesnt require a security clearance . Those that are required to undergo this background check should expect their results within a month.
How long does a military background check take?
The military background check is more complicated, as it requires candidates to pass a thorough medical examination. The whole process can take about 6 to 9 months.
How long does an FBI background check take?
A typical FBI background check takes about one month. Even though instant background checks can be done in a few minutes, these are not as reliable as the thorough checks conducted for potential agents.
How to get a federal background check on yourself?
Running a background check on yourself has been simplified, as there are established background check services you can use and gain access to your personal records for a small fee.
How do you know if you failed an employer background check?
The employer is bound by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to notify you in writing regarding the outcome of your background check.
What Information Will You Need To Provide As Part Of A Background Check
You will need to provide your employer with any relevant information which will aid them with the background check. This can include your full name, date of birth, address, social security number and details of your previous employers.
You should also confirm details on your resume, including your academic qualifications and/or professional licenses .
To verify your identity, you should also expect to provide a copy of your driving license or passport.
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Is It Possible To Speed Up The Background Check Process
Where there is no specific way to speed up the process due to some factors that are out of the employer’s control, there are still some things you can advise the candidate to do during the hiring process, and help reduce the waiting time for the results.
Provide all the required information. Ask the applicant to gather all the necessary information that would likely be needed during the employment screening process. This includes simple things like adding the middle name if the applicant has a common name like Michael Johnson. The information may include past employment, applicant’s former addresses, previous salary information, and employment dates.
Be Honest. Normally, when conflicting information pops up during a background check, providers like GlobalBackgroundScreening.com are bound by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to verify that the information provided is accurate before including it on the reports.
Work Together With The Screening Provider. Screening companies may sometimes contact an applicant directly to see if they can help speed up the background check process. This is common when the background check provider encounters an unresponsive information source like the previous employers and educational institutions. The applicant can work together with the screening company and provide them with copies of relevant documents like diplomas or W2s.
What Causes A Red Flag On An Fbi Background Check
There are a few things that pose a threat or a red flag in your background check, and these may lead you to fail the background check and be unsuccessful in your job application.
You may fail a background check if you have an extensive criminal record, have previous convictions, or have committed crims related to the role.
For example, you will fail a background check for a banking position if you have been investigated for fraud. You will fail for undisclosed criminal records, false information and inconsistencies in your resume, poor credit history and loans, poor driving record featuring DUI and similar offences, drug test failures, bad references, and social media.
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Does The Employer Have To Disclose Why The Background Check Failed
Yes! According to the EEOC and The Fair Credit Reporting Act â Employers are required to provide two notices to an employee/job applicant when taking an adverse employment action based on information found in a background report.
If your employer did not provide you with a copy of the background report before they chose not to hire you, then you have claims to pursue against the employer under the FCRA.
How Long Does A Background Check Take To Be Compiled
By Anthony Harris on 2019-06-03 12:00:54, 1 Comments
Whether youre verifying the identity of an online date or ensuring that your childs sports coach is legit, a background check service is a great resource to have. One question that always seems to pop up when looking into these services is, how long does a background check take to come back?
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Honesty Is The Best Policy
Inconsistencies and omissions on the SF and other forms are a common problem. As in all your activities seeking employment and your activities as a lawyer, you must answer all questionnaires honestly. In addition to the ethical implications of lying, an investigation may be conducted based on the forms, and dishonesty on the forms is a federal offense subject to fine or imprisonment, not to mention a basis for finding you unfit for federal government employment. You could be found unfit for federal employment because you did not reveal activities which, if properly disclosed, might not have been a barrier to employment. And remember, simply waiting a year before applying will often solve your problem since the government is less concerned with past indiscretions than with your behavior in law school and the recent past.
How Long Does A Background Check Take For A Government Job
How long does a background check take for a government job? The answer can be a little tricky.
Those applying for a federal position may wonder why certain checks take longer than others, but with a government position, the number of databases and the amount of information that is screened can be considerable, so knowing how long does a background check take for a government job can help people understand the time frame involved and what to expect.
The average turnaround time for a governmental background check is between one to eight months, depending on the security clearance required.
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