Tips to Speed Up a Background Screening

Background Screening | May 6, 2020
Speed Up a Background Screening

You need individuals onboarded right away and want to remove any delays from the process you can.  Clearing the individual through a background check is the last step …. Now you’re asking, “Is there anything I can do to help speed up a background screening?”

Actually, yes.

The first step is understanding that not all background checks are created equal. Doing things properly takes time and the screening packages most of our Customers use are thorough and contain various searches. While automated database checks may return a near-instant, they set companies up for increased risk and liability due to the fact they are often incomplete, out of date, and may not contain full all the required information.

Most comprehensive background checks, like those conducted by PlusOne Solutions, take one to four days to process, depending on the specific searches being performed, the resources being accessed, the jurisdictions included and whether records are located that may necessitate extra diligence.

Fortunately, you have some control and can trim time off the background screening process with a few of these tips.

Is the applicant’s full legal name misspelled or missing? Are all legal names included? Have any digits of the Social Security Number or Date of Birth been transposed? Is the current zip code and address included? Data entry errors, however small, can negatively affect the overall turnaround time, accuracy, and quality of the results. Discrepancies with the information may slow the process as PlusOne Solutions seeks to clarify differences and using incorrect or incomplete information may require a revised background screen to be submitted, which also adds unnecessary time to the process.

Did you know that searches at the county level are based on name and date of birth, but not the social security number? It’s true!  Including an applicant’s middle name(s) can help narrow down the results of the search more quickly and ensure the accuracy of the information returned. PlusOne Solutions will also search with alias and maiden names to ensure thorough research into an individual’s background. Including all these names improves the overall result. The middle name is becoming increasingly important to help determine if a record belongs to an individual, especially when they have a common name.

Depending on the jurisdictions where the individual has resided, PlusOne Solutions may need unique consent or information to complete the screening. This is usually due to state-level legislation however we do also have a Canadian Identification (CAID) process and Helper process that may create requirements for a Customer before a screening result can be considered complete. These forms are typically emailed and requested at order submission but the PlusOne Solutions team may also follow up by email or telephone during the process to ensure these forms are provided.

Once a file is started, PlusOne Solutions may uncover information that needs further investigation, and you or the individual may be requested to provide supplemental documentation, such as a Driver’s License or Social Security card. This may be done because information could not initially be verified, we may need to order additional searches, it may be used to help positively identify an individual or determine if their identifiers match a record. The screening process is often put on hold until this documentation is returned so if requested, be sure to forward these documents in a timely fashion!

As screening results come back and adverse information is uncovered, the individual may be put into Pre-Adverse status. Although this language is taken from the US Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) legislation, a similar process is followed in Canada. The means the screening has been completed but based on the results obtained, there is likely to be adverse action taken against them. Meaning more specifically that they do not meet the contractual requirements of the Customer’s program. Part of this process is the opportunity for them to dispute the results if they are inaccurate or incomplete. This requires the individual to contact PlusOne Solutions and file a dispute so that we may verify the information before a final decision is made. Under federal and some state laws, the requirement to ensure accurate and complete information is a right for the individual. If anything impacts the accuracy of the report, it must be further reviewed. To give the individual appropriate time, the file will remain in pre-adverse status for up to 11 days while a response is awaited.  The quicker an individual responds to a PreAdverse letter, the quicker the screening process can complete.

Although options vary by Customer, PlusOne Solutions provides various means to ascertain the status of a background screening through our portal interface, nightly report, possible system integrations, and other tools. These are available 24/7 and allow you to track exactly where in the process a screening may be. As always, if you have an urgent or unique need, you can contact our team directly for an update.

Are you wondering about an ETA for screening results? Do you have questions about findings for an applicant?  Do you wish to expedite a specific screen request that has been delayed?  If so, be sure to reach out to your screening partner.

As always, if you have a specific screen that needs to be expedited, a background screening seems to be taking longer than normal or you have questions on the results or process, please reach out. We are happy to help!

To learn more about PlusOne Solutions or to discuss your contractor screening program please call us at 877-943-0100 or fill out our contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you.

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel concerning their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit


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