This document describes Checkr’s candidate experience throughout the background check process. We’ve included information about the Checkr Candidate Portal and Help Center where candidates can self serve and address common issues that may prevent their background checks from moving forward. We’ve also shared common reasons candidates reach out to Checkr and how customers can address these issues.
This document includes:
- An overview of the candidate process
- General information about the background check process, including exceptions and disputes
- An overview of Checkr's Candidate Portal
- An introduction to our Candidate Experience team
- A list of some of the most common candidate questions
- Links to our most frequently consulted pages in the Checkr Help Center
The Checkr API and the Checkr Dashboard provide an easy link creation process to invite your candidates to initiate their background checks. Both result in the same candidate experience. After a customer orders a background check for a candidate, the process is in the candidate’s hands. Candidates must first consent to the background check, enter their personal information, and sign an authorization form to proceed.
- First, candidates enter the requested Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which Checkr will use to research their background.
- Next, candidates read federal and state disclosures, informing them about the background check process.
- Candidates then select whether to receive a copy of their background check once it's complete.
- Upon authorizing Checkr to perform the background check, the background check process begins.
Once their background check is in progress, candidates may access Checkr’s Candidate Portal to:
- Review the status of their pending report, or request a copy of their completed report.
- Provide additional information or clarification through our exceptions process. (Candidates will receive notification if Checkr is unable to process the information they entered and whether we need more information from them.)
- Dispute information if they believe there is inaccurate information included on their report.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Candidates are asked to submit their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which includes:
- First, middle, and last name
- Date of birth (DOB)
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Current zip code
- Contact information (phone number and email)
- Driver License Number
Tip: If you're ordering background reports, tell your candidates to use their legal name, as it appears on official documentation. Using their preferred names may slow down the background check process.
On average, a background check takes 3-5 business days to complete, although some reports can take longer. For instance, if a county included in the candidate’s search is understaffed and backlogged or experiencing severe weather and experiencing closures, it can cause delays in receiving information.
Checkr simply provides background check reports. Checkr is not involved in engagement decisions and cannot address any questions regarding adjudication.
An exception is an event that prevents a candidate's background report from being processed. Exceptions are usually the result of inadequate or inaccurate candidate information, and are often resolved by a request for more information from the candidate. In these cases, Checkr will reach out to candidates and ask them to upload or re-enter the information we need to resolve any discrepancies and proceed with the background check.
These can include:
- If a candidate’s name and/or date of birth can not be validated, we request a photo of a government-issued ID.
- If a motor vehicle record (MVR) can't be pulled electronically, we request a photo of their driver license.
Please see Exceptions: Addressing data discrepancies in reports for more information.
Candidates whose background check reports return with records may:
- Contact you to provide evidence of rehabilitation or additional context for you to take into consideration.
- Reach out to Checkr to dispute the accuracy of their report by calling, emailing, or logging into the Candidate Portal. Candidates can also mail in their disputes with supporting documents.
When candidates file a dispute, Checkr will pause the background check and change the status of the report to Dispute. Customers will be unable to take any further action until our reinvestigation of the alleged inaccuracy is complete. Once a dispute is filed, Checkr legally has 30 days to complete a reinvestigation, but strives to complete reinvestigations as quickly as possible.
Some examples of disputes include candidates informing Checkr that a record being reported does not belong to them (and might belong to another person with the same name), or that a disposition has changed and is now dismissed.
- "The assault charge you reported is for a different Jane Doe in St. Louis."
- "The petty theft conviction you reported was dismissed after I completed probation."
Disputes can change the way you evaluate a candidate, so they're an important part of the process. When viewing a background report on the Candidate Portal, candidates can file a dispute using the “Report an Error” button at the bottom of the page. When Checkr completes the reinvestigation, we will make any necessary changes to the report and notify you (through email and the dashboard) and the candidate (by email) of any change(s) or updates. If after the reinvestigation the disputed information is verified as accurate and there are no changes to the report, Checkr will notify you and the candidate that the report is accurate and complete in its original form.
For more information, please see How do candidates dispute the accuracy of their report?
Checkr provides a mobile-friendly Candidate Portal which makes it easy for candidates to see the status and ETA of their background check, access a copy of their completed report, upload documents, or dispute inaccuracies on their report.
Candidates may also log into the Candidate Portal to download a copy of their report for 6 months after its completion. To ensure that candidate information is accurate and recent, Checkr does not allow candidates to log into the Candidate Portal more than 6 months from the completion date of their most recent report. If a candidate requests a copy of a completed report that is older than 6 months, we invite them to contact our Candidate Experience team to request a copy.
To log into the Candidate Portal, candidates enter their name, date of birth, driver license number, social security number, email, and phone number.
Candidates may have difficulties logging into the Candidate Portal if they enter incorrect information. We see this most commonly when candidates provide us with their nickname rather than their legal name, different email addresses from what was originally submitted, and when the background check has not begun. If a candidate reaches out to you and has applied with their nickname, would like to update their email address, or supplied us with an incorrect date of birth or social security number, please redirect them to Checkr’s Candidate Experience team to update their information or to resolve the error through our exceptions process.
If candidates apply with an incorrect phone number, you will need to update that information and determine if a new report needs to be requested.
Checkr’s Candidate Experience team
Checkr’s Candidate Experience team works to make the background check experience personal, simple, and fast. Our team is located in the United States and supports candidates in both English and Spanish. We are available to support candidates with questions or concerns at any time after Checkr initiates their background check.
The Candidate Portal and Checkr’s Candidate Experience team are there to support both our candidates and our customers. Customers can direct their candidates to the Candidate Portal or Checkr’s Candidate Experience team when they have questions about their background check status, to satisfy an exception, or to view what's on their completed report.
Note: Checkr cannot answer any questions about your company's engagement decisions. For example, we can't explain to candidates why they were not engaged, because that's your decision. Also, if candidates want to provide a context for an offense or show evidence of rehabilitation, they must contact you directly.
Common candidate issues
Checkr has found that the following issues are the most common reasons that candidates contact our customers.
- Pending County Searches: Because some counties rely on a manual records search while others are available online, the completion time of county searches vary greatly, from less than a day to several weeks. If a candidate reaches out to you and their report is pending in this final stage, you can redirect them to the Candidate Portal for live status/update of their background report. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite this final stage of the background search and the best way for the candidate to stay informed is to periodically check the Candidate Portal.
For more information, please point your candidates to Why is my background check still pending in the Checkr Candidate Help Center.
- Social Security Number (SSN) Trace: When submitting information for their application to your company a candidate may inadvertently enter the incorrect Social Security Number. In this instance Checkr may be able to help. If candidates reach out due to a suspended report because of a Social Security Trace discrepancy, ask them to check the Candidate Portal or their email for a link to re-enter their SSN. Candidates can also reach out to Checkr’s Candidate Experience team to request the link to re-enter this information be emailed to the email address they have provided. If candidates are not able to resolve a Social Security Trace discrepancy during the exception process, you may initiate a new report with the correct SSN as provided by the candidate.
- Background Check is complete: Candidates may reach out once their reports are complete to inquire about your engagement decision or next steps. Checkr does not assess candidate eligibility or make engagement decisions. We can help your candidates if they have questions about information included on their reports, but if they have questions about what specific charges, violations, or restrictions mean, we recommend they reach out to the DMV or court.
- Inaccuracies on the report: Candidates may contact you to inform you that their report is “wrong.” If there are any inaccuracies or information has been updated since the report was originally completed, you should redirect candidates to Checkr (as discussed above) to file a dispute, so Checkr can reinvestigate.
Please see How do candidates dispute the accuracy of their report? for more information.
- Requesting a new report: Completed background reports are static, but the information used to generate them may be updated. Your candidate may reach out after a report is complete to provide an update on something that may have resulted in a Consider report. To address this concern, you can redirect the candidate back to Checkr (as discussed above) to dispute the previously reported information and update the report (if appropriate). You may also want to request a new report if other information on the report is outdated. This can be determined on a candidate-by-candidate basis and is ultimately your decision.
- Checkr Health: When a Health Screening package is selected, your candidate may schedule their health check by logging into the Candidate Portal and choosing the screening location most convenient for them. If the candidate does not fulfill their Checkr Health screening within 7 days from when they initially were sent the invitation by email, the report will suspend and you will need to initiate a new report, if necessary. If your candidate contacts you regarding a missed health check, or fails to show up to their scheduled screening location, it is up to you to determine the appropriate next steps.
For more information, please point your candidates to Checkr Health in the Checkr Candidate Help Center.
- License status: Candidates’ license status may have been updated since their report was last run and they may reach out to you to inform you of the change. If candidates would like to update the information on their completed background report, you should redirect candidates to Checkr (as discussed above) to file a dispute, so Checkr can reinvestigate. If candidates reach out to you with questions about their accurate license status, you can redirect the candidate to their state’s DMV for additional information on how their license status is being reported.
For more information, please point your candidates to MVR status in the Checkr Candidate Help Center.
- MVR Violations: Candidates may reach out to you to provide clarification on violations reported by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Violations reported may include paid traffic tickets, not-at-fault accidents, and suspensions reported by the DMV resulting in a “Consider” report. If candidates contact you wanting to explain or with questions about accurately reported violations, accidents or paid tickets, you can redirect the candidate to their state’s DMV for additional information on how items on their MVR are being reported. If candidates would like to dispute information on their MVR, please redirect them to Checkr (as discussed above) to file a dispute.
For more information, please point your candidates to MVR status in the Checkr Candidate Help Center.
Checkr Help Center
Checkr provides robust help documentation for both Customers and Candidates. Please encourage your candidates to visit our Help Center for answers to their most frequently asked questions.
- Customer and Candidate Help Center may both be accessed from http://help.checkr.com/
- Our Candidate-specific Help Center can be found at https://help.checkr.com/hc/en-us/categories/360002478633-Candidates
Some of our most frequently consulted topics for customers include: