This document describes the Checkr candidate experience of the background check process. This document includes information about the Checkr Candidate Portal and Help Center where candidates can self serve and address common issues that can stall or delay their background checks. This document also includes common reasons candidates contact Checkr and how you 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 the Checkr Candidate Portal
- An introduction to the Candidate Experience team
- A list of some of the most common candidate questions
- Links to the most frequently used 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 methods result in the same candidate experience. After you order a background check for a candidate, the candidate must take the next step. The candidate must first consent to the background check, enter their personal information, and sign an authorization form to proceed. The process has the steps below:
- The candidate submits the requested personally identifiable information (PII), which Checkr uses to research their background.
- The candidate reads federal and state disclosures, informing them about the background check process.
- The candidate then selects whether to receive a copy of their background check after it completes.
- After the candidate authorizes Checkr to perform the background check, the background check process begins.
After the candidate's background check is in progress, they can use the Checkr Candidate Portal for the tasks below:
- Review the status of the pending report, or request a copy of the completed report.
- Submit additional information or clarification through the exceptions process.
- Dispute information if the candidate believes that the report has inaccurate information.
Personally identifiable information (PII)
Candidates are asked to submit their PII, which includes the information below:
- First, middle, and last names
- Date of birth (DOB)
- Social Security number (SSN)
- Current postal code
- Contact information (phone number and email)
- Driver license number
If you're ordering background reports, tell your candidates to use their legal name as it appears on official documentation. Using their preferred names or nicknames can slow the background check process.
On average, a background check takes 3-5 business days to complete, although some reports can take longer. For instance, a county in the candidate’s search that's understaffed and backlogged or experiencing severe weather or closures can delay the report.
Checkr simply provides background check reports. Checkr isn't involved in engagement decisions and can't answer questions about adjudication.
An exception is an event that prevents a candidate's background report from processing. Exceptions usually happen because of inadequate or inaccurate candidate information. The candidate can often submit information that resolves the exception. In these cases, Checkr contacts candidates daily for 7 days to ask them to upload or resubmit the information to resolve discrepancies and proceed with the background check.
The example situations below result in exceptions:
- Checkr can't validate a candidate's name or birth date.
- Checkr can't pull a candidate's electronic motor vehicle record (MVR).
In these situations, Checkr raises an exception describing the issue and a possible resolution. After the candidate submits the information, the report continues processing.
If the exception is unresolved for 7 days, the report suspends. After 30 days, the Suspended status automatically changes to Complete or Canceled. Refer to Exceptions or Report suspended: How to resolve an exception on a suspended report.
Candidates whose background check reports return with records might take an action below:
- Contact you to provide evidence of rehabilitation or additional context for you to consider.
- Contact Checkr by phone, email, or the Candidate Portal to dispute the report's accuracy. Candidates can also mail their disputes with supporting documents.
When a candidate files a dispute, Checkr pauses the background check and changes the report status to Dispute. You can't take additional action until Checkr reinvestigates the alleged inaccuracy. After a candidate files a dispute, 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 reported record doesn't belong to them (and might belong to someone else with the same name) or that a disposition has changed and is now dismissed.
Candidates might share the statements below as part of a dispute:
- "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 how you evaluate a candidate, so they're an important part of the process. When reading a background report on the Candidate Portal, candidates can file a dispute using the “Report Error” button at the bottom of the page. After the reinvestigation, Checkr makes needed changes to the report and notifies you (through email and the dashboard) and the candidate (by email) of the updates. If the reinvestigation finds that the disputed information is accurate and the report requires no changes, Checkr notifies you and the candidate that the report is accurate and complete in its original form.
For more information, refer to How do candidates dispute their report's accuracy?.
Checkr provides a mobile-friendly Candidate Portal that makes it easy for candidates to find the status and ETA of their background check, access a copy of their completed report, upload documents, or dispute report inaccuracies.
Candidates can also log in to the Candidate Portal to download a copy of their report for 12 months after it completes. To ensure the accuracy and recency of candidate information, Checkr limits candidate access to the Candidate Portal to 12 months after the most recent report's completion. If a candidate requests a copy of an older completed report, they can contact the Checkr Candidate Experience team to request a copy.
To log in to the Candidate Portal, the candidate enters their phone number, birth date, email address, and Social Security number.
Candidates might have trouble logging in to the Candidate Portal if the background check hasn't started yet or they enter incorrect information, such as an email address that differs from what they submitted originally.
If a candidate contacts you after applying with their nickname, wants to update their email address, or submitted an incorrect birth date or Social Security number, redirect them to the Checkr Candidate Experience team. That team can help the candidate update their information or resolve the error through the exceptions process.
Checkr Candidate Experience team
The Checkr Candidate Experience team works to make the background check experience personal, simple, and fast. The team is in the United States and supports candidates in both English and Spanish. The team is 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 candidates and you, our customers. You can direct your candidates to the Candidate Portal or to the Checkr Candidate Experience team when for questions about their background check status, to resolve an exception, or to learn what's on their completed report.
Checkr can't answer questions about your company's engagement decisions. For example, we can't explain to candidates why they weren't engaged because that's your decision. Also, if candidates want to provide context for an offense or show evidence of rehabilitation, they must contact you directly.
Common candidate issues
The issues below are the most common reasons that candidates contact you, our customers.
- Pending county searches: Some counties rely on a manual records search, but others are available online. This difference means that county searches have varying completion times, from less than a day to several weeks. If a candidate contacts you and their report is pending in this final stage, you can redirect them to the Candidate Portal for live report status updates. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite this final stage of the background search. The best way for the candidate to stay informed is to periodically check the Candidate Portal.
For more information, direct 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 might mistype their Social Security number. In this situation, Checkr might be able to help. If a candidate contacts you after their report suspends because of an SSN Trace discrepancy, ask them to check the Candidate Portal or their email for a link to resubmit their SSN. The candidate can also ask the Checkr Candidate Experience team to resend the link to their email address. If the candidate can't resolve an SSN Trace discrepancy during the exception process, you can initiate a new report with the correct SSN that the candidate provides.
- Background check is complete: A candidate might contact you after their report completes to ask about your engagement decision or next steps. Checkr doesn't assess candidate eligibility or make engagement decisions. Checkr can help your candidates with questions about information that their reports include. For questions about what specific charges, violations, or restrictions mean, Checkr recommends that candidates contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or court.
- Inaccuracies on the report: A candidate might contact you to inform you that their report is "wrong." If the report has inaccuracies or information updated since the report originally completed, redirect the candidate to Checkr to file a dispute so that Checkr can reinvestigate.
Refer to 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 can be updated. Your candidate might contact you after a report completes to update something that might have resulted in a Consider report status. To address this concern, you can redirect the candidate back to Checkr to dispute the previously reported information and update the report, if appropriate. If other report information is outdated, you might also request a new report. You can decide what to do for each candidate.
- Checkr Health: When you select a Health Screening package, your candidate can use the Candidate Portal to schedule their health check at a convenient location. If the candidate doesn't complete their Checkr Health Screening within 7 days after receiving the invitation email, the report suspends. You must initiate a new report, if necessary. If your candidate contacts you about a missed health check, you decide the appropriate next steps.
For more information, direct candidates to Checkr Health in the Checkr Candidate Help Center.
- License status: A candidate’s license status might change since their last report, and they might notify you about the change. If the candidate wants to update the information on their completed background report, redirect them to Checkr to file a dispute. Checkr can then reinvestigate. If a candidate contacts you to ask about their accurate license status, redirect them to their state’s DMV to learn how the DMV reports their license status.
For more information, direct candidates to MVR status in the Checkr Candidate Help Center.
- MVR violations: A candidate might contact you to clarify violations that the state’s DMV reported. Reported violations might include paid traffic tickets, not-at-fault accidents, and suspensions resulting in a Consider report status. If a candidate contacts you wanting to explain or ask questions about accurately reported violations, accidents, or paid tickets, redirect them to their state’s DMV to learn how the DMV reports items on their MVR. If the candidate wants to dispute information on their MVR, redirect them to Checkr to file a dispute.
For more information, direct candidates to MVR status in the Checkr Candidate Help Center.
Checkr Help Center
Checkr provides robust help documentation for both customers and candidates. Encourage your candidates to visit the Help Center for answers to their most frequently asked questions.
- The Customer Help Center and Candidate Help Center are both at help.checkr.com.
- The Candidate Help Center is at help.checkr.com/hc/en-us/categories/360002478633-Candidates.
Some of the most frequently used customer topics include the ones below: