Suspended and delayed background checks >
The average background check takes between three and five business days to complete. When a delay happens, Checkr emails the candidate and shows the delay in the Checkr Dashboard.
If you're applying for a job or undergoing a background check, visit our Candidate FAQs for help.
This article is for organizations that use Checkr.
Insufficient candidate information
Incomplete or incorrect candidate-provided information delays the background check process. Common delays are because of mistyped drivers' license or Social Security numbers or misspelled names.
Checkr contacts candidates daily for seven days, asking them to provide information necessary to continue the background check. Example requests include the ones below:
- Address in country
- Current address
- Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record release
(Only the candidate can authorize the DMV to release their record.)
- Mother’s maiden name
- Photo of an item below:
- Government-issued ID
- Previous driver’s license or driver abstract
- Social Security card
- Valid driver's license
- Place of birth
- Social Security number confirmation
Checkr reviews document submissions within 24 hours.
How you can help
To help your candidate with a delayed or suspended check, use the tips below:
- Encourage your candidate to check their report progress in the Candidate Portal. Requests to provide more information appear when the candidate first logs in.
- Send your candidate the link to provide more information from the Checkr Dashboard. Ask the candidate to follow the instructions.
- Select the link on the report, and enter the requested information on your candidate's behalf.
After the candidate provides the information, the check continues.
If the candidate doesn’t provide the information after seven days, the check suspends.
After 30 days, the Suspended status automatically changes to Complete or Canceled.
Court closures or delays
Checkr lists known court closures and delays on the pages below that you can subscribe to:
Courts might also be slow to respond to Checkr's requests for information because a court clerk must search for physical county records.
Neither you nor Checkr can expedite this process.
Additional research time
Certain situations require additional research to ensure that potential records match the candidate:
- The candidate has a common name.
- The court limits public access to the record or certain information in the record.
Neither you nor Checkr can expedite this process.
Report statuses >
The Candidates page of the Checkr Dashboard has the status options below for candidates who have already begun the background check process.
Checkr sent the invitation link, but the candidate hasn't responded yet and the report hasn't begun.
The report is processing. Most reports take 2-3 days to finalize, but some take longer, often for a reason below:
- Checkr is waiting for the candidate to submit information: Checkr required documentation from the candidate to continue the report. Checkr contacts candidates so that your background check process works smoothly.
- Research is in progress: Some searches take significantly longer than others, usually because the county manually processes search requests.
The report completed processing and is ready for you to review.
The report completed without finding any records, or information you need to evaluate based on your guidelines.
The complete report has information for you to consider. This information might include the examples below for your team to review:
- Criminal records
- MVR violations that don't meet your MVR rules
- Employment or education verifications that weren't an exact match
The candidate contacted Checkr to dispute information in the complete report. Adjudication can't continue while a report has the Dispute status. If you started an adverse action process before the dispute, you must restart it if the candidate still doesn't qualify after the reinvestigation. Checkr sends an email to the compliance contact on your account after the investigation, which can take up to 30 days.
The report stopped processing because of missing information or incomplete searches. Checkr contacted the candidate to submit additional documentation, after which the report will continue. After a period of time, the report status automatically changes to Complete or Canceled. If you want the report to complete in its current state, you can select "Complete now."
Some searches have Suspended status indefinitely.
Incomplete reports have a Consider status if they contain information that merits the Consider status. For example, if the MVR search has the Suspended status but the county search has Consider, the overall report status is Consider.
After some time, the report status automatically changes to Complete and searches cancel. If you want the report to complete in its current state, you can select "Complete now."
The candidate didn’t respond to the invitation link in the allotted time. To continue with the candidate, you must send a new invitation. By default, invitation links expire after seven days. To change the number of days your candidates have to respond to an invitation, contact Checkr.
Track the progress of a candidate's report >
After you send an invitation, you use the Checkr Dashboard to track your candidate’s progress.
The Candidates page lists all in-progress reports with a status below:
- Pending: The report is processing and should complete in two to three days. Processing could take longer if Checkr needs documentation from the candidate or if a particular search takes longer than expected.
- Clear: The report completed without finding any records, or information you need to evaluate based on your guidelines.
- Consider: The complete report has information you might want to consider.
- Suspended: The report stopped processing because of missing information or incomplete searches.
- Canceled: All searches in the report were canceled.
Get email updates about report status changes
Checkr can send you email notifications while generating reports.
To receive email notifications, use the steps below:
- Select "Account settings."
- Select Notifications.
- Select the events you want email notifications about.
Automatic completions and billing
Checkr automatically completes SSN trace reports that require additional information from the candidate. If the candidate doesn't respond within the required seven days, the report changes to the Suspended status. After 30 days, the Suspended status automatically changes to Complete, and Checkr cancels all other searches. The report is complete with canceled items.
Checkr bills you for the packages and searches you order. After the search process begins, Checkr doesn’t give refunds for incomplete or canceled searches. Your invoice will show package prices and passthrough fees for canceled searches.
For more information, refer to FAQs about Checkr invoices.
To complete a pending or suspended report immediately, regardless of its status, select "Complete now." Using "Complete now" in either the Checkr Dashboard or Checkr API also adds the Canceled status to all pending or suspended searches.
Searches you canceled by using "Complete now" show the cancellation reason and the reason’s description in the dashboard.
The PDF copy of the report doesn't include canceled searches.
Completed searches in the report show a status of Clear or Consider. The report log in the dashboard shows the information below for each use of "Complete now:"
For reports that include canceled searches, Assess shows the Review status. If a report has a record that your Assess guidelines marked as Escalated, the report status also shows Escalated.
You can also immediately complete a report using the Complete Report endpoint in the Checkr API. Using this call triggers the same events as selecting "Complete now" in the Checkr Dashboard.
Canceling a report triggers a webhook and appears in the return for the report object and any searches it includes.
For more information, refer to the Checkr API documentation:
Values for the `status` parameter for both reports and searches don’t include `clear` or `consider.`
The Candidate Portal notifies the candidate about the two situations below:
- The report canceled because of insufficient candidate information.
- The report couldn't complete because the SSN trace completed but all other searches canceled.
Adjudicate a candidate’s report >
From the Candidates page in the Checkr Dashboard, select a report to review.
If you can't open the report, it might be for a reason below:
Review the report status
The Clear status means that the searches in this report had an outcome below:
- The searches returned no records.
- The searches returned no records or information you need to evaluate based on your guidelines.
The Consider status means that at least one search in this report has information that your team must review.
Select a record to read details that include the ones below:
- Charge type (felony, misdemeanor)
- Offense date
- Disposition (dismissed, guilty, no contest)
- Sentencing information
To avoid declining qualified candidates, consider whether this information is relevant to your requirements. This process helps you comply with guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as state and federal guidelines.
The search types below return a status of Complete, rather than Clear or Consider:
- Pointer searches
- Education and employment verification searches
Decide whether to engage the candidate
After you review the report, you decide whether to continue with the selection process.
If you continue with the selection process, select Engage in the report's Actions section.
Remember to select Engage so that Checkr analytics can include information from this report. Analytics can show metrics such as the ones below:
- Reports that indicate that the candidate is eligible for selection
- Other situations in which adverse action is inappropriate
- Historic adjudication decisions
Selecting Engage doesn’t notify the candidate and doesn’t change the report.
Begin adverse action
If you decide not to engage the candidate, begin the adverse action process.
Play the Checkr Academy video below to learn what actions you can take in the Checkr Dashboard when a candidate’s report completes:
- Request a candidate story
- Begin the adverse action process
Begin the adverse action process >
When a report contains information that a candidate might not be right for your organization, you can begin the adverse action process. The process follows Checkr’s best practices and your custom account settings.
Your account must have both the adverse action and support email addresses or phone numbers.
To begin the pre-adverse action process, use the steps below:
- In the report's Actions section, select "Pre-adverse action."
- Select the disqualifying records. You must select at least one record.
- Confirm the number of days (7-30) to delay sending the post-adverse action notice. To read what Checkr will send the candidate on your behalf, select "Preview email."
- Select "Send pre-adverse action notice."
- In the confirmation window, select OK to send the notice, and then select Done to confirm.
Adverse action process overview
The default Checkr adverse action process includes the steps below:
- Checkr emails the pre-adverse action notice to the candidate.
- The waiting period is between 7 and 30 days.
- If the waiting period ends with no candidate response, Checkr sends the post-adverse action notice on your behalf to the candidate.
Play the Checkr Academy video below to learn how the adverse action process works in the Checkr Dashboard.
Cancel adverse action
Canceling the adverse action process cancels the post-adverse action email and allows you to engage the candidate. The adverse action process cancels in one of two ways:
- The candidate submits a dispute, which changes the report status to Dispute and cancels the adverse action process.
- If the candidate provides additional information or context about their record that affects your engagement decision, you can stop the adverse action process by selecting "Cancel adverse action."
Pause adverse action
Before deciding about a candidate, you might need time to review additional candidate-provided information such as a candidate story. After you send the pre-adverse action notice, you can manually pause the adverse action process by selecting "Pause adverse action."
By default, this pause lasts four days before the adverse action process automatically resumes. To adjust how long the pause lasts, contact Checkr.
Find a candidate in the adverse action process >
Use the "Adverse actions" page in the Checkr Dashboard to search for candidates involved in the adverse action process. Candidates can be at any stage in the process:
- Received a pre-adverse action email
- Filed a dispute
- Received a post-adverse action email
Search for candidates
To search for candidates, take an action below:
- Enter a keyword.
- Select a status.
- Enter a timeframe during which the adverse action was in process.
You can apply a combination of filters to your search.
For accounts with a hierarchy and at least one node, compliance locations determine the default waiting period between the pre- and post-adverse action emails.
All reports in the dashboard include the dates below:
- When the candidate received the pre-adverse action email
- When the candidate will receive the post-adverse action email
To manage the adverse action process, open the candidate's report.
Status filters include the ones below:
- Pending: The candidate received the pre-adverse action email for a motor vehicle records (MVR) search. The post-adverse action email awaits your approval. After the required waiting period, you can send the pending post-adverse action email.
- The Pending status applies only for MVR searches. All other searches show Scheduled for candidates awaiting post-adverse action emails.
- Scheduled: The candidate received the pre-adverse action email. You scheduled delivery of the post-adverse action email after the required waiting period. The candidate won't automatically receive the post-adverse action email on the scheduled date in the situations below:
- The candidate disputes information in the report.
- You or Checkr cancels the adverse action process.
- Complete: The candidate received the post-adverse action email, completing the process.
- Dispute: The candidate filed a dispute, and Checkr has started an investigation. Disputes that happen during the adverse action process have two effects:
- The scheduled email automatically cancels.
- The dispute prevents you from taking action during the 30-day investigation timeframe.
- Paused: You paused the adverse action process.
- Canceled: Either you or Checkr canceled the adverse action process.
- Undeliverable: The pre-adverse action email was undeliverable. Reports with this status require your manual intervention. Select the alert icon, and then select the "Remove suppression" button.
- All: List all candidates involved in the adverse action process, even those who completed the process.
Use report features >
You can use the Candidates page of the Checkr Dashboard to organize and manage candidate reports.
To show search filters, select "Advanced filters." You can use keywords to search for candidates by metadata you added using the Checkr API. You can search using both the key and the value. For more information, refer to the Checkr API documentation.
To show only archived reports or invitations, select the Archived filter.
You can use tags to easily search for reports in the Checkr Dashboard. After you add tags to a report, a Tag filter appears on the Candidates page.
Archive a report or invitation
Archive a report
Administrators and requesters can archive reports to remove them from the Active filter on the Candidates page. Archiving a report disables the report actions.
Archiving a report doesn't delete or remove the report from your account.
To archive a report, select "Archive report" and confirm. To unarchive a report, select "Unarchive report."
Report status changes automatically unarchive reports so that they return to the Active filter on the Candidates page.
Play the Checkr Academy video below to learn how to archive candidate reports in the Checkr Dashboard.
Archive an invitation
Administrators and requesters can archive invitations to remove them from the Active filter on the Candidates page.
Archiving an invitation doesn't delete or remove the invitation from your account.
To archive an invitation, select "Archive invitation" and confirm. To unarchive an invitation, select "Unarchive invitation."
Download a CSV
To download a CSV file of reports or invitation statuses, select Download CSV. When the report completes, Checkr sends a link to the CSV file to the email address on your account.
Download a PDF
Select Download PDF, and select a file from the menu:
- The report order summary includes the information below:
- Candidate-entered PII
- Custom report settings
- Packages and searches associated with the order but not the records
- Search status
- The report PDF is the completed report.
Print a report
- Open the background check you’d like to print.
- From the toolbar of your web browser, select File > Print.
To open a list with report actions and when they happened, select "Show report log." The log starts at the report order and ends at engaging the candidate or using the adverse action process. Checkr retains reports in accordance with applicable laws and agreements between Checkr and its customers and affiliates. For example, for FCRA purposes Checkr retains reports for at least five years.
- The report order summary includes the information below: