Top 5 Most Asked Questions About Background Checks

June 7 2023
5 min read

In today's fast-paced business environment, solving the background check puzzle is crucial for organizational success. Background checks, a critical component of the hiring process, can present various challenges for employers, including lengthy turnaround times, elevated costs, privacy concerns, and understanding the implications of the findings. In this article, we will explore the common questions associated with background checks, discuss the factors affecting their duration and cost, and how you should look to solve them.

1. What Does a Background Check Look For?

A background check typically includes various components designed to provide employers with a comprehensive view of a candidate's history. Common background check elements may include criminal records, credit history, employment history, education verification, professional license verification, motor vehicle records, and references. Conducting a comprehensive background check is essential to ensure a safe and compliant work environment, protect an organization's reputation, and minimize the risk of hiring unsuitable candidates. 

2. How Much Does a Background Check Cost?

The cost of a background check can be influenced by several factors, including the scope and depth of the search, the types of records being accessed, the number of jurisdictions involved, and any additional services requested by the employer. For instance, a basic criminal record check will likely cost less than a comprehensive check that includes credit history, employment verification, and education verification. Simple criminal checks can be less than $20 while comprehensive checks can run more than $100. It wholly depends on the needs of the position you’re looking to fill. Feel free to check out Orange Tree’s marketplace pricing here.

While the cost of a background check can vary quite a bit, investing in a high-quality and accurate background check is the first step to help ensure a safe and compliant workplace, reduce the risk of hiring unsuitable candidates, and protect the company's reputation. Ultimately, a well-executed background check can save employers time, money, and resources in the long run by preventing the costly consequences of a bad hire.

3. Who Gets the Information from the Employee?

Background checks involve collecting sensitive personal information; understandably, employees and candidates may be concerned about who can access this data. This answer can change depending on which background check service provider you use. Often the employers will have to gather a lot of information from their candidate before the background check provider can begin the process. Some providers, like Orange Tree, have a secure, mobile candidate portal where they can communicate directly with each candidate for the needed information (which saves time by streamlining the process). 

4. How Long Do Background Checks Take?

The duration of a background check can vary widely across the industry. For industry-leading CRAs, a simple criminal check can be returned in less than 15 minutes, while more extensive full background checks can take up to 5 days or more. This range depends on the complexity and scope of the information required, the responsiveness of the candidate, the sources of the information being verified, and the speed at which your chosen background check company can operate.

There are other important factors, such as the type of records being searched, the number of jurisdictions involved, the candidate's employment and residential history, and any international components that can add a level of complexity and time. Further, additional delays can occur when records are stored in paper format or require manual retrieval (which is more prevalent than you might think). 

5. What Happens If a Background Check Finds a Record? 

When a background check uncovers information which may lead to an adverse decision, employers must carefully navigate the legal implications of their hiring decisions. Employers must comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which governs how employers can use background check information in their decision-making process. Employers must also ensure that any adverse decisions based on background check findings are non-discriminatory and in line with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines.

When faced with adverse information from a background check, employers should consider the nature and severity of the findings and their relevance to the job in question. Engaging in an individualized assessment is important, allowing the candidate to provide context or explanations for the findings. This approach ensures a fair evaluation process and helps employers avoid making hasty decisions based solely on negative information. 

At Orange Tree, we offer an FCRA-compliant adverse action process. You can submit a request online, by phone, or email and we will send a pre-adverse action letter to the candidate as your proxy. If there is no response within your pre-established timeframe, we will send the final adverse action letter as well. If the candidate does respond with a dispute, we will reinvestigate to confirm the information is accurate. If the information has changed, we will notify you as to the change.

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How Orange Tree Helps

Processes Designed for Speed

Orange Tree has developed an accelerated background check process to address the common challenge of lengthy turnaround times. By leveraging advanced technology and streamlined workflows, we can provide faster and more efficient background checks that minimize wait times and enable clients to make informed hiring decisions more promptly. Our accelerated process, dedicated account managers, and innovative technology ensure that our clients can efficiently fill open positions and focus on their core business objectives. 

Dedicated Account Managers

Orange Tree's dedicated account managers provide personalized support to ensure clients receive the best possible background screening experience. Our account managers work closely with clients to understand their unique needs, address any concerns, and guide them through the background check process. Their attentive approach ensures that clients receive prompt and accurate responses to their inquiries, making the background check process seamless and stress-free. By partnering with Orange Tree, clients can be confident that they receive the highest level of service and support throughout their background screening journey.

Technology and Innovation

Orange Tree harnesses cutting-edge technology to provide swift, precise, and all-inclusive background checks. We are equipped with a proprietary platform developed in-house, allowing us to exert complete control over our innovation and maintain a leading edge in the industry. Our approach includes direct integrations with courts where available, removing the need for on-the-ground personnel and ensuring more accurate results. We also have robust workflows in place that strategically direct services to the appropriate research team for review, further enhancing efficiency.

We emphasize the strategic positioning of personnel throughout the process because we understand that accuracy and efficiency are the most important boxes to check with our clients. This innovative approach enables us to provide clients with crucial insights for informed hiring decisions while simultaneously reducing the time and resources devoted to the process.


The background check landscape can look quite different depending on who you partner with. By understanding the basics like turnaround times, cost, information gathered, and more, employers can make a sound decision on who they use as a background check service provider.

We invite you to discover how Orange Tree's background check solutions can help streamline your hiring process and provide the insights necessary to make well-informed decisions. Our dedication to speed, exceptional customer service, and continuous innovation, demonstrates our unwavering commitment to exceed clients' expectations with their background screening program. Contact us today to learn more about how Orange Tree can help you hire with confidence and speed.

Why Orange Tree?

Orange Tree Employment Screening helps companies win their race to fill open positions by providing fast and easy background check and drug testing services. We are committed to helping companies create safer workplaces, mitigate financial risk, and avoid legal exposure. We forge long-term partnerships with our clients by offering a full range of technology-led screening solutions predicated on best practice and legally defensible screening programs.

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