As a hiring manager, it's essential to understand the steps an applicant must complete when they undergo a background check and/or a drug screening through our partner, DISA. This knowledge can help you support your applicants through the process and ensure everything runs smoothly. Below is an overview of the applicant experience, which can also serve as a guide for applicants to know what to expect.

Step-by-Step Applicant Experience for Background Checks

For visuals of these steps, please see the slideshow at the bottom of this page.

  1. Ordering the Background Check: First, you, the hiring manager, will order the background check. For detailed instructions on how to do this, please refer to our help article simply titled, Background Checks.

  2. Email Notification: The applicant will receive an email containing a link that they will use to submit their basic information. Note that the email will clearly state when this link will expire.

  3. Register: The link will bring them to a Registration page where they can fill out their basic information.

  4. Disclosure Viewing: Next, applicants can review all required disclosures. For residents of California, additional disclosures will also be provided as per state regulations.

  5. Authorization Form Completion: Applicants will complete and submit an authorization form to proceed with the background check.

  6. Providing Secure Personal Information: Applicants are required to provide personal protected information. Rest assured, this information is kept secure throughout the process.

  7. Address Information: Applicants must also provide their current and previous residential addresses.

  8. Identification Document: In this step, the applicant can upload an approved Identification Document. Examples of Identification Documents include:

Valid Driver's License

Social Security Card

Birth Certificate

Military Identification Card

State-issued Identification Card

Passport or Passport Card

Student Identification Card

If a Drug Screening is Ordered:

  1. Scheduling the Drug Test: After submitting the necessary forms the applicant will be prompted to schedule their drug screening and select a collection site. 

  2. Selecting a Testing Location: The drug screenings required will be listed at the top of the page. When the applicant searches for a collection site their current address will automatically populate the search bar showing a list and map of approved clinics including each clinic's name, address, and hours of operation.

  3. Time-Sensitive Passes: It’s important to note that drug screen passes are time-sensitive and do expire, so prompt action is required.

  4. Sample Submission: Finally, the applicant will submit their sample at the chosen location and the results will be delivered to you, the hiring manager, in a completed report.

Potential Delays in the Process*

Navigating through the background check and drug screening process can sometimes encounter delays. Being aware of these potential stumbling blocks can help manage them more effectively. Delays can include (but are not limited to):

  • Incomplete Information Submissions: Applicants might occasionally overlook or miss providing all the necessary details required for the background checks and drug screenings. It's crucial to double-check submissions to avoid delays.

  • Applicant Non-responsiveness: Timely responses from applicants are essential. Delays often occur if applicants do not promptly respond to requests for additional information or clarification on the data provided.

  • Verification of Documents: Occasionally the Social Security number provided by the applicant does not come up in a search and must be verified in person. In cases like these, the Support Team will reach out to the Hiring Manager who requested the background check so that they can verify documents in person with the candidate.

  • Educational or International Verifications, or Alias Name Checks: Verifications outside the normal scope of work may require additional assistance from the candidate or may require additional fees. The Support Team will reach out to the Hiring Manager who requested the background check so they are aware of any action required or additional fees and can decline them if desired.

  • Court-Related Delays: Some background checks require a court runner to personally retrieve records. This process can be time-consuming, especially if the courts are experiencing high volumes of requests or reduced operating hours.

  • Municipal Internal Delays: Local government processes vary, and some may have internal delays due to staffing issues, system upgrades, or other administrative reasons. These are beyond our control but understanding their possibility helps in setting realistic timelines.

  • Expiring Drug Screen Passes: Drug screening appointments are time-sensitive. If an applicant delays scheduling their test, the pass may expire, and the drug screening order will need to be reissued.

  • Contaminated Samples: On occasion, drug test samples might be contaminated leading to inconclusive results and necessitating a retest, which extends the overall timeline.

  • Positive Drug Tests Requiring Review: If a drug test returns a positive result it may not always signify illicit drug use. Prescribed medications can trigger these results. A medical review process must then be initiated to verify legitimate prescription drug use, which can add time before finalizing the report.

By understanding these potential delay factors both hiring managers and applicants can take proactive steps to minimize disruptions and ensure a smoother process. For instance, reminding applicants to check their email regularly, prepare all necessary documents in advance, and schedule their drug screening as soon as possible can help prevent delays.

For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit our Background Check FAQs article.

If you have any questions about the status of a DISA background check, please reach out to the Support Team. If you contact DISA directly they cannot release information to you unless you have a custom DISA connection with packages specific to your company. All inquiries must be made via the ATS Support Team.

If you do have a custom DISA connection with packages specific to your company, the Support Team cannot check on the status of any of your background checks. You should log into the eFetch portal for these updates.