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When applying for a job at Walmart, a common question may be “How long does Walmart background check take?” Instead of having to search multiple sites to find this answer, the full timeline for a Walmart background check is broken down in this article.
In addition to becoming familiar with the process listed below, the smartest step that anyone can take before applying to Walmart is running a background check on oneself. According to Walmart’s application process located on their website, an employee background check is not initiated until an employment offer is accepted by the potential employee, and running one on yourself can save time and hassle.1
Does a Walmart Application Ask if I Have a Criminal Record?
Walmart’s application no longer asks about a criminal history due to Ban the Box laws throughout the country and the company took this a step further by taking the Fair Chance Pledge former President Barack Obama introduced in 2015.
Ban the Box laws make it illegal to ask about criminal background on an application, while the Fair Chance Pledge publicly commits a business to follow the structure of the Ban the Box laws, regardless of whether the state they are operating in has that law.
Walmart decided to participate in the pledge the same year it was introduced and now adheres to the following:
- Removing questions regarding criminal history from the initial application process
- Training hiring staff to assess whether a person’s criminal history will affect job performance
- Using reputable companies for background checks
- Providing opportunities for training and internships to those with a criminal record2
Although Walmart does not ask for criminal history during an application, to proceed with an online profile, application, and assessment the user must agree that Walmart has permission to verify application information and obtain a background check with the information provided.3
Even though a disclaimer approving a background check is required to submit an application, the background check process, as touched on above, does not start until an applicant is offered a job.
When and How Do I Submit Information for the Background Check?
After the initial application information is submitted through the Hiring Center, the hiring manager for the open position will review the application. If the hiring manager finds an applicant to be promising, the candidate will be brought in for an interview.
Following a successful interview, the hiring manager will decide to extend a job offer. The timeline of this process can vary greatly. Previous applicants mentioned that from application to interview can take anywhere between hours, if there is an in-store hiring event, to weeks.4
Once the party accepts, they will promptly be provided with pre-employment documents, typically by email, which includes an official background check approval form. This background check form will give prospective employees instructions on how to submit their personal details to the third-party background check’s email invite system. This will require the applicant to fill out personal details along with providing an electronic signature to authorize the background check.5
The background check can be started as soon as the approval is given to the background check company, so looking out for that initial onboarding email will speed things along.4
How Long Does Walmart Background Check Take Once I Accept the Job?
When searching “how long does Walmart background check take”, it is found that the length of time is fully dependent on the background check company. Authorization to run the background check is given directly to the third-party site by the prospective employee and does not have to pass through Walmart management before being processed.
According to a forum of previous Walmart applicants on Indeed’s website, the Walmart background check process can take as little as two hours and as long as three weeks, with an average turnaround time of 24-48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.4
How Will I Know I Passed My Background Check?
Because Walmart requires each applicant to set up an account on their online Hiring Portal, status updates of the application process can be viewed when a user logs in.
When a background check has been initiated, the status will read “Background Check in Progress”. If the background check comes back with no issue, the status will read “Eligible for Hire”.6
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, if an online applicant’s pre-employment background screen does not come back as acceptable, the hiring company must give notice to the candidate, orally or in writing, that a rejection of employment was due, partially or wholly, to the received report. The hiring company must also promptly:
- Provide the contact information of the background check company
- Disclose that the third-party company only provides reports and does not participate in decision-making in regard to the hiring process
- Notify the applicant that they are authorized to request a free copy of the background report and may use it to dispute inaccuracies with that third-party company7
Reasons Why a Walmart Background Check Can Be Delayed
Background checks have the potential to be very complex and the companies that run them may not be able to produce immediate results. Some of these delays might be avoidable, but a majority of them cannot be prevented.
1. Errors in Submitted Information From the Applicant
When Walmart asks an applicant to initiate a background check, correct information must be submitted by the applicant to the background check company to verify the applicant’s identity and past.
If information is input incorrectly or withheld, the results of the background check can be delayed and will potentially require the applicant to resubmit the information.
2. Delays Within the Background Check Company
Background check companies rely on a mix of their employees as well as electronic resources. Answering the question of “how long does Walmart background check take?”, if there is a lack of employees or an overabundance of submissions, results could be delayed because processing times will be long until the ratio of screenings to submissions even out.
Even if there is no delay in processing due to personnel, issues with electronics and networking can also hinder timely results.
3. Complexity of Accessing Records From Multiple Outside Agencies
Outside of an FBI fingerprint background check, there is no single repository that houses background information for every person. Due to the complexity of the fingerprinting process, few employers utilize this database even though expedited FBI background checks are possible. This means that background check companies must use the information provided to them to search federal, state, and county records to ensure a complete report.
If an applicant has lived in several counties and/or states, locating the correct agency to source information from can take time. In addition, these agencies could have personnel or technology restrictions that could slow down the document retrieval process.
What Types of Records Does Walmart Screen Applicants For?
Walmart conducts a background check on potential employees to verify details submitted in an application and to see if there are any red flags that would bar an applicant from being hired.
When wondering “how long does Walmart background check take?”, taking into account the amount of required information for each applicant could explain why the length of time for results varies. Records requested in a Walmart background search could include:
- Verification of a social security number
- Address history
- Education and employment history
- Credit score
- DMV records
- Sex offender registry information
- Criminal records8
It is important to note, that employment laws in each state vary widely and may restrict access to information that could be found on a background check or how an employer may use that information. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has deemed the agencies that enforce those laws as “Fair Employment Practice Agencies” or FEPAs.9
To find detailed information on each state’s employment laws, a search engine inquiry that includes the state name plus the keyword “FEPA”, should direct interested parties to the correct government webpage.
Why Does Walmart Need My SS Number, Address, and Employment History?
A social security number paired with a legal name will garner the speediest and most accurate results when performing a background check. Address and previous employment information is requested on the initial Walmart application form and reports from an official background check company will confirm that the provided information is factual.
Does Walmart Really Pull My Credit Score and DMV Record?
Whether Walmart requests the background check company pull an applicant’s credit score and driving record is typically dependent on the particular job an individual is applying for. A credit check may be an imperative piece of information when being hired for a financial role. Information from a driving record is equally important for those hiring individuals to drive for Walmart.10
What Kind of Criminal Records Will Show on a Walmart Background Report?
Any record documented by a law enforcement entity will most likely be reported on a background check and will be of interest to those tasked with hiring at Walmart. Do pending charges show up on a background check though? Why yes, arrest records, pending charges for misdemeanors or felonies, convictions for misdemeanors and felonies, and time incarcerated could all be included on the background report.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), arrest records not resulting in a conviction should no longer be visible on a background report past seven years, while convictions should no longer show after ten years. As stated in the FCRA, if an applicant is applying for a salary over a certain amount or a position with a certain title or responsibilities, the background check may be expanded past the seven to ten-year timeframe.7
The background check will also include information regarding an applicant’s presence in a sexual offenders registry database. A majority of these databases have no limit to the time an offender appears, so it is not restricted to the 7-10 year timeframe in reference to arrests and convictions.
It should be pointed out, that if a record is expunged or sealed, it will not show up on a background check. For example, juvenile records are often sealed or expunged when an individual turns 18, and will not be visible on a background check. So can can a juvenile record be used against you? Only if it’s not sealed or expunged automatically, or manually.
What Charges Will Bar Me From Employment With Walmart?
According to those familiar with the Walmart hiring process, those with arrests or convictions relating to violent crime, sexual offenses, drug charges, or theft are not likely to be employed by Walmart.11
That being said, just because a background check may be returned with criminal history listed, does not always mean that an applicant will be denied a job. Walmart does not have a policy stating what offenses will exclude applicants from being hired, so circumstances may vary based on the hiring manager or location.
Who Does Walmart Use to Run Their Background Checks?
Walmart uses BackgroundChecks.com to conduct pre-employment screenings. BackgroundChecks.com offers various background check service levels; although Walmart has not disclosed which product they subscribe to, it is likely the plan that encompasses all U.S. counties the applicant has resided in for the previous seven years.12
Backgroundchecks.com advertises that the turnaround time for background checks is 1-3 business days, but the caveat is given that it can take additional time due to potential delays in obtaining information from various government agencies.13
Previous applicants have reported that Walmart has used the services of Sterling Talent Solutions and First Advantage Background Checks in the past.14
Walmart Background Check Timeline & Turnaround Times
Walmart requires applicants to apply online by submitting an application through the Walmart Careers webpage. Once an application is submitted, a thirty-minute assessment is available. If an applicant fails the assessment, the application process ends and the candidate must wait 6 months to retest. However, if the applicant passes the assessment, they can continue with the application process.15
From this point, previous applicants have disclosed that it can take anywhere from a few short hours to 60 days for Human Resources to reach out for an interview. Sometimes this process can be sped up by reaching out to the store to speak with the hiring manager directly.16
Interviews are sometimes conducted immediately by phone, but sometimes, up to three in-person interviews are scheduled. According to employees, some waited up to a month for an interview, but an average wait of approximately 2-3 days was reported.17
If the hiring manager decides to proceed past the interview, a job offer will be extended and an email with onboarding documents will be sent to the applicant. A majority of applicants disclosed these documents were sent quickly, typically between 1-3 hours.4
The onboarding documents include background check paperwork provided by the BackgroundChecks.com invitation system. The background check will not be started until the prospective employee provides their name, date of birth, and social security number along with an authorization that can be signed electronically.5 Once authorized, the background check typically takes between 1-3 days, but can sometimes take up to 30 days due to issues obtaining information.13
How to Pass a Walmart Background Check
Unfortunately, there is no magic trick to passing a background check for Walmart or any other employer. However, knowledge is power; the more that is known about what is disclosed about an individual on a background check, the better prepared that person can be when applying for a job.
Before applying to Walmart, performing a background check on one’s self will reveal the same type of information that will be revealed on the employer’s background check. Once the report is received:
- Review the report to ensure no errors are present. If errors exist, contact the background check company or the correlating law enforcement agency that reported the incorrect information and have it corrected.
- If there is legitimate negative information on the report, it may be beneficial to hire a lawyer to look into the process of how to have the record sealed or expunged.
- Become familiar with employment laws in the state where the application will be submitted. Know what employers will have access to and what they can base their hiring decision on. As mentioned previously, employers are required to follow state and federal employment laws which may restrict them from considering certain information uncovered in a free criminal background check as well as paid ones. For instance, in Illinois, an arrest without a conviction, although it may show up in criminal records, cannot be used to deny employment to an applicant.18
- If called into an interview, consider bringing up the negative items. The hiring manager will have no knowledge of the criminal past because that information is not requested during an application, and if not revealed during the interview, it would not be found out until the background check process. It may be to the interviewee’s benefit to discuss their past to show that they are open and honest.
- After the interview, it may be beneficial to provide the hiring manager with a written statement outlining what will be found on the background check, what things have changed which make the past irrelevant, and how it will have no impact on how the job will be performed.
- Have references that can counteract any negatives listed on the background report.
Knowing the hiring procedure and full timeline of a background check can make a big difference in how one prepares to submit an application to Walmart. Instead of anxiously questioning “how long does Walmart background check take?”, an applicant can proceed into the process with confidence.
1 Walmart. (2022). Application Process Step By Step. Walmart Careers. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from <https://careers.walmart.com/application-process-step-by-step>
2 Obama, B. (n.d.). Take the Fair Chance Pledge. Obama White House Archives. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from <https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/issues/criminal-justice/fair-chance-pledge#section-352871>
3 Walmart. (2022). Disclaimer. External Career Preference – Hiring Center. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from <https://storejobs.wal-mart.com/HiringCenter/disclaimer>
4 Various. (2019, August 29). How long does it take for Walmart background check to come back? | Walmart. Indeed. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from <https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Walmart/faq/how-long-does-it-take-for-walmart-background-check-to-come-back?quid=1djfieceq24f0000&start=30>
5 BackgroundChecks.com. (2022). How it works. Backgroundchecks.com. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from <https://www.backgroundchecks.com/how-it-works-1#approvals>
6 Various. (n.d.). Why is my Walmart background check taking so long? Quora. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from <https://www.quora.com/Why-is-my-Walmart-background-check-taking-so-long>
7 Federal Trade Commission. (n.d.). Fair Credit Reporting Act – Revised September 2018. Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act/545a_fair-credit-reporting-act-0918.pdf>
8 Duncan, E. (2022). What you need to know about Walmart’s background check process. Jobcase. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.jobcase.com/articles/walmart-background-check-process>
9 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) and Dual Filing. US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.eeoc.gov/fair-employment-practices-agencies-fepas-and-dual-filing>
10 AllTrucking.com. (2022). Drive for Walmart? Truck Driver Job Pay, Requirements & Independent Reviews. All Trucking Jobs. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.alltrucking.com/carriers/walmart>
11 BackgroundChecks.com. (2022). Products Packages backgroundchecks.com. Backgroundchecks.com. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.backgroundchecks.com/products/packages>
12 Various. (n.d.). How long does a background check take for Walmart? Quora. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from <https://www.quora.com/How-long-does-a-background-check-take-for-Walmart>
13 Klazema, M. (2018, February 7). How Long Do Background Checks Take? Backgroundchecks.com. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.backgroundchecks.com/blog/how-long-do-background-checks-take>
14 Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. (2022). Errors On Your Walmart Background Check Cost You a Job? Francis Mailman Soumilas, PC. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.consumerlawfirm.com/walmart-background-check>
15 Thomas, M. (n.d.). What Happens If You Fail The Walmart Assessment Test? QuerySprout. Retrieved July 12, 2022, from <https://querysprout.com/what-happens-if-you-fail-the-walmart-assessment-test/>
16 Various. (2020, April 15). How long does it take to get hired from start to finish at Walmart? What are the steps along the way? Indeed. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from <https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Walmart/faq/once-you-submit-your-application-after-a-job-posting-how-long-do-you-have-to-wait-for-to-be-called-for-an-interview-how-many-times-a-month-do-i-need-t?quid=1besau8ctak4lang&start=10>
17 Various. (2016, February 25). How long does it take to get hired from start to finish at Walmart? What are the steps along the way? Indeed. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from <https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Walmart/faq/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-hired-from-start-to-finish-at-walmart-what-are-the-steps-along-the-way?quid=1acdq10bfb84obi6&start=20>
18 Illinois Legislature. (2020, April 15). House Amendment 002. Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=10100SB1480ham002&GA=101&SessionId=108&DocTypeId=SB&LegID=118365&DocNum=1480&GAID=15&SpecSess=&Session=>