background checks

Background Check Delays in Cook County Holding up Jobs, Hiring Service Says

"We've had one candidate in particular who has been on hold to be able to start her new job for over six weeks."

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Many companies across the Chicago area are in desperate need of workers, but NBC 5 has found local employers are up against a new hurdle in their hiring.

Joe Santoro of Momentum Staffing Group said criminal background checks are taking longer to run in Cook County than the usual week or week and a half.

"We’ve noticed over the past couple weeks in particular that it’s hit a new standard for how long it’s taking," Santoro said. "We've had one candidate in particular who has been on hold to be able to start her new job for over six weeks."

Background check companies are often hired to conduct the searches and in many parts of the country they can search court records online. However, remote access in Cook County is not widely available and permission must be approved by the Chief Judge.

Otherwise, background checks must be conducted on public computer terminals inside Cook County court buildings.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County said the office has received requests to perform background checks, but clerks are limited on how much they can help.

The spokesperson said the office is not aware of a backlog of requests.

Meanwhile, Santoro said the delays are impacting who local companies want to hire.

"Your best chance is to try and find a candidate whose never lived in Cook County if you want to hire quickly in this environment," Santoro said.

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