Instacart Background Checks: Top Questions Answered

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Many employers consider a background check as a reliable way to verify claims that job seekers make on their applications. It usually covers information about an applicant’s employment history, educational background, credit history, and, most importantly, criminal records.

Like most companies, Instacart require criminal background checks for all their applicants. Whether you’re applying as a part-time or full-service shopper or a staff member, you’re subject to getting screened.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the Instacart background check process, what you should expect, and how it affects your application.

About Instacart

Before we dig into their background screening process, let’s talk briefly about Instacart and why this company appeals to many job seekers.

Instacart is an American company that offers grocery delivery and pick-up services in the USA and Canada. The company was founded in 2012 and has quickly become successful in its niche. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the company even more successful and profitable as community restrictions were set in place. From a net worth of $13.7 billion in 2020, Instacart started 2021 with a net worth of $39 billion.

Currently, Instacart has nearly 10,000 in-store shopper-employees and over 500,000 independent contractors who they call “full-service shoppers”.

Instacart Background Check

Being in an industry wherein strong customer relationships and trust is the key to success, Instacart implements an exhaustive screening process for applicants. You don’t get screened right away when you apply at Instacart.

The company performs background checks on potential employees when given a conditional offer to provide services on the Instacart platform. Typically, background checks get processed within 10 business days.

However, since the company receives a hefty number of applications daily and temporary court closures, there might be some delays.

Why Instacart Performs Background Checks

There are many reasons startups and growing companies require background checks before hiring potential employees. In Instacart, where employees work independently and with minimal supervision, they have to make sure they hire the right people.

Here are some reasons Instacart runs background checks on applicants:

  • A thorough background check of employees is a reliable way of upholding the company’s reputation.
  • It prevents the risk of negligent hiring. Since shoppers and delivery partners don’t have to report to the office regularly, Instacart must ensure they hire people with skills and character fit for the job.
  • Lastly, honest employees are valuable assets of any company. A background check is an easy way to assess honesty among applicants. It provides a sense of safety and security for the organization and Instacart’s customers.

How Background Checks Get Performed at Instacart

Instacart runs background checks on potential shoppers and in-store employees via Checkr, an independent background check company based in San Francisco, CA. It also works with other gig economy firms, such as Uber, Shipt, Lyft, and Postmates.

Besides the gig economy, Checkr also processes background checks for companies and organizations from various industries, ranging from manufacturing to healthcare, retail, education, hospitality, and non-profit.

How Checkr Background Screening Works

Checkr uses AI-powered technology to perform background checks. That means they can accurately source information from different resources in no time.

Checkr employs varying levels of background checks, depending on their client. For Instacart, background checks cover the following records:

  • Criminal history
  • Identity (Personal Identification)
  • Past work history
  • Professional licenses
  • Education history
  • Special qualification
  • Certifications

For full-service shoppers, Instacart may require screening for traffic violations.

Background Checks for Instacart Shoppers

Instacart can deactivate a full-service shopper’s account for unspecified issues with their background check results. Still, they give applicants a chance to address any issues that may surface during the background checks, as allowed by applicable laws.

That said, you should know about your rights to get informed of whether or not your background check results have been used against you. This right is explicitly provided in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

You should also know that arrests that occurred more than seven years ago from the background check date shouldn’t be used against you. The only exception to this rule is if you’re applying for a position with a salary rate of not less than $75,000 annually. However, for conviction records, there is no time limit.

instacart background check guide

Most Commonly Asked Questions

Apart from the fundamental information provided above, let’s answer some of the top questions regarding background checks at Instacart. This way, you’ll understand the company’s pre-employment procedure.

1. How Do I Check the Status of My Background Check?

You can follow the progress of your background check via the official website of Checkr. Each applicant has access to the portal where they can see in real-time the status of their report. Do note that the hiring managers in Instacart can also view the results of your report online.

2. What if My Background Report Has Missing or Incorrect Information?

No matter how reliable background checkers are, expect that data inaccuracy is still possible. That is especially when there have been recent changes to your records. As such, it’s essential to examine your background report.

You need to check every detail to ensure that there is no missing or inaccurate information. If you find any discrepancies in your report or have any questions about it, you should file an inquiry to Checkr.

Instacart will not entertain disputes for background checks and will redirect you to Checkr. Thankfully, Checkr provides an easy process for disputes.

You simply have to visit the Candidate Portal on their website. Then, enter the required information and write the specifics of your concern or inquiry.

After you file a dispute, Checkr will review your background report and perform a reinvestigation. In compliance with the FCRA, they have 30 days to re-investigate.

Once completed, Checkr will notify you of the results via email. If there were changes, your Instacart background report would be updated, and the hiring company will get notified.

3. Can I Start Working in Instacart While My Background Check Is in Progress?

No, you can’t start working until your background check report comes out clear. Even though you already have your payment card and lanyard, you may not be able to pick up shifts yet.

The good thing is on average, background checks for Instacart applicants get completed in two weeks.

4. When Does the Background Check for Instacart Start?

The background check runs right after you sign up on Checkr. Once you’ve activated your Instacart card via the app, you will get redirected to the Checkr website. It’s where you will input the necessary information for your background check to get started.

5. How Long Does It Take for Your Job Approval After Passing the Background Check?

Instacart processes applications real-quick. Once your background check report is in and you have no other issues with the application process, you can start right away. Many Instacart full-service shoppers can start picking up shifts a few days after receiving their background reports.

6. Who Pays for the Background Check?

Instacart pays for your background check. All you need to do is to activate your Instacart shopper app. There, you will get redirected to the Checkr website, where you will be given access to your account.

Conclusion

As with other companies, Instacart background checks are a crucial component of a successful application. Whether you’re applying as a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper, you need to go through a rigorous background screening which a third-party company performs.

Thankfully, background checking via Checkr is done with the help of AI technology, so results can arrive in just a week or two, on average. Don’t forget to check the details of your report for any missing or inaccurate information.

About the author

After earning his MBA from Benedictine University, Ron was looking for a new challenge and stumbled on the idea of helping the formerly incarcerated.

Using what he learned, Ron developed this website as a free resource and has worked with his team​ to continue answering questions for those in need.

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