HR not responding after background check began

Hi guys, 

I'm currently waiting for an offer at one BB bank. It has been 5 weeks since the background check began. Roughly 2 weeks ago the HR lady called me and said I might have to wait for another 1-2 weeks. Now 2 weeks have passed, I emailed her to check in on the result yesterday, but still no response from her. Is it normal for HR to not respond to candidates regarding this type of matters? It's my first time applying for a job at a BB bank, so things could be confusing for me sometimes. Sorry if the question is too dumb or redundant. 

8.11 Update

Hi all,

Just want to share some updates on my situation, esp for the reference of anyone who's in the same boat. I emailed the HR lady today to follow up on the hiring process. Unfortunately she confirmed that judging from the current macro environment, they're unable to accomodate new permanenment employee into their headcount structure. 

The winter is coming, but I hope for a short one. Good luck to all warriors out there job searching at this difficult time. You will get the job. Have faith!

Comments (14)

Aug 5, 2022 - 4:54am
kinghamasaki, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There is no such thing as a dumb question, so don't apologise!

HR is usually a pain in the ass and they're even worse during the summer since a lot of the staff takes days off (and if it's Europe they will take 4-6 weeks off). If you do have the HR lady's number do not hesitate to call her.

Do you know anyone else in the bank who could maybe redirect you to another HR employee or give you some insights into your situation?

Good luck

Aug 5, 2022 - 5:16am
egroeganiger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know other HR employees at that company (also don't wanna be pushy) :(

Is it possible that the headcount has been freezed? The HR lady did tell me that it's an offer contingent on background check results tho.

Most Helpful
Aug 5, 2022 - 5:16am
ape_981, what's your opinion? Comment below:

have you received a contract yet? usually the background check only happens after the offer is signed. the check might take longer than 1 month... longest i've waited is 2.5 months, but in my experience i was able to start the position even before the check fully concluded

then again, i'm only familiar with intern and grad recruiting, not sure what it is like for experienced hire

if there is a group HR email that has been in contact with you, i would CC that when sending emails to your HR contact... helps if your contact is out of office or not the primary person handling your background check

Aug 5, 2022 - 5:24am
egroeganiger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

They did not give me any contract to sign prior to the background check, but the HR lady did tell me that it's an offer contingent on my background check results in one of our calls. So I guess this means I've got the offer (contingent on the check tho)? Is there any chance of the headcount being freezed and they didn't want inform me?

2.5 months....that seems so much longer that it should. I've been waiting for the check results for 5 weeks.

Aug 5, 2022 - 5:38am
ape_981, what's your opinion? Comment below:

so what happened for my last couple of roles was that i received a contract to sign after accepting the offer verbally, which usually takes 1 week. In the contract there is a line that says that the offer/contract is contingent on a successful background check.

Without wanting to worry you, personally i would feel a bit uncomfortable having nothing in writing, but different banks might handle it differently and again, if this is experienced hire, it might be different as well... only people that truly know what's going on is the hiring team and HR.

Just to confirm, the background check that we are talking about is the kind run by a 3rd party company like RISQ or Hire Right?

Aug 5, 2022 - 11:32pm
The EBITA addback, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My background check took literally 2 days at my most recent job and never more than 2 weeks at any other job. 

Like the unadjusted- only with a little bit extra.
  • 1
Aug 6, 2022 - 7:10pm
apetrynamakeit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Usually they will have you sign the offer before the background check, and then have it contingent on you passing the check… never heard of what you are saying.

BB HR is notorious for being absolute shit and not replying, but I do think it is concerning that you never got an offer and think there is a decent chance they are reevaluating their hiring needs given the current macro environment. You might try calling them up instead if they are dodging your emails.

Aug 7, 2022 - 11:08pm
egroeganiger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dunno why they are like this...feel kinda concerned as well. Guess I'll keep on applying for other jobs and wait for her response. If she hasn't replied my mail by the end of this week I'll call her directly. Thanks a lot for the sharing and advice!

Aug 8, 2022 - 7:30pm
misterfriedchicken2022, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not to sound alarmist or anything, but I suggest you continue to network and apply for jobs: you should assume that you no longer have an offer (prepare for the worst, hope for the best).

I say this because the current hiring environment in finance reminds me of the years immediately post-2008 (I was recruiting in early 2010s). There were offers (to new hires) and return offers (to summers) that got cancelled due to downsizing/headcount reduction.

Every other day I see a breaking news headline on my Bloomberg that x Company has either cut a large chunk of their workforce, has halted hiring, etc. just be ready for that scenario - I don't think we are at the bottom of job cuts yet.

Good luck

Aug 8, 2022 - 8:52pm
egroeganiger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah totally understandable. If a junior position like the one I applied for got cancelled, we really have to brace ourselves for the econ downturn. The worst case could be: HR keeps on ghosting me until the day she has the decency to tell me the (verbal) offer has been cancelled and the background check has been halted long time ago. lol

It's worth mentioning that there were 2 positions released by the BB department (both junior ER positions, but in different teams of the department) when I was applying for this job (one of the two positions released). It seems that the candidate for another position hasn't started working yet. Guess he/she is in the same situation as mine. 

Is it ok for me to call the HR lady directly? still wanna show my enthusiasm for the job without being pushy :(

Aug 8, 2022 - 9:00pm
egroeganiger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

p.s. thank u so much for the suggestion and sharing! It means a lot to me at times like these.

Aug 11, 2022 - 7:25am
misterfriedchicken2022, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Officiis facilis perferendis sed id voluptas. Et laboriosam voluptate consequatur. Voluptatem nobis cumque quis illo. Pariatur tempore qui error.

Quaerat quia voluptate maxime. A non quisquam molestiae. Quam porro illo rerum aspernatur in. Omnis provident natus fugit beatae explicabo.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲05) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.2%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲04) 98.8%
  • Financial Technology Partners (+ +) 98.5%
  • Evercore (▽02) 98.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲12) 99.6%
  • Greenhill (▲07) 99.2%
  • Evercore (▲01) 98.8%
  • PJT Partners (▽02) 98.4%
  • Macquarie Group Limited ABN (▲20) 98.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲05) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲03) 99.2%
  • PwC Corporate Finance (▲12) 98.8%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲05) 98.5%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲05) 98.1%

Total Avg Compensation

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $613
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (318) $407
  • Vice President (38) $392
  • Associates (208) $257
  • 2nd Year Analyst (130) $163
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (18) $159
  • 1st Year Analyst (435) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (83) $150