Pre-Job Offer Tasks
These final tasks will help you to validate information you have gained about your candidates through the hiring process. Reference checks and background checks are required for all benefit eligible hires. Fingerprints are required for positions that have been identified as Safety/Security Sensitive.
Reference Checks Accordion Open
While an employment verification may be done with the background check, reference checks are essential to making a good hiring decision. The Employment & Compensation team requires departments to conduct at least 3 reference checks on the candidate you wish to hire.
Prior to making a job offer, you should conduct reference checks on a selected applicant. Reference checking allows you to speak with previous supervisors to discuss performance relative to the position for which the applicant is being considered.
Reference checking is designed to protect hiring supervisors and the university from potential negligent hiring and ensure a good match for the position.
You need to complete reference checks even though you are required to request a background check. The employment section of a background check verifies:
- dates of employment
- job title
- eligibility for rehire
A reference check assists you in determining an applicant’s suitability for the position.
When to conduct reference checks
Prior to the interview
The purpose of conducting reference checks prior to the interview is to screen out similarly qualified applicants in order to establish a more manageable interview pool.
Following the interview
The purpose of conducting reference checks following the interview is to verify and document that your top candidate(s) is in fact the best choice.
The hiring supervisor may conduct reference checks or he/she may charge the screening committee to do so. If any of the candidates are current university employees, the hiring supervisor may contact Human Resources and request to see the employee’s performance appraisals. Performance appraisals, whether they be previous or current, should not be used in lieu of contacting the applicant’s current supervisor for reference checking.
It is always important to document the name, job title, and working relationship of the person providing the reference to the candidate (i.e. supervisor, co-worker, friend). Also document the names and dates of references you were unable to contact or those that resulted in no reply or a refusal to comment.
If you are not successful in contacting the applicant’s previous employer(s), then document reason(s) (e.g. out of business) and contact another reference. This may mean you will need to ask the applicant to provide an additional name and telephone number. You may contact any individual from the applicant’s previous employment. We recommend that you speak with a supervisor or someone within the chain of command, who has experience working with the applicant and can discuss their performance.
Background Checks Accordion Closed
Background checks are REQUIRED for all regular full-time and part-time positions. An applicant may not start work until the background check is completed.
Detailed information regarding the NAU Background Check process and vendor can be found on our Background Check webpage.
Fingerprint Checks Accordion Closed
A fingerprint check will be required for all individuals hired into a safety and security sensitive position. Fingerprints are taken by NAU Human Resources at the Human Resources office, and are submitted to Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) for processing. A fingerprinting appointment may be scheduled online via the Human Resources Fingerprint Scheduler.