Applicant Screening

Last Updated 02/16
Applies to Staff
Related Policies:


The University is committed to hiring outstanding individuals who reflect diverse backgrounds, have the qualifications, values and potential necessary to achieve our goals. The hiring policies articulate sound practices to ensure that this is achieved and risks to the University are minimized.


2.1. Posting Requirements

Once the Position Management Process is completed the position may be posted for internal or external candidates to apply. The department should first provide internal notification to those in the department that a position is available and ask for those interested to contact the hiring manager. If the hiring manager chooses to fill the position from within their department, no further posting is necessary. Positions not filled from within the department must be posted on campus, and externally if desired, for at least five days on the University posting site. The minimum of the Market Reference Range (MRR) must be posted in the ‘Hiring Pay Range’ section of the posting.

2.2. Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible to apply current employees must be in good standing and not be subject to a performance improvement plan or corrective action. They must have been on their job for at least 12 months. Former employees who left the university in good standing may be considered for reemployment. Former employees, who resigned without notice, were dismissed for disciplinary reasons, or who had less than acceptable performance may not be considered for reemployment. Human Resources will conduct a record review and determine eligibility for hire. Those deemed ineligible for re-hire may appeal by contacting the Director of Talent and Engagement.

2.3. Applications for Employment

All internal and external applications for staff positions will be made online via the job posting system. Applications will comply with all federal and state legal requirements including those as defined under the Protection of Minors Act

2.4. Recruitment Advertising

Positions may be advertised externally based upon need and budget requirements. The hiring department is responsible for all advertising costs. Human Resources is responsible for reviewing all recruitment advertising and may assist with posting advertisements.

2.5. Search Firms

Use of search firms to source candidates for a position may be considered. Engaging a search firm must be cleared with Human Resources and the party engaged to conduct a search must be subject to the policies and procedures established by Human Resources. Fees associated with the search will be the responsibility of the hiring department.

2.6. Interview Process

Human Resources will provide assistance as outlined in the Service Level Agreement constructed at the beginning of each search. Generally, candidates will be screened for minimum requirements. Those determined to meet the requirements will be passed on to the hiring manager. Candidates selected will be interviewed via phone or in person and progress to subsequent steps in the process based on the interview results. For some positions, skills testing may be required. Interview questions should be compiled by the hiring manager or search committee and reviewed by Human Resources.

All applicants will be tracked in the job posting system. The hiring manager is responsible for updating the status of candidates in the system. Candidates not selected will be notified by either Human Resources or the hiring manager.

2.7. Offers of Employment

An offer of employment will be made contingent on the successful completion of reference checks, criminal records verification and drug screen. Compensation offered must be consistent with the compensation policies of the University. Hiring managers are encouraged to review the offer with Human Resources – Compensation prior to extending the offer. Employment offers are commitments on behalf of the University and must ensure that every offer made to an individual complies with University policies and federal and state legal requirements. Human Resources will notify the hiring manager when all pre-employment checks are successfully completed.

2.8. Pre-Employment Background Reviews

Effective March 15, 2013 applicants eligible for re-employment with a break in service of 12 months or more will be subject to all applicable background & drug testing procedures unless the applicant is applying for any position working with summer camps, ND Vision programs and Reunion weekend events. Those applicants will be subject to all re-employment background checks and drug testing procedures when there is a break in service of 6 months or more. This policy includes those volunteers or other employees employed in positions covered under the Protection of Minors Act.

The University conducts various background checks on applicants for employment to ensure that individuals who join the University workforce are qualified, have potential to be productive and successful, and have honestly presented their qualifications on the Employment Application. Because of the legal implications of these processes, the Office of Human Resources coordinates the collection of all such information. All offers of employment are made contingent upon the successful completion of all applicable background checks and the selected individual may not begin employment until background checks are completed. This process normally takes approximately four business days to complete from the date the checks or screenings are performed, but may be as long as 10 days. This process also applies to any current faculty or post-doctoral member selected to fill a staff position. The University will keep all information attained as part of the employment process strictly confidential.

2.8.1. Criminal Records Verification

The Office of Human Resources verifies the criminal record information provided on the online Employment Application for individuals to whom offers of employment are made. A basic verification includes a check of the National Sex Offender Registry and felony and misdemeanor conviction records check in the applicant’s county or counties of residence. A more extensive background/records check may be conducted based on the requirements of a specific position.

2.8.2. Pre-Employment Drug Testing

All offers of regular, part-time and full-time staff employment are contingent upon satisfactory results of a drug test. Staff hired for regular positions are required to successfully complete a drug test prior to beginning employment. Additionally, any employee regardless of their employment category that will be driving a university vehicle (including rental vehicles) shall be required to successfully complete a drug and alcohol test prior to beginning employment.

2.8.3. Pre-Employment Physical Examinations

The University does not generally require pre-employment physical examinations as a condition of employment. However, the University reserves the right to require post-offer, pre-employment physical exams in circumstances where the nature of the work renders it appropriate or where Federal law or regulation requires.

2.8.4 Pre-Employment Reference Checks

The University will conduct a reference review prior to extending an offer of employment. This process will apply to all final candidates regardless of the position. This review is used to validate information on a candidate’s resume and will add clarity to the interview process. The reference check will be conducted by the hiring manager or Human Resources as outlined in the SLA and in compliance with federal and state statutes, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Information gathered will include that pertaining to the quality and quantity of work performed, attendance, education and other work-related information. Prospective employees will be asked to supply at least three professional references. In addition, internal candidates will have their performance management records reviewed and internal references will be sought.


The policy applies to all regular full- and part-time staff positions to be filled at the University.


Defines terms in alphabetical order that are used in the policy or related procedures, including technical terms that readers may not understand.

Staff Any full or part-time exempt or non-exempt position or employee. This includes any volunteer position where the work is covered under the Protection of Minors Act.
Hiring Manager Individual who is primarily responsible for filling the position. This may be a staff or faculty employee.
Job Posting Any regular full or part-time staff position posted.
University Refers to the University of Notre Dame.
Human Resources The Office of Human Resources and any staff employee in such department.
Department Any University organization reporting to a Dean, Vice President or other Officer.
Service Level Agreement The verbal or written understanding between the recruiter and the hiring manager.
Recruiter Individual working in Human Resources responsible for the hiring function.


Responsible Party List of Responsibilities
Human Resources 1. Train new hiring managers about using the posting systems and as well as the appropriate methods for filling a vacant position. Monitor diversity and assist with sourcing diverse candidates.
2. Assist with posting jobs.
3. Review applicant eligibility.
4. Manage the job posting system.
5. Maintain compliance throughout the hiring process.
6. Provide direction to the hiring process, particularly as it relates to hiring decisions that may have legal or compliance implications.
7. Facilitate and or conduct reference checks as outlined in SLA.
Hiring Manager 1. Initiate the hiring process
2. Review candidates deemed eligible in a timely manner
3. Maintain applicant status in the job posting system
4. Follow procedures and policies of the University
5. Provide funding for all expenses associated with the hiring process
6. Conduct reference checks on finalist for a position if designated in the SLA.


Task Procedure
Job Posting 1. The Hiring Manager will initiate the job posting after the Position Management Process is complete.
2. Human Resources will initiate conversation about the services to be provided during the hiring process.
3. The job posting will be posted for a minimum of five days or until the closing date.
4. Human Resources will consult with the hiring manager and determine what level of service will be provided during the recruiting process.
Applicant Eligibility 1. Once an applicant has completed an on-line application Human Resources will check eligibility for hire.
2. Former employees: the HRIS will be checked first to see if the individual has been flagged as ineligible for re-hire. The employee’s separation form will also be reviewed. Current employees: the individual’s HRIS records will be checked to make sure they have been in their current position for at least 12 months. The performance records will also be checked. If the person is deemed ineligible they will be notified.
3. All other applicants will be considered eligible unless listed on the Security “No Trespass” list.
Recruitment Advertising 1. The hiring manager may determine that advertising the position is beneficial.
2. Human Resources will assist with crafting the advertisement language and may suggest sites for the advertisement. Approved EEOC language will be included on each posting.
3. Human Resources will place the advertisement for the specified period of time.
4. Human Resources will notify advertisers to remove the posting if the position has been filled.
Search Firms 1. In most cases the Human Resource department is well qualified to recruit talent. Occasionally it will be determined that a search firm is needed to assist with the recruiting process.
2. Retaining a search firm should be done in conjunction with Human Resources and any agreement with such firm must meet the requirements set forth by the Office of the General Counsel.
3. Costs and fees associated with retaining a search firm are the responsibility of the hiring department.
4. Search firms will be required to use the job posting system and maintain all records associated with the search.
5. Search firms will be required to comply with University policies and all federal and state legal requirements.
Interview Process 1. The hiring manager will determine when, where and with whom interviews will take place.
2. The hiring manager will work with Human Resources to conduct the first interview to narrow the candidate pool.
3. Hiring managers and Human Resources will determine the questions to be asked using the interview guide resources in HR.
4. Interviews will be conducted in compliance with all federal and state legal requirements.
Offers of Employment 1. Consult with HR and Business Managers on recommended offer amount.
2. Offers of employment will be made by the Hiring Manager in compliance with employment policies and compensation policies of the University.
3. Offers will be contingent on the successful completion of all pre-employment screenings (background check, drug test, reference checks).
4. Offer letter language will be provided by Human Resources.
Pre-employment Criminal Background Check 1. The hiring department will contact Human Resources after the offer is verbally accepted to initiate the background check.
2. Before the pre-employment criminal background checks can be conducted, an online Employment Application must be signed by the applicant and on file with the Office of Human Resources.
3. Human Resources will obtain the necessary information from the candidate.
4. A third party provider is used to gather background information.
5. Results are maintained in a separate file (not the employment file).
Pre-Employment Drug Testing 1. The hiring department should contact Human Resources after the offer has been verbally accepted. Human Resources will initiate the pre-employment drug test. The hiring manager or candidate will be given the information on the clinic location and will provide the clinic with the necessary authorization for testing. 2. Before the pre-employment drug test can be conducted, an online Employment Application must be signed by the applicant and on file with the Office of Human Resources.
3. Drug test results are usually received 3-4 business days after the date of the test.
Pre-Employment Physical Examinations 1. Departments should contact Human Resources, 200 Grace Hall, for assistance in such cases. The University reserves the right to select the examining physician.
Pre-Employment Reference Check 1. Hiring manager obtains list of professional references from candidate.
2. Hiring Manager will call the references and review any performance information on file (for internal candidates or former employees).
3. Using the reference guide ask the reference the questions.
4. Document all information obtained during the reference call.
5. If the references are satisfactory the Hiring Manager will notify the Human Resources and proceed with the offer of employment.
Closing the Posting 1. Once all Pre-Employment checks are complete Human Resources will notify the hiring manager.
2. The Hiring Manager will be responsible for updating the status of all applicants and closing the posting.
3. Unless otherwise specified by the Hiring Manager, all candidates not selected will be sent appropriate correspondence.


Violations It is an explicit violation of this policy to do any of the following:
1. Offer employment without the offer being contingent on the successful completion of all pre-employment procedures applicable to the position.
2. Extending an offer that does not comply with employment or compensation policies of the University.
3. Utilize services outside of those identified by Human Resources in order to complete the pre-employment procedures.
Enforcement The Office of Human Resources will investigate suspected violations, and may recommend disciplinary action in accordance with University codes of conduct, policies, or applicable laws. Sanctions may include one or more of the following:
• suspension or termination of access;
• disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment;
• student discipline in accordance with applicable University policy;
• civil or criminal penalties.
Reporting Violations Violations of the policies should be reported to the Office of Human Resources or the General Counsel Office.


Policy or Document Web Address
Position Management Process


Subject Office or Position Telephone Number Office E-mail or URL
Policy Clarification Office of Human Resources, Director – Talent and Engagement (574) 631-5900

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