Select & Hire

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checking References

When the hiring manager completes interviewing and has identified well-qualified candidates, the next step is to check references. A best practice is to prepare to check references for every candidate identified as a finalist and advance them to the Reference Check stage in Workday. Reference information may be obtained over the phone and documented using the Workday Reference Questionnaire.  In cases where there is more than one top candidate and a hiring manager is finding it difficult to rank them, checking references is one way to make the final decision. 

 

Before starting a reference check, the hiring manager should notify the candidate that references will be checked. Brown discourages checking references on candidates for staff positions until the hiring process is nearing completion. This sample reference check form contains fairly broad questions; hiring managers are encouraged to prepare more specific questions related to the position’s competencies and the candidate’s prior work performance. Questions that solicit answers related to marital status, race, gender, number of children, or health issues must never be asked.

 

External Candidates: At minimum 3 references with at least one being a supervisor. If this is not possible, contact the Recruitment Coordinator to explore alternatives.

Internal Candidates: Review relevant performance-related portions of the employee's personnel file with your Recruitment Coordinator. The hiring manager must also speak with the employee's current supervisor for an assessment of work performance.

 

Analyzing Feedback

Once all references are obtained, consider the following:

  • Do the dates of employment, job titles, and responsibilities shared by the references match the candidate’s application and resume?
  • Did the references verify they were prior supervisors?
  • How can areas identified for improvement impact the candidate’s work performance, onboarding, or training at Brown, if hired? 
  • Did more than one reference cite the same work performance issues?
  • Given the information obtained in the reference checking process, is this person the best qualified candidate

The Hiring Report

Before an offer of employment is extended, the hiring department submits a hiring report in Workday for the Recruiting Coordinator to review and approve. The hiring report documents the process followed in recruitment. Please note that any additional information or requests (ie. salary range for offer, request to view letter before it is sent out, etc.) should be added to the comment section before submission. UHR’s review and approval of hiring reports can take up to three business days.

Please note: University Human Resources review of the proposed salary amount is solely based on equity. Please confirm your department's budgeted salary amount before submitting the hiring report.

Making the offer

Offers may not be extended until University Human Resources approves the hiring report.  Once the hiring report is approved, Workday generates an offer letter based upon the data provided on both the hiring report and job requisition. The Recruiting Coordinator reviews and approves the details of the offer letter. This offer letter, once approved, will be automatically sent to the candidate for acknowledgement. The Hiring Manager and HR Business Partner will receive a Workday notification when the offer letter is sent out and once the candidate submits a response. When a response is submitted the process routes back to the Recruiting Coordinator to either renegotiate the offer, decline the candidate, or initiate the background check. Please note that background screenings must be completed prior to the first day of employment. 
 

Criminal background checks, education verfications and sex offender registry checks will be conducted for all staff hired at Brown; see Resources below.  Current employees who transfer to another department will also need a background check if they didn’t receive one when they were hired originally.

Completing the Hire

Once a new staff member’s background screening is complete, the Recruiting Coordinator confirms the start date with the department and completes the Hire Business Process in Workday. Please note that if the hired candidate is transferring from within Brown, the Recruiting Coordinator will complete that process as well. Once an official hire date has been determined the Recruiting Coordinator will email the new hire and hiring department confirming employment details and explaining next steps for onboarding and New Employee Orientation.  

Resources

Reference Check Form
Pre-Employment Screenings Policy and Moving Expenses Policy