Human Resources

Background and Reference Checks

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Background Checks

Background checks are conducted for all prospective employees; full and part-time, temporary and/or special contract positions.

The university has partnered with a third party, HireRight, to conduct its background checks. Once the hiring department initiates the Hiring Proposal in PeopleAdmin and obtains all necessary approval(s) for the top candidates, the Hiring Proposal must be submitted to Human Resources by changing the applicants’ statuses to “Initiate Background Check”.

Once Talent Team receives the notification, the selected applicant is sent an email from HireRight. The applicant then must follow the instructions in the email to sign the Disclosure and Authorization form electronically and initiate his/her background check.

The average turnaround time for background checks is 5–7 business days.

Once Talent Team obtains the results from our third-party vendor, the hiring department is notified via email.

Internal transfers and/or promotions do not require a criminal background check unless the essential functions of the position include handling large sums of university funds, working with sensitive data, and/or working with minors.

The background check includes:

  • County and State Criminal Felony and Misdemeanor records
  • Federal Criminal Felony records
  • National Sexual Offender Registry Search
  • Widescreen Plus National Criminal Search
  • BCI/FBI Criminal Record Check (fingerprinting)—mandated by the State of Ohio for all positions that work with children

Human Resources pays for all background checks, including fingerprinting with the exception of Adjunct positions. See University Policy 8130 for more information.

For new hires coming directly from a residence outside of the U.S., the university will accept the security check conducted by the Department of Homeland Security prior to the applicant obtaining approval to work in the U.S., which is in the form of their visa. Anyone who has resided in the U.S. for at least twelve consecutive months, the university will conduct its customary criminal background check.

Results are stored by the vendor.

If a background check indicates that the applicant is not suited for university employment, See University Policy 8130.

Credit History Checks

The background check does not include a credit history check unless the essential functions of the position include handling large sums of university funds.

Criminal and credit history check results do not expire unless there is a break in service for more than one year.

BCI/FBI Criminal Record Checks

The background check does not include BCI/FBI checks unless the essential functions of the position include working with minors. BCI/FBI checks are background checks that are mandated by the State of Ohio for all positions that work with children. BCI/FBI checks are done by fingerprinting. The Educational Resource Center on campus offers fingerprinting services. is located in 116 Allyn Hall. Their hours of operation for fingerprinting vary each term.

Education Verification

Human Resources also initiates education verifications. Education verifications are mandatory for all positions that require a degree. Education verifications are initiated at the same time background checks are initiated. The university utilizes the National Student Clearinghouse and HireRight for its education verifications.

Sample Reference Check Questions

  • How well, and in what capacity, do you know the candidate?
  • What were the candidate’s dates of employment?
  • Is this a person you would hire if you had an open position? (Or, in other words: Is the candidate eligible for rehire?)
  • How would you describe the candidate’s work habits?
  • How much supervision does/did the candidate require?
  • How well does the candidate work, and interact, with people? (Supervisors, subordinates, peers, customers/clients)
  • Why is the candidate interested in other employment?
  • What were the candidate’s major accomplishments?
  • How would you describe the candidate’s work habits?
  • How would you describe the candidate’s communication skills?
  • How effectively does/did the candidate use his/her time?
  • What are the candidate’s work weaknesses?
  • Would you consider this individual to be honest?
  • Is this individual a team player?
  • How structured an environment would you say this individual needs to reach maximum potential?
  • Please comment on this person’s response to constructive criticism.
  • Does this individual typically adhere strictly to job duties, or does he/she assume responsibilities beyond the basic, written job description?
  • How does this individual handle interruptions, breaks in routine, and last- minute changes?
  • How would you rate this person’s commitment to project completion?
  • How would you grade this person’s capacity for analytical thinking and problem solving?
  • Does this individual need close supervision to excel, or does he/she take more of an autonomous, independent approach to her/his work?
  • How global of a perspective does he/she have? Do you see him/her eventually making the transition from a tactical and operational career path to the strategic level necessary for a career in senior management?
  • How would you grade this individual’s listening skills?
  • How effective is the candidate at delivering bad news?
  • Will he/she typically assume responsibility for things gone wrong?
  • How does this individual approach taking action without getting prior approval?
  • Is this person’s natural inclination to report to someone else for sign-off,or does she/he operate better with independent responsibility and authority?
  • Is this individual inclined to maintain smooth and amicable relations at all costs, or is she/he more likely to show his/her teeth when faced with adversity?
  • Please describe some of the candidate’s shortcomings.
  • When there was a particularly urgent assignment, what steps did the candidate take to get it done on time?
  • What are his/her leadership (or “value added”) strengths?
  • What were his/her leadership opportunities, if any?
  • Ability to work effectively with individuals at all levels, including government entities.
  • Will he/she typically assume responsibility for things gone wrong?
  • Please grade the individual’s capacity for initiative and taking action.
  • Is this candidate’s management style more autocratic and paternalistic or is it geared toward a more participative and consensus-building approach?
  • How effective is this person at orchestrating a corporate ensemble of functional areas?
  • Please address the candidate’s ability to cope with the significant pressures associated with senior management.
  • How does this individual deal with disciplining or dismissing employees?
  • Does the candidate stay open to all sides of an argument before reaching a decision, or does he/she get personally involved in conflicts?
  • Since none us is perfect at everything we do, please describe some of the candidate’s shortcomings.
  • Have you seen the candidate’s current resume? Let me read you the part that describes his/her job with your organization. (Stop at each significant point, and ask the reference for a comment.)
  • Who referred the candidate to your company? (It could have been a relative or a customer or client.)