University of California, Riverside

Human Resources

UCR Local Procedure 21: Selection and Appointment

UCR Local Procedure 21: Selection and Appointment
June 2017

I. Summary

This local procedure for selecting and appointing candidates for employment shall be used to inform the campus of the requirements and procedures to select and appoint candidates, conduct background checks, reference checks, and employment eligibility verification, as well as the employment of near relatives.

It is the policy of the university to select and hire in its judgment, the candidate who possesses the skill, knowledge, and abilities to best perform the duties and responsibilities of the position.

II. Related Policies and References
  1. Personnel Policy 2 - Definition of Terms
  2. Personnel Policy 3 - Types of Appointment
  3. Personnel Policy 12 - Affirmative Action
  4. Personnel Policy 20 - Recruitment and Promotion
  5. Personnel Policy 21 - Selection and Appointment
  6. Personnel Policy 22 - Probationary Period
  7. Personnel Policy 30 - Compensation
  8. Personnel Policy 64 - Termination and Job Abandonment
  9. UCR Policies and Procedures 650-28 - Employment Eligibility (Form I-9)
III. Policy

In accordance with PPSM-20: Recruitment, the University of California (UC), Riverside campus is responsible for demonstrating good faith efforts to obtain a diverse applicant pool. Selection criteria, including experience, education, knowledge, and other qualifications, must be job-related and based on the position description. Selection criteria must be applied equally and consistently to all applicants.

The hiring authority shall follow the procedures for a nondiscriminatory selection process to foster and promote equal employment opportunities as outlined in the University of California Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM)-21: Selection and Appointment, PPSM-20: Recruitment, and local procedures as well as the Equal Employment & Affirmative Action website.

IV. Procedures
Once the recruitment is complete, the candidate selection process takes place.
Selection Committee
  1. The committee will meet to discuss the interviewees. Committee members will need to assess the extent to which each one met their selection criteria. The search committee evaluation tool will be helpful in justifying decisions and making them as objective as possible.
  2. When the committee has identified the candidate recommended for hire, the reference process can begin.
  1. The hiring authority may perform the screening, interviewing, and selection process, or have a committee perform the process, depending upon the recruitment plan.
  2. The hiring department should give due consideration to an eligible current university employee seeking a transfer or promotion opportunity.
  3.  University retirees may be reemployed in accordance with the UC – Regents Policy 7706: Reemployment of UC Retired Employees Into Senior Management Group and Staff Positions and PPSM-21: Selection and Appointment
  4. Special employment considerations must be given as follows:
  • An employee who was indefinitely laid off and who did not receive severance has preference for reemployment under PPSM-60: Layoff and Reduction in Time from Professional & Support Staff Career Positions;
  • A former employee who was medically separated and is eligible for special reappointment in accordance with PPSM-60: Medical Separation; or
  • A current employee who becomes disabled and is eligible for reassignment in accordance with PPSM-81: Reasonable Accommodation.
  5. A record of the selection process must be maintained by the hiring department for recording and auditing purposes. The department HR Coordinator must ensure the selection of reason codes for non-selection for all applicants not chosen for interviews is selected in the iRecruit system in addition to ensuring that all materials relevant to the selection process are scanned and uploaded to the "Attachments" tab in iRecruit including:
    a. Recruitment Plan
    b. Job-related standards used to screen applications
    c. Questions and associated interviewer notes used for phone screens and in-person interviews
    d. Evaluation instruments used by all interviewers
    e. Notes from the reference checks and/or the results from SkillSurvey
    f. A copy of any work sample including the accompanying instructions and associated scoring rubrics
    g. The results of all validated assessments including the successful candidate(s)
    h. Travel logistic records
    i. Successful candidate's signed offer letter (uploaded to the "Final Actions Tab" in iRecruit)

The record(s) should consist of all materials relevant to the selection process and all original documents must be retained in accordance with the University of California Records Retention Schedule. Documentation must demonstrate the selection decisions and it is required in order to comply with Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requirements. Also, always keep in mind:

  • The best candidate for the position was chosen based on qualifications
  •  The candidate will help to carry out the university and department's missions
  7. In situations in which an executive search firm is engaged for Senior Management Group (SMG) recruitments that are not posted in the iRecruit system, all documentation associated with the recruitment must be maintained by the department in accordance with the above mentioned retention schedule and the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Report for Executive Search Firms must be completed and sent to HR's Equal Employment/Affirmative Action (EE/AAA) department.
Employee Release Time
  With advance notice and if the interview occurs during the employee's normal work hours, an employee must be granted reasonable time off with pay to interview for a position at:
  • The employee's current UC location; or
  • Another UC location, for a length of time equal to the time required for an interview at the employee's current UC location.
Reference Checks
  As a public employer, the university is covered by the provisions of the California Information Practices Act of 1977. In most situations, the Act requires that information obtained from a reference check, including the source of the information, may not be withheld from the candidate and is to be released to the candidate upon request.
  1. Prior to making an offer of employment, the hiring authority should contact the final candidate and inform them that they are moving to the next stage of the recruitment process, which is checking references. A minimum of two individual reference checks of the candidates former or current manager/supervisor must be conducted on all candidates recommended for hire, including current UC employees.
  2. An Authorization to Release Information form must be signed by the candidate recommended for hire.
  • The receipt of the signed authorization form from the final candidate must be received prior to contacting current and or previous employers.
  • All questions asked must be related to the job and linked directly to the position, responsibilities, and requirements, such as candidate's skills, qualifications, and behaviors that are important to the hiring manager's decision.
  3. Individuals with knowledge of the candidate's employment performance, qualifications, and behavior should be contacted; however, the candidate may request that the current supervisor not be contacted.
  4. In addition to conducting reference checks, if the candidate recommended for hire (final candidate) is a current or former employee of the UC, the hiring manager should review the employee's personnel file. Follow these steps to conduct the file review of the finalist if they are a current or former employee:
  • The hiring authority or designee should contact the finalist and notify them of the next step in the recruitment process, which is a file review and reference check.
  • Ask the final candidate to provide the name and contact information of their former HR representative. If they have the information, call or email the HR representative and inform them of your need to conduct a file review and make an appointment to examine the contents. If the final candidate does not have the HR representative's contact information, please follow these steps:
  • Contact the HR representative in the finalist's current or former department to schedule an appointment to review the file
  • In special circumstances, please contact Central HR for assistance.
  • If the finalist is from another UC location, follow the steps above to identify the contact information of the HR representative. Contact the representative and request a copy of the file contents by email (scan/zip) or send a copy of the file via express mail (e.g., FedEx).
  • Upon completion of the file review, if you identify any questionable content, please consult with your UCR Central HR representative.
On-line Reference Checking
    The university has contracted with SkillSurvey, an on-line applicant reference checking tool, to survey reference feedback on approximately 20 behaviors and skills that correlate to success in a given job type. For access to utilize this service for reference checking, please contact your Talent Acquisition Representative in Central Human Resources.
    a. The candidate will be prompted to enter their professional references (minimum of two (2) supervisors/managers and up to five (5) references) directly into the SkillSurvey tool. Once entered, an email notification is sent to each reference requesting their anonymous feedback. The references are assured their input is not personally identifiable.
    b. Under certain circumstances, if additional information is needed (e.g., low ratings on a particular skill or behavior), additional references may be contacted by entering their information into the SkillSurvey tool or by conducting a phone reference.
    c. For more information on SkillSurvey and/or to view a sample report, refer to the Recruitment Tools and Resources. Your department HR coordinator can assist with executing a SkillSurvery for your final candidate and or contact your Talent Acquisition recruiter for any additional support.
Phone Reference Checks
    While it is highly recommended that hiring departments utilize the on-line SkillSurvey tool to conduct reference checks, certain circumstances may require the need to conduct references by phone.
    Prior to conducting a phone reference, be sure to:
    a. Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the information the applicant has already provided, including the application, resume, work sample (if applicable) and interview responses.
      i. Identify areas that require elaboration or verification.
      ii. Set-up a telephone appointment with one or more references provided by the applicant.
      iii. Many employers are prohibited from providing information without a release, so if requested, send the signed Reference Checking Release and Disclosure consent form and the job description (optional) in advance of your telephone call.
      iv. Write down your questions before you call, highlighting the information you want to be verified or expanded upon.
    b. Set-up an environment that encourages the reference to respond willingly, cooperatively, and honestly. Begin your conversation on common ground by referring to information that has already been provided by the applicant.
        For example: John Doe has asked to speak with you regarding information he has already shared with us during the interview process. -OR- I'm calling to verify information provided by Mary Roe.
    c. Describe the position
      i. Describe the responsibilities, duties and working environment of the position for which the individual has applied.
      ii. After describing the position, ask, "Given our requirements, what is your assessment of the individual's qualifications for the job?"
      iii. In addition to your prepared questions, ask follow-up questions.
      iv. If you get a general response ("She's great!"), follow-up with a specific question (What did she do to merit that compliment? -OR- Why did she leave? -OR- How have things changed since she left?)
      v. If the reference provider declines to answer a question, ask if someone else might be able to share information about the topic.
    d. Asked questions that are specifically job-related
      i. Do not ask about race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.
      ii. Ask the same basic questions about all applicants for whom you obtain references to ensure consistency. Weigh information you receive in the same manner for all applicants.
      iii. Social network tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should not be used to conduct reference or background checks. For additional information, refer to University of California Guidelines Recruitment Through the Use of Social Networks.
      iv. Mandated Hiring Prerequisites Depending upon the nature of the position and additional hiring prerequisites are the responsibility of the hiring department. For additional information, refer to the Mandated Hiring Prerequisites webpage.
Offer Letter
   1. Upon successful completion of the reference checks, the offer process can begin. Prior to initiating the contingent offer, it is recommended that a final review of the selection process is completed as follows:
    a. Review the duties and responsibilities of the position and ensure they were accurately described and reflected in the job description and interview process.
    b. Review the selection criteria used to ensure they were based on the qualifications listed for the position.
    c. Confirm interview questions clearly matched the selection criteria.
    d. Confirm all applicants were treated uniformly in the recruitment, screening, interviewing and final selection process.
    e.  Should there be any issues with the above, contact your organizational unit HR Coordinator.
Initiating the Offer
    a. Once the final check of the selection process has been completed and the final candidate has been confirmed, the Committee Chair or designee will ensure that all applicant disposition codes are correct and that the confirmed candidate is noted as "Best Qualified/Selected for Hire" will auto populate in the iRecruit "Final Action" tab.
    b. The department HR Coordinator should be notified of the finalist's name, salary and start date and enter the selection information into the "Final Action Tab" in iRecruit.
      i. The department HR Coordinator reviews the requisition in the ATS and ensures all applicants on the requisition have been assigned a decision code.
      ii. The department HR Coordinator forwards this information to the organizational unit HR Coordinator for review and approval.
      iii. Once approved, the department HR Coordinator notifies the Committee Chair or designee of offer approval.
      iv. The Committee Chair or designee makes the offer to the finalist.(Note: A verbal offer of employment and the finalist's verbal acceptance creates a contractual relationship - therefore, ensure the offer has been approved prior to verbally offering the position in addition to ensuring that any approvals as indicated in PPSM-30 are adhered to.
      v. The department HR Coordinator will construct the contingent offer letter or partner with their share service center using the offer letter templates located in the Talent Acquisition section of the HR webpage under HR Forms and Documents.
      vi. The department HR Coordinator should review the contingent offer for accuracy, submit it to the organizational unit HR coordinator (if applicable) for final review and send to the Committee Chair for presentation. 
      If your organizational unit has a shared services model, please contact your department HR Coordinator for assistance with the offer letter process.
Negotiating the Offer
    a. Whenever possible, it’s recommended that the department’s best offer be made the first time as this displays proper market and internal equity practices, and demonstrates good faith to the applicant.
    b. When offering the finalist the position, be sure to discuss the total compensation package (in addition to salary) such as paid time off and retirement benefits. 
    c. UCR benefits and retirement programs are great selling points. In many cases, they are a key factor when deciding to accept or decline the offer. Finalists with additional benefit related questions should be referred to the Benefits webpage or to a member of the HR Benefits team.
    d. Lastly, if possible, discuss the learning and development opportunities which may be available to them in achieving their professional goals. 
Countering the Offer
    a. Despite your best offer, there may be instances where the applicant declines.
    b. Applicants decline offers for various reasons and it may not be due to the offered salary. Discuss with the candidate their reason for declining the offer.
    c. If an offer is declined due to salary, the department may make a counter offer provided the amount is within the appropriate guidelines for the role and the department.
    d. Counter offers must be reviewed and approved by the organizational unit HR Coordinator and ensure they adhere to any approvals as indicated in PPSM-30: Compensation.
    The contingent offer has been signed and returned, the next step is to conduct the background check as satisfactory results must be obtained prior to the start of employment.
    An offer of employment, oral or written, must be contingent upon completion of a satisfactory pre-employment background check. After the contingent offer has been signed and returned, the next step is to conduct the background check. The background check process should be initiated as soon as an offer of employment has been extended to the candidate recommended for hire.
Background Checks
Types of Background Checks
    a. Agency Background Check (HireRight check)
      An agency background check is a background check completed by an outside agency contracted by the university and includes a social security number and criminal conviction verification for counties where the employee/applicant worked and resided. At an additional expense, the department may request education/degree, employment verification and driving record checks. UCR currently contracts with HireRight to perform these checks.
    b. State of California Department of Justice (DOJ)/Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Background Check (LiveScan check)
      A DOJ/FBI background check is a fingerprint check of criminal convictions, initiated by a departmental request, through the LiveScan system. The LiveScan system transmits fingerprints electronically to DOJ databases in Sacramento, CA, and generates State of California conviction results. The LiveScan system also has the ability to transmit fingerprints to the FBI for national criminal conviction check.
Required Level of Background Check
    a. The 'background check', includes several components, including, but not limited to, criminal history checks. All required background check components must be completed prior to the start of the appointment. 
    b. Criminal history checks are only required for appointees to critical positions. As such, if the candidate is to be appointed to a critical position, the criminal history check must be completed (and the candidate must be cleared for hire) prior to the start of the appointment.  Successful completion of HireRight screening is sufficient to begin employment in any critical position; however, successful completion of LiveScan screening is necessary for continued employment.
    c. Successful clearance via HireRight screening OR LiveScan screening is required prior to the appointment. HireRIght results are usually received within two to three days of transmission of HireRight request.  LiveScan results are usually received within three to seven days of fingerprinting. If the LiveScan background check has been successfully completed prior to appointment, an agency check is NOT required.
    d. To streamline the pre-employment on-boarding experience for candidates, the campus normally utilizes a two-step background check process for appointees to critical, career-status, contract and limited positions, with HireRight screening being conducted pre-hire, and LiveScan being conducted post-hire.  
      i. The HireRight process should be initiated as soon as an offer of employment has been extended to the candidate recommended for hire. The background check must be completed (and the candidate must be cleared for hire) prior to the appointment.
      ii. The LiveScan process should be initiated within the first week of the employee’s appointment. The employee must be cleared for continued employment by end of the probationary period or equivalent time for non-probationary appointees. 
    e. For casual restricted (student) appointees and rush appointees to other positions, departments may elect to conduct only LiveScan screening.  In such cases, the LiveScan process should be initiated as soon as an offer of employment has been extended to the candidate recommended for hire.  The candidate may not be permitted to perform critical duties until the candidate has successfully passed the background check. 
    f.  If a satisfactory background check has been completed within the past six months, a current employee will generally not need to undergo another background check unless the position requires an additional background check(s).
    g. The following matrix can be used to determine the required level of background check:
Candidate Type Position Type Criminal Background Screening

New Hire

Career, Contract, Limited

HireRight for initial employment

LiveScan (DOJ/FBI) for continued employment

New Hire


LiveScan to perform critical functions

Transfer, Promotion, Lateral, Rehire

Career, Contract, Limited and Casual/Restricted

If six months or less since last criminal history check: NONE

If more than six months since last criminal history check:

HireRight if moving from a critical position. 

LiveScan if moving from a non-critical position.

Job Vacancies/Recruitments
    Human Resources will determine which career positions should be designated as "critical" based on the responsibilities of the position. Organizational units will determine which limited, casual-restricted, and contract positions should be designated as "critical.” Refer to PPSM-21, Essential Elements of Critical Position, page 13-15).
Background Checks Process 
Conditional Offer of Employment:
      i. When a position is offered to a new hire to a critical position when utilizing the two-step process, the department head shall notify the final candidate that the offer of employment is conditional upon successful completion of a HireRight background check and that continued employment is conditional upon successful completion of a and/or LiveScan (CA-DOJ/FBI) background check.
      ii. When a position is offered to a new hire to a critical position when utilizing the one-step process, the department head shall notify the final candidate that the offer of employment is conditional upon successful completion of LiveScan (CA-DOJ/FBI) background check.
      iii. When a critical position is offered to an existing employee who has been serving in a non-critical position, and that employee has not successfully completed a background check within the previous six months, the department head shall notify the final candidate that the offer of employment is conditional upon successful completion of LiveScan (CA-DOJ/FBI) background check.
      iv. When a critical position is offered to an existing employee who has been serving in a critical position, and that employee has not successfully completed a background check within the previous six (6) months, the department head shall notify the final candidate that the offer of employment is conditional upon successful completion of the HireRight background check.
    b. Prior to conducting a background check, hiring departments must ensure that appropriate disclosures are made to, and consent forms are obtained from, the candidate as required by applicable state and/or federal law.
      i. To utilize the HireRight system, the hiring department must have an account with HireRight.  HireRight accounts can be set up by sending the request to Human Resources (Mariela Roberts,  including the department name,  billing address,  user name,  title, phone number and email address.  HireRight will notify each user by email of the account activation and user login information.  To edit, delete, or add new users to an existing account, send an email notification to Human Resources (Mariela Bridges,
      ii. Upon acceptance of the conditional offer of employment, the department or shared services center ensures the "Agency Background  Check  Request Form" and the "HireRight Consumer  Disclosure and  Authorization Form"  are completed. The department or Shared Services Center should retain copies of both documents in the employee's personnel file. If the employee is requesting a copy of the background check report via the Consumer Disclosure and Authorization Form, the department or shared services center can ask HireRight to mail a copy to the applicant at the time the online request is submitted.
      iii. The department or shared services center orders the background check through HireRight via their online ordering website by entering the pertinent information from "Agency Background Check Request Form". 
      iv.  HireRight will transmit results to the Central Human Resources Office, normally within 48-72 hours.
      v. Human Resources will notify the hiring department via email to the person in the department that requested the background check whether or not the candidate successfully passed the HireRight clearance.  
      vi. The department or shared services center updates the employee/applicant's background check information on the Employee Background Check Screen (EBCC) in the Payroll/Personnel System.
      vii. The cost of the agency check varies depending on the services selected.  Departments can select the UC Riverside –Essentials Criminal Package or individual items from the menu of services. The itemized price list is provided on HireRight’s website. 
      viii. HireRight will send the invoice to our accounting department for the departmental agency background check charges. Accounting will contact the department and request a purchase order number.
      i. Employment-related LiveScan services are available through Auxillary Services and R’Shared Service Center (R’SSC – previously BAS Shared Services) from the following location: 3637 Canyon Crest Drive. Bannockburn Village, Suite J115. Website for location/map is
      ii. The department or shared services center will contact the relevant LiveScan center and make an appointment for their candidate/employee.
      iii. The candidate/employee completes the required form  and carries it along with valid state-issued identification license/identification card with them to their appointment. 
      iv. The DOJ will transmit results to the Central Human Resources Office, normally within three (3) - seven (7) business days.
      v. Human Resources will notify the hiring department via email to the person in the department that requested the background check whether or not the candidate successfully passed the LiveScan clearance.  
      vi. The department or shared services center updates the employee/applicant's background check information on the Employee Background Check Screen (EBCC) in the Payroll/Personnel System.
      vii. The cost of the LiveScan is paid by the campus.
Employment Eligibility Verification 
  Under federal law, the university must only employ U.S. citizens or other individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States. 
   1. Employment Eligibility (Form I-9)
    a. The university is required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees hired after November 6, 1986.
    b. Each employee must complete a Form I-9 and the department/shared service centers must retain the form in a file that is separate from the employee’s personnel file.
    c. To ensure compliance with federal law, departments/shared service centers must follow the UCR Policies and Procedures 650-28 Employment Eligibility (Form I-9) procedures and the PPSM 80 Local Procedures for Staff Personnel Records.
    a. Must be used to verify the work status of qualifying new and existing employees hired after November 6, 1986, who work directly on a federal contract or subcontract containing the E-Verify clause by using E-Verify.
    b. E-Verify requirements are in addition to the current requirements governing the I-9 procedures. 
    c. Additional information pertaining to the UCR E-Verify local procedures is available on the HR website.
Employment of Near Relatives
  Consistent with the university’s policy on EEO and nondiscrimination in employment, a candidate will not be disqualified solely by reason of near relationship to a current employee in a hiring department.
  The employment of near relatives in the same department may only be permitted when such concurrent employment serves the best interests of the university. To avoid a conflict of interest, an employee may not participate in the process of reviewing or decision-making on any matter concerning the appointment, promotion, salary, retention, termination, or other management decisions or personnel related decisions regarding a near relative.
  Prior approval by the Chancellor or appropriate designee (refer to the UCR Delegation of Authority) utilizing the Request for Employment of A Near Relative is required when near relatives would have: 
  • A direct or indirect supervisory relationship with each other;
  • The same immediate supervisor; or
  • When two employees become near relatives and any of the work situations listed above apply. 
  For purposes of this policy, a near relative is defined as an employee’s relationship by blood, adoption, marriage, or domestic partnership including:
  • Spouse; domestic partner; parent; child; sibling; aunt/uncle; niece/nephew; first cousin; and
  • In-laws or step-relatives in one of these relationships, including relatives of an employee’s domestic partner in one of the relationships listed above; or
  • Other persons for whom the employee is legally responsible. 
  1. It is the responsibility of the hiring authority or designee to review the status of near relatives.  If the question on the employment application which states “Do you have any relatives employed by the University of California Riverside?” is marked “yes”, additional inquiries should be made of the final candidate as to who the relative is and ensure compliance with the provisions in the employment of near relatives section of this policy.    
  2. When the hiring authority or designee becomes aware that two employees within a department have become near relatives and any of the above work situations apply they shall ensure compliance with the provisions in the employment of near relatives section of this policy.
  3. To ensure compliance, the near relative must complete the Employment of a Near Relative form and it must be approved by the appropriate hiring authority or designee.
  4. Contact your Human Resources representative should you have any questions.

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