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 - Non-Discrimination in Employment
  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)
  10. UCR Local Procedure on Giving Employment References
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: Jordan has asked to speak with you regarding information that was 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 ("The employee is great!"), follow-up with a specific question (What did the employee do to merit that compliment? -OR- Why did the employee leave? -OR- How have things changed since the employee 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.
Giving a Reference
    General guidance on responding to reference checks can be found on the HR website at
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 (Revised 12/01/2017)

Candidates hired into critical positions must pass a criminal history background check prior to commencement of the appointment. Current UC Riverside employees who move to other positions will require a background check, unless the most recent check was conducted within the past six (6) months. Employees rehired into critical positions after a break in service of more than six (6) months must complete a satisfactory background check. If a candidate is transferring from another UC campus to a critical position, a new background check is required.

The type of background check required must be identified at the commencement of a recruitment and clearly identified in the job posting.

Identification of Critical Positions and Types of Criminal History Background Checks

Critical Positions

Positions that include functions with the potential to incur human, financial, property loss, or other significant risk to the university and its constituents. Criminal history background checks are required for all appointees to critical positions. The appropriate type of criminal background check must be identified on the basis of position duties and responsibilities criteria. (Refer to the matrix in section F.1.C for details.) 

    b. Types of Criminal Background Checks

Agency Check


This type of background check performs a social security number trace to search for names and addresses associated with the social security number submitted by the applicant to conduct a criminal record search of the last seven (7) years (e.g., by jurisdiction, county, state and district). The university currently contracts with HireRight (an outside agency) to perform these services including international background screening.


DOJ/FBI Fingerprinting Check (Live Scan)


This type of background check is administered by the State of California's Department of Justice (DOJ) to search statewide Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) utilizing the Live Scan system to transmit fingerprints electronically to the DOJ database. If a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal background check is requested, the fingerprint images are forwarded to the FBI to perform a fingerprint-based search of records in the national criminal history database.


The following matrix can be used to determine the type of criminal background check:

       Type of Background Check to Use Chart
Additional Types of Background Checks
    Certain positions may require additional background checks. Such checks should be discussed with Employee and Labor Relations (ELR) and included in the initial job posting. A satisfactory background check must be completed (and the candidate must be cleared for hire) prior to commencement of the appointment.
      Additional types of background checks include, but are not limited to:
      i. Credit history check (to be approved and processed by Human Resources)
      ii. Employment verification
      iii. Reference check
      iv. Review of Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records (as required for the position)
      v. Verification of educational degree, license or certificate (as required for the position)
      vi. Government security clearance (e.g., radioactive materials)
      vii. Post-offer pre-employment medical examination
Background Check Process
    The cost of criminal background checks is funded centrally by Central Human Resources.
Agency Check
      i. The department orders the background check through HireRight via their online ordering website by entering the pertinent information provided on the "Agency Background Check Request Form." To request a HireRight background check, the department's requestor needs a user profile, which can be requested from Central Human Resources by contacting the ELR Assistant at (951) 827-3641.

HireRight will transmit results to ELR, normally within one (1) to five (5) business days. Additional background screenings such as education and employment verifications may take up to five (5) to ten (10) business days. The ELR turnaround timeframe is within one (1) business day.

      iii. ELR will notify the background check requestor and the appropriate Shared Services Center (SSC) when the candidate successfully clears the background check clearance. The requestor may also view the status of the background check on the HireRight website. For instruction to access the HireRight website click here.
      iv. If the candidate requests a copy of the consumer report, the department will contact ELR who will send the document.
      v. If the candidate indicates on the "HireRight Consumer Disclosure and Authorization" form that they would like a copy of the consumer report, the request will go to ELR for completion.
DOJ/FBI Fingerprinting Check (Live Scan)
      i. The organization's assigned SSC will contact a Live Scan center and make an appointment for their candidate.
      ii. Employment-related fingerprinting services are available through the following Live Scan centers: Auxiliary Services and R'Shared Services Center (RSSC). The website for location/map is
      iii. The candidate must be provided with the "Request for Live Scan Service" form and must bring the acceptable identification document(s) as listed in under the "Required Information" section. Candidates must bring these documents to the fingerprinting appointment.
      iv. DOJ transmits results to the Central Human Resources office. Fingerprinting results are generally received within one (1) to ten (10) calendar days. In some instances, results may be delayed for a longer period. The ELR turnaround timeframe is within one (1) business day.
      v. ELR will notify the appropriate SSC and hiring department whether or not the candidate successfully passed the fingerprinting clearance.
Human Resources
      i. Total Compensation is responsible for designating the default level of background check associated with each title code. Note, the hiring departments may require a more stringent check based on the specific responsibilities of a position. 
      ii. ELR is responsible for approving requests for additional types of background checks.
      iii. ELR is responsible for receiving all background check results and communicating results to the hiring department and appropriate SSC.
      iv. When information regarding a criminal conviction is received, ELR will review and determine whether there is any conflicting or potentially disqualifying information.
      v. ELR will conduct an individualized assessment, including review of any information provided, in order to make a final determination as to whether the candidate is eligible to hold the position.
      vi. Prior to taking any adverse action ELR will provide the candidate with a pre-adverse action notice, including a copy of the background check report, and a copy of all required notifications.
      vii. ELR will review the candidate's response, if any, and make a final determination as to whether the candidate is eligible to hold the position.
      viii. ELR will notify the appropriate hiring department and SSC of whether or not they may proceed with the hiring process.
      ix. ELR serves as the office of record for criminal background check results.
Hiring Department
      i. At the beginning of the recruitment process, will review the default background check type assigned and determine whether a more stringent check is required based on the duties and responsibilities of the position.
      ii. Will determine the type of background check required for casual-restricted, volunteers and affiliates using the "Critical Position Questionnaire (CPQ)" found on the Human Resources website: under "Forms and Documents/Talent Acquisition & Diversity Outreach/Others."
      iii. Is responsible for complying with these procedures during recruitment processes, and when assigning an employee new and/or additional duties and responsibilities that would change the required background check.
      iv. Shall notify the final candidate that the offer of employment is conditional upon the satisfactory completion of the designated background check when:
        a) a position is offered to a new hire to a critical position
        b) a critical position is offered to an existing employee who has been serving in a critical or non-critical position, and that employee has not completed the corresponding background check within the previous six (6) months
      v. Communicates background check clearance to the candidate.
Shared Services Centers (SSC)
      i. Upon candidate's acceptance of a conditional offer of employment, SSC will provide appropriate disclosures and obtain the corresponding signed consent form(s) from candidates prior to initiating the background check. SSC are required to retain copies of signed consent forms and disclosure notices in a confidential file, separate from the employee file.
      ii. Will update the candidate's background check information in the payroll system after receipt of background check results from ELR.
    a. Processing DOJ/FBI Background Checks through the Applicant Live Scan System:
    b. Processing Agency Background Checks through HireRight
    c. Critical Position Questionnaire
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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