Personnel Manual

Pre-Employment Screening Policy

ADMINISTRATORS AND STAFF

October 2000; Revised January 2011

The university seeks to hire well-qualified applicants for vacant positions. To achieve this goal, the university has developed this policy regarding background checks, reference verifications and related inquiries. This policy applies to all regular full-time and regular part-time staff and administrator positions filled after the effective date of this policy. The university will determine whether this policy will apply to temporary positions, on a case-by-case basis, depending on factors such as the nature, duration, scope and duties of the position.

Position offers (both verbal and written) to finalist candidates for staff and administrator positions, whether they currently work for PLU or not, are contingent upon satisfactory completion of the pre-employment screening process. Refusal to complete the process or the receipt of questionable or unsatisfactory information during the screening process may result in the position offer being rescinded. The verification process will generally include:

  • All finalists - employment verification, criminal record search, Social Security tracking report.
  • For positions requiring a college degree and/or professional license - education and/or professional license/certification verification, plus the checks noted above that apply to all finalists.
  • For positions requiring a valid driver's license - driving record verification, plus the checks noted above that apply to all finalists.
  • For positions with significant money handling and/or fiduciary responsibilities - credit report, plus the checks noted above that apply to all finalists.
  • For positions requiring physical skills (frequent lifting, bending, etc.), satisfactory completion of a physical capacities exam (including a drug screen) will be required once a conditional job offer has been extended. In addition, the checks noted above that apply to all finalists must be completed.

Where appropriate, records outside Washington State and Pierce County will be reviewed. For example, this would apply in the case of a finalist from another state.

All finalists must complete the background check packet to permit the university to obtain necessary information. These documents are available in Human Resources. Because these documents are needed to comply with legal obligations, the verification process will begin after the background check packet and employment application have been completed.

As soon as finalist candidates are identified, the hiring official must notify Human Resources, who is responsible for coordinating the background check and screening process. Human Resources maintains a central budget to pay for the cost of the pre-employment screens.  The employment application materials, background check, and results are kept in Human Resources.

Human Resources will review the results of the pre-employment checks and share them on a "need to know" basis.

FACULTY

September 2002; Updated January 2010; Updated January 2011

The university seeks to hire well-qualified candidates for vacant positions. As one step towards achieving this goal, the university conducts a variety of pre-employment verifications.

This policy applies to all faculty positions filled after the effective date of this policy. The background verification process outlined here is a supplement to, not a replacement for, the standard employment references that should be completed by faculty search committees.

Position offers (both verbal and written) to finalist faculty candidates are contingent upon satisfactory completion of the pre-employment screening process. Refusal to complete the process or the receipt of questionable or unsatisfactory information during the screening process may result in the position offer being rescinded. The verification process will generally include:

  1. Employment verification and references (typically completed by the department chair and/or search committee members), and
  2. Criminal record search and Social Security verification (typically completed by a local firm upon request by Human Resources), and
  3. Education and/or professional license/certification verification if applicable (typically completed by a local firm upon request by Human Resources).

Where appropriate, records outside Washington State and Pierce County will be reviewed. For example, this would apply in the case of a finalist from another state.

Based on the requirements of the position, other items may be screened as appropriate. For example: positions requiring a valid driver's license may require a driving record and valid state driver's license verification; positions requiring physical skills (for example, physical education positions or others requiring frequent lifting, bending, etc.) may require satisfactory completion of a physical capacities exam once a conditional job offer has been extended.

When finalist candidates return their employment contract, they should complete the PLU employment application and the background check packet. These documents are available in Human Resources. Because these documents are needed to comply with legal obligations, the verification process will begin after the background check packet and employment application have been completed.

When the top candidate is selected and the employment contract has been signed, Human Resources coordinates items 2 and 3 of the screening process outlined above.

Human Resources maintains a central budget to pay for the cost of the pre-employment verifications. The employment application, background check, and results are kept in Human Resources. The results of the pre-screening process will be shared with the appropriate hiring official(s).

Last Modified: September 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM