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Key Steps to Filling a Salaried (Professional) Position Vacancy - Choosing a Finalist

This stage precedes any communication with the finalist about his/her status in the search or about any pending tentative offer

  • Reference Checks
    • Conducting reference checks can give you insight about an applicant’s previous work experience and level of job performance. They can also dispel any concerns or reservations you may have about the candidate as well as give you information that could help you more effectively supervise this person as an employee.
    • If references identified by the finalist are not available or unable to provide an adequate reference about his/her prior job performance, you should ask for names of additional reference(s).
    • Please respect a candidate’s wishes about which references should not be checked.
    • You may contact other people, other than those listed by the candidate.  However, you are encouraged to contact the candidate before doing so.
    • General Guidelines for Conducting Effective Reference Checks
  • Developing a Reference Check Form
    • The search committee chair may choose to the suggested form or develop a template to check references
    • Your HRO is available to assist you in determining those questions that are the most relevant.
    • Reference checks may be delegated to members of the search committee.
    • Your HRO may also be available to assist with the reference checking process.
    • A minimum of two employment related references should be contacted, and the same basic questions should be asked of all references contacted.
  • Review Comparative Applicant Rating Sheet with Human Resources Officer(HRO).
        • The Comparative Applicant Rating Sheet clearly distinguishes the selected finalist based on the established job related criteria. You may also include a written statement describing the subjective, but still job related, rationale for choosing the selected finalist.

    Telephone Reference Check Form   PDF Version

    Informal campus administrative reviews or approvals, if required. Depending on the level of the position, you may be expected to consult with your director, dean or vice president about the recommended finalist(s) about their qualifications (i.e. research, interests, prior credit, initial rank).

        • To prepare for this discussion, consider:
          • The role of this job in relation to the department’s mission or efficiency
          • Be prepared to summarize the search process and/or quality of the applicant pool
          • Your recommendations for starting salary within the approved range
          • Specific rank at appointment (career ladder positions)
          • Length of initial appointment
          • Funding for moving expense reimbursement
          • Other details related to employment terms and conditions


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