201.95 Background Screening

Applies to: Faculty, Postdoctoral Research Fellows, Staff (Regular and Temporary) and Graduate Student Instructors, Graduate Student Staff Assistants and Graduate Student Research Assistants (collectively, "GSAs")
Issued by (dept.): The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Human Resources
SPG number: 201.95

Guidelines for Conducting Background Checks

This policy is intended to support the verification of credentials, criminal history and other information related to employment and appointment decisions that assist the University in meeting its commitments.  Additional review or verification may be required, based on the nature of the position sought.

The conditional nature of an offer of employment for faculty and staff (regular and temporary) pursuant to this policy must be stated explicitly in any contingent offer of employment or appointment. The following language should be included in offers of employment: "This offer of employment is contingent on the successful completion of a background screening. The University's background check vendor will be contacting you directly via email for additional information needed to complete this process. It is critical that you complete this information as soon as possible to expedite your hire process."

The following language should be included in an initial offer of appointment as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA) or Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA): "If this is your first offer of appointment as a Graduate Student Instructor, Graduate Student Staff Assistant or Graduate Student Research Assistant at the University of Michigan, this offer of appointment is contingent on the successful completion of a background screening.  For GSI and GSSA appointments, this contingent offer of appointment is not a written job offer under Article IX.C.9. of the UM/GEO collective bargaining agreement.  The University's background check vendor will be contacting you directly via email for additional information needed to complete this process. It is critical that you complete this information as soon as possible to expedite your appointment process."

In addition, all funding commitment letters given to prospective or current graduate students by academic units must notify the prospective or current student that the continued funding commitment for a GSI, GSSA and/or GSRA appointment is contingent upon successful completion of a background check prior to the first appointment as a GSI, GSSA, or GSRA.

Appointing units, in consultation with the applicable Human Resources Office, will assess any criminal conviction history which is returned as a result of the criminal records check. The Office of the General Counsel will be consulted as needed. This assessment will be individualized. Generally, prior to making a final decision regarding employment or appointment, the University will inform the candidate that he or she may be excluded from employment or appointment because of a past criminal conviction and will provide the individual with an opportunity to demonstrate why the exclusion should not be applied to him or her. This demonstration may include information that the criminal conviction information is inaccurate, and/or additional information to demonstrate why accurate criminal conviction information should nonetheless not preclude his or her employment or appointment.

When a candidate for employment has a criminal conviction history, the individualized assessment of this information will generally consider some or all of the following information:

  • The nature and gravity of any criminal offense(s)
  • The nature of the position sought
  • The facts and circumstances surrounding the offense;
  • The number and type of offense (felony, misdemeanor, traffic violations, etc.) and whether there is a pattern of offenses
  • The sentence or sanction for the offense and compliance with the sanction(s)
  • The amount of time that has passed since the offense and/or completion of the sentence(s)
  • Whether the offense arose in connection with the candidate's prior employment or education
  • Information supplied by the candidate about the offense(s)
  • The length and consistency of employment or educational history before and after the criminal conviction
  • Rehabilitation efforts (e.g. education/training)
  • Truthfulness of the candidate in disclosing the offense(s)
  • Other mitigating or extenuating circumstances

Michigan Medicine procedures for Conducting Background Checks

See http://med.umich.edu/i/policies/umh/04-06-039.htm

Please note: this page accessible to Michigan Medicine employees only.

Procedures for Conducting Academic Appointment Background Checks

Appointing Unit:

  1. Create Job Opening using eRecruit system.
  2. Select final candidate. Give the candidate an offer letter that states all contingencies. Letter should communicate to the candidate that the next stage of the selection process is contingent upon successful completion of a background check. Inform the candidate that U-M's background check vendor will be contacting them directly via email and that it is critical that they complete this information as soon as possible to expedite the appointment process.

Selected Candidate:

Accept contingent offer.

Appointing Unit:

Provide instructions to selected candidate to apply for Job Opening on Careers at the U website. Inform selected candidate to expect direct contact from background check vendor regarding authorization to conduct background check and to provide required information.

Selected Candidate:

Apply for job opening through Careers at the U website following unit provided instructions.

Appointing Unit:

Prepare Job Offer panel in eRecruit.

Employment Process Coordinator:

Order background check from third party vendor.

Background Check Vendor:

Contact candidate via email with consent and instructions to provide personal information needed to complete check.

Selected Candidate:

Consent to authorization and complete required information.

Employment Process Coordinator:

Receive report from vendor and provide copy to final candidate if requested. Forward report with any adverse information to Academic HR Representative. If report has no adverse information, inform the unit.

Appointing Unit in consult with Academic Human Resources Representative:

If report has adverse information, conduct individualized assessment of the information contained in the report. Make a decision about how to proceed. If the hiring process of the selected candidate is to proceed, the unit should finish hiring process as appropriate based on the appointment level (title).

Appointing Unit:

Continue with appropriate appointment process. Refer to the Provost's Office Appointment Guidelines  and the Academic Appointments Manual.

Staff Appointment Background Checks

Appointing Unit:

Create Job Opening in eRecruit.

Applicant:

Apply through Careers at the U website.

Appointing Unit:

Select final candidate and extend verbal contingent offer.

Selected Candidate:

Accept verbal contingent offer.

Appointing Unit:

Prepare Job Offer panel in eRecruit .

Employment Process Coordinator:

Send standard contingent offer letter to selected candidate. Order background check from third party vendor.

Background Check Vendor:

Contact candidate via email with consent and instructions to provide personal information needed to complete check.

Selected Candidate:

Consent to authorization and complete required information.

Employment Process Coordinator:

Receive report from vendor and provide copy to final candidate if requested. Forward report with any adverse information to central office HR Representative.

Appointing Unit in consult with central office HR Representative:

Conduct individualized assessment of the information contained in the report. Make hiring decision.

Appointing Unit:

Inform candidate of outcome. Complete steps to finalize hire.

Graduate Student Appointment Background Checks

Appointing Unit:

  1. Create Job Opening using eRecruit system.
  2. Select final candidate.  Give the candidate an offer letter that states all contingencies. Letter should communicate to the candidate that the next stage of the selection process is contingent upon successful completion of a background check.  Inform the candidate that U-M's background check vendor will be contacting them directly via email and that it is critical that they complete this information as soon as possible to expedite the appointment process.

Selected Candidate:

Accept contingent offer

Appointing Unit:

Provide instructions to selected candidate to apply for Job Opening on Careers at the U website.  Inform selected candidate to expect direct contact from background check vendor regarding authorization to conduct background check and to provide required information.

Selected Candidate:

Apply for job opening through Careers at the U website following unit provided instructions.

Appointing Unit:

Prepare Job Offer panel in eRecruit.

Employment Process Coordinator:

Order background check from third party vendor.

Background Check Vendor:

Contact candidate via email with consent and instructions to provide personal information needed to complete check.

Selected Candidate:

Consent to authorization and complete required information.

Employment Process Coordinator:

Receive report from vendor.  Forward report with any adverse information to Academic HR Representative. If report has no adverse information, EPC will finalize offer and unit will receive automated email notification.

Academic Human Resources Representative, in consultation with Office of General Counsel, Rackham and/or appointing unit:

If report has adverse information, AHR, in consult with others as appropriate, conduct individualized assessment of the information contained in the report.  Make a decision about how to proceed. If the hiring decision is to proceed, inform the EPC to finalize offer. If the decision is not to appoint the GSA, inform the EPC to start adverse action process.