The objective of a background check is to create a consistent, thorough and reliable pre-employment screening program, intended to confirm the background of candidates as they present it, using data that is freshly retrieved so that Yale may hire the best and most appropriate candidate for the job.
Due to various hiring and employment laws and governmental regulations, as well as different screening requirements for many university departments, the maintenance of a centralized and consistent pre-employment program is necessary.
Pre-employment screening has assisted HR and the Staffing and Career Development Office in achieving one of its top goals; placing the right person in the right job at the right time. A thorough and reliable background check is vital in determining whether a candidate will be an asset or a liability to a department. It can also save time and money by avoiding staff turnover and rehiring.
Specific guidelines apply to each group and are described in related sections below.
Background Check Request Forms to be completed by a Yale employee
Yale’s current vendor, HireRight, conducts background checks under the direction of Yale Human Resources for new hires, casual employees, and postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates. Background checks for temporary services are conducted by the vendor.
The estimated cycle time for a routine background check is approximately three days. Some checks may take up to 10 days depending on the prompt collection of information from candidates and HireRight’s ability to collect data from various states or countries.
For background checks conducted by HireRight, Human Resources serves as the office of record for the background check results and maintains strict confidentiality. Departments do not receive any details of the background check, only a notification of whether the results do or do not meet Yale policy.
Who needs a background check
For all new employees, the background check includes a criminal history check, previous employment, verification of education, as well as verification of social security number.
Positions that require driving will require a motor vehicle check. Individuals who will be driving a commercial motor vehicle will be required to meet the annual requirements as outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Positions that work in any of the following areas: Museums, Galleries, certain Libraries, Special Collections (storage facility, included), President’s House or Office, Provost’s House or Office, Yale College Dean’s House or at any location(s) which stores, displays contains, or houses special collections either owned by that location or on loan from Museums, Galleries or Libraries; or have responsibility for financial transactions or the handling of cash valued at or in excess of $50,000 at any point in time will require a credit check.
Current employees will only need to have a new background check if the individual has a break in service for more than six months or the individual moves into a position that requires an additional credit or motor vehicle check.
How the process works
Candidates give authorization for the pre-employment screening at the time they register and apply for a position through the STARS gateway. During the extension of the job offer, a staffing representative will notify the candidate of the pre-employment screening requirement and the candidate will be asked to complete a background check form.
A candidate that has been identified as a final candidate for a position is required to submit an online background check form within Yale’s STARS system and an authorization form that is sent to them by our vendor, HireRight. The hiring manager does not need to complete any paperwork. Candidates will also receive the Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for their records.
Once the screening is complete, HireRight will notify Human Resources with the results. A Human Resources representative will contact the candidate and the hiring department via e-mail with those results. Candidates may also log into HireRight to track their status. Only candidates who meet Yale’s policy will be hired or transferred into new positions.
If a candidate does not meet Yale policy, the conditional offer of employment will be rescinded. In this event, HireRight will mail the candidate the report outlining the results of the background check and an email will be sent to the candidate from email@example.com explaining the decision. The candidate then has an opportunity to dispute HireRight’s findings within seven days. The department must hold open the position for the seven-day dispute filing period, or until the dispute has been resolved, whichever is greater.
HireRight processes any and all disputes. They will send the candidate an Adverse Action Letter that will outline the results of the background check and will outline instructions for how to dispute these findings if they are incorrect. Additional inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to:
If HireRight finds that results require further review, such as a criminal record (all felonies and some misdemeanors), the candidate’s application will be referred to the Yale Pre-employment Review committee. The review committee is comprised of members from General Counsel, Risk Management, and Human Resources and is responsible for determining if the candidate’s background check meets policy.
Accurate representation of work and education is mandatory on resumes and any materials affiliated with the application process, inclusive of background check documents; falsification will not meet Yale policy and candidates who falsify their resumes are not eligible for hire. Employees may be subject to termination if identified at a later date.
For questions regarding the process or status of a background check, send e-mail to email@example.com; a member of the Pre-employment Screening Team will respond.
All candidates for postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow and associate positions who have lived or worked in the United States and have a United States Social Security number will be required to successfully complete a background check before starting work at Yale. If a current postdoctoral/postgraduate is transferring to another job category at Yale and the individual has not had a standard background check, then he/she will be required to complete the check. The only exceptions will be if they are a current Yale graduate student moving to a Yale postdoctoral assignment.
All postdoctoral and postgraduate fellows and associates who have never lived or worked in the United States need to successfully complete a federal background check to obtain a work visa; this government background check is sufficient to meet Yale’s requirements.
The following steps are required to process a background check for a postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate:
NOTE: A background check is required for all candidates who are either U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, or who are currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and have a United States Social Security number. (A candidate outside the U. S. who requires a U.S. visa will be considered to have met Yale policy on background check upon issuance of the visa.)
- Faculty Member/Principal Investigator is in contact with potential candidate.
- Faculty Member/Principal Investigator notifies department of intention to bring on a postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate as soon as practical.
- If a candidate requires a transfer of his/her immigration status to Yale, the department immediately contacts the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).
- Department creates a requisition in STARS using the postdoc requisition template, selecting the appropriate job title.
- Department completes the requisition form indicating name of person to be hired, anticipated start date, and salary information; posts position to STARS Postdoc Gateway, and sends posting link to candidate via email.
- Candidate follows link to postdoc job posting, and applies to position, uploading CV and other required application materials via his/her STARS account.
- Office for Postdoctoral Affairs reviews the candidate application materials for completeness and requests additional documents of candidate if necessary. Office for Postdoctoral Affairs also determines whether candidate requires a background check based on rules mentioned above.
- If candidate requires background check, the check will be initiated from within the STARS system, which will send a background check form to candidate for completion and return to Yale via submission inside STARS.
- After the candidate completes the background check form and submits it back to Yale, the background check is initiated with Yale’s background check vendor, HireRight.
- Once the BGC Coordinator receives the outcome, and if candidate meets Yale policy, the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the department will receive notification to proceed with the hire.
- If the candidate requires a transfer of his/her immigration status to Yale, departments must inform OISS that the individual meets Yale policy. OISS will not submit the application to the immigration service until this confirmation is received.
- Should a candidate not meet Yale policy, that information will be communicated to the department by the BGC Coordinator.
- The Office for Postdoctoral Affairs office hires the individual in STARS and the Postdoctoral/Postgraduate receives his/her confirmation letter.
Temporary employees are required to successfully complete a standard background check prior to beginning their assignment. They will be asked to complete a background check again in the future if any of the following circumstances apply:
- The temporary assignment changes.
- The individual’s Yale ID expires and/or the individual requires new or additional access to his/her current access.
- The employee worked at the university in the past but ended that position more than six months prior.
If the temporary employee has a break in service of less than six months the individual could still be subject to a credit and/or a motor vehicle check if the assignment requires these additional checks.
The following steps are required to process a background check for a temporary employee:
- Departments with temporary needs are to submit a temporary request to Staffing by completing the Temporary Requisition Submittal Form in Workday.
- After the requisition is processed through Staffing and approved, the position will be “Opened”. Members of the requisition team will receive such notification.
- Both the hiring manager and the primary requisition contact will receive an e-Link to the Temporary Worker Data Collection form.
- After the form is completed, and the “save” button is selected, the form returns to Staffing for processing.
- At the current time, the Staffing office creates a candidate profile if one does not already exist for your temporary worker and initiates the background check promptly. There is no additional request form needed from the department. For additional reference on the temporary process, visit the link referenced above.
- The BGC Coordinator sends the candidate an e-mail from HireRight to complete a profile as well as the necessary forms to conduct the background check. If the BGC Coordinator does not receive the information from the candidate in a timely manner, the BGC Coordinator will inform the primary department contact.
- After the completed forms are submitted and signed by candidate to HireRight, the background check is initiated.
- Once the BGC Coordinator receives the outcome, and if candidate meets Yale policy, the BGC Coordinator notifies the primary department contact via e-mail.
- The temporary employee may begin working and obtain their Yale ID.
Temporary employees who work less than thirty (30) days per year require a background check.
The following individuals will not require a background check regardless of the length of time they will be working:
- Retiree temporaries
- Yale Student temporary employees (unless working in restricted areas such as museums, galleries or with special collections)
A background check will be required when a Yale student temporary employee becomes a regular temporary employee.
If a temporary employee who is hired into a regular position has not previously completed a standard background check, then the individual will need to do so prior to starting as a regular employee. If the temporary employee has completed a background check, and has not had a break in service of greater than six months since that check was completed, then the individual will not be required to complete a new background check. However, depending on the job requirements, it is possible that additional background checks (such as motor vehicle or credit check) may be required.
Volunteers and Unpaid Interns in the Yale Museums/Galleries/Special Collections are required to successfully complete a criminal and credit background check prior to beginning their assignment. They will be asked to complete a background check again in the future if any of the following circumstances apply:
- They begin employment in a temporary or staff assignment.
- The candidate worked at the university in the past but ended that position more than six months prior.)
The University brings volunteers on campus to conduct activities associated with the museums and galleries. Volunteer programs are not supported in other areas across campus.
The following steps are required to process a background check for a Volunteer or Unpaid Intern in the Museums/Galleries/Special Collections:
- Departments with volunteer/unpaid intern needs are to submit a Yale Student and Volunteer Background Check Request form.
- At the current time, the Staffing office creates a candidate profile if one does not already exist for your volunteer/unpaid intern and initiates the background check promptly.
- The BGC Coordinator sends the volunteer/unpaid intern an e-mail from HireRight to complete the necessary online form to conduct the background check. If the BGC Coordinator does not receive the information from the volunteer in a timely manner, the BGC Coordinator will inform the primary department contact.
- After the completed forms are signed and submitted by the volunteer/unpaid intern to HireRight, the background check is initiated.
- Once the BGC Coordinator receives the outcome, and if volunteer/unpaid intern meets Yale policy, the BGC Coordinator notifies the primary department contact via e-mail.
- The candidate may begin volunteering or their unpaid internship.
Talent Acquisition serves as the office of record for the background check. As a representative of Talent Acquisition, the Pre-Employment Screening Team will have access to the results and maintains strict confidentiality. If the results of the background check require further review, the Yale Pre-Employment Review Committee will also have access to the results. The Committee is comprised of members from General Counsel, Risk Management and Human Resources.
The background check includes criminal history, employment verification, academic verification, motor vehicle records (if driving is required), and credit history (if handling money, access to financial records, access to museums/galleries, access to controlled substances, and/or access to special collections is required). Entities with such information will be contacted as part of the background check.
The results of the background check are strictly confidential. The hiring manager will not be notified of a criminal record.
When a credit check is required the credit history is included. The credit score is not part of the credit check, so it is not revealed.
Yale’s current vendor, HireRight, conducts background checks under the direction of Yale Human Resources. A candidate identified as a final candidate for a position will be contacted by HireRight via email to complete an authorization form.
The estimated cycle time for a routine background check is approximately three days from the date on which all required documents are received. Some checks may take up to 10 days depending on when the candidate supplies the requested information and the response time of the various courts and entities from which the vendor collects the data.
Some checks may take longer than expected depending on the turnaround of requested information and responsiveness.
Yes, candidates may log into HireRight to track the status while the background check is processing. Access HireRight’s website.
Upon receiving the results of a background check, Yale may request additional documentation, or clarification for various components of the background check results. In the event you are contacted, please respond as quickly as possible with the requested information. To continue to be considered for employment, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org promptly with the requested information.
Completing the Forms
If the vendor is unable to verify employment or education due to the applicable parties not responding, being out of business, etc., candidates may be contacted by email@example.com for documentation.
Employment can be verified multiple ways; candidates can submit documentation such as W2s, paystubs, other tax documents*, sign on letters, and retirement statements from the company.
*Candidates can request tax transcripts directly from the IRS website.
If the vendor is unable to verify education due to the institution not responding, it is the candidate’s responsibility to obtain the necessary verification from their institution. We cannot accept education verification (diplomas, transcripts) from candidates; the verification must come from the institution directly. Every institution is different; some may have online verification portals, others may require candidates to send the request to a specific email address, etc.
Discrepancies in the initial background check are not uncommon; employers occasionally verify incorrect employment dates, certain types of employment are verified differently, schools may be delayed in updating their records, etc. If the information provided on the resume is accurate, we will work with the candidate during the final review to resolve discrepancies.
As part of the final review, the results of the background check are reviewed by the Pre-Employment Screening Team. If there are any remaining questions or discrepancies, they will reach out to the candidate directly to resolve.
To help ensure a smooth and timely background check, the education and work experience that is listed on the resume at the time of application must match what is submitted to the vendor. A candidate is qualified based on information on the resume; that is the information that will be verified as part of the background check.
Yes, if it was listed on the resume, please include it. There are various ways of obtaining school records, including, but not limited to, the Board of Education, school district, and occasionally, from another school to which the records were transferred.
The employment on the background check form should match the information on the resume submitted at the time of application. The purpose of this section of the background check is to verify that the information provided is accurate; we do not need to verify employment that was not included on the resume.
The dates on the resume are expected to be accurate at the time of application. In addition to employment verification, the background check is also verifying employment for the time specified on the resume. If a candidate is unable to recall the years worked at a specific employer, we suggest reaching out to the employer to verify.
The information listed on the resume must match what is submitted to the vendor. A candidate is qualified based on information on the resume. It is expected that the information is accurate and verifiable.
Accurate representation of work and education is mandatory on resumes, as well as any materials affiliated with the application process, inclusive of background check documents. Candidates who falsify their resumes are not eligible for hire. Staff may be subject to termination if falsification is identified at a later date.
We do not require explanation for gaps in employment as part of the background check. We will reach out to the candidate if there are questions regarding employment dates when the background check is under final review.
If the employer is listed as experience on the resume, the employer should also be listed on the background check form. The background check will verify employment and dates; it does not include a reference check of performance. If a candidate is not comfortable with an employer being contacted, the candidate should make note of this on the background check form and provide alternative methods of verification. The vendor will contact the candidate to advise what is needed.
The vendor does not make decisions regarding the results of the background check; they are responsible for conducting the search and providing Yale with the results. Yale conducts the final review and makes all decisions regarding the results of the background check.
Candidates cannot begin working at Yale (or, if internal, in their new role) until the background check is complete with a result that meets Yale policy. The background check is generally completed after a conditional offer of employment has been made and accepted.
Yale requires all new staff, including post-doctoral associates and temporary staff, to complete a background check. Background checks may also be required for current staff moving into areas in which certain checks are required.
Background checks may be required for current staff moving into a position or areas in which certain checks are required. A motor vehicle records check is required if the position involves driving. A credit history check is required if the position involves handling money, access to financial records, access to museums/galleries, and/or access to special collections.
Former staff will need to have a new background check if the individual has a break in service of six months or more.
A new background check is not required in the process for obtaining a replacement Yale staff ID.
A record of criminal or motor vehicle conviction does not preclude employment. At the time of a conditional offer contingent on a background check, if the background check vendor finds that the background check results require further review, the candidate’s application will be referred to Yale’s Pre-Employment Review Committee. The Pre-Employment Review Committee is comprised of members from General Counsel, Risk Management and Human Resources. In its assessment, the Committee considers the nature of the position, the relationship of the offense to the job duties, and the time passed since the offense and completion of any sentence.
HireRight processes disputes related to inaccurately verified information. They will send the candidate an Adverse Action Letter that outlines the results of the background check and instructions on how to dispute the findings if they are incorrect. Additional inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling HireRight’s customer service line at 866-521-6995.