Background Checks - FAQs

General Information

Access and Privacy

Funding, Costs & Financial Liability

Time Issues

Hiring Issues

General Information

What is the purpose of this policy?

This policy is intended to support the verification of credentials, criminal history, credit status and other information related to employment decisions in order to provide the safest possible environment for students, visitors, faculty, and physical resources. Although there is no guarantee against criminal acts, it does reduce the likelihood of crime, and may reduce the campus's liability in the event a crime occurs. It also helps protect hiring departments from the possibility of lawsuits; potentially saving cost in time and morale.
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What exactly does this policy do?

The policy provides guidance on the criteria for determining when positions require background checks. It articulates the responsibilities of the department and describes the process for background checks, including the notification process, and provides for the confidentiality of information gathered and the protection of privacy of individuals undergoing background checks.
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When are background checks required?

Currently background checks are required for all new hires in benefited positions, as well as, non-status positions which meet the criteria of security sensitive. Click here for Position Guide
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Do current employees have to undergo background checks?

Current employees who are transferred, promoted or otherwise assigned to positions that include new significant financial responsibility will undergo the background check process if one has not already been completed.
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Does a background check include checking into a person's credit rating and personal finances?

No. The standard background check does not include a credit rating review. Credit reviews are only done when the hiring department in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources has determined that the responsibilities of the position require a credit rating review.
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When should the background check process be initiated?

A background check should be initiated through the normal hiring process when a finalist is identified.
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Access and Privacy

Who will have access to the background check results?

The Office of Human Resources will manage and retain all background verification reports. These reports are filed separately from the official employee file.
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How will the University protect an individual's right to privacy?

UNH policy and state and federal laws recognize a subject's right to privacy and prohibit campus employees and others from seeking out, using, or disclosing personal information except within the scope of their assigned duties. All background checks results are retained in Human Resources. Hiring departments will not receive any details of a background check, only a notification of whether the background check has revealed any convictions. Human Resources will provide a copy of the background report to the candidate upon request.
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How long will the background results remain on file at Human Resources?

Human Resources will maintain records or other information generated by background reviews in a file separate from the official personnel file. For applicants not hired, the records will be maintained for a period of three years.
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Funding, Costs & Financial Liability

What are the costs for background checks, who determines the rate, and who pays for them?

Effective July 1, 2010, background checks will be centrally funded removing the financial burden from individual departments. The rates are determined by the third party vendor, are subject to annual review and may be modified in accordance with the third party vendor.
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Time Issues

How long does a background check take?

Turnaround average time is 5-10 business days. Depending on criminal record searches, some local governments (i.e. counties, states, etc) response times may vary and can take up to two weeks.
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Hiring Issues

Can employees be hired before the background check has cleared?

Offers of employment are contingent upon completion of a background check. However, in no case can the employee begin working prior to receipt of the investigation results.
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What about assignment of new job duties, including reclassification?

Background checks are to be initiated and completed before an individual is assigned to a security or safety-sensitive position.
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