Phase 4: Candidate Selection

Step 8: Candidate References


  • Using PageUP move the final candidates selected for reference checks
  • Develop reference check questions and send to HR for review
  • Complete reference checks
  • Search Committee determines if candidates are still viable candidates


Move final candidates to reference check

Send reference check questions to HR for review 

Step 9: Recommend Candidate for Hire


  • Provide recommendations to the supervisor
  • In PageUp add reasons for non-selection for those not chosen in the Applicant Flow Log
  • In PageUp move candidate selected to Recommend for hire
  • HR will confirm that reference checks were conducted before approving hiring
  • Wait for Equal Opportunity Compliance review and approval from Human Resources before offering position
  • If the search failed to find a candidate, inform Human Resources


Enter reasons of non-selection for applicants not moving forward in the process

Move candidates to recommend for hire

Step 10: Offer Accepted and New Employment Paperwork


  • After final approval from HR, supervisor makes an offer to candidate
  • Send all search documentation to Human Resources
  • HR sends offer letter to candidate
  • New employee attends new employee orientation of their first day of work to complete new employee paperwork


Send all search documentation to Human Resources

Step 8: Candidate References


An important part of the search process is to check references for your top candidate. It will help to ensure successful hires and avoid probation failures. Obtaining multiple references (at least two) allows the committee and/or supervisor to look for consistency among comments and to demonstrate that reasonable care was used in the hiring process.

Contact information for individual references is typically requested during the application process, but if not, the search chair may ask for them at this stage. Either way, it is a good practice to let candidates know that the committee is about to contact references provided.  It is often best to contact those people who have supervised the applicant or have received or somehow reviewed the results of work performed by the applicant. External references can be contacted with HR permission only. You do not need permission to speak to references that are previous Michigan Tech supervisors. If a search chair or supervisor would like to contact "off-list" references for a candidate, please contact HR with the request to do so. Reference checks may be completed by phone, in-person, or by email, as long as it is consistent for each candidate. A personal phone call is usually best. Make sure you indicate you have consent for the reference check or that the applicant listed that person as a reference.

At this stage, using PageUP the search chair must now move the final candidates selected for reference checks to the workflow state of "Reference check".  The search committee will also develop specific job-related questions and have them reviewed by HR. Review the duties of the position and review the application materials. Make a list of facts or qualifications to verify and a list of questions to ask.

A good question to ask the reference at the end of the discussion is, “Would you rehire the applicant if given the opportunity?

Reference checks can be completed by committee members or the supervisor.

Evaluating the information you collect

  • Compare information from different sources to see how they match up.
  • Never allow the individual to give you “confidential” or “off the record” information.
  • Weigh information in the same manner for all applicants. What disqualifies one should be the basis for disqualifying any other.
  • All reference checks should be included with the search notes and returned when the committee submits all notes at the end of the search to HR.

Once questions are approved, the search chair or committee members conduct the reference checks.

All information obtained from reference and any other background checks should be used only as part of the employment process and kept strictly confidential. Information gathered should be sent to Human Resources as part of the hiring process. Be sure to document the position applied for, applicant’s name, reference name and phone number, date of the contact, and who “checked” the reference.

Step 9: Recommend Candidate for Hire

Committee Recommends Candidate

Once all interviews are completed, discussion among committee members can occur to determine the top candidate who will be recommended to the supervisor for hire. Once again, it is best to not ask each committee member to prioritize the list as this can induce an anchoring or focusing effect. Let the prioritized lists arise as a result of discussion of each of the candidates.

Before any offer for employment is made, the search chair must first go into PageUp and update the workflow status of who will not get an offer of employment.

Reasons for Non-Selection of Applicants Interviewed and Final Disposition Code

The Search Chair will move applicants in the workflow by entering the final disposition codes and reasons of non-selection for all applicants interviewed and not advancing. If you need assistance, contact Human Resources and also review the Applicant Flow Log webpage for assistance. Please use the section called Disposition Codes once an applicant has been interviewed and/or reached the "recommend for hire" stage.

These reasons will be reviewed by Equal Opportunity Compliance before a candidate can be reviewed for hire.

Movement of the Finalist to "Recommended to Hire by Dept"

The next step is for the search chair or supervisor to notify Human Resources with the name of the candidate that is recommended for hire. HR will confirm that reference checks were conducted before approving any hiring.  The search chair or supervisor must move the final candidate to “Recommended to Hire by Dept” so that Equal Opportunity Compliance can perform the final review of the non-selection reasons and disposition codes.

HR Provides Final Approval and Employment Offer is Made

Verbal position offers for non-union positions are extended by the department/supervisor. If the incumbent accepts, the supervisor emails HR with the salary, start date, supervisor name, and any other negotiated items to put in the official offer letter to send to the candidate. HR sends this official offer letter. Verbal offers for union positions are extended by HR. You can not negotiate items such as titles, level, flex-time or remote work options at this stage; that needed to be included in the original job description, as it fundamentally changes the position.  The way an offer is negotiated can have lasting impacts not only on the candidate's decision but also on their career. Strive for a feeling of openness and fairness when negotiating contracts. This will help the candidate feel as if they're entering an environment where they can thrive. 

Send Materials to Human Resources

All documentation related to a search process, including search committee notes, evaluation criteria, reference checks, ratings of applicants, etc., must be retained by the University for 3 years after the hire date. Please send all materials to Human Resources.

Failed Search

If you have a failed search contact Human Resources.

Step 10: Offer Accepted and New Employment Paperwork

Search Documentation

Send all search notes and documentation to HR and they will be kept with the hiring packet.

Offer Letter

After the offer letter has been signed, Human Resources will notify the candidates who were interviewed but not selected and will move the chosen applicant to "Offer accepted" in PageUp.

New Employee Paperwork

The new employee must complete all applicable employment forms at the new employee orientation, which will be on their first day of work. Human Resources will contact the new employee with the date, time, and location the week before they begin their new position. The new employee cannot begin work until the employment paperwork is completed. For questions, please contact Human Resources in advance by calling 906-487-2280.

Always feel free to contact either your Human Resources Employment Services Representative or Equal Opportunity Compliance at email if you have any questions.