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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Background Check Policy

General Information

Who is subject to a background check?

All offers of employment extend to external candidates are contingent upon successful completion of a background check. This includes candidates for management and professional (M&P) positions, clerical and technical (C&T) positions, service and maintenance (S&M) positions, casual service and maintenance positions, postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates, and, beginning March 15, 2013, all temporary employees.

Certain positions require internal candidates to have a background check, such as credit or motor vehicle record check. All individuals hired to drive a commercial motor vehicle on behalf of the university will be required to successfully complete a motor vehicle record check and medical examiniation. If the vehicle requires a Commercial Driver's License, drug testing is required.

Specific guidelines apply to each group and are described in related sections below. For a brief overview of these guidelines, please see the Background Check Summary.

Who conducts the background checks?

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.

How long does a background check take?

The estimated cycle time for a routine background check is approximately 3 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.

What information is verified as part of 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. Verification of motor vehicle, motor vehicle checks, and credit checks may also be required.

How does the University protect an individual's right to privacy?

For background checks conducted by Yale’s vendor, 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.

New Hires

What does a pre-employment screening check consist of?

The standard pre-employment screening will include, but not be limited to, a social security verification, criminal history check, employment verification and an educational verification. Motor vehicle and credit checks may be required based on position descriptions and job requirements.

When does the pre-employment screening process take place?

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, the staffing representative will notify the candidate of the pre-employment screening requirement and the candidate will be asked to complete a background check form.

How long are the results of a pre-employment screening valid?

An employee, postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate, casual employee, or temporary employee 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.

What forms are associated with the pre-employment screening program?

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.

How will the candidate and the hiring department learn of the status of the screening?

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 in to HireRight to track their status. Only candidates who meet Yale’s policy will be hired or transferred into new positions.

What happens if a candidate does not meet Yale policy for employment?

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 preemploymentscreening@yale.edu explaining the decision. The candidate then has an opportunity to dispute HireRight's findings within 7 days. The department must hold open the position for the 7-day dispute filing period, or until the dispute has been resolved, whichever is greater.

How does the dispute process work?

HireRight, Yale's pre-employment screening vendor, processes any and all disputes. HireRight 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 preemploymentscreening@yale.edu or by writing to:

HireRight
Customer Service
Phone: 866-521-6995

What happens if the results of my pre-employment screening have a discrepancy or review is required?

If HireRight finds that results require further review, such as a criminal record, the candidate's application will be referred to the Yale Pre-employment Review. The review committee is responsible for determining if the candidate’s background check meets policy.

What constitutes a successful background check?

All felonies and some misdemeanors need to be reviewed by the Review Committee at Yale. Positions that require driving will require a motor vehicle check. Positions that involve the handling of money will require a credit check. Most library and museum, Controller's Office and Security positions also require credit checks.


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.


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.

Who is on the review committee?

It is comprised of members from General Counsel, Risk Management, and Human Resources.

Who do I contact if I have a question about the process or the status of my background check?

An email can be sent to preemploymentscreening@yale.edu; a member of the Pre-employment Screening Team will respond.

Postdoctoral/Postgraduate Fellows and Associates

Will current postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates require background checks?

The background check applies to postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates hired on January 1, 2010 and after. If a current Postdoc/grad is transferring to another job category at Yale and they have not had a standard background check, then they will be required to complete the check.

Will postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates require a background check?

Yes. Beginning January 1, 2010, 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. The only exceptions will be if they are a current Yale graduate student going to a Yale Postdoctoral assignment.

What if a postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate has never lived or worked in the United States?

Yale can only complete a background check for someone who at one time has either lived or worked in the United States and has a United States Social Security number. 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.  

How are background checks processed for postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates?

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.)

  1. Faculty Member/Principal Investigator is in contact with potential candidate.
  2. Faculty Member/Principal Investigator notifies department of intention to bring on a postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate as soon as practical.
  3. 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).
  4. Department creates a requisition in STARS using the postdoc requisition template, selecting the appropriate job title.
  5. 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.
  6. Candidate follows link to postdoc job posting, and applies to position, uploading CV and other required application materials via his/her STARS account.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. The Office for Postdoctoral Affairs office hires the individual in STARS and the Postdoctoral/Postgraduate receives his/her confirmation letter.

Temporary Employees

Will current temporary employees require a background check?

Temporary employees hired prior to January 1, 2010 who are active in Yale’s database (Oracle) will not be required to complete a background check to continue working. However, they will be required to complete a background check 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.

Will temporary employees require a background check prior to beginning an assignment?

Yes. A temporary employee hired on or after March 15, 2013, will be required to successfully complete a standard background check prior to beginning their assignment.

Do Yale retirees returning to work at Yale require a background check?

No. Returning retirees do not require background checks unless the new position requires a credit or motor vehicle check.

Does a returning temporary employee who has previously completed a background check require a new background check?

If a temporary employee has a break in service of more than six months, he/she will be required to have a new background check completed.

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.

Does a returning temporary employee who has not completed a background check require a background check?

Yes. The returning temporary employee will need to successfully complete a background check prior to beginning their assignment with the university.

How are background checks requested/processed for temporary employees?

The following steps are required to process a background check for a temporary employee:

  1. Departments with temporary needs are to submit a temporary request to Staffing by completing the Temporary Requisition Submittal Form http://www.yale.edu/hronline/temporary-employment/start.html
  2. After the requisition is processed through Staffing and approved, the position will be “Opened”. Members of the requisition team will receive such notification.
  3. Both the hiring manager and the primary requisition contact will receive an e-Link to the Temporary Worker Data Collection form.
  4. After the form is completed, and the “save” button is selected, the form returns to Staffing for processing.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. After the completed forms are submitted and signed by candidate to HireRight, the background check is initiated.
  8. Once the BGC Coordinator receives the outcome, and if candidate meets Yale policy, the BGC Coordinator notifies the primary department contact via e-mail.
  9. The temporary employee may begin working and obtain their Yale ID.

If a temporary employee works less than thirty (30) days per year, does the individual need a background check?

Yes. As of March 15, 2013, all temporary employees must complete a background check prior to beginning their assignment, regardless of the intended length of that assignment.

Are there any exceptions to the background check requirement for temporary employees hired after March 15, 2013?

Yes, 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)

Will a Yale student temporary who will be graduating soon need to complete a background check if the individual continues working beyond graduation?

Yes, a background check will be required when a Yale student temporary employee becomes a regular temporary employee.

If a temporary employee is hired into a permanent position, will the individual be required to complete a background check?

If a temporary employee 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.