Recruitment Toolkit

Job Offer Approval Process

Pre-Offer Process


Helpful Hint

Call the Selected Candidate.

Contingent on the requirements below, congratulate and verbally extend the job offer to your Candidate! 

Explain the Next Steps in the hiring process

Outlined below are the steps to follow before extending an employment offer via the Offer letter to the selected applicant. Failure to follow this procedure may delay the hiring of the selected applicant.

Departments have the option to utilize USF's approved third-party online vendor, HireRight, for Education Verification, Employment Verification & References Checks (for an additional fee at the department's expense).

1. Education Verification

  • The selected applicant or employee must demonstrate s/he meets the minimum education requirement(s) for the position as posted.
  • The Hiring Department Representative should contact (Tampa Campus) or Branch Campus HR to review the official USF personnel file for each  applicant.
  • Verification documents (e.g. unofficial transcripts, copies of the degree) must be uploaded into the Activities and Attachments section of the job opening.

2. Employment Verification

  • The Hiring Authority or Hiring Department Representative is required to verify employment to confirm the applicant meets the minimum years of experience requirement for the position as posted.
  • If the applicant is a current or former USF employee, contact (Tampa Campus), Branch Campus HR to schedule an appointment to review the internal (Staff/Administrative) applicant’s official personnel file.
  • For applicants with periods of self-employment, it is acceptable to provide copies of IRS Forms 1099, articles of incorporation with the State, and/or former client contact information. Alternatively, the Hiring Authority may contact and document conversations with former clients. 
  • The applicant’s work experience is to be documented on the CHR Employment Verification Form.
  • The verification document(s) will be uploaded into the Activities and Attachments section of the job opening in GEMS.

3. Employment References

Satisfactory reference checks are a condition of employment at USF, and all offers of employment will be contingent upon satisfactory reference checks. Reference checks must be conducted for both external applicants and for current employees who are applying for transfer or promotion.

References are not required for:

  • Students – including graduate assistants, medical residents, and federal work-study recipients
  • Individuals hired for a temporary role that does not exceed 60 days of employment or that does not exceed a total of 480 hours worked in a calendar year
  • Non-compensated courtesy faculty appointed in USF Health who directly support graduate medical education
  • Emeritus faculty
    • Post-retiree faculty

The employment reference check is in addition to applicable checks of employment verification, criminal background, credit check, sanction lists and licensure. Any offer of employment must be contingent on satisfactory completion of all applicable reference checks.

 When conducting employment reference checks,

  • The Hiring Authority or Hiring Department Representative must contact at least three (3) of the applicant's references,
  • One of whom must be the applicant’s current immediate supervisor (the person to whom the applicant has a direct reporting relationship) or someone with sufficient knowledge about the candidate professionally to answer the reference questions.
    • If the applicant is not currently employed, then the applicant’s most recent supervisor should be contacted.
  • The Hiring Authority or Hiring Department Representative will ask the applicant for authorization to contact the applicant’s current supervisor for a reference check, prior to contacting an applicant’s current supervisor.
  • In the event the applicant’s current supervisor provides an unsatisfactory reference, the Hiring Authority will document the same.
    • Thereafter, the Hiring Authority must decide whether to proceed with employment of the applicant despite the current supervisor’s unsatisfactory reference.
    • If after considering all factors, references, and information obtained about the applicant the Hiring Authority decides to hire the applicant despite the current supervisor’s unsatisfactory reference, the Hiring Authority must document that decision.
  • The references and/or the Hiring Authority decision must be uploaded into the Activities and Attachments section of the job opening in GEMS.
  • See: USF Policy 0-616 - Employment References and Employment Reference Check Form. Faculty References may submit Letters of Reference. 

 4. Establish Hiring Salary

 Determine a salary within the posted hiring salary range.

5. Establish Start Date

Identify a proposed start date

no hand

Applicants cannot work in ANY capacity until ALL steps in the hiring process are completed.


offer letter


Offer Letter

All written offers of employment must be issued using the CHR approved templates located in the forms library of the CHR website. The offer letter must be signed by the appropriate official(s) with delegated authority. If the applicant is a current or former USF employee, an ASF will also need to be prepared. The offer letter and ASF must be signed by the appropriate official(s) with delegated authority.

After the appropriate offer letter has been signed, the Hiring Department Representative will send the offer to the applicant using GEMS or email.

post offer check

Post Offer Job Process

Once the offer is accepted by the applicant, the Hiring Department Representative will coordinate the background check and initiate the RightStart process with CHR.

Background Checks

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Applicants cannot work in ANY capacity until the background check has been successfully completed.

Providing Notice to Candidate

All job descriptions, position advertisements, and applications shall provide notice to
prospective employees that a criminal history background check will be conducted as a
condition of employment. Such notice shall also be provided in any offer of employment that is extended prior to a criminal history background check being conducted.

Level One Background Checks

A background check that includes a nationwide criminal history background check through validated national database sources, and a check of the National Sex Offenders Registry. It may also include a local criminal record check through local law enforcement agencies.

How to initiate: Level 1 background check is initiated by the department using the university’s approved third-party online vendor, HireRight.

Level Two Background Checks

An enhanced background check that includes, in addition to the requirements of a Level 1 background check, a state or national fingerprint-based check.

How to initiate: Departments are responsible for coordinating level two background checks.

Level Two Summer Program Background Checks

A level 2 finger-print based background check conducted by The Department of Children and Families (DCF) through a state-run, web based system called the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse, described in Florida Statute §435.12.

How to initiate: Contact Central Human Resources, USF Health HR or your branch campus contact to initiate this background check. Contact information can be found here

Foreign Influence Screening (Research Positions)

Review Foreign Influence Screening Process here.


There are exemptions from criminal background checks for individuals who meet the following conditions, unless their job duties require them, by law or internal procedure, to undergo a criminal history background check:

  • Rehired employees who have returned to USF after a period of no more than 120 days.
  • Students and volunteers will generally not be subject to criminal background checks. A department may designate limited positions as subject to criminal background check. Applicants will be notified of the requirement at the time the position is posted.
  • Temporary employees hired for a period of 60 days or less. (Includes courtesy appointments). Extensions or reappointments beyond the initial 60-day period will require a background check.
  • Emergency appointments of 7 days or less with the approval of the appropriate Vice President or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.



The USF RightStart Team is an internal USF Human Resources Team which exists to assist all brand new hires or rehires (who have not been employed for a period of more than 12 months) with their New Hire Paperwork.

To initiate the RightStart Process, contact (Tampa Campus) or your Branch Campus HR.

All brand new hires or rehires (who have not been employed for a period of more than 12 months) are required to go through the Right Start process on or before the employee’s first day of work.

During the Right Start process, each employee who receives salary or wages from the University of South Florida is required, by federal law, to complete a Form I-9 within three days of the employee’s start date. The Form I-9’s purpose is to verify an employee’s identity and work authorization in the United States.

The University of South Florida is an employer that participates in the federal E-Verify program, which verifies employment authorization of newly hired employees by comparing employee identity and employment information against Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records.

To ensure compliance with faculty credentialing standards, it is the Hiring Authority’s responsibility to ensure official transcripts are submitted to CHR for all hired faculty or any other position requiring official transcripts be on file. Individuals who do not hold the required degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution must submit translated transcripts along with a foreign transcript evaluation certifying equivalency to the U.S. degree.

To initiate this process, you will need to contact your RightStart Team. They will send the applicant the documents they will need to fill out. 

job aidJob Aid: How to Prepare a Job Offer & Disposition Candidates|PDF Version | Video Version (11 Minutes)
Job Aid: Hire-Right | Quick Start Guide PDF