Select your finalist
Based on the candidate feedback, select the finalists for your position. You may want to invite candidate(s) back for a final interview if there are any remaining questions to address before extending an offer.
Conduct reference checks
If you did not complete reference checks during the interview stage, reference checks will need to be conducted prior to an offer being extended. Conducting reference checks can provide you with valuable information on a candidate's past performance and substantiate that you are making the right decision. Talent Acquisition offers an automated reference checking tool to facilitate the process. However, if a hiring manager would prefer to conduct a traditional reference check, they may do so. Upon completion, the references should be sent to Talent Acquisition for record keeping.
When conducting reference checks, it is important to let the candidate know that you will be contacting his or her references to allow the candidate time to contact the references first, if needed.
If speaking directly to the references, pay particular attention to the tone of the conversation and how the individual responds to your questions. If there is a particular competency that is critical for success, a reference check is the perfect place to focus on this to gather more information. Similar to the candidate interviews, reference questions should focus on the candidate’s professional skills and qualifications. What the references say, as well as what they don't say, can be telling. References can also be useful in confirming information that has been listed on the application and resume, such as the duration of employment at a particular company, job duties, and salary history.
For internal finalists, a professional reference from the staff member’s current supervisor should be obtained once a staff member is offered a position. Additional references from within and outside of Northwestern may be obtained prior to a position being offered.
Prepare an Offer
Once you’ve selected a finalist, work with your Department/Business Administrator and/or Talent Acquisition Partner to determine the salary, or range, you are willing to offer. There are several factors to consider, including:
- Internal equity
- Candidate’s qualifications
- Salary range for the position
- Promotional guidelines (internal candidates only)
Extend the offer
Offers of employment can be extended contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and education verification. For certain positions, additional checks may also be required, including but not limited to, employment history, driving record, credit, excluded parties/healthcare sanctions, drug screening and/or healthcare screening exams. For internal finalists, offers are also contingent upon a reference from the current supervisor.
If desired, your Talent Acquisition Partner is available to extend the verbal offer on your behalf. The individual that extends the offer should be comfortable negotiating salary and should be prepared to share information and answer questions about Northwestern’s robust benefit package and work/life programs.
Set a start date
Once your final candidate has accepted the offer, a start date must be set.
- Internal employees in non-exempt and exempt roles are expected to give two weeks and four weeks of working notice, respectively.
- For external hires, consider the amount of time a new employee may need to give notice and prepare to transition to a new job. Allow a minimum of two to three weeks from the time the offer is accepted for the pre-employment checks to be completed, employee records to be created, and systems to be in place. Generally, Northwestern coordinates start dates so that new employees begin on Mondays, but can accommodate off-cycle start dates if requested.
Send the offer letter
Your Talent Acquisition Partner will prepare and send your final candidate a contingent offer letter once he or she has verbally accepted the offer. This letter will outline the candidate’s salary, start date, and terms of employment. The new hire signs the letter confirming acceptance and returns it to HR Talent Acquisition.
Conduct the background check and education verification
All offers are contingent upon a successful background check and education verification. Talent Acquisition will facilitate the background check process once the offer has been verbally accepted. Background checks cannot be initiated prior to a verbal offer being extended.
Background checks, including education verification, are conducted on all external and internal finalists for staff positions at Northwestern. The only exception is when HR Talent Acquisition has run a background check on the candidate within the past 12 months. Talent Acquisition will initiate the process with the candidate the background check begins once the candidate has completed the online authorization.
Both the background check and education verification must be completed before the new hire’s start date. On average, the background check process takes three to five business days to complete. Background checks with international components may take longer.
Once the background check is completed successfully, Talent Acquisition will have the employee's file created, or updated, in myHR and will send the new hire information to help them prepare for their first day.
New employees should visit the Talent Acquisition office at either 9:00am or 11:00am on their first day to complete new hire paperwork. The addresses for the Chicago and Evanston offices are below.
710 Lake Shore Drive
Abbott Hall, Suite 150
Chicago, IL 60610
1801 Maple Avenue, Suite 6112
Evanston, IL 60201
Notify remaining candidates
Once the position has been filled, all active candidates should be notified they were not selected for the position. Talent Acquisition recommends calling candidates who were interviewed to share this information. Additional notification emails are available in myHR eRecruit. Coordinate with your Talent Acquisition Partner to determine who will close out all remaining candidates.