The University has an obligation not to negligently hire. Because applicants sometimes falsify their credentials and background, it is important to perform background checks.  Currently, the university conducts background checks on all new staff employees and possibly on current employees moving to a new position that requires a specific background check.  Human Resources centrally coordinates the staff background check process which, at a minimum, includes the following:

  • verification of social security number;
  • criminal felony and misdemeanor search (county of current residence and residency in the past seven years);
  • national criminal data base search;
  • national sex offender registry; and
  • other kinds of verification checks if a particular position warrants (e.g., educational verification, licensure).

An applicant must complete and electronically sign the release form that is sent via e-mail from our vendor, HireRight, before the background check is conducted. Refusal to sign a release form may eliminate an applicant from further consideration for employment. An applicant who provides false, incomplete, or misleading information on a staff application, cover letter, resume or during an interview may be immediately eliminated from further consideration for employment. 

Results of a staff background check will be accessible by Human Resources. A contingent offer of employment can be extended to an applicant once all approvals have been obtained (Equal Opportunity and salary), however, the applicant is unable to begin employment until the background check process has been successfully completed.

Having a criminal history, a criminal conviction, or a motor vehicle violation does not necessarily preclude employment.  The nature of the offense and its relevance to a particular job are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Human Resources Department will evaluate the relevance of the criminal history of the individual being hired to the position being filled.

The cost of the staff background check is covered by a general account administered by the Human Resources Department. 

Frequently Asked Questions

For staff vacancies, change the applicant’s status to “Recommend to Human Resources for Hire (Staff Only)” and complete the hiring proposal. This will notify Human Resources that a background check needs to be initiated.

HireRight employs Secure Socket Layer (SSL) data encryption when data is transmitted over the Internet to their web site.  They have installed layered firewalls and other security technologies to help prevent unauthorized access to their systems. Strong password protection protocols are used on their computers. The servers used to store consumer information are maintained in a secure environment with appropriate security measures.  HireRight’s Privacy Policy can be accessed at

A: The typical turnaround time is 3-5 business days from the time that the applicant responds to the e-mail invitation. 

First, advise the applicant that the e-mail notification would have been sent from “HireRight Customer Support,” our background check vendor.  Second, verify that the applicant entered the correct and current e-mail address on their application.  Most times, an applicant doesn’t receive the e-mail notice because there is a misspelling/error in the e-mail address.  Lastly, contact Human Resources at 227-1493 to request that a new e-mail be sent to the applicant.

  1. Notify the applicant that he/she will receive an e-mail “invitation” to complete the background check authorization online.
  2. Inform the applicant that the e-mail will come from “HireRight Customer Support,” not directly from Northern Michigan University. By letting the applicant know that this is a legitimate e-mail and not spam, the applicant can respond quickly.
  3. Inform the applicant that not only do they have to authorize the background check but they will also need to make sure that they “continue to the next page to complete the form” which is in bold red letters. The applicant will be prompted to click “next” for processing.
  4. Remind the applicant that a successfully completed background check must be performed BEFORE an applicant can begin working. If you discuss an anticipated start date, an official start date will need to be finalized once the background check has been completed.

An applicant can contact HireRight to request a copy for a nominal processing fee.