Finalizing Hire of Regular or Temporary Employee

Salary Offer

Hiring Managers are responsible for offering and agreeing to salaries for new employees that are in accordance with the hiring range for the grade (for officers of administration and non-union support staff) or as agreed to in collective bargaining agreements (for union support staff). Individual schools may have additional policies and approval requirements; please consult with the appropriate local HR Office or Dean’s Office. 

The approval of Columbia University Human Resources is required for any exceptions before a final offer may be extended.

Salaries for positions covered by collective bargaining agreements are negotiated between the University and the respective union. Refer to the appropriate contract for rates and effective dates.

Key Actions

  • Review salaries of current department staff for internal equity with the new hire
  • Consider whether the planned salary offer is equitable and justifiable based on the job requirements and the individual’s qualifications and background as compared to current staff
  • Select a salary for the new hire that falls within the hiring range for the grade (from range minimum to mid-point of range for administrative officers and non-union support staff)
  • Consult with your department's Client Manager for the relevant salary-range grid and to discuss any special salary considerations for offers over mid-point of the range
  • Ensure the new hire returns his or her offer letter or NYS DOL 195 form, indicating acknowledgment of salary and pay period.
  • Complete the hire/rehire transaction using the PAC Template-Based Hiring (TBH) process or the Personnel Action Form (PAF)
  • Ensure all required documents are completed correctly and attached to the TBH transaction or the PAF
  • Enter the new hire’s information into the Delegated Identity Administration (DIA) system on the myColumbia portal, which authorizes a University ID card and generates a University Network ID (UNI)

Background Checks

It is the policy of the University to provide and ensure a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community and its property. As part of this mandate, background checks may be required of prospective employees who may have already received a bona fide offer of employment, depending on the nature and duties of the position sought.

Any department that can demonstrate a need to conduct pre-employment background checks (exclusive of employment verification and reference checks) on a class of positions or a finalist for an open position is required to first receive authorization from CUHR. The background check must be completed after a conditional offer of employment is made; the prospective employee must not begin employment until you receive notification from CUHR that the background check is completed and verified. The cost of each background check will be invoiced directly to the department or school requesting the check.

At Columbia University Medical Center, background checking is mandatory for certain positions. Visit the CUMC HR website for forms and details. 

Key Actions

  • Provide the finalist with the Consent and the Disclosure forms to complete, sign and return. Also provide them with a copy of the Summary of Rights.
  • Initiate or enter the order into the background check vendor's system. If the department initiates the order via the e-link, the system will send an invitation to the finalist to complete the necessary information to conduct the background check. The department must check the information entered by the finalist.
  • The department should retain the signed Consent and Disclosure Forms in case they are requested by the vendor.
  • Inform the finalist that the University reserves the right (as stated in the Consent and Disclosure Forms) to deny employment based on the findings of the background check 
  • Final results of the background check will be sent directly to CUHR Client Services and a communication will be sent to the department that initiated the request, notifying them the background check is complete 

All background check documents can be found in the HR Forms and Documents Library.

Pre-Employment Drug Screening

It is the policy of the University to provide and ensure a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community and its property. As part of this mandate, drug testing may be required of prospective employees who may have already received a bona fide offer of employment, depending on the nature and duties of the position(s) sought.

Any department that can demonstrate a need to conduct pre-employment drug tests on a class of positions or a finalist for an open position is required to first receive authorization from CUHR. The background check must be completed prior to making a salary offer. 

In addition, finalists for certain union and short-term casual positions are required to complete drug screening prior to hire.

The cost of each drug screening is charged to the account of the department or school requesting the screening.

Key Actions

  • Provide the finalist a Consent and Disclosure Form and Summary of Rights to complete and sign. The form is available from your HR Client Manager.
  • Give the finalist the Forensic Drug Testing Custody and Control form
  • Inform the finalist that the screening takes place off-site at Quest Diagnostics
  • Inform the finalist that his or her employment is contingent upon the passing of this screening
  • Final results of the drug screening will be sent directly to CUHR and a communication will be sent to the department
  • A finalist should not begin employment until the results have been communicated to the department via email 

Eligibility to Work (Form I-9)

Columbia University is required to comply with federal laws and regulations concerning verification of employment eligibility and associated recordkeeping for employees hired to work in the United States. This policy applies to all new hires and rehires.

Columbia uses an online system, I-9 eXpress, to collect and process the required documentation from new hires to comply with these laws. There are I-9 Processing Centers on the Morningside campus, at the Columbia University Medical Center, and at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 

The employee must complete Form I-9 within 3 business days of the first day of employment. The first day of employment is the day the individual starts working, regardless of the appointment or hiring date. For more information and instructions, please see the Form I-9 page.

Note on Rehires: New Form I-9s are required for all rehires if any one of the following is true:

  1. The employee completed his or her original Form I-9 more than 3 years ago
  2. The employee completed the original Form I-9 less than 3 years ago but is no longer eligible to work under the original documents presented
  3. The employee completed his or her original Form I-9 on paper

Before determining that a new I-9 is not required, the original I-9 should be reviewed to confirm that the work eligibility has not expired for the individual.

All rehires, regardless of whether or not they require a completely new I-9, must go to one of the I-9 Service Centers to complete Section 3 of the Form I-9 — reverification — in order to update their hire date.

Key Actions

  • Direct the new hire to complete Section 1 of the Form I-9 online on or before the first day of employment. See Form I-9 for details of the process.
  • Ensure that the employee goes to one of the I-9 Service Centers and completes Section 2 with an I-9 Processor
  • Nonimmigrant Personnel: 
    • Nonimmigrant Status: The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) assists schools and departments of the University that wish to bring nonimmigrant personnel to Columbia in positions of academic teaching and research. Please see the ISSO Handbook for Departmental Managers for more information.