Human Resources Service Center

Student Employee Hire Process Steps

UPDATE NOTICE: As of 7/20/2020, student background checks will be processed through Accurate Background, an on-line background check system. Live Scan will remain the sources of background checks only for those positions that require fingerprinting by law (for example: positions with CLETS access, positions with direct contact with minors/camps with underage children, etc.).

The steps have been documented to prepare for future automation. This process is to be used with the online Payroll Manual for Student Payroll Information.

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  • Purpose and Goals


    Employing students is a campus-wide student engagement, retention and success strategy.  Why?

    1. Creates inclusive hiring practices
    2. Provides professional development opportunities
    3. Helps student employees connect what they are learning in their classes to their work in your department.
    4. Acquaints students with job expectations and formal feedback
    5. Offers ways to recognize and highlight the contributions of student employees


    • Allow all eligible students the opportunity to apply for campus positions.
    • Allows hiring department to reach a more diverse audience, advertise more widely and consistently
    • Ensure compliance with legal mandates
      • I-9 requirements (federal)
      • Sexual Harassment Prevention training (state and CSU)
      • Background Check (CSU)
      • Helps the university avoid penalties
    • Move toward automated student employment process

    Common HR Systems (CHRS) Goals

    • Move towards long-range goal of multi-phase process change: consistent process between departments
    • Track and maintain Student Supervisor information so future phases can include workflow and reporting
  • Recruitment and Hire Steps Summary

    The new student employee hiring process will consist of the steps outlined below. Hiring departments should allow for proper planning, typically 2-3 weeks before an incumbent is placed in a position.

  • Step 1: Determine if position meets background check criteria

    Is a background check required? 


    A background check is required if any of the following conditions* exist:

    • The student is working with Level 1 data. Examples of Level 1 Confidential information include, but are not limited to:
      • Passwords or credentials
      • PINs (Personal Identification Numbers)
      • Name with birth date combined with last four of SSN
      • Name with credit card number
      • Name with Tax ID
      • Name with driver’s license number, state identification card, and other forms of national or international identification
      • Name with Social Security number
      • Medical records related to an individual
      • Psychological Counseling records related to an individual
      • Name with bank account or debit card information
    • Direct contact with minor children. (This may require Live Scan). If required see link below for further instructions.

    *The list of tasks is illustrative and is not exhaustive.


    Complies with CSU’s ICSUAM 8065.S02 Information Security Data Classification Standard (PDF) page 64, and CSU, Chico’s Information Security Policies and Standards, CSU Chico's background check procedures and HR 2017-17(opens in new window) (for the comprehensive CSU systemwide Background Check policy).


    • Departments are to consider if the student’s position meets any of the above criteria and be prepared to select the option, as appropriate, in Handshake.
    • If the position meets the above criteria, the job announcement shall include a statement indicating that candidates are subject to a background check. (See next step for detailed information.)

    A background check is also required of current student employees, not just new. Current student positions must be evaluated by the department to determine if background check criteria are met by the position. If so, the student employee should be submitted into background.

  • Step 2: Post student position in Handshake

    Use Handshake(opens in new window) to advertise for All state-funded, and work study, student employee position openings on campus.


    • Allow all eligible students the opportunity to apply for campus positions.
    • Allows the departments to reach a more diverse audience, advertise more widely and consistently.
    • Provides for a consistent location for the student employee position description, a document that needs to be available for CSU Chancellor’s Office reports.


    • Consistent process.
    • Handshake ensures that the student is enrolled.
    • Allows all enrolled students the opportunity to apply and broadens the applicant pool.
    • Supports the campus’ ongoing initiative to foster institutional change by cultivating a culturally inclusive environment where diversity of thought and expression are valued.


    • Student Employment has tips and best practices for setting up a Handshake posting to make it easier to screen applicants later. Contact Career Center Chico State Hiring A Student Employee for more information. When setting up the posting, you will note when the position should be posted to and removed from the Handshake online vacancy list.
    • Student Employment Authorization (SEA)(opens in new window) form will request the Handshake number.
    • Instructions for both Accurate Background and Live Scan are included in Step 5.
    • Need multiple student employees for one position type? You can post one posting in Handshake and hire multiple students from the posting.

    Training will be provided to review these steps, obtain feedback, and supply “Handshake Best Practices” for on-campus positions.

    Use preferences (i.e., “the department prefers someone who can work three consecutive semesters”) in the position description to help screen applicants later.

  • Step 3: Screen applicants, conduct interviews, check references, etc.

    Contact Career Center Chico State(opens in new window) or Employment Services(opens in new window) for guidance and templates.

    Screen Applicants

    Screen applicants based on your job application requirements. Contact Student Employment

    Confirm Student Enrollment

    Verify that the student is enrolled at least part-time. If using Work Study funds, check for Work Study award and unmet need.

    Conduct Interviews

    Student Employment can assist with reviewing interview questions, samples, what are legal and illegal interview questions, and provide advice on conducting the interview.

    Select the Top Candidate and a Backup

    Choose the best applicant—and one backup should the top candidate not get employed by your department. Ensure the student meets the student assistant criteria(opens in new window).

    Recommended/Optional: Notify students not selected for interview or hire

    You can choose to send emails to the student not hired. For example:

    • Thank you for your application, however you were not selected for an interview.
    • Thank you for taking the time to interview with us, however another candidate is being considered.

    Records Retention Information

  • Step 4: Extend contingent job offer (If applicable):

    Note: If a background check was not required for the position, skip Step 4 and 5 and continue with Step 6.

    If the position requires a background check, extend a job offer contingent on successfully clearing a background check. Notify the student the next steps in the recruitment process is to submit their information to be entered in Accurate Background (or Live Scan if required by law).

  • Step 5: If applicable, submit the candidate for a background check

    Steps to submit a candidate for a background check via Accurate Background are as follows:

    1. Submit a ticket in the TDx system(opens in new window) to request a background check.
    2. HR processes the ticket and submits the candidate to Accurate Background.
    3. When results are received, HR clears the candidate, notifies the department via the ticket system and closes the ticket.

    Steps to submit a candidate for a background check via Live Scan if the position the hiring department is filling requires fingerprinting by law:

    1. Hiring department provides student applicant with the necessary Live Scan paperwork(opens in new window)
      • The packet includes instructions for completing the fingerprinting form.
      • PLEASE NOTE: It is very important the student bring this paperwork with them to the live scan appointment so they are not charged out of pocket for the service.
      • Email for student and staff and for faculty to notify them you are submitting a Live Scan request.
    2. The university uses a mobile Live Scan Service. For appointments, please contact Blue Oak Live Scan and Notary.
    3. Hiring department waits to get Live Scan clearance confirmation from Human Resources Service Center (HR) or Office of Academic Personnel (OAPL).
  • Step 6: Offer the position

    Note: If a background check was necessary, please ensure the candidate cleared the background  before offering the position to them.

    Notify the student that they are the successful candidate. Arrange for the student to complete the appropriate Employment paperwork. (See followings steps.)

  • Step 7: Update closed Handshake # with incumbent name

    Update Handshake with the incumbent name and confirm that the posting is closed.


    Login to Handshake and enter the name of the student hired into the position. If the position is not already closed, enter the appropriate “Expiration Date” and “Employment Start Date” for the posting.


    Incumbent names, position open and close dates are necessary for Student Employment reports provided to the CSU Chancellor’s office.


    • When logged into Handshake, at the op right corner of the screen, click on "Applicants."
    • Find the name of the applicant whom you would like to hire. From the "Status" drop-down menu to the right of the applicant name, choose "Hired."
      • IMPORTANT: Students marked Hired will receive a notification that they were selected for the job. Students marked Declined will not receive a notification, but will be able to check their status on their Handshake account and see that they were declined. We always recommend emailing declined applicants (after the Hired student has accepted the role!) to thank them for their interest and participation.
    • If you have hired a particular student without conducting a recruitment, contact Student Employment to report your hire.
  • Step 8: Candidate completes Employment paperwork

    Send an email to with the student’s Chico State ID, first and last name, and their contact email address. Employment Services will check the student’s status in PeopleSoft and contact them directly if employment paperwork is required. If no employment paperwork is required, an Employment Services representative will inform you the student is authorized to work and to submit the SEA form.


    This ensures compliance with legal mandates, including I-9 requirements (federal). This must be completed prior to the student starting work.


    • The I-9 documents are required for hire. Without the I-9, the SEA will not be processed and the student employee is not authorized to work.
    • Completion of Employment Paperwork will allow the SEA to be processed when submitted.
    • HRSC will ensure on your behalf that the student meets legal mandates for employment.


    Typically, a new employee needs to bring I-9 required documents. The most common are 1) a passport, or 2) photo ID and social security card. Please be sure to view the completed list of acceptable documents included on the second page of the SEA Form.

  • Step 9: Complete Student Employment Authorization (SEA)

    Use the Student Employment Authorization (SEA)(opens in new window) to communicate appointment and pay information about the student employee. Upon completion of these forms, please follow the instructions in this process guide(opens in new window). It will explain how to obtain required signatures, demonstrate approval for the action, and submit the SEA via Adobe Sign.

    The Student Employment Authorization (SEA) will be updated to include:

    • Handshake #
    • Indicate if a background check has been cleared (if applicable)

    As a Student Time and Labor Approver, you can update the student employee "Reports To" field. A Student Employee Reports To Maintainer Guide(opens in new window) provides directions for updating this information. Please contact Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) by email or phone, 530-898-4947, with questions.


    • Departments appoint into positions as they are needed, rather than into multiple positions that may be needed in the future.
    • The student’s actual supervisor will be tracked in PeopleSoft HR.


    • Avoid multiple open records that don’t receive pay.
    • Reduces the number of records the department needs to terminate later.


    • Only create records you need at the time of hire.
    • Payroll will run reports that monitor student records which have not received pay within the last 3 months. Payroll is defining this process and will be working with departments to clean up records that are not being used.

    If using Work Study funding...

    It is advised to check a student's work study award monthly, because it can change. For more information about this process, or access to work study funding screens and guidance, contact Christina Linton, in the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.

    If appointing Instructional Student Assistants (ISA) Student Employees...

    ISA Student Employees are not appointed using the SEA. For more information regarding appointing and processing ISA students please follow this link: HR-ISA Documentation BPG's and Quicksteps(opens in new window). If you have questions regarding viewing access to this folder, contact HR Security.

  • Step 10: Online Training

    Compliance Training

    All CSU, Chico employees—including student employees—are required to complete training as required by law, CSU, or campus policies. Most of these trainings are web-based and can be completed at an employee’s workstation. Employees will be automatically enrolled in on-line trainings during their first month of employment.

    Lead/Manager Responsibility

    Supervisors must ensure that their employees, including ALL students employed through the university, complete compliance training within the first 30 days of employment. It is your responsibility to schedule paid work time—approximately 4+ hours—for the student employee to complete online compliance training.

    Employee Email for students? Yes!

    In compliance with EM 16-004, the Account Center automatically creates employee email (Exchange) accounts for all student employees. Read Knowledge Base article on Accessing Exchange E-mail(opens in new window) to help students navigate their new employee email account.


    Compliance training applies to all employees, regardless of student status.


    Comply with legal mandates, as well as CSU and campus policies.


    • As soon as the student is entered as an active employee in PeopleSoft, their employee ID and employee email address are included in nightly/weekly data loads into the CSU and campus training systems.
    • The training systems automatically enroll them in training and send notices to their employee email account.
    • Go to Compliance Training web site to see a list of compliance trainings.
    • Student employees should be given work time to complete compliance training and assigned professional development.
    • The student is responsible for completing the training as long they are an active employee in PeopleSoft.

    Online Professional Development Courses

    Student employees have access to online professional development courses.


    • All State employees, whether student or not, will have access to online professional development.
    • Note: The Reports To position (in PeopleSoft-HR) will receive notices if the employee doesn't complete required training. If a change in the Reports To field is desired, please review the Student Employee Reports To Maintainer Guide(opens in new window). Contact Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) by email or phone, 530-898-4947, with questions.


    (State) student employees can take advantage of optional online training in our catalogs.


    As soon as the student is entered as an active employee in PeopleSoft, their employee ID and [PeopleSoft BUSN] email address are included in nightly/weekly data loads [CSU E-Learning Extract] into the CSU and campus training systems.

  • Resources
  • Separation

    Reminder: Student employees are to be inactivated when they are no longer working for a department.


    • Keeps data in PeopleSoft “clean” and accurate.
    • PeopleSoft employee status is being used by third party systems and notifications.


    • Reduces the risk to campus and departments from unauthorized data access and potential security breaches and data misuse.
    • Students that are no longer employed will be automatically inactivated in the campus training system and they will stop receiving employee training notices.
    • Avoids unnecessary employment history in the system that departments must wade through when looking for accurate information.


  • Who completes which steps?

    Area, department, and college processes can vary and typically depend on whether the areas have decentralized or centralized functions related to the student employee hiring process. Below are examples of who completes each step.


    For areas that are highly decentralized, one or two people may complete all the steps.


    For larger areas that have centralized certain functions, such as budgeting, or student payroll, the steps may be completed by the following:

    • A lead/manager writes the initial job posting and decides if the position meets any of the background check criteria in step 1.
    • Administrative support completes steps 2-3 [Handshake Posting and application receipts] to ensure consistency in, and tracking of Handshake postings.
      • This person also passes on (or prints) the applicant information for screening to the lead/manager.
    • The lead/manager completes step 3 [screening,interviewing, selecting candidates].
    • Administrative support facilitates step 4-10, guiding the student through employment and payroll processes.
      • Administrative support ensures the student meets enrollment criteria and work study potential.
      • The lead/manager communicates the job offer to the student [step 6], after the background check has been cleared (if applicable).
      • Administrative support:
      • Ensures the student walks over to HR with completed SEA and to complete appropriate I-9 documents.
        Provide 2 SEA forms to the student to walk over, one for HR to process, the duplicate for HR to sign and give back to the student to return to the department to ensure they have completed their employment paperwork.
      • Receives confirmation from HR that the student can work.
      • Emails the lead/manager to confirm student can start work
      • Prepares student timesheet template and provides to student.
    • The lead/manager communicates the first day of work and the work schedule.
    • The lead/manager ensures the student employee completes training [step 10].
    • The lead/manager communicates when the student's employment ends to the administrative staff. The administrative staff then submits a Student Separation Report(opens in new window) to separate the employee.
  • Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

    Question: A student submits an Add/Drop form to the department office with a note from a doctor or Student Health Service explaining the circumstances for a course drop. A student employee then takes the form and date stamps it before handing it off to someone to process. (It is handed to them by the student, or they are responsible for opening the mail, and they pull the form out of an envelope.) Does this require them to be background checked?

    Answer: In most cases, no, as long as the student receiving the form and note is not being given access to a medical diagnosis, birth date or any other Level 1 data. If there are any instances in which the explanatory note might have personal or Level 1 data, the supervisor needs to stipulate that the position has a background check requirement.

    Question: The department has a student working for them, whose position description was not posted in Handshake. Do I need to post it in Handshake?

    Answer: Yes. Create the position in Handshake, however, in the "Description" section, type "DO NOT POST" and Student Employment will not make it viewable. This will enable the position description to be in the Handshake database and it will stay in the system associated to your account, enabling you to later "Copy Job" if you wish to post a similar position in the future.

    You can post a general job description in Handshake, through which you hire several students. However, if a job arises that is different or as lead duties, please create a separate Handshake posting and include the new duties.

    Question: I want to re-classify a student employee for a higher level. Do I submit that through Handshake? (rev. 1/19/2016)

    Answer: Yes. Post the position in Handshake, as noted above in question #2, putting "DO NOT POST" IN THE "Description" section of the job posting. If the new position qualifies as Student Employment IV category, submit a SEA from with the new Handshake ID#, and forward to the Student Employment Office, zip 701, for review and approval. If the new level is Student Employee II or III, forward directly to Student Payroll, zip 0010.

    Question: How long is background check valid for a student employee? (rev. 8/21/2014)

    Answer: If there is a break in employment of no more than one (1) year in all student positions, and the student employee had been background checked for a prior position, no new background check is required.

    If a student employee is no longer working, even if they will be returning, please “separate” them using the Student Separation report(opens in new window). This applies to students who are away to study abroad, as well as summer break, and ensures that the correct employee status is picked up by third-party systems that depend on PeopleSoft employee data (for access, security, online training assignment, etc.). More information about separating student employees under Student Payroll Information Separating students.

Need Help?

Below are topics and contacts for various aspects of onboarding and offboarding student employees: