Human Resources Service Center

Student Employee Hire Process Steps

The following steps should be used with the online Payroll Manual for Student Payroll Information.

Hiring departments should allow for proper planning, typically 2-3 weeks before an incumbent is placed in a position.

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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

    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.

    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. Additional information on Chico State’s Background Check Procedures website. CSU Background Check Policy HR 2017-17 (PDF).

    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 might also be required of current student employees, not just brand new. Current student positions must be evaluated by the department to determine if background check criteria are met by the position.  Employment Services can confirm if a current student employee is required to have a new background check. 

  • Step 2: Post student position in Handshake

    Use Handshake(opens in new window) to advertise for all state-funded, work study, and LAEP student employee position openings on campus.  Positions should be posted for a minimum of 7 business days.

    • Student Employment has tips and best practices for setting up a Handshake posting to make it easier to screen applicants later. Student Employment Authorization (SEA) form will request the Handshake number.
    • Need multiple student employees for one position type? You can post one posting in Handshake and hire multiple students from the posting.

    Handshake 101 trainings are held each semester to review these steps, obtain feedback, and supply “Handshake Best Practices” for on-campus positions.  Please refer to Professional Development for training dates and times.

     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 the Career Center Chico State(opens in new window) for guidance and templates.

    Screen Applicants

    Screen applicants based on your job application requirements.

    Confirm Student Enrollment

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

    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 directly to students not hired or utilize “status messaging” through Handshake. For more details, visit “Handshake 101 – Getting Started”.

    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. Employment Services processes the ticket and submits the candidate to Accurate Background.
    3. When results are received, Employment Services clears the candidate, notifies the department via the ticket system and communicates if the student employee will need new hire paperwork or if they are authorized to work.
    4. Employment Services 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 Faculty Affairs and Success.
  • 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

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

    • When logged into Handshake, 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 (unless status messaging has been set up in Handshake), 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.
      • For additional information on hiring students through Handshake, please refer to On Campus Student Employment.
  • Step 8: Candidate completes Employment paperwork

    IMPORTANT: DO NOT allow students to begin working until you have been given authorization to work approval by Employment Services.

    It is a federal requirement for employees to complete employment paperwork including a form I-9 prior to starting work. 

    Candidates who were submitted for a background check through the TDx ticket system will automatically be sent employment paperwork if required.  The requestor of the ticket will be notified if the employee requires paperwork or if they are authorized to work once their background check has cleared. 

    If your candidate did not go through a background check, send an email to with the student’s Chico State ID, first and last name, and their contact email address and that they will be a Student Assistant. Employment Services will contact the student directly if employment paperwork is required. If no employment paperwork is required, an Employment Services representative will inform you that the student is authorized to work and to submit the SEA form.

  • Step 9: Complete Student Employment Authorization (SEA)

    Hiring department will complete the Student Employment Authorization (SEA)(opens in new window) form and use the process guide(opens in new window) for instructions on how to route for signatures through Adobe Sign.

    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.

    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 Brian Smith, 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 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.

    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.

    Online Professional Development Courses

    Student employees have access to online professional development courses through CSU Learn, please visit the CSU Learn site to learn more.

  • Resources
  • Separation

    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

    Hiring department uses the Planned Separation Report to notify Payroll that the student’s employment has ended.  Payroll will begin to monitor student records for lack of pay.  For additional questions about terminating student employees, please contact the Student Employment Coordinator at

  • 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. All student employee positions are required to be posted in Handshake.  Please contact the Student Employment Coordinator at

    Question: I want to re-classify a student employee for a higher level. What is the process?

    Answer: Please reach out to Student Employment for guidance on posting the position, classification placement, etc.

    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. 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: