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University of South Carolina Employment Office
1600 Hampton Street
Columbia, S.C. 29208

Phone: 803.777.3821
E-Mail: uscjobs@sc.edu

The entrance to the Employment Office is on the northwest corner of the building, facing Pickens Street. Computers are available in the Employment Office for candidates to apply for career opportunities at USC.


Need help contacting USC's Employment Office?

i711.com and Relay South Carolina (RSC) are free services that provide full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, and speech-disabled.

Both services are free and each allows text-telephone (TTY) users to communicate with standard telephone users through specially training relay operators.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Benefits for Eligible Faculty and Staff

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  • Required Workplace Posters

  • Tips: Checking References

  • Tips: Interviewing Applicants

  • USC Hiring Managers


  • Conducting Reference Checks

    Before making a hiring decision, do you conduct a thorough reference check on your top candidates for the job?

    The Universityís Employment Office screens the more than 7,000 individuals who apply for jobs, but itís the responsibility of hiring supervisors to check the references of those seriously being considered for employment, says Employment Manager Ella Marshall.

    "Itís impractical for us to conduct a thorough background check on everyone," she says. "Our office screens applicants to determine that each candidate meets the minimum qualifications requested. This process also includes testing an applicantís typing and computer skills if such skills are required for a position."

    The Employment Office also is responsible for verifying an applicantís educational background or obtaining a criminal background check when requested by a hiring supervisor, Marshall says. To help hiring supervisors with checking references, Marshall offers the following guidelines:

    1. You should state during the interview with a job applicant that references will be checked. Also, donít just rely on letters of reference or personal references provided by the job applicant.

    2. A telephone reference check takes less time than a written reference check and usually more information is gained. Forms rarely uncover negative information. Employers hesitate to put into writing what they may say in a conversation.

    3. The hiring supervisor should make the phone call because he or she is most familiar with the information received from the applicant and the responsibilities of the job. Supervisors should be prepared with a written list of questions to ask.

    4. When calling an applicantís reference: identify yourself immediately; tell the reference about the position for which the applicant is being considered.

    5. To gain as much information as possible, let the person speak without interrupting. If the reference pauses in the conversation, it usually means he/she has other information and is hesitant to share this information. Get them to talk about everything that would be helpful, but only ask for information that will be used in your hiring decision.

    6. Again, ask only job-related questions and document all answers. Avoid questions that can be answered "yes" or "no."

    7. The most important question to get answered is whether the previous employer would rehire the applicant you are considering. If you get no other response, try to get this question answered.

    8. Avoid questions that screen out minorities, women and persons with disabilities, or will bias the reference in terms of age, gender or religion.

    There are many personal questions you must avoid when conducting a reference check. If you have doubts as to whether you should ask a question, donít. Questions you should avoid include:

    1. Does the applicant have any disabilities or health problems?
    2. Is the applicant married or have children?
    3. Has the applicant made child care arrangements?

    Human Resources has created a telephone reference check form (108K) for you to print and use. The form is formatted with Adobe's Acrobat Reader®. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's website for no charge.

    For additional assistance on ensuring your hiring process is successful, call the Employment Office at 803-777-3821.

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