Human Resources

Recruitment Phase

Check references

Once you’ve decided who you’d like to hire, you’ll speak with that person’s references. The purpose of checking references is to screen for adverse information and to confirm you’ve made a good decision about who to hire. Letters of recommendation do not substitute for dialogue with references. Here are the questions we ask.

Many people think that references only provide positive information about candidates, but this is untrue. Most reference checks yield both constructive and positive input about a candidate. After you’ve checked references for the first time, you’ll agree.

Generally, we ask candidates to bring their list of references to their final round interview. It is a good idea to alert candidates at the end of the interview day that you may be calling their references. In turn, the candidate can inform their references to expect your call.

It is Reed’s practice to require three professional references, one of whom is a former or current supervisor. Should you not be able to contact a former manager, contact HR to discuss your options.

Extending a job offer

Once you are satisfied with your candidate’s references, you will extend your job offer over the phone (or perhaps in person, if the candidate is internal), rather than email so that the two of you can have a dialogue about the position, you can answer questions and you can negotiate a start date. Please familiarize yourself with the talking points for extending a job offer prior to making the phone call.

You should aim to get an on-the-spot acceptance and a start date, but if the candidate wants time to consider your offer, it is fine to allow a day or two. Generally, you will not offer more than two days so that you can quickly move on to your back-up candidate, should your primary candidate decline.

Written offer letter

HR will provide you with a draft offer letter for your candidate. After you extend the verbal offer, you will mail two original hard copies along with the Reed benefits summary to the candidate’s home. The candidate will keep one for themselves and sign and return the other to you. You’ll want to include a stamped, self-addressed envelope along with the two letters.

If you feel it is important that your new hire have an electronic copy of the job offer, send it in PDF format via email, along with the benefits summary.

Regarding salary negotiations

Reed does not negotiate starting salary. Salary negotiation systematically disadvantages women and people from other cultures where such negotiations do not take place. When you extend a job offer it should reflect the maximum amount you wish to pay, while still being fair in comparison with peers’ salaries.

Relocation assistance

Reed offers relocation reimbursement to those who are moving to Portland. Here is a list of the relocation amounts as well as the relocation letter you’ll provide along with the offer letter.

Declining other candidates

Once your candidate has verbally accepted your job offer, as soon as possible you should notify the other candidates that the search has concluded and you have hired another person. Here is a sample decline email.

You must politely decline:

  • Other finalists
  • Any other candidates with whom you have spoken to at any point in the recruitment
  • All candidates who have an affiliation with Reed, such as current employees, alumni, or referrals by alumni, faculty, or staff.

As the hiring manager, you should personally decline (usually by email) any candidate with whom you’ve had any contact.  It is strongly suggested that you decline all of your candidates, but it is not required.

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