Skip to main content

Hiring & Transitions

Hiring and Transitions are some of the most essential, and delicate, processes in the workplace. This page and its accompanying sub-pages provide resources to assist people leaders.

Hiring Process

A step-by-step guide to filling vacant positions.


  • Unit Needs: Assess the current needs and goals of the unit and revise the position description if appropriate.
  • Organizational Needs: Determine the needs of the organization and work team and review any changes in the nature of the unit’s work or the workflow.
  • Position Responsibilities: Design the position’s responsibilities and tasks to meet organizational needs and develop the position description.
  • University Title, Pay Band, and Compensation: Consult with your local HR representative to ensure that the position's University title and band level are appropriate. See Classifying Positions, Salaries and Titles for more information on job classification and pay determinations.
  • Authorization: Follow your local unit guidelines to obtain required hiring authorization.


Search Plan

Determine scope of the search and parties to be involved in the selection process. The decision to conduct a local, regional or national search should take into consideration:

  • the nature of the position;
  • the unit's affirmative action goals;
  • labor market conditions; and
  • the funds allotted for recruitment.

For each position vacancy, the hiring department, diversity and affirmative action representative and local HR representative must work closely to ensure that an appropriate search is conducted. Management of the recruitment process will directly affect:

  • the quality and diversity of the candidate pool;
  • the effectiveness of the interviews;
  • how quickly the position is filled;
  • the ability to hire the best qualified person for the job.

Diversity Recruiting Resources

Executive Search Firms

Recruiting for top talent in a competitive job market is a daunting task for employers. There are times when it may be necessary to engage the expertise of an executive search firm to help identify highly-skilled and critical talent that isn’t readily available through traditional recruitment channels. This guide for engaging with executive search firms provides important information regarding requirements and the steps you need to take to get started. Additionally you will find a list of firms (updated at least once per quarter) that have been used at Cornell in the last 24 months and their areas of focus, FAQ’s, and questions to help you evaluate potential firms.


In order to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and to present Cornell University in a consistent and professional manner, all recruitment advertising should conform to the guidelines presented below. 

Unlawful Inquiries

The New York State Human Rights Law prohibits pre-employment and certain other inquiries as to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status or arrest records unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception. Examples of unlawful inquiries can be found on the Advertising & Recruiting page.


Working with Temporary Agencies

Application Screening

Guide for Race/Ethnicity Reporting (pdf)

Conducting Interviews

References and Background Investigations

Offering the Position

Be sure to obtain prior approval of your offer according to your department or unit guidelines (e.g. director, administrative manager, human resource representative, etc.). You will also need to determine a salary offer prior to offering the position.

Relocation Program

A partnership with Coldwell Banker has been established to provide relocation and real estate assistance to new faculty and staff as requested by the hiring unit.

Other Appointments

  • Interns and Visiting Students - Cornell offers several options to individuals who wish to learn or conduct research at Cornell for a limited period of time (typically three to 12 months, but as many as 24 months for non-degree graduate students accepted through the Graduate School and affiliated with a graduate field) without intending to obtain a Cornell degree. The Provost's International Research Internship Program publishes "Guidelines for Cornell Faculty and Staff Engaging with Interns and Visiting Students"  to provide guidelines and general information so that faculty and staff members can provide accurate advice on the options available, ensure consistency in appointments, and limit risk exposure for the University.


HR Services and Transitions Center

The goal of onboarding is to effectively and efficiently welcome new hires by providing a single destination where they will complete all required actions and receive valuable resources, allowing them to assimilate to the campus and community and to focus on their new role more quickly.

An effective onboarding experience will positively reinforce the individual’s decision to accept a position at Cornell, resulting in increased productivity and better long term potential.

Customers Served

  • All Ithaca-based employees, excluding temps
  • New employees working in other locations outside of Ithaca to be determined

Net ID activation

  • Paid appointments with a primary home email address, will be sent their NetID and activation code in an email.
    • If they don’t have an email address the NetID and activation code will be given to them by their department (printed letter) or sent via U.S. Mail.
  • Non-paid appointments with a primary home email address and text message capable phone number will receive an email asking them to verify their text message capable phone number; an activation code is then sent to their phone to activate their NetID.
    • If they don’t have a text capable phone, their NetID will be given to them by their department (printed letter) or sent via U.S. Mail.

Manager's Role in Onboarding New Hires

Once the offer has been accepted, supervisors should start orienting the staff or faculty member to Cornell. This phase should be designed to reassure the new hire that he or she made the correct decision in coming to Cornell, and should begin to generate that new hire's excitement in coming here.

The Welcoming and Orienting Employees Supervisors Guide (pdf) has been created to help you in preparing for all new hires once they are here. These tools are designed to guide you in assisting them to become acclimated to their position, understand your management style and expectations, and have the tools they need to make a successful transition to Cornell.

Related Forms: New Hire Checklists (pdf), Probationary Review Form: Staff (pdf), Probationary Review Form: Bargaining Unit (pdf)

Engagement & Integration Program

Designed for new executives, targeted faculty hires, and their partners, to help facilitate a smooth transition into Cornell professionally as well as on campus and in the Ithaca community.

Hiring & Onboarding Resources

Info Sheets & Web Pages

For Faculty

For Staff


  • Visiting Campus (website): Cornell’s guide to visiting campus & Ithaca, complete with maps, events, and tour/information session schedules.
  • hub of resources for new arrivals to the Ithaca area, including information about area housing, schools, community, and more.
  • Places to Visit on Campus (pdf): flyer with descriptions and links to some of the most popular sights and features at Cornell, such as Minn’s Garden, the Johnson Museum of Art, and Fuertes Observatory.
  • This is Cornell (pdf): a brief overview of Cornell University history and structure.
  • Your Rights & Responsibilities: a guide to university policies, such as the campus code of conduct, drug-free workplace, computer policies, and more.
  • Places to Visit In and Around Ithaca (pdf): flyer with information and links to Ithaca area attractions, including local arts and theatre, parks and trails, shopping, and more.