CoreHR common queries and other useful information

 This page was last reviewed on 20 January 2021


Please also check our separate webpage which lists issues and bugs within the CoreHR system, that are currently under investigation and we expect to be resolved.

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1. Which browsers are compatible with CoreHR?

Usually, the Portal will work well in Google Chrome and when undertaking tasks in the Back Office, the preferred browser is Internet Explorer. A full list of all the certified browsers by CoreHR can be found here.

2. Drop-down fields with large selection choice

Drop-down fields that contain a large selection of options can take a long time to display/load. For efficiency, start typing the value you need, instead of clicking on the drop-down menu. This is especially useful when populating data in the following fields: Cost Centre, Location and Work Group.

3. Special characters within Comments fields

The system has validation scripts that scan any text entered within CoreHR Portal to check for potential security threats/attacks. Where this process identifies anything that could resemble a malicious code, an error is flagged (‘403 error’). This particularly occurs when certain special characters or in some cases a combination of special characters are entered into Comments fields. If you encounter a ‘403 error’ message in such instances, please remove any special characters from the text (eg ! * @ # ‘ etc). If this doesn’t resolve the error, then please contact HRIS Support.

4. What are the future plans for on-boarding via CoreHR for new starters?

New functionality options will be explored and investigated in the future.

1. What Staff Request notifications (ie automatic emails) does the system generate and what do they include? 

Please see below a list of all the automatic Staff Request emails sent from the system.

Action Automatic email sent

Staff Request is submitted by Staff Request Creator

Notification sent to all Staff Request Approvers for that department. 
Staff Request is rejected by Staff Request Approver (Department / Division) Notification sent to Staff Request Creator, including the rejection comments entered by the Approver on the staff request. 
Reward team have created and approved the planned appointment (Staff Request is approved)  Notification sent to all Staff Request Approvers for that department. 
Staff Request is rejected by Reward team The Reward team will usually contact the department off-system to explain the reasonf for rejection. Once the Reward team reject the Staff Request, an automatic email will be sent to the Staff Request Creator.


2. Where can I find a list of department codes to help me enter the cost centre (GL code) and location in step 1 of the Staff Request? 

Access the full list of the University department codes from the University Organisation Structure spreadsheet (refer to column ‘Level 3 Entity’, on tab ‘Org Structure Report’). A number of CoreHR reports also contain your department’s code(s). 


3. What do the 'Retirees', 'Contract ending' and other figures mean in 'Your Establishment'? 

The figures displayed on the left-hand side of the 'Your Establishment' screen do not represent the data accurately and should be ignored. 

establishment tab


1. Sending email batches to multiple applicants 

To avoid issues, when emailing multiple applicants at the same time, please only send up to 25 emails at a time (ie emailing up to 25 applicants at a time).

2. 'Sent from' email address

All system emails are sent from a ‘no reply’ central account: HRIS.MAILRETURN@IT.OX.AC.UK. If applicants reply to the email, they will receive an automatic reply, which includes:

‘Please do not reply to this email, the mailbox it has been sent from is not monitored.’

Some email templates also have a prompt for departments to enter their own email address in the body text. You will need to update each email sent in that batch (please remember to 'Save' each email individually, before proceeding to the next one).

3. Generating applicant packs - up to 50 applicants at a time only

When generating applicant packs (ie creating one PDF document), please only select up to 50 applicants at a time, eg if you have 150 applicants, create three merged packs of 50 applicants in each one. You could then use specific software, eg Kofax Power PDF Advanced or Adobe Acrobat DC to convert the three PDF packs into one. 

2. Advert text - character limit

The Advert Text screen displays character limit in percentages. All adverts must be under 3,500 characters (equivalent to about 500 words), which helps to create consistency across the University and complies with many external job boards. The percentage remaining after inputting your advert text must be no less than 86%.

3. Copying vacancy URL link

If you need your vacancy URL link, in order to post on another site or to share in an email, simply open your live vacancy on the Jobs website and copy the full link (which should end with the number of your vacancy ID), eg:

vacancy url link  end with vacancy id

4. Questionnaire cannot be previewed in the Portal

Please pay close attention to the Current Questions menu to see which questions are included and in which order, as you cannot preview this screen. 

5. Notifications - slow to appear

You should see a notification each time a document is created in the system, eg University Card form. However, these can be slow to appear, and we suggest you go to the 'Download Centre' and refresh your screen until your document appears.

6. 'Unsubmitting' web applicants

Occasionally candidates may request for their application to be reinstated after they have already submitted it, but this is not possible in CoreHR. Please follow your usual processes in case this arises, or contact HRIS Support for guidance.

1. Checking that bank details have been entered correctly

To check that the correct bank details have been entered, please run the PERDEP20 report to cross reference against your data collection form (or other).

2. Scaled allowances - incorrect description in 'Allowance Type'

When a scaled allowance is entered in the Portal, the description within the ‘Allowance Type’ field will auto-populate with ‘Clinical APA Allowance’, instead of ‘Scaled’. Please be assured that the correct allowance type has been selected and will be paid accordingly. This is purely a display issue and does not affect the correct processing of the allowance. Please continue to add the allowance, ignoring its description.

In this instance, the system is displaying how allowances are calculated rather than the description itself. You can verify this when back on the Allowances screen, where within the Value column you will see the relevant scaled description.  

allowance  apa display issue


3. Numbers displayed in the Command Centre

command centre  number count

The number count on the Command Centre should be ignored. This looks at active staff only, who have ever held an appointment in your department. This is misleading for the way we work at the University (devolved organisation). 

NB Salaries/allowances awaiting approval for rehires (whose records remain dormant) will not show up in the count under Salary Approvals. Please always click 'VIEW' on Salary Approvals to see an accurate list of items awaiting your approval.

4. Unable to locate an individual in Employee list/ open their staff record via the VIEW button, after appointing

If you can’t find the individual in Employee list, you are unable to open their record through the VIEW button, after appointing into a new appointment, please contact HRIS Support. This often happens where a pay group is missing, which can only be rectified by HRIS Support.

5. Unable to locate a contract/offer letter

All contract templates, including offer letter remain off-system. Please continue to use the non-CoreHR versions until further notice, at

6. Saving changes

You are not prompted to save changes - please always remember to do this, otherwise changes will be lost.

When you click ‘Save’, a green confirmation notification appears, with a green line beneath - this is a timer. You must wait for it to complete, before leaving the screen, or executing further actions.

save successful screenshot

1. I keep entering my CONNECT details when prompted, but nothing seems to be happening - what do I do?

You may have accidentally entered an incorrect password too many times and your account may now be locked. Your CONNECT account will become locked after three unsuccessful attempts. However, a message to alert you about this won't be displayed on your screen. You can reset your CONNECT password at (use the 'Forgotten Password' option). If you continue to experience logging in issues, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

2. I have forgotten my CONNECT password; what do I do?

If you have forgotten your CONNECT password, please go to, and use the 'Forgotten Password' option. If you experience any issues with resetting your password, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

3. What are my 'HR Reporting login details' as prompted when accessing a report?

Existing users prior to 22 July 2020: These are your Discoverer login details. If you have forgotten your Discoverer password, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

Users since 22 July 2020: These login details will have been communicated to you when you were first granted access to CoreHR and/or HR Reporting tool. Please contact the HRIS Helpdesk if you're unsure about what to enter here.

Please also see the HR Reporting How-to Guide for further guidance.

4. I have an active CONNECT account, but I cannot access HR Reporting - what should I do?

HR Reporting will only work when connected to a University network, eg via VPN. If you are connected to a University network and are still having problems accessing the tool, please check that your CONNECT login details are correct (see Question 1 above). Please also note that the recommended browsers are Internet Explorer and Edge. The tool will not work in Firefox, and users may also experience some issues in Chrome.

If none of the above resolve your problem, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk. 

Please also see the HR Reporting How-to Guide for further guidance.

5. My report is taking too long to run and isn't producing results - what should I do?

All reports should produce results within 30 minutes. It is possible that you may experience a loss of connection in that time, in which case please try again. If you continue to experience difficulties with running the report, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

6. Why is 'Favorites' spelled without a 'u'?

The reporting tool is a Microsoft product from the US, and therefore some spellings are in US English, which we are unable to change. 

7. Why am I prompted to enter my HR Reporting login details every time I want to run a report?

The security settings for HR Reporting are set at report-level. This is the way the reporting tool is designed and not a feature the University can alter. You will need to continue to enter your HR Reporting login details for every report.

8. Is there a recommended browser for HR Reporting?

Yes - HR Reporting should ideally be accessed via Internet Explorer or Edge. The tool won't work in Firefox and users may also experience issues in Chrome.

Guidance for HR staff is available on the HR Self-Service guidance webpage.

Visit the HR Self-Service Staff Gateway page for further FAQs, relevant to all staff using HR Self-Service.


None at present.