Searching for Existing Person in HRS


In order to maintain a complete history of a person's association with any UW institution, no person can have multiple Empl IDs in HRS. This procedure is necessary to determine if a person has already has an assigned person record number or employee identification number (Empl ID) through other associations with the University of Wisconsin.

Process Considerations:

You may click on the links below to navigate directly to a section:


A. Search for Matching Persons with Existing HRS Data

  1. HRS Navigation: Workforce Administration > Personal Information > Add a Person.

  2. Click the link for Search for Matching Persons.

  3. The Search Criteria page displays.  If the Search Result Code field is blank, click the Magnifying Glass and select General Core HR Results (PSHR_General). Note: Click User Default to set this as the default value for all subsequent searches.

  4. In the Search Criteria fields, enter the person's Social Security Number without dashes in the National ID field.  Unlike names that can change over time, this criteria will return the most reliable results.  If you do not have the Social Security Number, enter the information that you do have. When entering data here, be sure to TAB out of the entered fields.

  5. Click the corresponding Selective Search button if there is an order you would like the search to follow.  Then click the Search button. 

  6. 92searchcriteria.png

  7. The search results may return several potential matches.  Click the Show all columns icon to show results from all tabs at the same time.

  8. Show All Columns

  9. You can click on the headers of each column to sort the results by that column. (For example: Click the Last Name to sort all potential matches by Last Name.)

  10. If a match is found, click the Person Organizational Summary link.

  11. Existing HRS Search

    Person Organizational Summary

  12. The Person Organizational Summary will detail records for the matched person by summarizing them under 'Employment Instances' for an employee or 'Person of Interest Instance' if the result returned a POI.
  13.  Continuing in the existing job?Inactive Empl Record?
     What to do?
     KB to follow?
     Yes  Yes  Rehire person into lowest inactive Empl Rcd
     Rehiring an Employee in HRS
     Yes  No  Add an employment instance
     Adding an Employment Instance (Non-Madison) in HRS
     No  N/A  Transfer the employee's active Empl Rcd that they are transferring from
     Maintaining Workforce - Transfers in HRS
     N/A (POI)
     N/A  Add an employment instance
     Adding an Employment Instance (Non-Madison) in HRS
  14. If no match is found you must also search for the person using the Legacy Person Search tool.  Continue with the steps below.

B. Search for Prior Employment in Legacy System (EPM Data Warehouse)

  1. HRS Navigation: Workforce Administration > Personal Information > Legacy Person Search

  2. In the Search Criteria fields enter:
    • Date of Birth
    • National ID (Social Security Number) - no hyphens
    NOTE:  for best results, search by Date of Birth and Social Security Number only - other criteria may not return accurate results


  3. Click the Search button.

  4. Person Information and most recent job information (if any) for each Empl Rcd will appear on the page.


  5. If Person Information appears, make a note of the Empl ID, and continue with Adding a Person in HRS using this Empl ID.

  6. If Person Information is not found, continue with Adding a Person in HRS and use 'NEW' as the Empl ID (Person ID).

Additional Resources

Related KBs:
Related Links:

Get Help

  • Click HERE to contact UW Shared Services or HERE for the Office of Technology Services (OTS) Helpdesk if you have any issues with these instructions.