Staff Recruiting and Hiring

This section provides assistance to supervisors to understand the university’s staff recruitment, selection, and hiring processes. In addition, these guidelines help to ensure compliance with federal and local laws.

Recruiting (Filling an Open Position)

If the vacancy is created by the termination of an employee, decide if you want to fill the position as is or change it before recruiting for a new employee.  This is an excellent time to consider organizational changes and reassignments.  Supervisors may contact HR for an electronic copy of the job description in order to make changes as appropriate to ensure you are recruiting for the skills you need.

The job description is an essential tool in recruitment and forms the basis of your selection process.  It is the guide in determining the skills and behavioral qualifications (e.g., customer service skills, strengths as a team member, or ability to manage many changing tasks) you want the new employee to possess.

Once the position description has been reviewed and updated:

  • Complete a Staff Adjustment Request routing it to VP/Dean and CFO for approval before submitting to HR.
  • Send an electronic copy of the updated job description to HR for the job posting.

Establishing a Search Committee:

Depending upon the type of position it is recommended that you convene a search committee to participate in the selection process.  A committee of 3 or 4 is appropriate.  Search committee members can provide you with different perspectives on the qualifications of the candidates. The panel could be comprised of other staff members and managers in other departments on campus.

It is your responsibility to give the panel members information about the position, such as the position description, the essential functions of the job, and the qualifications.  Prior to screening application materials, make sure they have a shared understanding of what constitutes a good response to supplemental questions.


Application Process and Initial Screening:

  • HR receives and reviews all applications/resumes before forwarding to the hiring supervisor for consideration.
  • The hiring department is responsible for screening all applications and resumes to determine if an individual applying for the vacant position can be considered a viable applicant.

Interviewing Candidates:

  • The hiring department is responsible for interviewing candidates. Interviews must be conducted fairly and consistently. Certain subjects or areas of inquiry are unlawful or inappropriate topics for interview questions. To avoid these legal pitfalls, hiring departments should refer to the information below before conducting interviews with identified candidates.
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against qualified persons with physical or hidden impairments that substantially affect major life activities, those with records of such impairments, and those who are regarded as having impairments. Under the ADA, employers are prohibited from rejecting an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, on the basis of the disability, if that individual can perform the essential functions of a position with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Interviewing Guidelines:

Evaluating Candidates:

The hiring manager should request each person who interviewed the candidate to submit written feedback on the candidate. A Candidate Evaluation Form is a very helpful tool to use. It enables you to identify and weigh the most important areas of the position and allow those who are participating in the interview process to assess the individual’s qualifications and provide side-by-side comparisons of candidates.

This type of written comparison is useful in not only documenting the rationale behind your hiring decisions, but also in looking past your immediate impressions during the interview process. Remember, you are charged with hiring the best qualified candidate.

The following are examples of Candidate Evaluation Forms:


Upon selecting a final candidate, the hiring supervisor initiates a Staff Hiring Authorization, routing it to the VP/Dean and CFO for approval before sending it to HR for processing.

Checking References – References enable employers to validate a candidate’s information against his or her resume and application and to obtain information about the candidate’s prior work performance. Because the process of reference checking has many of the same legal perils as the interview process, it is essential to refer to and follow the relevant guidelines.

HR will perform reference checks once we have received the hiring authorization; however, hiring supervisors may check references if they choose to do so and should obtain a minimum of two references for the final candidate if the individual is an external candidate. Ideally these references should be from the final candidate’s current or most recent employers. Hiring supervisors may use the Telephone Reference Check  form to obtain references. There may be some rare occasions where professional references are not available and in those instances you may obtain personal references from individual’s (other than family members) who can attest to the person’s character.  You may use the Character Reference Check  form for this purpose.  All reference checks will be sent to HR for placement in the prospective employee’s personnel file.

Background Checks – HR will perform criminal background checks before extending formal offers of employment.

Contingent Job Offers – The hiring supervisor may extend a “contingent” offer of employment to the candidate based upon receipt of acceptable background and reference checks. The contingent offer is a mechanism used in order to communicate the intent to hire to protect losing the candidate to another employer. Inform the candidate that HR will extend an official offer of employment in writing which will include benefit information (if applicable).

Closing the Hiring Process:

  • The hiring department is responsible for contacting the candidates that were interviewed but not chosen to inform them that the position has been filled with a candidate that more closely fits the needs of the department.
  • HR will contact applicants who were not interviewed.