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Name: Staff Search Policy
Responsible Office: Human Resources

Applies to: (examples; Faculty,Staff, Students, etc)

Faculty , Staff

Policy Overview:

Issued: 07-01-2021
Next Review Date: 12-03-2022
Frequency of Reviews: Annually

The policy on Staff hiring provides a consistent approach to ensure that the recruitment of full-time and part-time staff is conducted in a manner that meets compliance needs, consistent with our values (discovery, diversity, inclusion, integrity, respect, and service), UHSP’s strategic priorities and goals, as well as following best practice to ensure for selection of the best possible staff members.

Applies to faculty, staff or administrators authorizing, managing or participating in staff searches.


Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Approval to Fill a Position
  3. Defining the Search
    1. Job Analysis
    2. Determine position specifics and job description
    3. Review for Affirmative Action
    4. Determine if Sponsorship is Available for the Position
    5. Freezing a Search
    6. Develop a Realistic Timeline
    7. Posting Job Listings
  4. Culture of Searching
  5. The Hiring Team Makeup and Guidelines
    1. Hiring Team Structure
    2. Responsibilities of Hiring Manager
    3. Confidentiality
    4. Communication with applicants and candidates
    5. Retention of Application Materials
    6. Hiring Materials
  6. Advertising and Sourcing Candidates
    1. Print/Online advertising
    2. Broadening the Applicant Pool
    3. Networking
  7. Applications
  8. Evaluation and Interviewing
    1. Selection criteria
    2. Prohibited selection criteria
    3. Applicant pool demographics
    4. Narrowing the candidate pool - Minimum qualifications
    5. Assessment of interview pool demographics
    6. Preferred Qualifications
    7. Phone/Video Screening Interviews
    8. Finalists and “on-campus” interviews
    9. Failed Search
  9. Recommending a candidate
    1. References
    2. Report of search finalists
    3. Negotiation
    4. Acceptance of an offer
    5. Background Check

Definitions:

Term

Definition

Full Time Staff

Employees with 30 or more hours

Part Time Staff

Employees with 29 hours or less

Applicant

An individual that has submitted an application through Paycom

Candidate

An individual of interest that has been screened and progressed to the next steps of the hiring process.

Details:

1) Introduction

This policy aims to provide guidance on the structure needed to encourage participation in job searches while recognizing that the University has a variety of positions that require different skills. The goal of the search process is to evaluate, recommend, and hire the best candidate(s) for the position. Active involvement by the hiring manager and other members of the process helps to ensure the right person is being selected and the candidate pool is diverse in terms of culture, experience, skills and/or abilities. 

2) Approval to Fill a Position

The hiring manager is responsible for completing a requisition for each position through the human resources system, regardless of whether it is a replacement position or a new position The requisition must be approved by the appropriate administrators before being sent to human resources and the President. Only when a requisition is completed can an open position be confirmed and posted.

3) Defining the Search

Human Resources will work with the hiring manager to develop a plan for defining the search.  Consideration will be given to how to define the position, pay structure, sponsorship, describing the job for listing, departmental funds available for non-local candidate travel, and whether to consider internal and/or external candidates.

a) Job Analysis

HR can provide advice with salary surveys, work analysis, and budget review.

b) Determine Position Specifics and Job Description
The position description must be consistent with established need and strategic plans. Human Resources can provide a template (Appendix A). The manager will select staff within the department, preferably someone who has done the role, and request input from partners across departments (if needed), when developing the position specifics and job description.

A complete description will include:

  • Job duties and responsibilities for the position
  • Full-time or part-time status
  • Date/time the position needs to start
  • Salary range available in the budget (available to hiring managers or administrators only)
  • Division of effort among duties (Optional)
  • Minimum requirements for education and experience, the equivalency chart can be useful in exploring flexibility within requirements on some positions (Appendix H).
  • Preferred education and experience requirements
  • Desired communication and interpersonal skills
  • Notice of institutional values and/or cultural competency outcome, and/or desire to have a candidate contribute to diversity on campus. See Appendix B for examples.

 c) Review for Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action is the University taking demonstrable action to increase diversity and inclusiveness. The University uses an Affirmative Action Plan, which provides an analysis of its workforce to assess the possible underutilization of women, minorities, veterans, and persons with diversity. If underutilization is identified for specific positions, the University can create specific outreach efforts to find underrepresented candidates. In addition, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers training to staff responsible for hiring to ensure that the recruitment process is equitable and unbiased. Affirmative action is not a “quota” or extending preference to any individual based on race, color, religion, gender, veteran status, or national origin.

d) Determine if Sponsorship is Available for the Position.

Some candidates may need to be sponsored for employment. Additional work time (three or four months) and budget resources are involved to obtain a visa if the University wishes to hire a foreign national candidate. An administrator will determine if funding is available for visa sponsorship and notify the manager. See the Employment Eligibility and Sponsorship Policy.

Candidates cannot be discriminated against based on citizenship status. However, some specific positions may require evaluation of citizenship status.

e) Freezing a Search

Should there be a need to stop the search, the hiring manager will actively communicate that the search has been stopped as early in the process as possible to any candidates that have been interviewed whether by phone or in person. Human Resources can reach out to candidates who had not been interviewed.

f) Develop a Realistic Timeline

If working with a team, having a timeline can be helpful in staying on track. Beginning with the target start date for the staff member, work backwards and develop a realistic timeline for recruiting candidates and interviewing applicants. The timeline should be developed by the manager. An example can be found in Appendix C.

g) Posting Job Listings

Staff positions must be posted for a minimum of five (5) business days before an offer of employment is made. Positions remain posted until a sufficient number of qualified applicants are referred.  It is the responsibility of the applicant or employee to apply for positions for which he/she is qualified and for which he/she wishes to be considered as a candidate.

External position listings must be posted via the UHSP Employment Opportunities page at https://www.uhsp.edu/employment/index.html.  Additional posting and advertising directions are covered in that section of the policy.

Not all positions need to be posted externally.

  • It may be decided to only post some positions internally. Internal listings should be published on the internal Paycom job board.  Additional listing communication may be shared via meetings or email.
  • It is not necessary to post externally when an employee within the immediate work group or department fills a role on an interim basis until a replacement can be found.

This is not an all-inclusive list but is intended to provide some guidance to determine when positions may be filled without posting. If you are not certain whether you must post a vacant position, contact the Human Resources Office.  UHSP encourages cross training, lateral, and promotional opportunities for all employees.

4) Culture of Searching
Reimagining recruiting as an ongoing activity rather than as a special occasion means encouraging your department to be in the habit of regularly “scouting” for potential candidates who will enhance your department and its diversity profile in specific ways.

Scouting activities are meant to identify and build relationships with potential job applicants so that the department is in a good position to attract high quality applicants when it has an approved search. Scouting also can lead to the identification of “preferred” candidates the department would like to hire.

When thinking about scouting, units should bear in mind that:

  • Scouting activities are meant to help build high quality, diverse pools of potential applicants for the future; they cannot guarantee funded positions.
  • It is important to openly discuss how the department will approach preferred candidates and/or specialized searches in relation to long-range hiring plans.
  • Administrators for departments, schools, and the institution should be careful not to build unrealistic expectations for either potential applicants or current staff.

With these cautions in mind, here are some ways a department can foster effective habits for scouting:

  • Develop, discuss, and regularly update long-range hiring plans, taking into consideration the University’s current Affirmative Action Plan. (If the department is unaware of its Affirmative Action Plan, check with the Human Resources office). All members of the department should be aware of current and anticipated needs, including those related to anticipated or known retirements, as well as of the department’s “wish list” for future hires.       
  • Encourage all members of the department to view professional meetings as opportunities to scout for potential applicants. Members can track future potential applicants by attending events offered by various professional groups.
  • Consider hosting a targeted reception or event at your discipline’s major conference or meeting that spotlights a critical University goal a new hire could help us achieve.

5) The Hiring Team Makeup and Guidelines

a) Hiring Team Structure
Having a hiring team is not mandatory but could be helpful when filling a position in the department. The make-up of hiring teams may vary depending on the function of the staff position. In general, a search for a staff member is chaired by an administrative focused member but with significant input from individuals from the representative department.

b) Responsibilities of Hiring Manager
Through his/her own work and interpersonal interactions, the hiring manager should demonstrate both a commitment to University values and a willingness to expand the applicant and interview pool so to increase the number of underrepresented minorities involved.

The hiring manager is responsible for:

  • Following the University search policy
  • Keeping the search moving according to the timeline
  • Ensuring that the team is holding true to search parameters outlined in the position description
  • Communicating with the department on the status of the search
  • Ensuring records--including those pertaining to the reasons that candidates have been rejected-- are kept in accordance with HR requirements
  • Communicating directly to applicants and candidates
  • Working with Human Resources in placing advertisements in appropriate websites
  • Requesting utilization of staff for the search, i.e. itinerary preparation
  • Running a confidential, fair, ethical, non-discriminatory search
c) Hiring Team Training

Prior to reviewing candidates, all UHSP hiring managers must have undergone committee search training within the past two years. Anyone assigned to a hiring team must complete this training as well.  This ensures that hiring team members are up to date regarding questions that can and cannot be asked during an interview, confidentiality, recordkeeping, and UHSP processes. UHSP hiring team members must be knowledgeable about the University’s equal employment opportunity policy (that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, gender, gender expression/identity, sexual orientation, veteran status or other protected class in admission, financial aid, athletics or any of its educational policies and programs), its affirmative action plan, the University’s diversity and inclusion values, ways to avoid interview bias, and promote the long-term retention of prospective candidates.

d) Confidentiality

While the search and most of the description of the job is not confidential, some job specifics should be treated as confidential.  In most circumstances, only administrators will have confidential search information such as salary range.

All applications are considered confidential. An applicant’s name, CV, or other materials may not be shared outside the committee, department chair, appropriate dean, Human Resources, and assigned support staff until a candidate accepts an invitation to interview on campus. Revealing an applicant to his/her current employer may jeopardize his/her position and/or reputation.

e) Communication with Applicants and Candidates 

To ensure confidentiality and integrity during the search process, only the hiring manager and Human Resources may communicate with the applicant.  The hiring manager will coordinate to ensure communication efforts are not duplicated.  For staff positions, Human Resources has the task of initiating references or contacting candidates, but under no circumstances should no one else outside of HR make contact with candidates or outside recommenders without the hiring manager’s knowledge, direction, and assent.

f) Retention of Application Materials

  • The following records should be kept during the search:
  • Record of applicant pool diversity (HR)
  • Copies of announcements or advertisements (HR)
  • Correspondence with candidates, evaluations, references (Hiring Manager & HR)
  • Evaluations, decisions, and reasons for decisions of candidates at each step, applicants, interviewees (Hiring Manager). See Appendix D for example template.
  • Final recommendation (Hiring Manager)

After the search has concluded, Human Resources will retain search records.

g) Hiring Materials

Human Resources can provide the search committee, if needed, with a packet of materials, (see Appendices) that includes all the necessary checklists, sample forms, etc. at the beginning of the search.

6) Advertising and Sourcing Candidates

a)Print/Online Advertising

All positions will be posted on the University’s public website as well as sites that can help ensure the candidate pool is diverse and can also work with the hiring manager to post advertisements on other sites that are consistent with the University’s branding efforts and requirements.  Budgets for advertising are limited and hiring managers should make efforts to ensure that advertisements are of value.  

All postings are required to have the following or officially updated language:

“University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values diversity.   All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status, or status as an individual with a disability.  EOE/M/F/Veteran/Disabled”

b) Broadening the Applicant Pool

Making specific efforts to broaden the applicant search for diverse applicants can enhance the department and the institution.  As best practice, hiring managers are strongly encouraged to utilize minority directories and associations.  A sample list is included as Appendix E.

c) Networking

It is best practice to use professional conferences and meetings to find outstanding candidates.  Members of the department could also contact peers and University programs, if necessary, directly to notify them of the search and request information on potential qualified candidates.

7) Applications

All applicants are required to apply through the Human Resources application system.  If a department receives solicited or unsolicited resumes, the hiring manager should instruct these individuals to apply using the online system. All applications/resumes of qualified candidates will be available to the hiring manager via the on-line hiring system. This system ensures that electronic materials are available to all involved with filling the position. The system also asks for voluntary demographic information such as race/ethnicity, gender, disability, and veteran status.

Internal candidates who are interviewed should inform their supervisors prior to a final offer being accepted.

8) Evaluation and Interviewing

a) Selection criteria

Prior to reviewing candidates, the hiring manager/team should develop selection criteria based on the job specifics and description.

A sample selection evaluation tool is available in Appendix D.  This sample should be customized by the committee to ensure that it includes valid assessment for specific competencies needed for the position (knowledge, skills, abilities, or other attributes).

The evaluation tool will include a tool for assessing a candidate’s alignment with institutional values.

Special care should be taken to ensure that selection criteria are inclusive and do not potentially limit underrepresented minorities from meeting the criteria.

b) Prohibited Selection Criteria

University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy in St. Louis is an equal opportunity employer.  Hiring managers/teams are prohibited from using race/ethnicity, religion, color, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, age, veteran status, gender identity, and sexual orientation to discriminate against candidates.

It is acceptable to review an applicant’s resume and any other submitted supporting documents.  However, under no circumstances should the committee investigate to discern information about an applicant’s personal life. For this reason, general “Google” searches and Facebook searches are prohibited.

c) Applicant Pool Demographics

The Human Resources system can track demographics of the applicant pool and report back to the hiring manager.  The applicant pool will be compared to available data in the Affirmative Action, St. Louis Metropolitan area to determine if the pool is reasonably diverse.  

d) Narrowing the Candidate Pool - Minimum Qualifications

The hiring manager and appropriate members of their team should take part in reviewing candidates, using previously determined evaluation criteria to narrow the candidate pool into candidates who fail to meet minimum qualifications and those who meet minimum qualifications.  

It is best practice to communicate with candidates who do not meet minimum qualifications and notify them that they are no longer under consideration. The hiring manager and HR will coordinate who will communicate with candidates and when that communication will occur.

There will remain some candidates who meet the minimum and some candidates who may have preferred qualifications or more desirable qualifications, experiences, etc.  The hiring manager may decide to communicate to these candidates that they are still under consideration.

e) Assessment of Interview Pool Demographics

Human Resources can report demographics of the applicants selected to an interview list and report back to the hiring manager prior to interviews.  The pool at this stage will be compared to the total applicant pool to determine if it is reasonably diverse. 

f) Preferred Qualifications

The hiring manager and appropriate members of their team will evaluate candidates using an evaluation tool to select candidates from among those who meet the minimum qualifications but have the preferred qualifications to select for interviews.

g) Phone/Video Screening Interviews

As many members of the hiring team as possible should take part in initial or screening interviews.  These are often done on the phone but can also be done via videoconference.  Standard questions should be established for all applicants.  Follow-up questions may vary to get further detail on answers.  Notes from each member should be shared with the whole team.  Sample questions can be provided to the hiring team and are available from HR.  The question set should include questions about duties, general competencies, and/or alignment with UHSP values. See Appendix F.

Care should be taken to ensure that candidates are given an equal opportunity in the process.

After the initial interview, the applicant pool will be narrowed down to a few finalists. The hiring manager should make sure to select appropriate dispositions in Paycom and human resources can reply to candidates when they are no longer under consideration.   A tool such as Appendix G may be used to rank candidates.

h) Finalists and “On-Campus” Interviews

Interviews should be conducted in a uniform manner, involve a standard set of questions and, when possible, be conducted by the same person/people. At least more than one candidate should be considered for “on-campus” or final interviews.  Final interviews do not always have to physically be “on-campus”.  In some instances, finalist may interview remotely.  An itinerary should be developed that allows the candidate to:

  • learn about University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy in St. Louis
  • meet the members of the hiring team in-person
  • meet with Human Resources to discuss employment benefits, if applicable
  • engage other constituents as appropriate and as time permits and as appropriate (student leaders, University partners, etc.)

Everyone who has an opportunity to meet with the candidate should complete an evaluation form to be returned to the search committee.  See Appendix D.

i) Failed Search

If the interview process is unable to identify candidates who meet the requirements for the search, the hiring manager can determine if the position job description and specifics should be changed or if the job should be reposted.

9) Recommending a candidate

a)References

Before an employment offer is extended, references that address the candidate’s work background, education, qualifications, and other appropriate information must be obtained. We require at least one reference from a current or former supervisor and one additional reference. The hiring manager will let HR know when they are ready to check the references, usually the same time as finalist interviews are set up.  HR will initiate reference surveys to listed references.  As references are completed, HR will send them to the hiring manager. With notice to HR, hiring managers can conduct their own reference checks, provided they maintain records.  They should not speak to an applicant’s current supervisor prior to notifying the applicant and at a stage immediately prior to extending a job offer. Off-list references may also be obtained with notice to HR but should follow the same information in the reference survey and a record must be kept.

Other members involved in the hiring process will refrain from conducting their own personal-related background investigations (Facebook, court records, etc.).

References are unable to be completed without a completed application in Paycom. The completed application includes notice and release from the candidate to check references.

b) Report of Search Finalists

The search process, number of candidates reviewed, and details of finalists’ strengths and weaknesses should be discussed.  Human Resources shall draft an offer letter for review by the hiring manager. The hiring manager will complete a Personnel Action Request (PAR) form. This is reviewed by Human Resources and approved by the President.

c) Negotiation

The hiring manager is responsible for determining the final terms with the finalist.  All specific terms should be documented in the offer letter. 

d) Acceptance of an Offer

Once an offer has been accepted Human Resources will begin the onboarding process, which includes new hire paperwork, benefits, parking, etc. Hiring managers should coordinate purchases of new computer equipment with IT.

After the position is filled, it is the responsibility of the hiring manager to communicate the results of the interview process to all persons who were interviewed as finalists for the position. It is the department and hiring mangers responsibility to note appropriate applicant dispositions in Paycom within a reasonable amount of time (approx. 15 days) from the date of offer. Human Resources can assist with this process to ensure timely process, when needed.

e) Background Check

Human Resources is responsible for conducting a background check with the offer that includes criminal background information, and licensing, appropriate required credentials, etc.  See Background check, Medical Exam policies. Background checks will be conducted only after an offer of employment has been made and will include verification of a candidate's criminal record and review of applicable federal and state registries or other job-related information.  Background checks are distinct from pre- or post-offer reference checks or reviews of a candidate's licensure or other qualifications.

Human Resources will review the results of the background check.  If the results raise questions concerning the candidate's suitability for the position, Human Resources will inform the hiring unit of the concerns and discuss.

A prior criminal record will NOT automatically disqualify the candidate.  In determining whether a criminal record will result in revocation of the offer, the University conducts an individualized assessment that includes the following considerations:  the nature, number and gravity of the offense(s); the length of time that has elapsed since the offense; and whether and the degree to which the offense is related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.

The final determination regarding the contingent offer will be made jointly by Human Resources and the applicable administrators referenced above.  If the offer is rescinded, the candidate will receive an adverse action notice and a document summarizing the candidate's rights under the FCRA.

Responsibilities:

Position/Office/Department

Responsibility

Human Resources

·         Advising on position specifics

·         Training committee members

·         Analyzing candidate pool demographics

·         Resource for Search Policy

·         Recipient of search records

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

·         Resource for broadening the candidate search

·         Training committee members

Policy Contacts:

Name

Contact Information

Ivory Woodhouse

Ivory.woodhouse@uhsp.edu

Daniel Bauer

Daniel.bauer@uhsp.edu

Supplemental Information:

Appendix A - UHSP Staff Job Description

Appendix B - Sample Diversity Statements

Appendix C - Sample Staff Recruiting Timeline

Appendix D - Candidate Screening Tool

Appendix E - Resources for Building a Diverse Applicants Pool

Appendix F - Phone/Initial Screening Interview Template

Appendix G - Report of Recruitment Results and Request to Interview Candidates

Appendix H - UHSP Education and Experience Equivalency Chart

Appendix I - Sample Search Questions