The purpose of this policy is to provide the operational framework to be used by UW-Eau Claire for merit based recruitment, selection, and hiring processes that result in a talented, effective workforce and reflect UW-Eau Claire’s commitment to the principles of equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination, and cultural diversity.
In addition to this policy document, guidelines for hiring university staff are available on the Human Resources and University Staff websites. Details about options available to assist hiring managers can also be found on those sites.
1. POLICY BACKGROUND:
Wis. Stat. § 36.09(1)(e) authorizes the Board of Regents to appoint the requisite number of limited appointees, faculty, academic staff and other employees. Several Regent actions have served to delegate much of the appointment authority to the System President who in turn further delegated this authority to the Chancellor (see Operational Policy GEN 1, Authority for Personnel Actions).
Prior to July 1, 2015, Chapter 230 of Wisconsin State Statutes provided both state agencies and institutions of higher education with civil service employment policy and provisions that covered classified and select unclassified positions. Effective July 1, 2015, Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4) allows the University of Wisconsin System to establish a personnel system for all employees that incorporates certain provisions specific to a civil service system but that is separate and distinct from the personnel system defined under Chapter 230.
Effective July 1, 2015, this policy provides for the establishment of merit selection principles for university staff.
2. POLICY DEFINITIONS:
Please see the Definitions Operational Policy for a list of general terms and definitions.
Definitions specific to this policy:
“Civil service system” means employment in government with positions filled based on merit determined by competitive examinations or screening.
“Competition” means using an objective method or process when opening a vacant position which evaluates an applicant’s ability to perform the duties of the job, and which is consistent with essential job functions
“Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action” means “an active effort to improve the educational and employment opportunities of members of minority groups and women.
“Merit” means the qualifications, experience, standard of work performance, and capabilities of those persons that are relevant to the performance of those duties.
“Hiring Manager” means the director (or equivalent) or designee of the hiring department or unit.
It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire that merit-based principles are used in the recruitment and selection process. Recruitment shall be an active process consistent with sound personnel management practices and in a manner that assures a diverse, highly qualified group of applicants. Selection shall be made according to merit selection principles through a competitive process. As appropriate, internal recruitment may be utilized if consistent with equal employment and affirmative action objectives as well as institutional practices.
UW-Eau Claire will consider affirmative action principles and inclusive excellence in all recruitments to ensure that equal employment opportunity, diversity, and affirmative action goals are addressed. This may include, but is not limited to, activities such as participation in review and/or approval of a recruitment plan which includes consideration of affirmative action goals and targets for advertising to increase diversity of pools, appointment and orientation of search and screen committee members, development of position descriptions, development of interview questions, and review of finalists.
The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire provides equal employment opportunity by ensuring that all personnel actions including hire, term, and condition or privilege of employment are based on the ability to perform the duties and responsibilities assigned to the particular position without regard to age, race, creed or religion, color, disability, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
4. RECRUITMENT AND ASSESSMENT OPTIONS
a. Scope of Recruitment
At the beginning of the recruitment process, the hiring manager will make a recommendation to the Affirmative Action Officer for their final decision whether a recruitment will be internal or external. These processes may occur sequentially or concurrently, if necessary, to aid timely hiring of personnel. Consistent with equal opportunity and affirmative action goals, an external search would be recommended if the job category is underutilized within the UW-Eau Claire.
b. Position Description, Job Title and Pay Range
The hiring manager will develop a position description for the vacant position. The Human Resources Office assigns a title and pay range based on job duties. The hiring manager files the Request to Fill with Human Resources. Upon approval by the appropriate administrator, the search process may begin.
c. Hiring Entity
The hiring manager will determine whether to appoint a search and screen committee and the makeup of that committee. If a search and screen committee is appointed, the committee may consist of employees both within and outside the hiring entity and should include at least one university staff employee.
d. Ensuring a Diverse Pool of Applicants
The first meeting of the hiring entity shall include orientation to the process and to affirmative action goals. Vacancy posting criteria (what, where, and how long to post announcements of vacancies) will be determined by the hiring entity. Consultation with the Affirmative Action Office is required to ensure adherence to current guidelines for advertising to ensure a diverse pool of applicants.
e. Initial Screening and Assessment of Applicants
It is up to the hiring entity to determine how to screen applicants for the position based upon the position description and core competencies. Selection will be made according to merit selection principles through a competitive process. Initial screening must include at least one of the following options:
- Cover letter and/or resume detailing applicants’ experience and training related to the items in the position announcement; or
- Skills test in which applicants perform a hands-on task or a written test to demonstrate their skill level; or
- Audio or video interview incorporating behavioral interview questions that reveal the extent to which a candidate possesses the core competencies desired.
- Law Enforcement Standards Board certification is required for applicants for police officer positions.
f. Secondary Screens:
If the applicant pool is still large after an initial assessment, secondary screens may be developed and used prior to a final interview process. Examples of a secondary screen could include a brief phone interview or a skills test in which applicants perform a hands-on task or a written test to demonstrate their skill level.
g. Final Interview Process:
The hiring entity assesses the application materials and moves the most qualified applicants forward for interview. An interview schedule is developed and interview questions determined. Interview questions must conform to affirmative action guidelines.
h. Continuous Recruitment:
At the discretion of the hiring manager, continuous recruitment may be utilized for positions with high turnover rates. Job vacancies may remain posted on UW-Eau Claire’s website indefinitely or periodically. Applicants complete a screening questionnaire, attend a job fair, or, if necessary, complete a secondary screening tool. Applicants considered minimally qualified are interviewed by the hiring entity which determines, based on job-related criteria, which applicants will become active members of the applicant pool. When the applicant pool needs replenishment, the process may be repeated.
i. University Staff Temporary Appointments:
Human Resources maintains a temporary candidate pool; individuals in that pool may be considered for any university staff temporary openings.
j. Approval for Hiring Individual
Based upon the results of the screening process, the hiring manager selects the individual to be offered the position. The offer is based upon the title and pay range in accordance with the current university staff compensation policy. Upon approval by the appropriate administrator and completion of a criminal background check, a letter of appointment is generated.
k. Letters of Appointment
The terms and conditions of an appointment will be specified in a letter of appointment. The appointment letter will be signed by an authorized official and should contain details regarding the following:
- The type of appointment (temporary, expectation to continue, project);
- Start date, and if applicable, end date of the appointment;
- Salary (hourly for nonexempt; salary for exempt);
- General position responsibilities;
- The employing operational area;
- The supervisor;
- The position title(s); and
- The length, terms and conditions of the probationary period or recognition of prior service as part of the probationary period.
l. Rejection notification will be sent to all unsuccessful applicants.
Education and training on recruitment and assessment practices will be offered to all human resources staff, supervisors and appointing authorities. Topics include: development of position descriptions; development of a recruitment plan that ensures diversity of applicants and consideration of affirmative action goals; and interview and assessment processes and criteria. Orientation also will be provided to search and screen committees relevant to their roles in the recruitment and assessment process.