- Job Announcement
- Employee Selection
- Reviewing Application
- Interview Guidelines
- Prohibited Interview Subjects
- Interviewing Persons with Disabilities
- Reference Checking
- Job Offer
All positions must be advertised externally for ten working days. Exceptions may be approved only in the rarest of circumstances with written justification and approval by the appropriate Vice President and concurrence by the Director of Human Resources.
Job Announcement [Top]
Some areas a hiring official may want to consider when writing an advertisement are:
Essential Job Functions
Core functions to the position and the primary reason the position exists.
Required experience and/or education
The advertised requirements must be job related. The experience and education advertised are to be the minimum an employee will need in order to perform the position satisfactorily. The applicant recommended for employment must have all minimum requirements.
Sometimes education and experience may be substituted for each other. For example, a job advertisement could read, "bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or four years administrative experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience."
Criteria which would make one applicant better qualified than another. Recommended applicants do not have to have any of the preferred qualifications. An applicant possessing the preferred qualifications can be eligible to receive an amount above the minimum of the pay plan (not to exceed 15 percent).
If any physical requirements such as heavy lifting, using heavy machinery, and excessive walking are required, it should be listed in the job advertisement.
Whenever a position requires overtime, weekend work, or traveling, it is important that this be stated in the job advertisement. If position (EXHIBIT 4) requires routine drug tests, pre-employment tests, or physicals, this must also be stated in the job advertisement.
Indicate all of the information necessary for an applicant to submit in order to be considered for employment. If the applicant fails to send in the required documentation, they can not be considered for the position. Please note that requiring applicants to submit letters of reference and college transcripts could deter a good applicant from applying. Consider asking for names and addresses of references. Unless a transcript is used in the screening process, consider requesting the transcripts when the pool has been narrowed.
Departments should require application materials which will best determine applicants’ qualifications for a position.
The hiring official can decide if applicants are to complete an application or if a resume will suffice. The hiring official can require both an application and a resume.
All applications must be routed through Human Resources in order to be considered for a position. Human Resources will acknowledge receipt of the applicant’s materials and request the applicant voluntarily disclose his/her race, sex, age, etc.
All classified positions must be open for a period of ten working days. If the position is advertised through the University System of Georgia Applicant Clearinghouse, the advertisement must remain open for a minimum of three weeks. If the job advertisement has a closing date, Human Resources will stop accepting applications and inform those who want to apply that the position has closed. Human Resources must be notified if the position should be extended. If the advertisement must be posted again, it must be posted for a minimum of five working days.
At times a hiring official will choose to keep the job open until filled. In these instances the hiring official will be required to review all applications received up to the day the hiring official notifies Human Resources that a decision has been made. The hiring official will have to review the resumes and may need to conduct an interview if an applicant is as qualified as the one selected.
Once the job advertisement is ready, the ad will be posted on a bulletin board outside Human Resources, various offices on campus, and the Career Placement Office. The advertisement will also be mailed to outside agencies.
If the hiring official wishes to advertise outside the University, it will be the department’s responsibility to place the advertisement. Hiring officials must be very careful when placing an advertisement to be sure the requirements and salary match the posted advertisement in Human Resources. When placing an external advertisement, the advertisement will specify that all resumes or applications be sent to Human Resources and all correspondence reference the appropriate job number.
World Wide Web
Jobs may now be submitted directly to Human Resources via the world wide web. Once the advertisement is received, HR will review for content and assign a job number. The ad will then be placed on the web. You can access our web page through UWG Home Page under "Job Hunting?" or use the following address: http://www.bf.westga.edu/hrpay/enterjob.html
Instructions found on this page are self-explanatory. If you should encounter any problems, contact Human Resources.
In addition to utilizing our web site, there may be professional list serves or computer bulletin boards where the hiring official may wish to advertise the position.
The University System of Georgia Applicant Clearinghouse is a centralized information database on vacant faculty and administrative positions in the University System of Georgia and on potential applicants for these positions. The Applicant Clearinghouse is designed to enhance equal employment opportunities in support of the recruitment programs of the institutions of higher education within the University System of Georgia. A printed list of these vacancies is distributed bi-weekly throughout the system.
Classified positions equal to assistant director and above must be advertised through the Applicant Clearinghouse.
The department will be responsible for completing the Applicant Clearinghouse form (EXHIBIT 5) and submitting to Human Resources. Once the ACH receives the vacancy notice a list of interested/qualified applicants will be sent to the hiring official via Human Resources. The hiring official must send each person a copy of the job advertisement.
Once the position has been filled, the department will complete the green copy and send to Human Resources.
Employee Selection [Top]
In order to ensure compliance with federal equal employment laws, a University department may not employ any applicant for a classified position unless the prospective employee has made application through the Office of Human Resources.
If an applicant contacts the department, they should be referred immediately to Human Resources.
When a position closes, the department must contact Human Resources to ensure they have received all applications. If all applications have not been picked up from Human Resources, the recruitment process could be jeopardized.
At least three applicants must be interviewed. If there are fewer than three applicants, all applicants meeting the minimum advertised qualifications must be interviewed.
Reviewing Applications [Top]
Reviewing applications is a very serious and time-consuming task. Decisions on who to interview are based on the review of application materials and references; therefore, it is imperative that evaluation procedures be consistent for each applicant and that all application material required be available and reviewed for each applicant.
The hiring official or search committee should develop an applicant evaluation form which lists the advertised required, and preferred qualifications. Evaluators are to indicate whether the applicant possesses the credentials to qualify for further consideration for the position.
Interview Guidelines [Top]
Some court decisions indicate that regardless of the outcome of an employment decision, if discrimination occurred at any stage of the employment process, the employer may be found guilty of discrimination. Questions about any of the following information can only be asked when these factors are bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQ). It is imperative, therefore, that persons interviewing applicants or asking questions in other interview settings be aware of and follow the guidelines on information which should not be sought from applicants.
All questions posed to candidates must be related to the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully perform in the position. This is to be accomplished by predetermining the questions that will be posed during the interview.
Interviews should be structured in such a way that all candidates will be providing the same or similar information upon which a decision will be made. Additionally, the interviewer(s) should have a clear idea of what constitutes a correct or most acceptable response. NOTE: Where a search committee is being used, persons serving on the committee should have common understanding of the purpose of each question and its anticipated correct or most acceptable answer.
Be consistent in conducting interviews and the questions asked of applicants. Steps in conducting interviews should include, but are not limited to:
Pose open-ended questions that allow the applicant to provide a narrative response.
Prepare follow-up questions that will ensure getting as much information as possible. If a candidate introduces something in response that takes you in a new direction, or if the candidate only highlights experience, always probe for more information.
Focus on questions on how similar work has been performed in the candidate’s past. "Tell me about a time when you had . . . and how did you. . ." a candidate’s specific past experience is frequently the best predictor for future performance.
Be wary of asking questions about the future. Responses to this type of question are often highly speculative. For example, if you want to learn more about a candidate’s drive and ambition, ask questions that reflect on career movement during the past five years in previous employment or in school/college organizations.
Stay in control of the interview. If the candidate begins to digress from the topic about which you are inquiring, don’t be afraid to say something like, "That’s very good information; however, I want to focus on . . . "
Avoid asking questions that are unrelated to job performance. Questions about family, hobbies, type of books candidates like to read, etc. can lead to accusations of illegal discrimination. Match each question against the benchmark, "How does this question relate to the job?" If you find that they do not correspond, eliminate the question.
Allow sufficient time for the interview. The more technical or complex the position, the more time is required to learn the best information about the candidate.
Take notes. It is helpful to prepare an interview form showing the questions and providing space for notes. If a committee is used, each member should use the same form. Write down responses to questions, as they are given. Tell the candidate that you are doing this so that you will have the most reliable information available when making your decision. At the end of the interview, it will enable you to summarize the information received and clarify where necessary. Samples of interview evaluation forms can be found in EXHIBIT 6.
Allow for follow-up. Interviews are frequently stressful for both the candidate and the interviewer(s). It is just as easy for the interviewer to forget to cover some important aspect of a job as it is for the candidate to remember some important information at a later date. Invite the presentation of additional information, as well as leaving open the possibility of seeking it.
Internal applicants must be treated in the same manner as external applicants. It is inappropriate to conduct "courtesy" interviews simply because an applicant is already on campus.
Prohibited Interview Subjects [Top]
The following are areas hiring officials must avoid when conducting interviews. Again, interview questions should be strictly limited to job related subjects.
Age and Date of Birth
Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of age against individuals who are 40 years of age and older. Restriction of employment is permissible only where a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exists. Questions about age or date of birth may only be asked if given approval to do so by the Human Resources Office.
Name and National Origin
No inquiry may be made about an applicant’s maiden name, any previous name, a person’s lineage, ancestry, national origin, or descent. Names should be used to identify applicants but should not be used for any other purpose. (For example, do not ask someone "What kind of name is that?")
Specific inquiry into foreign addresses which would indicate ancestry or national origin is prohibited. It is permissible to ask for the current address of an applicant.
Birthplace and Citizenship
It is inappropriate to ask the birthplace of an applicant. It is also not legal to ask an applicant whether she/he is a citizen of the United States or to ask about the visa status of a non-citizen. The applicant can be asked if they are eligible to work in the United States.
The names of an applicant’s relatives may not be asked if the information is not relevant to job requirements. Questions about child care arrangements and a person’s marital status are also prohibited.
Photographs are not to be requested or asked for prior to employment.
Height and Weight
Height and weight may not be requested from applicants and these factors be considerations for employment unless previously validated as BFOQs.
It is permissible to inquire about an applicant’s academic, professional, or vocational educational background when it is a job related requirement. Asking about the national, racial, or religious affiliation of a school is prohibited.
Inquiry into an applicant’s religious denomination, affiliation, parish, pastor, or holidays observed is prohibited.
Interviewing Persons with Disabilities [Top]
All inquiries must focus on the performance of the essential functions that make up the job. Even if the applicant has a visible disability or has volunteered information about having a disability, it is inappropriate to ask questions about:
- the nature of the disability;
- the severity of the disability;
- any prognosis or expectations regarding the condition or disability; or
- whether the individual will need treatment or special leave because of the disability.
An interviewer can describe or demonstrate the specific functions and tasks of the job and ask whether an applicant has the ability to perform these functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.
The interviewer may give a detailed position description and ask the applicant whether she/he can perform the functions described in the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
Questions about the essential and marginal functions (see essential job functions under Recruitment) may be asked. Inability to perform marginal functions is not an acceptable reason for disqualifying an applicant for selection.
If ability to perform a specific function of the job is requested of one applicant, it must be requested of all applicants regardless of disability.
An applicant with an obvious disability or who has identified him/herself as having a disability that would appear to prevent performance of a job function may be asked to describe or demonstrate how this function would be performed, even if other applicants are not asked to do so. For example, an interviewer can ask an applicant who has only one arm applying for a position as a carpenter to show how she/he would hammer a nail.
An interviewer may provide information about regular work hours, leave policies, and any special attendance needs of the job, and ask an applicant if she/he can meet these requirements.
Reference Checking [Top]
Some employers do not release information about the performance of current or past employees. They may limit information to dates of employment and position held. This is not a reflection of the quality of the performance of the candidate, rather it is an attempt on the part of many employers to avoid liability. Ask a candidate to have a former supervisor call the interviewer, or have the candidate sign a form releasing his/her former employer from any liability and attach with a request for a written reference.
Prepare for checking references as you would for the interview. Know what information you are seeking and ask direct questions to obtain the information. The following guidelines should be followed when preparing and conducting reference checks:
- It is illegal to ask questions of references which cannot legally be asked of applicants.
- When applicants are asked to provide letters of reference or names of references, other persons should not be contacted for a reference without the applicant’s permission. It is not appropriate to contact friends, acquaintances, or co-workers of the applicant for "unofficial" information about the applicant without the applicant’s knowledge or permission.
- Departments must be consistent in the way references are checked. For example, when a department asks for names of references, the department may appropriately contact only the references of applicants who make the first cut. However, it is imperative that the same number of references for each applicant be contacted. If a reference is not available, ask the applicant to provide the name of another reference. References may be checked by phone or by requesting a letter. It is not appropriate to request letters from some and check others by phone. When references are checked by phone, it is desirable to have more than one person listening and taking notes on the comments provided.
- It is a requirement that references for each applicant be asked the same basic set of questions unless letters of reference are requested. When letters are requested after the application review, it is still desirable to ask the person listed as a reference to respond to specific questions in a letter.
- When an individual contacts a search committee member with unsolicited reference information, the search committee member should a) neither share the information nor use it in evaluating the applicant, or b) share with the search committee and be sure the applicant’s permission is obtained so references not on the applicant’s reference list can be checked.
- The Office of Human Resources does not verify work experience, degrees or certifications. Departments are encouraged to verify information provided by candidates.
- An employment criminal check can be requested through the Office of Human Resources. It is recommended that positions which will handle money have a complete criminal background history check.
Job Offer [Top]
All selections must be reviewed and approved by Human Resources prior to extending a job offer. If not approved, the hiring official may appeal Human Resources decision to his/her Vice President. Once approved, the hiring official may extend a verbal offer. To insure consistency, Human Resources will extend the official written offer.
The hiring official must submit the following in writing to Human Resources:
Names of applicants interviewed
Race and Sex of interviewees
Name of applicant to be offered the position
Salary justification if over minimum of pay plan
This information along with the application materials of all applicants with rejection codes indicated (EXHIBIT 7) for each applicant should be submitted. (The rejection code can be noted on the application or on a separate document). Human Resources will review the hiring decision and contact the hiring official as to whether or not an offer may be extended.