Recruitment and Selection Policy and Procedure
- 1 Purpose
- 2 Scope
- 3 Policy Statement
- 4 Principles
- 5 Procedures
- 5.1 Confidentiality
- 5.2 Documentation
- 5.3 Recruitment and selection expenses
- 5.4 Identifying the hiring need
- 5.5 Approval to recruit
- 5.6 Position descriptions
- 5.7 Advertising
- 5.8 Recruitment and selection panels
- 5.9 Shortlisting
- 5.10 Interviews
- 5.11 Oral reference reports
- 5.12 Appointment
- 5.13 Unsuccessful applicants
- 6 Delegated responsibilities
- 7 References
- 8 Schedules
- 9 Policy Information
To outline the University's processes in relation to the recruitment, selection and appointment of the best people for available positions.
This policy and procedure applies to all professional staff positions up to and including USQ Level 10, and academic positions up to and including Academic Level E, where the positions are continuing or fixed-term for more than six months. It also applies to senior positions (excluding the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor positions).
3 Policy Statement
The University's objective is to recruit, select and appoint the best people available for positions. This will be done within approved establishment and budget limits. Selection will be on the basis of merit and the principles of equal opportunity will apply.
The University provides a clear and simple process for effective recruitment with appropriate flexibility to meet the needs of each hiring area, whilst at the same time ensure a transparent and fair process, the promotion of equity and diversity and clear communication of important information.
Professional human resources advice and support is provided at all stages of the process. As the procedures have been designed to minimise risk to the University, hiring areas are encouraged to contact Human Resources to obtain professional advice on all aspects of recruitment and selection, training and employment.
All information relating to recruitment, selection and appointment of employees will remain confidential to those involved in the formal process.
All recruitment and selection documentation must be returned to Human Resources for record keeping. Each panel member's recruitment and selection documentation will remain on the vacancy file.
5.3 Recruitment and selection expenses
All advertising, interview, travel, employment agency, relocation and associated expenses are met by the recruiting cost centre.
5.4 Identifying the hiring need
Prior to commencing the recruitment process, the hiring area should conduct a review of the need for the position, taking into account the following:
- strategic and operational plans for the work area and University
- current staffing structure
- the diversity of staffing profiles
- academic profiles and specialisations - current and future requirements
- current staffing and skill levels
- any foreseeable changes which might impact on the area or the role
- how the needs for the position might best be met.
In reviewing the hiring need, consultation should be undertaken with any relevant stakeholders (colleagues, industry partners, potential clients etc.). Broad consultation at an early stage in the process will ensure effective workforce planning and reduce the need for involving large numbers of people on the Selection Panel.
5.5 Approval to recruit
A Request to Advertise (incorporating a Business Case to Recruit a Position) is used to initiate recruitment and selection and should be forwarded, once complete, to the relevant delegate for approval with a draft position description and advertisement attached. The approved Recruitment Request is then forwarded to Human Resources.
The recruitment and selection process cannot commence until Human Resources receives the approved Request to Advertise with attachments, including an electronic copy of the draft position description and advertisement.
5.6 Position descriptions
A decision to undertake a recruitment exercise will usually result in an updated Position Description which outlines the key outcomes and activities to be undertaken. All Position Descriptions must be drafted by the hiring area using the approved Position Description template to ensure consistency across the University. Human Resources will evaluate all professional employee positions prior to recruitment action to confirm the classification level.
Variations to the selection criteria contained within the position description cannot be made after the position has been advertised.
All recruitment advertising must be arranged by Human Resources. Recruitment of continuing and fixed-term positions for more than six months will be through advertisement, unless recommended otherwise by the relevant delegate and approved by the Executive Director, Human Resources.
Online advertising is the University's preferred medium for advertising all positions.
Advertising in print media will only be offered in exceptional circumstances and must be supported by a strong business case from the relevant delegate to substantiate the need. Human Resources will consider these requests on a case by case basis.
Employees are encouraged to share position vacancy information with their professional networks through the use of electronic communication. Approval for any associated costs must be gained in advance from the relevant delegate. When sharing position vacancy information, employees should ensure that they are aware of and comply with legislative obligations and the University's applicable policies and procedures.
A field of applicants may be supplemented by inviting applications or referrals from employment agencies or other sources after consideration of cost.
The Executive Director, Human Resources may recommend the use of an employment agency as a means of external advertising.
Recruitment of a fixed term employee for a period of six months or less does not require advertisement. However, hiring areas are encouraged to contact Human Resources to arrange advertising to attract a suitable field of applicants.
5.8 Recruitment and selection panels
A selection panel will seek to be objective and maintain equity and confidentiality of the recruitment and selection process at all times.
A selection panel will be approved by the relevant delegate prior to advertising. Changes to the selection panel also require the approval of the relevant delegate.
A selection panel requires gender representation with a minimum panel size of three. A larger panel may be used to overcome potential judgement bias. For all identified and specified positions, at least one panel member should identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
A selection panel must include a minimum of:
- one member from the recruiting school or section who is the Panel Coordinator;
- one member from another school or section; and
- one additional panel member (either internal or external to the University).
Other panel members may be included as appropriate.
For appointments at Professor (Academic Level E), the selection panel will be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) and will include the relevant Divisional Head. The panel will also normally include additional panel members appropriate to the nature of the role.
Note that the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) will also chair all senior appointments made under sections 4.2 and 4.3 in the Human Resource's Appointments: Senior Positions Policy and Procedure.
A panel member external to the University with appropriate specialist knowledge relevant to the vacant position may be invited to participate on a University selection panel. The Panel Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that an external panel member understands and complies with University policy and procedures.
To be eligible to participate on a selection panel, University employees must have completed 'USQ Recruitment and Selection Skills' training.
The Panel Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that:
- the selection panel consists of trained panel members;
- every panel member (including external panel members) complies with all relevant University policies and procedures; and
- all recruitment and selection documentation is complete and accurate.
The Executive Director, Human Resources may recommend panel members as deemed appropriate.
A selection panel will decide upon the appropriate selection methods to be used, normally behavioural interviews supplemented by two oral reference checks for the recommended applicant. Selection methods must be relevant to the position and may also include presentations, work samples, and performance tests.
As part of its preparation, the panel will clarify the selection criteria to ensure a consistent understanding among all panel members.
Shortlisting must occur as soon as possible after the date on which applications close. It is preferable however, that shortlisting does not occur any earlier than three working days after the date on which applications close, to allow for adequate time for receipt and processing of applications.
Each panel member will conduct shortlisting using the e-recruitment system. Panel members should shortlist individually in the first instance. All panel members are then required to reach a consensus in relation to shortlisting.
A selection panel may accept late applications with valid reasons, up to the date of shortlisting. Applicants not shortlisted will be notified by Human Resources as soon as possible unless the selection panel requests otherwise.
Interviews are required for all positions (in person, via telephone, Skype or other electronic media). Interviews must be structured in such a way to enable collection of sufficient evidence to confirm that the applicant(s) selected have the required skills, experience and motivation to carry out the inherent requirements or duties of the role and also demonstrate a commitment to the brand and values of the University. The Selection Panel should prepare the interview questions using the supporting documentation, guidelines and templates provided by Human Resources. After all interviews have been completed, the Selection Panel must reach consensus on a recommendation decision.
Selection Panels must be satisfied that the recommended candidate meets the selection criteria and is suitable for the position. It may also be appropriate NOT to recommend any of the candidates for appointment from the interview. In such cases, the Panel Coordinator should contact Human Resources to advise of the decision and discuss alternative recruitment options.
5.11 Oral reference reports
Oral reference checks must remain confidential and be recorded in the e-recruitment system.
A minimum of two oral reference reports must be obtained by the selection panel to confirm the preferred candidate's merits against the selection criteria, before the final selection decision is made. Wherever possible, a minimum of one of the oral reference reports should be obtained from the current or immediately previous supervisor of the preferred candidate.
Reference information can only be obtained from referees nominated by the candidate. If additional information is required, the candidate must be asked to nominate additional referee/s.
The selection panel will recommend the preferred candidate in the e-recruitment system. The approving delegate may:
- approve the recommendation and forward it to the Executive Director, Human Resources; or
- not support the recommendation and provide the higher level delegate with the reasons why the decision was not supported. The selection panel will be notified of this recommendation by the approving delegate.
Where the Vice-Chancellor chairs a Level E Professorial selection panel, approval to appoint is provided directly to Human Resources from the Vice-Chancellor. In instances where the Vice-Chancellor's nominee chairs the Panel, the Panel makes an appointment recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor for action in accordance with the above.
On approval from the relevant delegate, Human Resources will make an offer of appointment to the preferred candidate. The Executive Director, Human Resources is the only delegate authorised to make offers of appointment. No other employee at the University is authorised to make or vary any offer of appointment orally or in writing.
The preferred candidate will be required to provide an acceptance in writing within the period specified in the letter of offer. Candidates will normally be required to respond within the following periods, otherwise the offer lapses:
- candidates employed by the University - five working days
- candidates residing within Australia - ten working days
- candidates residing outside Australia - 10 to 15 working days (dependent upon location and ease of communication).
Offers of appointment are subject to the employee providing documentary evidence of their qualifications and the right to work in Australia. All qualifications must be from an accredited and recognised University or institution. Appointees must provide original documentation for sighting by Human Resources, or copies certified by a Justice of the Peace or other authorised person, with their offer acceptance. The University will undertake random audits of employee qualifications on an ad hoc basis.
Where the preferred candidate declines the offer, an offer of appointment can be made without readvertisement to another suitable candidate who best meets the selection criteria.
Where the appointee ceases employment at the University within three months of the closing date of the original vacancy advertisement, an offer may be made without readvertisement to another suitable candidate who best meets the selection criteria. This can occur only where the position description has not changed.
Where an identical position to that advertised becomes vacant within three months of the closing date of the original vacancy advertisement, an offer may be made without readvertisement to another suitable candidate who met the selection criteria.
5.13 Unsuccessful applicants
Unsuccessful applicants should be dealt with courteously and sensitively.
Unsuccessful applicants will receive written notification from Human Resources. After written advice has been provided, the selection panel may contact unsuccessful applicants directly to provide further information.
Unsuccessful applicants who have been interviewed can seek feedback on their application from the Panel Coordinator or nominee, on behalf of the selection panel, by contacting Human Resources. Human Resources will refer any applicant concerns regarding the recruitment and selection process in the first instance to the Panel Coordinator. If the Panel Coordinator is not able to resolve the issue, or requires advice or assistance, the matter is referred to the Senior HR Officer. Alternatively, written concerns may be forwarded to the Executive Director, Human Resources.
6 Delegated responsibilities
Level of Delegation
Approve recruitment action for, and appointment to the position of Vice-Chancellor
Approve recruitment action for, and appointment to all positions at Contracted Senior Executive level (including Senior DVC, DVC) and Professorial Academic Level E.
Category 2 Delegate or above
Approve recruitment action for, and appointments to all positions at Academic Level A to D
Category 3 Delegate or above
Approve recruitment action for, and appointments to all positions at professional employee levels 1 to 10
This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.
9 Policy Information
Executive Director, Human Resources
Regulated Policy and Procedure
Related forms, publications and websites
Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary
Definitions that relate to this policy only
Recruitment, selection, vacancy, advertising, appointment, backfill
TRIM Record No