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Recruitment and Selection Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the University's processes in relation to the recruitment and selection of Employees.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all professional Employee 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. This procedure may also apply to senior positions if specified in the Appointments: Senior Positions Procedure.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure details the recruitment and selection process at the University.

4 Procedures

4.1 Confidentiality

All information relating to recruitment, selection and appointment of Employees will remain confidential to those involved in the formal process.

4.2 Documentation

All recruitment and selection documentation not retained in the eRecruitment system must be returned to Human Resources for record keeping. Each panel member's recruitment and selection documentation will remain on the vacancy file.

4.3 Recruitment and selection expenses

All advertising, interview, travel, employment agency, relocation and associated expenses are met by the recruiting cost centre.

4.4 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
  • funding
  • 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.

4.5 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 position description 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.

4.6 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.

4.7 Advertising

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 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 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.

4.8 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 Panel Coordinator will be approved by the relevant Delegate prior to advertising. Changes to the selection panel will be approved by the Panel Coordinator.

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 must identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

A selection panel must include a minimum of:

  • one member from the recruiting department who is the Panel Coordinator;
  • one member from another department; and
  • one additional panel member (either internal or external to the University).

Other panel members may be included as appropriate.

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 including declaring any potential or perceived conflicts of interest; and
  • all recruitment and selection documentation is complete and accurate.

The 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.

4.9 Shortlisting

Shortlisting must occur as soon as possible after the date on which applications close.

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. Applicants not shortlisted will be notified by Human Resources as soon as possible unless the selection panel requests otherwise.

4.10 Interviews

Interviews are required for all positions (in person, via telephone, video conference or other online medium). 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.

4.11 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.

4.12 Appointment

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 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 approving Delegate (excluding the Vice-Chancellor) forms part of the selection panel, approval to appoint is to be provided by the Delegate's supervisor.

In exceptional circumstances, the Vice-Chancellor may appoint an individual to any position without advertisement or competitive selection.

On approval from the relevant Delegate, Human Resources will make an offer of appointment to the preferred candidate. The 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 normally be required to provide an acceptance in writing within five working days, otherwise the offer lapses.

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.

Where the preferred candidate declines the offer, an offer of appointment can be made without re-advertisement 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 re-advertisement 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 re-advertisement to another suitable candidate who met the selection criteria.

4.13 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 Manager (Client Services). Alternatively, written concerns may be forwarded to the Director (Human Resources).

5 Delegated responsibilities


Level of Delegation

USQ Council

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

In exceptional circumstances, appoint an individual to any position without advertisement or competitive selection

Category 2 Delegate or above

Approve recruitment action for, and appointments to all positions at Academic Level A to D.

Approve recruitment action for all positions at professional Employee levels 1 to 10

Category 3 Delegate or above

Approve appointments to all positions at professional Employee levels 1 to 10

6 References


7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date


Relevant Legislation

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

Related Policies

Employee Equity and Diversity Policy

Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy

Related Procedures

Appointments: Continuing Procedure

Appointments: Fixed Term Procedure

Appointments: Senior Positions Procedure

Employee Conflict of Interest Procedure

Job Evaluation (Classification and Reclassification) Procedure

Position Descriptions and Position Classification Standards Procedure

Position Establishment Procedure

Prevention of Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Human Resources Website


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Delegate (noun)

Delegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy....moreDelegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy.


A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.


The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only


Recruitment, selection, vacancy, advertising, appointment, backfill

Record No


Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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