Forms, Policies, & Guides

202 - Recruitment and Selection Process

Subject: Recruitment and Selection Process

Section: U202

Date: June 21, 2013


To define the recruitment and selection process for regular staff positions, which involves identifying vacancies or new positions, posting these positions, recruiting for them, and selecting, hiring, promoting, and transferring staff employees.


The University is committed to filling positions with the best qualified individuals. Recruiting and selecting candidates are the mutual responsibilities of Human Resources (HR) and the departments/units where positions exist. The University encourages promoting qualified University staff employees.


A “regular” position is a job that is expected to last at least twelve (12) consecutive months. A regular staff employee who works twenty (20) hours per week or more is eligible for benefits.

An “applicant” is an individual who requests to be considered for employment, completes a profile/application via the online employment site (UChicago Jobs), submits all required materials (such as a resume and other required documents and information), identifies a specific job opening, expresses interest in a timely manner, and is “basically qualified” for a specific job opening. Basically qualified is defined as possessing the knowledge, skills, education, and experience listed as “required” on a job posting.


1.  All recruitment and selection efforts must be coordinated through HR.  HR provides guidance and assistance throughout the process.

2.  The hiring manager may collaborate with the Human Resource Administrator (HRA) and HR but has primary responsibility for overseeing the recruitment and selection process to ensure the development of a comprehensive position description, completion and retention of information and documentation. The hiring manager has primary responsibility for ensuring employment decisions are in compliance with University and department policies and procedures. HR will review the selection process and employment decisions for compliance with University policy and applicable law.

3.  The HRA and hiring manager should attend training regarding staffing and recruitment and affirmative action/equal employment opportunity and are encouraged to participate in job fairs and other outreach efforts.


4.  The HRA, hiring manager, and HR collaborate in developing and documenting objective nondiscriminatory criteria for a job posting. The criteria used to screen job seekers include education, experience, essential skills, abilities, and competencies.

5.  To post and fill a position, the HRA or hiring manager must complete a requisition that identifies the job classification, duties, specific qualifications, working conditions, and physical and mental requirements through the online employment site (UChicago Jobs).

6.  Each position must be posted for at least seven (7) calendar days. Any position posted for six (6) months will be removed from the online employment site.

7.  HR notifies units whether additional Affirmative Action (AA) efforts may be needed to recruit for posted jobs or job groups.  Prior to commencing recruitment efforts, the hiring manager or HRA must submit specific plans for expanded outreach efforts to HR-Staffing and Recruitment. HR-Staffing and Recruitment will assist HRAs and hiring managers, in expanding outreach efforts and recruiting applicants if the availability of women or minorities is significantly greater than their incumbency in a job or group.

8.  A job opening must first be posted on the UChicago Jobs Web site before  advertising through other avenues, including print ads or other Web sites. To ensure compliance with regulations, all recruitment advertising must be approved by HR.

9.  Advertising and other notification of a vacancy or new position must be nondiscriminatory and must include reference to the University’s commitment to affirmative action through equal opportunity using the following tagline: “The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.” Advertisements must list the same qualifications and job requirements as listed in the UChicago Jobs postings.

10.  A position posted via the UChicago Jobs Web site will also automatically appear on the America’s Job Exchange (AJE) Web site and/or other required sites.

11.  The HRA or hiring manager should direct an interested job seeker to complete the online application process. To be considered, a job seeker (including any University staff employee) must complete the online application process.

12.  Unsolicited resumes should not be considered. Unsolicited resumes should be directed to the HRA or HR-Staffing and Recruitment, which will direct individuals to the online application process.

13.  HR will provide reasonable accommodations to complete the application process upon request by any applicant with a disability.

14.  To comply with affirmative action requirements, certain data is requested as part of the online application and new hire process. This voluntary information is provided at the individual’s discretion. However, such information will be required as part of the employment process when an applicant is hired.

Search Firms 

15.  A unit considering the use of a search firm or employment agency must consult with HR and use the standard University search firm agreement template before making any arrangements with an outside firm or agency. Any search conducted by an outside agency or search firm must meet the same federal, state, local, and University guidelines as searches conducted directly through HR.  Departments/Units must consult with HR and, if appropriate, the Office of Legal Counsel before agreeing to any substantive changes to the search firm agreement template.

16.  The search firm works on behalf of the University and is responsible for the same applicant tracking HR would otherwise do, including keeping records of Affirmative Action outreach efforts, and the recruitment and selection process. The department/unit that contracts with a firm or agency is responsible for ensuring that any firm or agency is fully informed regarding its responsibilities for meeting the University’s (AA/EEO) search documentation responsibilities.

17.  The search firm must submit a copy of all search records to the hiring department/unit before the University processes payment of the final invoice or expense reimbursement.

Internal Applicants

18.  The University encourages the consideration of current employees of the University for open positions through promotions and transfers.  Departments/Units and managers are encouraged to allow staff employees to take reasonable time off for interviews.

19.  A regular University staff employee in good standing who has successfully completed his/her probationary period may apply for a posted position by completing the online process.  The probationary period lasts six (6) months for staff employees paid monthly and three (3) months for staff employees paid biweekly but may be extended upon the written approval of HR. The job performance of staff employees who apply and are hired into new positions will be closely reviewed (similar to a probationary period) during the first six (6) months for staff employees paid monthly and three (3) months for staff employees paid biweekly.

20.  A regular University staff employee who has not completed the probationary period, but who meets the stated basic requirements, may apply for a posted position only with permission from the current supervisor and from HR.

21.  A regular University staff employee who has progressed beyond the verbal counseling or verbal warning corrective action step within the previous six months may not apply for a posted position, unless permission is obtained from HR-Employee/Labor Relations (E/LR). (Policy U703 Progressive Corrective Action)

22.  Pursuing a job opportunity within the University should not in any way jeopardize a staff employee’s present position. The hiring manager should regard an application as confidential until the employee is a finalist and references are to be checked.

23.  The University also encourages the consideration of individuals associated with the University (e.g., alumni, spouses/partners of faculty, staff, and students) when appropriate and consistent with University policy and applicable law.


24.   The HRA or hiring manager may consider candidates immediately upon receipt of all application materials, including reviewing resumes for basic qualifications. A job seeker who does not meet all the required qualifications as provided in the job posting is not an applicant and should not be considered.

25.  Selection must be based on job-related qualifications including, but not limited to: required and preferred education; experience; knowledge, skills, and abilities as identified in the job description; and references. Qualifications including mental and physical demands must be bona fide occupational qualifications. An applicant who is hired must meet the required qualifications listed in the job description, and may not, directly or indirectly, provide the University with funding to support the position.

26.  The applicant pool should be sufficient to enable selection of qualified applicants for interviews. If not, the HRA or hiring manager should contact HR to discuss further recruitment efforts. If there are no well qualified candidates for a position and qualifications are modified to increase the applicant pool, the position must be re-posted for at least seven (7) calendar days, and all applicants for the re-posted position must be considered.

27.  The HRA or hiring manager must ensure consistent administration of the interview process. Consistent administration includes equal treatment of applicants, avoidance of discriminatory questions, and uniform interview content.

28.  Upon request by an applicant with a disability, the HRA or hiring manager must provide reasonable accommodations, as determined by HR or the Provost’s Office during the interview and testing processes.

29.  An applicant may be tested for job-related competencies using a properly validated test or other selection procedure.  Prior to administering a test or other selection procedure, it must be disclosed to HR by the hiring department/unit.  To ensure compliance with federal guidelines for employee selection procedures, HR in conjunction with departments/units will partner with third parties such as industrial psychologists or other appropriate experts to review and validate tests.  The hiring departments/units shall be responsible for the cost of review and validation by third party vendors.

30.  When used, approved tests and selection procedures must be given to applicants under equivalent conditions, must be scored, evaluated, and used as a selection factor equally for applicants, and must be maintained with other application and selection materials. Such information must be retained with the search files for three (3) years following the date of the last action on the position (e.g., start date, date candidates were notified of the position being filled).


Reference and Background Checking

31.  For guidance regarding reference and background checks, please refer to U204 Reference and Background Checks.

Post Selection

32.  Prior to making a verbal or written offer of employment, the HRA or hiring manager must consult with HR regarding the starting salary of a new hire to ensure nondiscrimination and equity. HR will collaborate with the HRA or hiring manager to identify whether there are similarly situated staff employees in the department/unit, to evaluate pay equity, and to determine the starting salary based on authorized and legal factors.

33.  A staff employee may not be offered or start in a position until the required seven-day posting period has been completed and a proper search has been conducted. In addition, HR verifies that a proposed hire is eligible for University employment (e.g., meets the basic qualifications, completion of the job profile, and if applicable, completion of the testing, completion of the probationary period, not on corrective action, completion of the background check, and not terminated for cause if previously employed by the University).

34.  The HRA or hiring manager should use a standard offer letter approved by HR.

35.  The hire must complete documents listed on the new hire checklist to be entered into the payroll system.

36.  After accepting a position, a University staff employee is responsible for giving sufficient notice to his/her former unit; notification is as follows:

    • for a staff employee paid monthly, provide at least one (1) month advance notice.
    • for a staff employee paid biweekly, provide at least two (2) weeks advance notice.

37.  Upon beginning a new position in another unit or department, a current employee will maintain accrued but unused sick, vacation, and personal holiday time, which will be transferred to the new unit.

38.  The HRA or hiring manager must notify an unsuccessful applicant who was interviewed by indicating the applicant’s status in UChicago Jobs and also may send a letter or call the applicant. The HRA or hiring manager must update the status of applicants in UChicago Jobs, review the list of not hired reasons, and identify the reasons why the applicants were not selected such as “did not have preferred qualifications” or “less effective phone screen or interview than applicant hired.”

Document Retention

39.  Recruitment and selection records must be maintained with the search files for three (3) years following the date of last action on the position (e.g., employee’s start date, or the date candidates were notified of the position being filled). These include all materials sent to and received from individuals who qualify as applicants as well as all job seekers who request to be considered for the position. These records are listed below, along with the assumed location where they are stored.

    • Search firm contracts (unit and Procurement Services)
    • Search firm records (unit and HR)
    • Affirmative Action outreach efforts (unit and HR)
    • Selection tests or other skills assessment activities (unit or HR, depending on who conducts them)
    • Reference checks and notes (unit or HR, depending on who conducts them)
    • Verification of degrees, licensure, other credentials (unit or HR, depending on who conducts them)
    • Background checks (HR)
    • Resume (UChicago Jobs)
    • Cover letter (UChicago Jobs)
    • Profile (UChicago Jobs)
    • Reasons why one candidate was selected over another candidate (unit and UChicago Jobs)

40.  The following recruitment and selection information and documentation also must be maintained by the department/unit that handled the recruitment process for a minimum of 3 years:

    • any search plan for the position;
    • copies of any external ads or position announcements (both print and electronic);
    • a copy of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) report used to review the applicant pool;
    • a list of any affirmative action and outreach efforts such as job fairs and postings;
    • documentation of any screening or other criteria used to narrow the applicant pool;
    • a list of applicants phone screened for the position;
    • a list of questions, notes, and results of the phone screens;
    • a list of applicants interviewed in person;
    • a list of interview questions, notes, and results of the interviews;
    • a list of any tests administered to applicants and what these tests evaluated;
    • reference check questions;
    • the names of references contacted and their responses;
    • criteria used to develop the hiring salary offer; and
    • a copy of the offer letter sent to the new hire.


Employees represented by a union may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.