University of California, Riverside

Human Resources

Recruitment & Selection Hiring Process

Refer to Appendix A Flow Chart

In order to increase efficiency in hiring and retention and to ensure consistency and compliance in the recruitment and selection process, it is recommended the following steps be followed (also refer to Staff Recruitment and Selection Hiring Checklist). Details for each step include the minimum recommended best practice to attract a talented and diverse applicant pool:

Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity are not separate actions in the recruitment and selection process. They are key variables which are woven into each step of the process to support UCR’s achievement of excellence.

Step 1: Identify Vacancy and Evaluate Need

Recruitments provide opportunities to departments to align staff skill sets to initiatives and goals, and for departmental and individual growth. Proper planning and evaluation of the need will lead to hiring the right person for the role and team.

Newly Created Position

When it is determined a new position is needed, it is important to:

  • Understand and take into consideration strategic goals for the University and/or department. Are there any upcoming changes that may impact this role?
  • Conduct a quick analysis of UC Core Competencies. Are there any gaps? What core skills are missing from the department? Evaluate the core skills required now and those which may be needed in the future.
  • Conduct a Job Analysis if this position will be new to your department. This will also help to identify gaps.


When attrition occurs, replacing the role is typically the logical step to take. Before obtaining approval to advertise the position, consider the following:

  • As with a newly created position, it may be helpful to conduct a Job Analysis in order to tailor the position to what is currently required and to ensure proper classification. Your HR Classification Analyst can assist in reviewing and completing.
  • Review the role and decide if there are any changes required as certain tasks and responsibilities performed by the previous person may not or should not be performed by the new person

Carefully evaluate any changes needed for the following:

  • Level required performing these tasks; considering the appropriate classification level. Be aware that changes in the classification of positions from represented to nonrepresented will require union notice and agreement
  • Tasks carried out by the previous employee
  • Tasks to be removed or added if any of the work will be transferred within department
  • Supervisory or lead responsibility
  • Budget responsibility (if any)
  • Work hours
  • Is there still a requirement for this role at all?


Step 2: Develop Position Description

A position description is the core of a successful recruitment process. It is used to develop interview questions, interview evaluations and reference check questions. A well-written position description:

  • Provides a first impression of the campus to the candidate
  • Clearly articulates responsibilities and qualifications to attract the best suited candidates
  • Provides an opportunity to clearly articulate the value proposition for the role
  • Serves as documentation to help prevent, or defend against, discrimination complaints by providing written evidence that employment decisions were based on rational business needs
  • Improves retention as turnover is highest with newly hired employees. Employees tend to be dissatisfied when they are performing duties they were not originally hired to perform.
  • Optimizes search engine results by ensuring job postings rank high in candidate search results when searching on-line
  • Determines FLSA classification and is used to map to the appropriate Payroll Title
  • Identifies tasks, work flow and accountability, enabling the department to plan how it will operate and grow
  • Assists in establishing performance objectives
  • Is used for career planning and training by providing clear distinctions between levels of responsibilities and competencies required
  • Is used as a benchmark to assist in ensuring internal and external equity

Identify Duties and Responsibilities

Prior to developing the job description the hiring manager should identify the following:

  1. General Information
  2. Position Purpose
  3. Essential Functions
  4. Minimum Requirements
  5. Preferred Qualifications
1. General Information

Basic position and pay information will need to be determined to assist with the development of the job description and job classification and for entering into the ATS. This information will be different for each position being recruited:

  • Payroll Title — The Payroll title and associated title code determines the, FLSA status, Personnel Program Code and Description, and the Bargaining Unit Code and Description fields in the ATS.
  • Pay Grade/Step
  • Working Title — Market titles should be recognizable and common to various industries as most job seekers search for commonly referred to market titles when conducting on-line job searches
  • Department Name
  • Department Head
  • Supervisor Name
  • Title Codes and Full-Time Equivalent numbers of employees supervised
  • Special Requirements and Conditions:
    • Specific requirements job seekers must possess or complete in order to be hired (e.g. background check, valid driver’s license, etc.)
    • Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQ’s)which are in compliance with UCR’s applicable policies (e.g. physical or mental requirements)
    • Contact Staff Employment for assistance with special requirements and conditions
2. Position Purpose

Describes the department’s functions, the unit’s functions, and/or the organizational unit’s functions. The statement should summarize the position’s essential functions and its role in relation to supporting, administering, or managing the activities of the department, unit, or organizational unit.

Posted Position Purpose — The posted Position Purpose will be searchable and viewable by job seekers on UCR’s job board and other posting sites. Therefore it is important to ensure it:

  • Includes a description of the role and its relation to the department, organization and University
  • Includes the estimated duration (i.e. Limited 6-9 months or Contract 2.5 years) for non-Career positions
  • Lists the number of openings when there is more than one position being recruited
  • Describes any pre-employment assessments if applicable.
  • Is optimized for search engines. Candidates conduct job searches by entering key words or phrases into search engines.
  • Most candidates utilize “job aggregators” such as Google and Indeed versus searching individual company job posts.
  • To ensure your position reaches the top of candidate search results, include key words such as “career”, “job”, skills and title of the position in the beginning of the posted position description (first 150 words).

Attracting a Talented Diverse Applicant Pool:

  • Once you have identified the position purpose, essential functions and qualifications, you will want to go back and review the description. Is it written to attract an individual who is a top performer? Does it describe the inclusive culture of your organization?
  • Marketing the job to a diverse audience is just as important as accurately describing the role. For more information and tips visit the Best Practices for Attracting a Diverse Workforce webpage.
3. Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions describe the duties and responsibilities of a position. A job function is considered essential when the performance of the function is the purpose for the position. Typically, an essential function occupies a significant amount of time of the employee’s time and requires specialized skills to perform. By accurately describing the essential functions of the job, job seekers will have a clear understanding of the role and your expectations for performing them.

When developing essential functions for the position the following should be noted:

  • Functions of the job which are critical for the position are arranged by importance and percentage of time spent
  • Complexity level and authority for the role should be described to help attract the appropriate level of qualified candidates
  • Essential tasks listed should be inter-related to the accomplishment of the essential function.

    e.g., The essential function of event planning is composed of several independent tasks including scheduling and securing the venue; interviewing vendors and executing contracts for service; arranging for food delivery; supervising event workers and ensuring clean up. Therefore, the various tasks required to successfully accomplish the essential function should be identified and described.
4. Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements or “basic qualifications” are those qualifications or criteria which was established in advance and advertised to potential applicants:

  • Must be relevant and relate to the duties and responsibilities of the job (e.g., should not list driving requirement if not part of responsibilities or duties of the job).
  • “Soft skills” can be required qualifications (e.g., communication/collaboration) and will:
    • Vary among applicants
    • Not be absolutely ascertained in resume
    • Be evaluated in interview
  • Can be position/department specific (e.g. valid driver’s license)
  • Can be assessed by reviewing the resume
  • Must be objective, non-comparative and business related:
    • Objective
      • Correct: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration
      • Incorrect: A business degree from a “good school”
    • Noncomparative
      • Correct: 5 to 7 years of experience designing computer software programs
      • Incorrect: Must be one of the top five among the applicants in years of experience
    • Business Related
      • Correct: 5+ years of experience in accounting
      • Incorrect: Must have experience with volunteering for Habitat for Humanity
  • The minimum requirements should support the accomplishment of the essential function. For example, the essential function of event planning could require:
    • Organizational skills (to ensure all details are cared for)
    • Communication skills (to interact with vendors and guests)
    • Prior event planning experience

Listing too many skills as requirements significantly limits your applicant pool and selection. It is recommended no more than 3-5 “hard” job skills (e.g., Bachelor’s degree, 5 years accounting experience, experience in accessing and retrieving data from financial systems using PC based tools and other “technical job skills”) in addition to the “soft skills” be listed depending upon the level of the position.

5. Preferred Qualifications

Preferred qualifications are skills and experience preferred in addition to basic qualifications and can be used to narrow down the pool of applicants. These preferred skills, knowledge, abilities and competencies can describe a more proficient level at which the essential functions can be performed such as:

  • Prior experience with corporate/institutional event planning (prior experience in a related area can be preferred) and knowledge of applicable UC policies and procedures (prior experience within the UC system can be preferred).
  • UCR experience, certifications and/or advanced degree are additional

Applicants who meet some or all preferred qualifications (e.g., UC experience) tend to have shorter assimilation time, reach full job competence faster and are able to take on advanced responsibilities sooner.

Career Ladder Recruitments

When the scope of the position and the department needs allow for varying levels of skills and experience, a position may be advertised with multiple job titles at different levels within a single class series. Refer to UCR Local Procedure 20: Recruitment for more information.


Step 3: Develop Recruitment Plan

Each position requires a documented Recruitment Plan which is approved by the organizational unit. A carefully structured recruitment plan maps out the strategy for attracting and hiring the best qualified candidate and helps to ensure an applicant pool which includes women and underrepresented groups including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

In addition to the position’s placement goals the plan contains advertising channels to be used to achieve those goals. The recruitment plan is typically developed by the hiring manager in conjunction with the Departmental HR Coordinator. Placement goals identified are displayed on the position requisition in the ATS.

Recruitment plan elements:

  1. Posting Period
  2. Placement Goals
  3. Additional Advertising Resources
  4. Diversity Agencies
  5. Resume Banks

Contact your department HR Coordinator for a Sample Recruitment Plan

A. Posting Period

  • Minimum posting requirements are as follows:
    • Professional Support Staff (PSS) – 10 business days from date posted beginning the next business day
    • Management/Senior Professional (MSP) – 15 business days from date posted beginning the next business day
  • “Open until filled” is an option for both PSS and MSP positions which allows the posting to remain open and viewable on the career site until filled. This option is recommended for all recruitments.
  • Continuous Recruitment — To be used only for on-going recruitment such as lab assistants, custodial support, etc.

B. Placement Goals

  • Placement goals are required for each recruitment
  • Review your Placement Goals and develop a recruitment plan which will assist in reaching those goals
    • To ensure the most current placement goals are identified for the department and unit, you may contact the office of Faculty and Staff Affirmative Action.
  • Placement Goals should include outreach efforts to veterans and individuals with disabilities

C. Additional Advertising Resources

A variety of recruiting sources (both internally and externally) should be utilized to attract candidates who reflect the diversity UCR values in its workforce. Every effort should be made to conduct a thorough search by advertising widely before filling a position.

Any advertising related to employment at UCR and/or recruitment (job) advertising should include this statement in the body of the advertisement:

“UCR is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff.

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-300.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans.

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41CFR 60-741.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.”

For paid advertisements in which cost is determined by the number of characters or lines, the following abbreviated statement may be used:

“This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-300.5(a) and 41 CFR 60-741.5(a), which prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities.”

Internet Job Boards

UCR sponsored — UCR Staff positions which are posted on the UCR Jobs website are automatically posted to the following UCR contracted job boards:

UCR Sponsored Job Boards
  • Southern California HigherEdJobs
  • Diverse Issues in Higher Education —
    must be launched via JobTarget

AJE National Exchange

  • AJE Veteran Exchange
  • AJE Women Exchange
  • AJE Disability Exchange
  • AJE Hispanic Exchange
Outreach Partner Networks

Veteran Job Boards

Disability Job Boards

Diversity Job Boards

State Job Banks
  • State One-Stop Career Centers
  • (LVER) (DVOP) (DPN)

Community Partner Networks
(Local Chapters)

  • Goodwill
  • Easter Seals
  • The Arc
  • Department of Rehabilitation
  • U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Additional job boards:

  • Available through JobTarget, over 3,000 job boards available which include diversity job boards — targeted to women and under-represented groups, and niche job boards — targeted to individuals by technical discipline or industry.
  • Job posting rates vary and are charged to the organizational unit. Contact your Service Center or Departmental HR Coordinator for more information.
Print Advertisement
  • Local media, national publications (not used as frequently, but may be suitable for certain positions) and other paper advertisements
  • JobTarget can provide assistance with most advertising media by coordinating your ad placement. Contact your Service Center or Departmental Human Resources Coordinator for assistance.
  • Associations and other member groups which are helpful in targeting candidates with specific niche skillsets
Social Media

LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are good alternative recruiting sources. Contact your Service Center or Departmental HR Coordinator to learn more about these tools and their proper use. Refer to University of California Recruitment Through the Use of Social Networks

Job Fairs

Before the internet, job fairs were considered a popular method for meeting candidates face-to-face. They were used as a vehicle to promote organizations by promoting the organization’s image and brand. Job fairs such as those aimed at diverse candidates or specific to certain industries, are still considered one of the best methods for meeting potential candidates in a single event.

Professional Conference and Campus Recruiting

Conference and campus recruiting events are a great way to market UCR and your department and provide you with an opportunity to network with potential qualified candidates for current and future openings.

Conference and campus career centers may offer to assist you in your recruitment needs by providing job posting services and interviewing facilities.

When utilizing these events for current recruitments, the standard hiring process is followed to include:

  • Posting the Job — Ensure the position is posted on and all applicants are directed to apply on-line
  • Conducting Interviews
    • All qualified applicants selected for interviews receive short-list approval prior to being interviewed
    • On-site Screening Interviews
      • Screening interviews conducted to gather preliminary information on prospective candidates
      • To be conducted by more than one committee member in attendance
      • Screened-in applicants invited to interview with all committee members
    • On-Site Selection Interviews
      • Interviews used to make final hiring decisions
      • Requires all committee members to be in attendance

In order to ensure fairness and equity in the hiring process for interviewees not in attendance, the guidelines set forth in Conducting Virtual Interviews (see Step 7) are to be followed.

D. Diversity Agencies

  • Agencies which assist women and under-represented groups are another great source of talent
  • Developing relationships and a pipeline of potential candidates with these agencies allows candidates to have a better understanding of your staffing needs and the University’s mission and values
  • Contact Human Resources for more information on diversity agencies.

E. Resume Banks

Resume banks are another good source for identifying qualified candidates. Job seekers post their resume to these which are then searched by prospective employers. The following resume banks provide access to UCR HR Departmental and Organization HR Coordinators:

To request log-in access, contact Staff Employment.

OFCCP’s record keeping requirements for 3rd party resume searches are:

  • Title of the position for which each search of the database was made
  • The search criteria used
  • Date of the search
  • Names of resumes of any job seekers who met the minimum qualifications and whom you requested to apply

This required information is to be documented in the comments section of the requisition in the ATS.


Step 4: Select Search Committee

To ensure applicants selected for interview and final consideration are evaluated by more than one individual to minimize the potential for personal bias, a selection committee is formed. The hiring manager will identify members who will have direct and indirect interaction with the applicant in the course of their job. Each hiring manager should make an effort to appoint a search committee that represents a diverse cross section of the staff. A member of the committee will be appointed as the Affirmative Action and Compliance Liaison who will monitor the affirmative action aspects of the search committee. Under-represented groups and women are to have equal opportunity to serve on search committees and special efforts should be made to encourage participation. Departments that lack diversity in their own staff should consider appointing staff outside the department to search committees or develop other alternatives to broaden the perspective of the committee.

For positions that are frequently recruited and utilize a search committee, the mix of search committee members should change frequently as well to minimize the risk of “group think” or collective bias.

  • The Hiring Manager will determine the size (no more than 6) and composition of the committee based on the nature of the position. It is highly recommended the committee members include:
    • At least one individual who has a strong understanding of the role and its contribution to the department
    • A job specialist (technical or functional)
    • An individual who will interact closely with the position and/or serves as a main customer
  • Search committee members must ensure no conflict of interest in relation to the applicants under consideration and must never be individuals who may have interest in the position
  • Search committee members should ensure they are well equipped for their role in the recruitment process to ensure fairness and compliance. The following tool is available to assist committee members with the recruitment process:
  • Each committee member is expected to be well versed in the recruitment and selection process and have an understanding of laws related to Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity. The following training opportunities are available (registration through UC Learning Center). At a minimum, the search committee member must have completed one of the learning activities listed below before serving on the committee:
    • Training workshop - Affirmative Action 101
    • Training workshop - Recruitment & Selection Strategies for the Hiring Manager
    • Training workshop – Supporting the Recruitment and Selection Process
    • Recruitment Advertising & Affirmative Action webinar
    • Diversify and Train the Search Committee tutorial
    • Applicant Pool Statistics & Creating Diverse Applicant Pools tutorial
  • It is recommended the committee communicate prior to the application review to determine criteria for applicant evaluation
  • The Search Committee Chair should ensure that all members of the committee are thoroughly familiar with the job description


Step 5: Post Position and Implement Recruitment Plan

Once the position description has been completed, the position can then be posted to the UCR career site via the ATS. Every effort should be made to ensure the accuracy of the job description and posting text. It may not be possible to change elements of a position once posted, because it may impact the applicant pool.

To post the position:

  • The requisition is created by the Service Center Human Resources Coordinator or Departmental Human Resources Coordinator and approved by the Service Center HR Organizational Coordinator or Organizational HR Coordinator
  • Once approved, the Departmental HR Coordinator or Service Center will review the requisition and route online to the HR Classification Analyst who will assign the classification
  • The requisition is then routed to the HR Recruitment Analyst who will post the position
  • Applications can be reviewed and dispositioned once the minimum number of posting days has been reached
  • Internal candidates will apply through the regular application process and will be included in the candidate pool along with external candidates (see 6.0 Special Considerations for details)

Talent Sourcing and Outreach

In order to identify the widest and talented applicant pool, sourcing and outreach activities should be engaged. Passive candidate sourcing is an activity which can be conducted during this phase in the recruitment process. This is typically done using social media and networking channels. OFCCP has specific guidance on this area of recruitment. Contact Staff Employee for information.

Monitoring/Updating Recruitment Plan/Diversity Strategy

Continuous monitoring of recruitment activity and recruitment plan effectiveness is critical to a successful search.

Applicant pools for each recruitment can be monitored by search committee members throughout the recruitment cycle by reviewing the Affirmative Action Statistics located in the ATS.


Step 6: Review Applicants and Develop Short List

Once the position has been posted, candidates will apply via UCR’s job board. Candidates will complete an electronic application for each position (resume and cover letter are optional). Candidates will be considered “Applicants” or “Expressions of Interest”.

Applicants are those who apply during the initial application period as described in Step 5. All applicants must be reviewed and considered. Candidates who apply after the initial application period will be considered “expressions of interest” and not viewable by the search committee.

It is recommended that all search committee members review all Applicants to ensure more than one person assesses their qualifications and that individual opinion or biases are avoided. It is permissible to have at least two committee members review all Applicants for certain recruitments in which there are extensive applicant pools to best narrow down the pool. Alternatively, Human Resources may perform this function. Each committee member may provide comments to each Applicant’s qualifications as they relate to the minimum requirements of the position.

A phone screen may be conducted to obtain information such as availability, salary requirements, special position requirements (e.g. ability to perform shift work), ascertain minimum requirements and other preliminary information to assist the search committee with their review. It is possible to screen out an applicant due to information obtained during this initial screening and therefore phone screens should be properly documented and attended by at least two search committee members or Human Resources.

Upon the search committee’s review of the applicants, the Chair or Chair’s Associate will review all search committee comments and develop the short list. Once the short list has been determined, the AACO or designee will submit the short list to the OFSAA for approval. If the short list is deemed to represent a sufficiently diverse applicant pool, the short list will be approved. Once approved, the applicants can then be contacted for interviews.

If the shortlist is not sufficiently diverse in light of the department’s placement goals, the OFSSA will contact the Search Committee Chair or Chair’s Associate to discuss how the pool might be diversified. One option might be to review the existing applicant pool to evaluate any additional qualified applicants prior to reviewing applicants who are expressions of interest status. If it is determined the expressions of interests are to be reviewed, the Search Committee Chair or Chair’s Associate may move those in the expression of interest status to the applicant pool, in one or more batches on certain date(s) and time(s), as needed to achieve a sufficiently diverse and qualified pool. All expressions of interest candidates moved to the applicant pool are to be reviewed by the search committee.

Note: Several bargaining unit contracts contain language related to applicant screening. Refer to the appropriate contract for specific requirements.


Step 7: Conduct Interview

The interview is the single most important step in the selection process. It is the opportunity for the employer and prospective employee to learn more about each other and validate information provided by both. By following these interviewing guidelines, you will ensure you have conducted a thorough interview process and have all necessary data to properly evaluate skills and abilities.

Preparing for the Interview

Once the short list (typically 3-5 identified for interview) is approved by the Office of Faculty and Staff Affirmative Action, the interview process can begin. It is important to properly prepare for the interview as this is the opportunity to evaluate the skills and competencies and validate the information the applicant has provided in their application and resume. Choose one or two questions from each minimally required skill and competency to develop your interview questions. Review the applicant's application or resume and make note of any issues that you need to follow-up on.

If interviewee requests an accommodation contact the Disability Management Office.

The Committee Chair should determine the following:

  • Format of the interview and order of questions
  • Questions to be asked of all applicants and the weight assigned
  • Who is going to ask which questions
  • Whether a work sample should be submitted
  • The optimum start date for the position
  • Any other details applicants may need about the role that were not noted in the position description

Prior to the conducting interviews, the Search Committee Chair will notify members to download the application packets from iRecruit. The Search Committee Chair will provide the committee with interview questions and evaluation tools.

Panel Interviews

Prior to the panel interview, committee members should ensure they know which interview questions each will ask.

At the start of the interview, introductions of the Chair and panel members, including names and job titles/roles, are given. Next, the Chair should outline the format of the interview so that the candidate is aware of what is going to happen.

A typical format might be:

  • Introductions of each panel member
  • A brief description of the role they are being interviewed for
  • Description of how the interview panel will conduct the interview (e.g. each alternates questions and all will take notes)
  • The candidate gives an overview of their experience
  • Each panel member provides their questions at the conclusion of the interview.
  • The interviewee is given time at the end to ask questions
  • The interviewee is informed of the next step (e.g. will be contacted either by phone or in writing of the outcome)
  • Thank the candidate for coming and ensure someone shows the candidate out

Virtual Interviews

To reduce travel costs and time associated with interviewing out of area applicants, virtual interviews can provide an alternative method to in-person interview.

UC Riverside has partnered with GreenJobInterview, a web-based service to interview out of area job candidates. For information on this service, refer to Recruitment Tools & Resources.

Guidelines for conducting virtual interviews are as follows — To ensure fairness and equity in the interview process, it is recommended out of area applicants are provided an opportunity to interview in the same manner as local applicants during each stage of the interview process. Departments may elect to cover the travel costs associated with out of area applicant interviews but are not required to do so.

Interview Questions

Questions should be relevant to the position and seek information on specific skills and abilities to perform the job such as “describe your experience working with students in an academic environment and/or post-secondary degree-granting institutions”. Interview questions not pertaining to the current requirements of the position are not to be used (e.g. an interview question on supervisory experience if position will not be supervising employees).

The use of behavioral and/or competency based interview questions is strongly encouraged as, when properly crafted, they allow the interviewer to obtain more meaningful data to determine the applicant’s ability to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the job, as well assess their ability to adhere to the University’s core competencies. Refer to UC Core Competencies – Recruitment  for additional information and sample interview questions.

After the Interview

Upon completing the interview, committee members will complete one of the following evaluation tools and forward to the Committee Chair along with any interview notes. Candidate evaluations should be sure to include only those comments which are relevant to the requirements of the position.

Testing and other Selection Methods

Tests and other selection methods such as requesting work or writing samples and presentations are additional tools used to assess candidates. However, use must comply with EEOC guidelines.

  • Skills demonstrations, such as requiring applicants to demonstrate how to perform a task specific to the position they are applying to, are considered tests and must be validated. Contact Human Resources to assist with identifying validated tests available through the University’s contracted 3rd party testing vendor. Limit use of University tests to those provided by the University’s 3rd party testing vendor.
  • Writing samples and presentation assessments are not considered tests and can be evaluated using a scoring rubric. Similar to the tool used to evaluate a candidate during an interview, writing and presentation scoring rubrics are used to evaluate the applicant’s writing and/or presentations skills based on certain predetermined criteria. To obtain a writing or presentation scoring rubric, contact your departmental Human Resources Coordinator or Human Resources.
  • Applicants are to be notified, via the posted position purpose, of the requirement for tests or other selection methods (e.g. writing and presentation) used as part of the hiring process.
  • Tests, work samples and presentations should only be required of short list candidates
  • Because tests and requests for writing samples and presentations must be administered consistently across the hiring process without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (40 or older), or disability, their administration procedure must be approved by Human Resources prior to use.
  • Information on employer guidelines set for by the Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC) can be found on the EEOC’s website under Employment Tests and Selection Procedures.

Tests and the selection tools mentioned above should not be relied upon as the only screening mechanism. Interviews and reference checks should carry considerable weight in the overall decision process.

As an alternative to testing applicants carefully crafted interview questions can be used to gather information on an applicant’s experience and ability to perform certain aspects of the job without the need for testing. Additionally, applicants provide job related certifications of completion for coursework or technical/industry certifications (related to the position) help to provide a measure of skill aptitude to further evaluate qualifications.

The EEOC has set the following Employer guidelines when developing and administering tests:

  • Employers should administer tests and other selection procedures without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (40 or older), or disability.
  • If a selection procedure screens out a protected group, the employer should determine whether there is an equally effective alternative selection procedure that has less adverse impact and, if so, adopt the alternative procedure. For example, if the selection procedure is a test, the employer should determine whether another test would predict job performance but not disproportionately exclude the protected group.
  • To ensure that a test or selection procedure remains predictive of success in a job, employers should keep abreast of changes in job requirements and should update the test specifications or selection procedures accordingly. Employers should ensure that tests and selection procedures are not adopted casually by managers who know little about these processes. A test or selection procedure can be an effective management tool, but no test or selection procedure should be implemented without an understanding of its effectiveness and limitations for the organization, its appropriateness for a specific job, and whether it can be appropriately administered and scored.
  • Employers should ensure that tests and selection procedures are properly validated for the positions and purposes for which they are used. The test or selection procedure must be job related and its results appropriate for the employer's purpose.

Welcoming the Interviewee

Interviewing can be a very stressful experience for some and the more at ease an interviewee is, the better you are able to identify true attributes. The following should be considered:

  • Panel interviews, can be an intimidating environment for an interviewee, so remember to break the ice if possible
  • When organizing interviews, it is best to assign a person who ensures the interviewees have the proper directions, parking details and who is easily accessible on the date of the interview
  • Allow enough time for the interview so the interviewee does not feel rushed. Let the interviewee do most of the talking. Remember the 80/20 rule. The interviewee should be doing 80% of the talking. While it’s important to articulate the needs of your department and the role, this time is to gather as much data to evaluate their experience and ensure a proper fit.
  • Be sure to review the interviewee’s resume in advance to assess skills and background. Take notes and ask for clarification on responses if needed.
  • Be sure to avoid any inappropriate or illegal interview questions.
  • Provide University literature (if available) and benefit information to the applicant at the conclusion of the interview


Step 8: Select Hire

Final Applicant

Once the interviews have been completed, the committee will meet to discuss the interviewees. Committee members will need to assess the extent to which each one met their selection criteria.

The search committee evaluation tool will be helpful in justifying decisions and making them as objective as possible.

Your documentation should demonstrate your selection decision. Documentation is required in order to comply with OFCCP requirements. As one of the most critical steps in the process, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • The best candidate for the position was chosen based on qualifications
  • The candidate will help to carry out the University and Department’s missions

Reference Checks

The purpose of a reference check is to obtain information about a candidate’s behavior and work performance from prior employers that could be critical to your decision, regardless of their skills, knowledge, and abilities. As past performance is the best predictor of future success, it is recommended references be obtained from current and previous supervisors who can speak to the candidate’s on the job performance. A hiring mistake is costly in time, energy, and money. Failure to check references can have serious legal consequences. If an employee engages in harmful behavior, which would have been revealed in a reference check, the University can be held legally responsible for “negligent hiring”.

When to Conduct References

Reference checks should be conducted on the finalist(s) prior to making an offer. For UC employees, in addition to conducting references, a review of the master personnel file should be completed. All applicants are to be informed (during or after the interview) should they be a finalist, an offer would be contingent upon a reference from their current supervisor (the University contacts current supervisor to request reference). The candidate should be informed that a single reference would not be the sole reason for a disqualification and all aspects of their candidacy, including their interview, will be taken into consideration.

References in the Overall Decision Process

Information that is obtained through the reference check process should be considered as part of the overall decision making and should carry considerable weight. Additionally if available, obtaining copies of signed past performance reviews is also recommended. Should a reference from the candidate’s current supervisor not be obtained, it is recommended Human Resources be contacted to discuss.

The same process (on-line or phone as described below) is to be followed for each recruitment.

Reference Checking Options
Online Applicant Reference Checking

The University has contracted with SkillSurvey, an on-line applicant reference checking tool, to survey reference feedback on approximately 20 behaviors and skills that correlate to success in a given job type. Upon the candidate entering their references (minimum of 2 supervisors/managers and up to 5 references) directly into the SkillSurvey tool, an email notification is sent to each reference requesting their anonymous feedback. Because the references are assured their input is not personally identifiable, they tend to be more forthcoming and have a high response rate. Utilizing SkillSurvey will provide a consistent and compliant process for all applicants.

Under certain circumstances, additional references may be contacted if additional information is needed (e.g. low ratings on a particular skill or behaviors) by entering additional references into the SkillSurvey tool or by conducting a phone reference.

For more information on SkillSurvey and to view a sample report, refer to Recruitment Tools and Resources.

Phone Reference Checks

Departments conducting references by phone should utilize the UCR Applicant Consent Form. Before starting the phone reference check process, be sure to:

  1. Prepare carefully
    • Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the information the applicant has already provided, including the application, resume, work sample (if applicable) and interview responses
    • Identify areas that require elaboration or verification
    • Set up a telephone appointment with one or more references provided by the applicant
    • Many employers are prohibited from providing information without a release, so if requested, send the signed Reference Checking Release and Disclosure consent form and the job description (optional) in advance of your telephone call.
    • Write down your questions before you call, highlighting the information you want verified or expanded upon.
    • Note: You may consider conducting reference checks on all finalists before the final selection is made.
  2. Set up an environment that encourages the reference to respond willingly, cooperatively, and honestly.
    • Begin your conversation on common ground by referring to information that has already been provided by the applicant.  For example:” John Doe has asked us to speak with you regarding information he has already shared with us during the interview process.” Or “I'm calling to verify information provided by Mary Roe.”
  3. Describe the position
    • Describe the responsibilities, duties, and working environment of the position for which the individual has applied.
    • After describing the position, ask, “Given our requirements, what is your assessment of the individual’s qualifications for the job?”
  4. In addition to your prepared questions, ask follow-up questions
    • If you get a general response (“She's great!”), follow up with a specific question (“What did she do to merit that compliment? or “Why did she leave?” or “How have things changed since she left?”)
    • If the reference provider declines to answer a question, ask if someone else might be able to share information about the topic.
  5. Ask questions that are specifically job-related
    • Do not ask about race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

Ask the same basic questions about all applicants for whom you obtain references to ensure consistency. Weigh information you receive in the same manner for all applicants.

Social network tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should not be used to conduct reference or background checks. Refer to University of California Guidelines Recruitment Through the Use of Social Networks.

Mandated Hiring Prerequisites

Depending upon the nature of the position, additional hiring prerequisites may be required. Any costs associated with these prerequisites are the responsibility of the hiring department. Additional information can be found on the Mandated Hiring Prerequisites webpage.


Step 9: Finalize Recruitment

Upon completion of the recruitment process the offer to the selected finalist is made.

Prior to initiating the offer, it is recommended that one more check of the selection process be completed as follows:

  • Review the duties and responsibilities of the position and ensure they were accurately described and reflected in the job description and interview process
  • Review selection criteria used to ensure they were based on the qualifications listed for the position
  • Confirm interview questions clearly matched the selection criteria
  • Confirm all applicants were treated uniformly in the recruitment, screening, interviewing and final selection process
  • Should there be any issues with the above, contact your Organizational Human Resources Coordinator.

Initiating the Offer

  • Once a final check of the selection process has been completed and the final applicant has been determined, the Committee Chair or designee will notify the Departmental HR Coordinator of the finalist’s name, salary and start date and enter the selection information into the ATS
  • The Departmental HR Coordinator reviews the requisition in the ATS and ensures all applicants on the requisition have been assigned a decision code
  • The Departmental HR Coordinator forwards this information to the Organizational HR Coordinator for review and approval
  • Once approved, the Departmental HR Coordinator notifies the Committee Chair or designee of offer approval
  • The Committee Chair or designee makes the offer to the finalist

Note: A verbal offer of employment and the finalist’s verbal acceptance creates a contractual relationship – therefore, ensure the offer has been approved prior to verbally offering the position

Negotiating the Offer                     

  • Whenever possible, it’s recommended your best offer be made the first time as this displays proper market and internal equity practices and demonstrates good faith to the applicant.
  • When offering the finalist the position, be sure to discuss the total compensation package (in addition to salary) such as paid time off and retirement benefits. Be excited and enthusiastic about the offer and let them know you are excited about them joining your team.
  • UCR benefits and retirement programs are great selling points. In many cases, they are a key factor when deciding on accept or decline the offer. Finalists with additional benefit related questions should be referred to the Benefits webpage or Central Human Resources Benefits office.
  • Lastly, if possible, discuss the great learning and development opportunities which may be available to them in achieving their professional goals. Most individuals value this just as much, in some cases more, than the base salary being offered.

Countering the Offer

  • Despite your best offer, there may be instances where the applicant declines
  • Discuss the reasons for the offer being declined with the applicant – and look beneath the surface. Applicants decline offers for various reasons and not always due to the salary being offered.
  • If an offer is declined due to salary, the department may make a counter offer provided the amount is within the appropriate guidelines for the role and department
  • Counter offers must be reviewed and approved by the Organizational HR Coordinator

Finalizing the Offer

It is important that each recruitment be properly closed, including the notification of those interviewed and not selected, as well as all documentation associated with the recruitment be uploaded to the ATS.

To ensure proper closure, the Staff Recruitment and Selection Checklist should be completed and the following actions conducted:

  • Once an offer has been accepted, the Committee Chair or designee notifies the Departmental HR Coordinator and requests the offer letter be sent
  • The Departmental HR Coordinator prepares and sends the offer letter
  • The Departmental HR Coordinator ensures written acceptance of offer
  • The Departmental HR Coordinator enters the finalist information into the ATS upon receipt of the signed offer (see iRecruit User Guide for instructions)
  • The Departmental HR Coordinator contacts those individuals interviewed and not selected (at a minimum) by phone or letter. If contact is made by phone, ensure the conversation is documented.
  • The Departmental HR Coordinator ensures all recruitment related documents are uploaded to the requisition in the ATS
  • Upon notification of the recruitment being closed, the Departmental HR Coordinator will close out the requisition in the ATS


More Information

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