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Recruitment, Selection and Appointment of Academic, Teaching and Professional Staff Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This procedure outlines the University's processes for the recruitment of professional, teaching and academic staff.

(2) The procedure to appoint a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global Innovation Chair, Global Innovation Professorial Fellow, Head of School, Director  or equivalent is outlined in the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment of Senior Staff Procedure.

(3) The procedure to appoint a research-funded staff member on a fixed term contract up to three years is outlined in the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment of Research Staff from Non-operating Funds Procedure.

(4) During organisational change, selection processes specifically designed to cover the requirements of the change process will be described in the proposal paper regarding the change and administered in line with the principles of the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy.

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Section 2 - Procedure

Vacancy or Need is Identified

(5) The Hiring manager, in consultation with the HRS Business Partner, should consider the requirement for recruitment, taking into account:

  1. current and future workforce requirements of the area;
  2. available current and future financial resources;
  3. workforce planning strategies including strategies for succession planning and career development within the Faculty/Division; and
  4. redeployment opportunities.

Design the Role

(6) The role should be designed by the Hiring manager taking into consideration:

  1. the needs of the area to deliver on strategic priorities;
  2. the current skills available within the team;
  3. the attractiveness of the role to candidates while meeting organisational needs; and
  4. a vision of long-term requirements for the School/Unit or Faculty/Division.

(7) A position description will be developed by the Hiring manager which articulates the duties, responsibilities and selection criteria for the position.

(8) The position description should be written using the current position description template.

(9) If the role is one which will be covered by one of the University's Enterprise Agreements, the types of employment available are: 

  1. continuing;
  2. fixed-term;
  3. casual employment; or
  4. contingent.

(10) If the role is one which will be covered by one of the University's Enterprise Agreements, the Hiring manager will determine which type of employment should be utilised by considering the requirements of the role, the likely duration of the role and the available funding.

(11) Senior Staff and Associate Directors who are not covered by the Enterprise Agreements will be employed on fixed-term contracts of up to 5 years unless otherwise approved by the Director, People and Workforce Strategy.

Determine the Recruitment Strategy

(12) In partnership with HRS, the Hiring manager will determine a recruitment strategy. Approaches may include:

  1. internal advertising or expressions of interest;
  2. external advertising;
  3. engaging a Recruitment Agency; or
  4. Direct appointment.

(13) Other than the exceptions listed in clause 15 below, the University will recruit for all fixed term, continuing and contingent academic and professional staff roles through Competitive recruitment.

(14) A recruitment strategy may include a process of internal expressions of interest and internal selection where it is expected that the best candidate is already employed at the University.

(15) A Direct appointment may occur in the following situations, however, Competitive recruitment may be preferred to ensure that the best candidate is appointed and also to create a culture of opportunity across the University:

  1. casual appointments (except those outlined in clause 17);
  2. short-term fixed-term appointments expected to be less than 12 months in duration (including any extensions);
  3. appointment of research staff members who are recruited to work on research projects funded by non-operating funds for periods of up to 3 years, (see Recruitment, Selection and Appointment of Research Staff from Non-operating Funds Procedure);
  4. internal appointments under the transfer processes outlined in a University Enterprise Agreement;
  5. candidates considered in another selection process within the last 6 months (or 12 months in exceptional circumstances approved by the Manager, Recruitment and Support Services) where a candidate was deemed 'appointable' and the requirements of the roles are comparable; or
  6. other strategic appointments in specific circumstances as approved by the Vice-Chancellor on recommendation of the Director, People and Workforce Strategy.

(16) A Direct appointment must be appointed on merit. If the Hiring manager has a financial, family or other close personal relationship with any appointee there is the potential for an actual or perceived conflict of interest. The Hiring manager must refer and adhere to the University's Conflict of Interest policy and the Code of Conduct before any appointment is made to ensure there is no actual or perceived conflict of interest.

(17) Casual appointments to sessional academic roles will normally be managed through an expression of interest process open to internal and external candidates.

(18) Recruitment for roles at HEW 8 and above for professional staff, and at Level C and above for academic staff, (where the role is expected to be of 12 months duration or longer, including any extensions) will be advertised to both internal and external candidates, unless otherwise approved by the Director, People and Workforce Strategy.

(19) Roles below HEW 8 for professional staff and below Level C for academic staff may be advertised solely to internal staff if the Hiring manager, in consultation with HRS, assesses that an appropriate pool of candidates can be sourced this way.

Assess the Applicants

(20) The Hiring manager, in consultation with HRS, will determine which selection techniques will be used for the selection process.

(21) Each selection process will be designed to ensure appropriately detailed and reliable information on candidates is collected using a variety of selection techniques.

(22) The minimum recruitment strategy and selection techniques are shown below in Table A. In general, the selection process should be more comprehensive than the minimum requirement to ensure the best selection decision is made and that there is confidence in the capability of the selected candidate. Where an exception is to be made to the minimum recruitment strategy and selection techniques, approval will be required by the Director, People and Workforce Strategy.

Table A

Type of Role Minimum Recruitment Strategy and Selection Techniques
Professors – Level E
- External competitive recruitment via a Recruitment Agency
- Interview
- Reference Checks
Academic Levels C & D (12 months or greater)
- External competitive recruitment
- Interview
- Reference Checks
Academic Levels A & B (12 months or greater)
- External and/or internal competitive recruitment
- Interview
- Reference Checks
Associate Directors and HEW 10 +
- External competitive recruitment
- Interview
- Leadership Assessment
- Site visit
- Reference Checks
HEW Levels 8, 9 & 10 (12 months or greater)
- External competitive recruitment
- Interview
- Reference Checks
HEW Levels 7 and below and Teachers (12 months or greater)
- External and/or internal competitive recruitment
- Interview
- Reference Checks
Fixed-term appointments less than 12 months duration (including extensions)
- Direct appointment
- Reference Checks
Research staff (Up to 3 years duration)
- Direct appointment
- Reference Checks Casual Staff
- Direct appointment
- Reference Checks
Sessional Academic Roles
- Normally an external and internal Expression of Interest
- Reference Checks

(23) In addition to the minimum recruitment strategy and selection techniques, additional selection techniques may also include:

  1. initial screening interview;
  2. site visit;
  3. leadership assessment;
  4. work sample tests;
  5. seminars/ presentations;
  6. assessment centres;
  7. background checking;
  8. psychometric or other testing;
  9. follow-up interviews;
  10. pre-employment medical assessment.

Commence Competitive Recruitment

(24) Where Competitive recruitment is chosen, the Hiring manager will complete the following documents and forward to their HRS Business Partner:

  1. Staff Recruitment Request Form (see Section 6 below when completing the part of the Staff Recruitment Request Form that relates to Selection Committee);
  2. Health and Hazard Assessment Questionnaire; and
  3. Position Description.

(25) The HRS Recruitment Team will work with the Hiring manager to determine advertising strategies and will liaise with media outlets and/or identify a Recruitment Agency, as appropriate.

(26) The HRS Recruitment Team will liaise with Selection Committee members named on the Staff Recruitment Request to confirm timing for the shortlisting meeting and interviews.

Establish a Selection Committee

(27) Where Competitive recruitment has been chosen, a Selection Committee will be established to assess candidates.

(28) A Selection Committee should include: 

  1. appropriate Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander representation where candidates have identified themselves as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
  2. membership that is gender inclusive (a minimum of one third of the Committee must be female) or in particular circumstances as close to a third as possible; and
  3. a panel member who is not employed in the School/Unit.

(29) Further requirements regarding the composition of the Selection Committee specific to the role being recruited are specified in Table B.

(30) Where any of the specified member listed in Table B is not available, a substitute member at a similar level of seniority, and from either inside or outside the University, may be nominated by the Chair.

Table B

Role
Selection Committee Establishment Requirements
Academic staff - Professor (Level E)
Will comprise:
- The Vice-Chancellor (Chair). The Vice-Chancellor may, in their absence, nominate the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) as Chair
- The Pro Vice-Chancellor of the relevant Faculty
- The Head of the relevant School
- An academic staff member of the School (or Chief Investigator for research-funded positions)
- An external scholar distinguished in the relevant discipline, appointed by the Vice-Chancellor
Academic staff - Associate Professor (Level D)
Will comprise:
- The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) (Chair)
- The Pro Vice-Chancellor of the relevant Faculty
- The Head of the relevant School
- An academic staff member of the School
- An external scholar distinguished in the relevant discipline, appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Academic staff – Senior Lecturer and Lecturer (Level C and B)
Will comprise:
- Pro Vice-Chancellor of the relevant Faculty (Chair)
- The Head of the relevant School
- Academic staff member within the discipline
- Professor from another Faculty/School
Academic staff – Associate Lecturer (Level A)
Will comprise:
- Pro Vice-Chancellor of Faculty (or nominee) (Chair)
- The Head of the relevant School
- Academic staff member within the discipline
- Academic staff member from another Faculty/School
Professional and Teaching staff
- Will be established by the Hiring manager, in conjunction with the HRS Recruitment Team
- Will comprise of at least 3 Selection Committee members
- The role of Selection Committee Chair will normally be held by the
Hiring manager
 

Shortlisting

(31) The Selection Committee Chair should complete the online training module for Selection Committee's prior to shortlisting.

(32) Shortlisting is the process of selecting candidates for interview from among those who best meet the selection criteria. Not all candidates who meet the selection criteria are required to be invited for interview.

(33) Shortlisting may be undertaken by either:

  1. the Selection Committee, or
  2. at the request of the Hiring manager, the HRS  Recruitment Team may review applicants and provide a list of potentially suitable candidates to the Selection Committee to be shortlisted.

(34) A Selection Committee may choose to shortlist a candidate from an under-represented group (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, women, people with a disability or people from non-English speaking or ethnic background), who meets the selection criteria but who may not be one of the strongest candidates.

(35) In accordance with the University's Conflict of Interest policy, if a Selection Committee member has a direct or personal interest in a recruitment process they must declare such interest to the Selection Committee Chair as soon as the applicant's identity becomes known to them. This will mean a declaration of any financial, family or other close personal relationships with any applicant for the position.

(36) The Selection Committee Chair, in consultation with the HRS Recruitment Team, will determine if there is an actual conflict of interest, or if there could be a perceived conflict of interest. If it is determined that there is a conflict, the Selection Committee member will be asked to stand down from the Selection Committee. In the case of the Selection Committee Chair declaring a potential conflict, the Manager, Recruitment and Support Services will determine whether there is a conflict of interest or a perceived conflict of interest.

(37) Selection Committee members will independently assess the applications prior to attending the shortlisting meeting.

(38) Selection Committee members will observe confidentiality in regards to all aspects of staff selection and must not disclose any details of candidates or discuss aspects of the selection process with any person within or external to the University, other than a fellow Selection Committee member or a member of HRS.

(39) The HRS Recruitment Team will provide advice on Selection Committee procedures, interview questions, selection techniques, equity issues, and if required, participate as a member of professional staff Selection Committees where this would add value.

(40) After the shortlisting meeting, the HRS Recruitment Team will notify the shortlisted candidates of interview arrangements and will coordinate the logistics of the interviews and candidates' travel/ accommodation.

Interviews

(41) The Selection Committee Chair will ensure that Selection Committee members are prepared for the interview, that appropriate questions have been allocated to Selection Committee members, and that candidates are welcomed.

(42) The interview should allow Selection Committee members to ask targeted questions and seek clarification to gather information from candidates about their skills, attributes and experience in terms of the selection criteria and duties of the position.

Deliberations

(43) At the conclusion of the interview, the Selection Committee will consider all available information on the candidate gathered through the selection process. This will include information from additional interviews, seminars, site visits, work sample tests, background checks, or any other selection technique used.

(44) The Selection Committee will consider all the information that has been gathered for each interviewee, via the various chosen selection methods. If Selection Committee members have enough information to rank the candidates they should:

  1. determine which candidates meet the requirements and can be deemed appointable;
  2. rank the appointable candidates in order of suitability for the position; and
  3. note any candidates who were deemed 'not appointable'. Candidates should be deemed not appointable if there are specific skills that they could not demonstrate with regards to the selection criteria and inherent requirements of the job.

(45) The Selection Committee Chair should offer their ranking and comments after hearing the ranking and comments from other Selection Committee members.

(46) If the selection rank believes that they are not able to make a determination but may be able to do so should further information be available, they may request additional information and reconvene (in person or via email) when the information becomes available.

(47) The HRS Recruitment Team will record the following information in a Selection Committee Report:

  1. the ranking of the candidates (if Selection Committee members are able to determine a ranking);
  2. any further information the Selection Committee may require in order to determine the ranking; and
  3. candidates who were deemed not appointable.

(48) The Hiring manager and the Selection Committee must be satisfied that they have selected the best person for the position after assessing all the available information. If no candidate of sufficient capability is found, the recruitment process should be reviewed and recommenced.

Reference Checks

(49) The purpose of a reference check is to seek information relevant to the selection criteria which may confirm (or otherwise) the candidate's suitability for the role.

(50) The reference check should provide sufficient information for the Selection Committee to be confident that the skills, experience, behavioural capabilities and leadership capabilities of the candidate have been confirmed to ensure their success within the role.

(51) Reference checks must be conducted before an offer of employment is made for any type of employment.

(52) The Selection Committee Chair (or Hiring manager, in the case of a direct appointment) is responsible for obtaining reference checks and should obtain 2 (but preferably 3 or more).

(53) Unless expressly authorised by the Selection Committee Chair, Selection Committee members are not authorised to contact applicants or referees, or seek information on applicants from current or former employers, or work colleagues.

(54) Candidates should be consulted before the Selection Committee Chair (or delegate) approaches alternative or additional referees.

(55) A Selection Committee member cannot be a referee, unless otherwise approved by the Selection Committee Chair.

(56) A written summary of reference checks will be prepared by the Selection Committee Chair.

(57) In the case of Competitive recruitment, the completed reference check information will be returned to the HRS Recruitment Team to be filed with the Selection Committee Report.

(58) In the case of Direct appointment, the Hiring manager will retain the reference checks locally in a confidential location and destroy after two years.

Approvals

(59) Approval to appoint are as per the University's Delegations of Authority Schedules and relevant University policies. A summary is provided in Table C below:

Table C

Role Delegated Authority to Approve Appointment
Professor - Level E (12 months or greater) Vice-Chancellor in consultation with relevant Head of School and Pro Vice-Chancellor
Associate Professor - Level D (12 months or greater) Chair of Selection Committee in consultation with relevant Head of School and Pro Vice-Chancellor
Associate Lecturer, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer - Levels A, B, C (12 months or greater) Chair of Selection Committee in consultation with relevant Head of School and Pro Vice-Chancellor (where not Chair of Committee)
Associate Directors and HEW 10+ (12 months or greater) Vice-Chancellor in consultation with line manager of role
Professional staff up to and including HEW 10 and Teaching staff (12 months or greater) Chair of Selection Committee in consultation with line manager of role (where not Chair of Committee)
Casual/sessional and short term, fixed term staff (less than 12 months) via direct appointment Line Manager of the role, providing the approver is at least at the level of Associate Director or Head of School or above.

(60) Where the candidate is to be based primarily outside Australia during his/her employment with the University, approval to appoint is required from the Vice-Chancellor or the Director, People and Workforce Strategy. Prior to approval it is necessary to ensure that all health and safety, legal and employment requirements associated with the person's appointment are appropriately addressed.

Making an Offer

Competitive Recruitment

(61) The HRS Recruitment Team will ensure the Selection Committee Report has the correct delegated sign-off at the completion of the recruitment process and prior to appointment.

(62) The Selection Committee Chair will contact the successful candidate and advise that an offer will be made and that details of the offer will be sent to them in writing.

(63) As a general rule, the successful candidate should generally be offered remuneration at step 1 of the relevant HEW/ Academic level. A higher level step may be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor or the Director where the candidate has significant additional experience for the role and the need to be competitive in the market justifies a higher step.

(64) A letter of offer will be produced by HRS and sent to the successful candidate.

Direct Appointment

(65) The Hiring manager will contact the appointee and advise that an offer will be made and that details of the offer will be sent to them in writing.

(66) For fixed-term staff and casual professional staff, the Hiring manager will complete an Appointment Job Details Form and forward to the HRS Support Team with the required attachments, approvals and documentation.

(67) For casual/sessional academic staff, the Hiring manager will complete the appointment in the HRS online appointment system.

(68) As a general rule, the appointee should generally be offered remuneration at step 1 of the relevant HEW / Academic level. A higher level step may be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor or the Director where the appointee has significant additional experience for the role and the need to be competitive in the market justifies a higher step.

(69)  A letter of offer will be produced by HRS and sent to the appointee; except in the case of casual/sessional academic appointments which will be processed and sent by the School.

Work Entitlements

(70) The work entitlements of all new staff members must be checked by HRS. It is an offence under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) to knowingly or recklessly allow an illegal worker to work.

Commencement of a New Staff Member

(71) A letter of appointment must be signed by both an authorised representative of the University and by the new staff member prior to commencing employment with the University.

(72) The Hiring manager must ensure this is in place and may have to delay the start of the staff member should the signed letter of appointment not be returned to the University.

Record keeping

(73) Records relating to the filling of vacancies must be retained for a minimum of 2 years after the recruitment process is finalised and then destroyed, as per the retention and disposal authority issued by State Records under the State Records Act 1998 (NSW). This includes:

  1. applications to fill a vacancy;
  2. advertisements and details of position, duty statements, selection criteria;
  3. Selection Committee records and reports;
  4. applications received; 
  5. associated checks and approvals (Note: does not include criminal records checks and working with children checks);
  6. reference checks;
  7. eligibility lists; and
  8. notification to unsuccessful applicants.

(74) These records will be retained by HRS.