Documentation for Recruiting and Appointing Academic Personnel
Appendix to Policy
All University of Minnesota jobs posted, do so through the University of Minnesota (University) Employment System. All necessary information related to new and vacant positions is captured online. For academic searches, data is maintained in the system electronically including among other items posting information, recruitment plans, search committee members, and equal opportunity and affirmative action data. Using the University of Minnesota Employment System, departments initiate job requisitions and postings using an online requisition.
Creating the Requisition
Using the University Employment System, job requisitions and postings are initiated through departments by using the online system. To create the requisition, a template is selected from a drop-down list for the appropriate job classification. This template will contain certain specific, consistent information that will automatically be included on the requisition. In addition to the official University Job Classification Title, the requisition will require completion of a Position Title, previously referred to as a Working Title. This captures a title more specifically tailored to the position and is used for posting purposes in lieu of the official University Job Classification Title. Units that do not wish to use the Position Title may choose to enter the University Job Classification in the Position Title field.
To complete the requisition, additional information unique to the position is added. Once the requisition is completed, it is routed electronically for approvals and posting. NOTE: For future postings, previously approved requisitions are available for use when creating a new requisition rather than having to use the generic template for that job classification.
Requisition Routing and Approval
Routing and approval practices at the University may vary across units and typically have different approval levels depending on the category of the position being posted. The University Employment System provides the essential flexibility needed to support the requirements of these different practices. Using several defined roles (e.g., hiring authority, department head), most units will be able to easily adapt their internal approval practices to the routing options available within the system. Where additional levels or review and approval are needed, the system readily accommodates an e-mail option to send the requisition for review outside of defined routing roles. Dated comments maintained within the system provide a complete history of each requisition's routing and approvals.
Collegiate and administrative unit HR Pros understand the various roles and are able to grant access to the system in a manner that will facilitate appropriate local review and approval of requisitions within their unit.
The Faculty/Academic application asks only for the applicant's name and contact information and then gives the applicant an opportunity to provide demographic data (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, veteran status).
Further information in the form of attachments (e.g., resume/curriculum vitae, cover letter) is then requested of the applicant within the specifics of the posting. When creating a requisition, there is an option to make specific attachments required, optional, or not allowed.
Review of Candidates
Faculty and academic professional and administrative (P&A) position applications are immediately routed electronically to the requisition initiator. Search committee members, once given guest user accounts, can review all applicant information (application and documents) for a specific search online. This means they will be able to see all candidates and view all documents provided online by the applicant. The applicant information is also available as a pdf document and can be printed when desired. In addition, the hiring authority also has the ability to view a summary of all applicants for a specific position.
The status of each applicant is to be entered online throughout the search process as decisions are made. Maintaining statuses of applicants online during the review and interview process results in having the system capture everything necessary for tracking pool data. Various summary reports are available through the system.
The University Employment System is designed to run in a Web browser over the internet and is best viewed using Internet Explorer 5.5 and above. However, the system vendor does support versions of Netscape 4.7 and above and any Internet Explorer 4.0 and above. Some of the older browser versions are less powerful than the newer versions, so the appearance of certain screens and printed documents may be slightly askew. The Employment site also requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a free download available at www.Adobe.com.
Several User Guides are available to assist in using the University Employment System. They include:
- Employment System User Guide for HR Pros
- User Guide for Hiring Authorities
- User Guide for Search Committee Members
Significant Steps in Procedure and Documentation Required
- Early consultation with the unit EOAA Liaison and college or administrative HR staff required.
- Complete the online requisition.
- In accordance with your college or administrative unit procedures, you will route the completed requisition within your unit to secure all appropriate approvals prior to posting and advertising the position (spousal/partner hires, exceptional hires, and hiring a current University employee without a search all require additional approval). If posting is done centrally through the Office of Human Resources, the requisition must be submitted to the employment team once all unit approvals are given.
- Once final approval is given, the posting will appear on the Web. When advertising your position, other than on the Web, be sure to include the requisition number in your advertisement to assist applicants who may contact the Office of Human Resources concerning their application.
- Pool information is available online under the Faculty/Academic Pool Summary report.
- The unit needs to communicate when a hire is made or when no hire is made. If no individual is hired, the status of the search is CANCELLED.
- If a search is extended, reopened or continued, documentation of the total pool continues to be tracked.
Full Position Description
The position description must be completed before proceeding with a search to fill an open position or before making a hire once all approvals are documented. If your position has multiple appointments, (faculty appointment plus an administrative appointment) the position description should be written to include the duties, responsibilities and requirements for each.
To be complete, position descriptions should include:
- Rank(s) or title(s); include qualifications and experience for each rank or title or a statement that "the rank will depend on qualifications and experience consistent with collegiate, administrative, and University policy;"
- Duties and responsibilities of the position(s);
- Name of the hiring unit(s);
- Appointment type(s), e.g., tenured, annual renewable contract;
- Appointment term(s), e.g., 12 month, 9 month academic year;
- Percentage time of the appointment(s);
- When the appointment begins (or state 'ASAP' if appropriate);
- Essential qualifications (see Essential and Preferred Qualifications below) related to:
- academic credentials;
- licensure, board certification or other professional requirements;
- Preferred qualifications (see Essential and Preferred Qualifications below) to be used in refining applicant pool;
- Number of positions available (or state 'several' if the number is undetermined);application process, for example, what must be included when submitting an application (letter of application, curriculum vitae, reference contact information) and contact person/office where inquiries may be directed or materials sent if not requested online;
- Application deadline, if desired (see Recruitment and Selection Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative Employees FAQ);
- Equal opportunity statement to read:
"The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status or sexual orientation." (see Appendix B - Equal Opportunity and Disabilty Accommodations); and
- Disability accommodations statement and alternative formats statement to read:
"To request disability accommodations, please contact (name, department, address, phone number)" and "This material is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact (name, department, address, phone number)". For further information on providing necessary accommodations, please contact Disability Resource Center, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St SE Suite 180, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455, 626-4037.
Developing Diversity-Sensitive Position Descriptions.
Position descriptions can signal the University's values and commitments about diversity. Here are two examples of statements that might be included in position descriptions to reflect these values and commitments:
"The Department of X particularly encourages the candidacy of people with research and teaching experience in multicultural, multiracial settings." "The University of Minnesota strives to provide humane and productive work environments for men and women from varying racial, ethnic and national backgrounds and varying family circumstances."
Essential and Preferred Qualifications
When positions are filled at the University, individuals are evaluated according to certain pre-defined standards to determine who will be considered viable candidates for the position. Two sets of standards are used: essential qualifications and preferred qualifications.
To determine essential and preferred qualifications, list the knowledge, skills, abilities and academic preparation you believe are relevant to the position. Then review this list and determine what items will be considered absolutely necessary in order for a candidate to perform successfully in the position. These necessary items are the essential qualifications for the position. The remaining standards become preferred qualifications.
These are specific attributes required to perform the position successfully. They are used to determine which applicants are qualified for the position. Unless applicants have all of the experience and education included in the essential qualifications, they would not be considered further for the position. When developing essential qualifications, keep in mind that they must be:
- Attributes that cannot be acquired through training normally provided on the job;
- Not so unique that it is unlikely that anyone in the anticipated applicant pool will have them;
- Necessary to perform the job successfully;
- Job related; and
- Demonstrable and measurable.
Preferred qualifications are used to measure an applicant's amount and quality of education, experience, knowledge and skills as related to the specific duties of the position. They are used to refine the applicant pool to determine who will be interviewed and ultimately referred to the appointing authority for further consideration. In developing preferred qualifications, keep in mind that they must be:
- Established as part of the full job description;
- Job related;
- Ranked by importance to the position;
- Free of bias (having no adverse impact on protected class applicants); and
- Measurable or demonstrable during the selection process.
Preferred qualifications must be applied equally and consistently to all applicants. They must be weighed and evaluated based on the importance to the position and percentage of time spent on tasks.
If, for instance, one is searching for a fund-raiser in an office where there is a full-time writing staff, the fund-raiser might use oral communication 80% of the time and writing about 20% of the time. Therefore, when assessing an applicant's experience and skills against the preferred qualifications, significantly greater weight should be given to oral communication skills as opposed to written communication skills.
Also, when defining preferred qualifications, think about how they will be assessed during the application process. For example, if one preferred qualification is the ability to write well, sources to include might be the letter of application, publications, and written references. If it is difficult to describe an applicant's strength as it relates to a preferred qualification, it may be one to eliminate.