How to Fill a Vacancy
- Review the position and organization chart
- Obtain hiring approval
- Send to Human Resources
- Advertise and recruit applicants
- Review applications and responses to supplemental questions
- Conduct interviews
- Reference checks
- Final steps
- Trial service
If the vacancy is created by the termination of an employee, you first decide if you want to fill the position as is or change it before recruiting for a new employee. This is an excellent time to consider organizational changes and reassignments. Review the position description and make changes as appropriate to ensure you are recruiting for the skills you need. If you are recruiting for a new position, simply prepare a position description for the job.
The position description is a valuable tool in the recruitment and forms the basis of your selection process. It is the guide in determining the skills and behavioral qualities (e.g., customer service skills, strengths as a team member, or ability to manage many changing tasks) you want the new employee to possess.
The next step is to get the necessary approval from your department head, dean or vice-president. The Request To Hire Form, accompanied by an updated position description, is routed through the appropriate approval channels and sent to Human Resources. If a reorganization is in progress, include an updated organization chart.
The Employment Manager in Human Resources reviews the opening in light of the injured worker list, layoff list, and affirmative action considerations. The injured worker list identifies UO employees injured while working at UO who are unable to return to their former jobs. The layoff list names employees who have been laid off or demoted in lieu of lay off and have recall rights to specific classifications. Affirmative action considerations come into play if the position is in a classification which has low representation of women and minorities. If that is the case, the Employment Manager may develop a strategy for aggressively recruiting members of an under represented class.
The Employment Manager prepares a recruiting announcement specific to this vacancy for your review and approval. The job posting includes a general description of job responsibilities, minimum qualifications (education and work experience), salary range, and supplemental questions. The Employment Manager works with you to determine the scope of recruitment required to find qualified candidates. For example, recruitments may be advertised only in the Eugene-Springfield area, statewide, regionally, or even nationally. In addition, you may choose to limit competition to only UO employees or extend it to all interested applicants.
The UO Jobs page is the official listing of all open positions (classified and unclassified) and the 24-hour UO Job Information Line (541-346-2957) lists all classified openings. Human Resources also sends a list of postings to certain campus departments. Human Resources sends notices annually to agencies which refer affirmative action candidates to inform them of our recruitment procedures and remind them of our Job Information Line and Web address. If the recruitment is open to all applicants, the Oregon State Employment Department will add the position to their state-wide Jobs listing. You may also choose to advertise in newspapers, professional journals, or other web listings.
Job postings are generally open for a minimum of two weeks.
Individuals interested in applying are instructed to contact Human Resources for application materials including a UO job application form and supplemental questions. They are asked to return completed materials to Human Resources.
Your next task is to screen the applications and identify those candidates you wish to consider further. To assist in this initial evaluation and ensure adequate documentation of the selection process, Human Resources will send you written instructions for evaluating application materials and a Supplemental Question Rating Form. The form uses a numerical rating key to evaluate applicant responses to each question. Generally responses are evaluated on a five-point scale; however, it is possible to weight questions differently based on position requirements. Please note changes in question weighting on the rating form. Add the scores for all responses to give each candidate an overall rating.
You may also give a rating to reflect other factors such as work history (e.g., length of time on jobs) or quality of application materials (e.g., spelling and grammar). If used, please document these elements and rating. If you wish, you may ask others to evaluate and rate application materials. If you do so, provide an average or a total of the scores of all raters. As you score applicant qualifications you must show veteran and disabled veteran preference (5% and 10% respectively) as defined in ORS 408.225.
If you wish to use an alternate means of evaluating application materials, please consult with the Employment Manager.
After completing the evaluation process, you will have a numerical score for each candidate and will have identified those with the highest scores whom you plan on interviewing. Before scheduling interviews, give each applicant a disposition code on the Supplemental Question Rating Form and fax it to the Employment Manager. He/she reviews it in light of affirmative action data and approves the interview group or recommends additional candidates. Veteran's preference points will be added by the Employment Manager and the department will be notified of the adjusted scores.
Interviews are an excellent way of learning the specifics of the work experience and abilities each candidate would bring to the job and assessing interpersonal skills. It not only gives you an opportunity to evaluate the candidate, it provides the candidate information about the job and department.
After reviewing applications and responses to the supplemental questions, select the group of most qualified applicants you wish to interview. It is recommended that you interview six to ten candidates. As a matter of courtesy, promptly inform candidates who will not be interviewed.
It is a good idea to assemble an interview panel rather than conducting interviews alone. Panel members can provide you with different perspectives on the qualifications of the candidates. The panel could be comprised of other staff members, managers in other departments on campus, or "customers" from campus departments. You may want to include an individual who holds a similar position to the one being filled. It is recommended that panel members include both men and women and, if possible, members of different ethnic groups.
It is your responsibility to give the panel members information about the position such as the position description, the essential functions of the job, and the qualifications. From there, you and the panel develop appropriate interview questions which elicit the needed information. Ask the same set of interview questions of each candidate.
You may want to ask candidates to complete a work sample exercise in which applicants perform typical activities found in the position. For example, applicants can be asked to complete a word processing exercise in which they prepare, edit and/or print letters or forms and are evaluated on the quality and quantity of work completed in the time allotted. Other examples include drafting correspondence; setting up a spreadsheet; prioritizing a list of tasks to complete a project; for a custodial position, making a notation of special cleaning and routine repairs in a room; for a trades position, actually performing a repair or similar job task. Please consult the Employment Manager in administering a work sample exercise.
If work samples are used, document the process and keep the completed exercise and evaluation summaries.
Evaluate information learned from your review of written materials, interviews, and work samples (if used) to narrow your field to one or two finalists. Your consideration should focus on the candidate's ability to perform the essential functions of the job. The next step should be reference checks.
Since on-the-job performance is the most accurate predictor of future job success, past supervisors are the best choice for references. Do not limit yourself to references provided by the applicant; it is appropriate to contact anyone who is in a position to evaluate work performance. The best references would be the most recent employers or ones who employed the person in a position most closely related to the vacancy. Always get permission from the applicant to contact a current employer. If applicants are reluctant to allow a current employer to be contacted, tell them that by refusing, they are jeopardizing their candidacy. If a candidate is a UO employee, you may review the employee's personnel file located in Human Resources.
As with other parts of the recruitment and selection process, information solicited in a reference check should focus on the applicant's ability to perform the essential functions of the job. Because former employers are sometimes reluctant to give negative references, they should always be asked if there were any performance problems. Document reference information and reference information from a reference check should be kept confidential.
Evaluate each component of the selection process to determine the most qualified candidate, taking care to include veterans and disabled veterans preference in determining overall qualifications for eligible veterans. If two candidates are equally qualified, affirmative action should be considered. Another factor to consider with two equally qualified finalists is whether they are current classified employees. In this case, select the person with the greatest seniority.
If it is impossible to make a selection at this point, you may consider scheduling an additional interview or conducting additional reference checks. In some instances, it may be appropriate to re-recruit. The Employment Manager is available for consultation.
Once your hiring decision is made, complete the “Request to Make an Offer” (RTO) form. This is located at http://hr.uoregon.edu/recruit/ at the first heading under “Classified Employees”. Fax or e-mail this form to the Employment Manager to get clearance to make a job offer. In making the offer to your top candidate, agree on the starting date and pay level. If it is necessary to start someone higher than the first step, send a written request to the Employment Manager, stating the salary step and the reason for the request. OUS employees automatically get a one step increase for promotions (movement to a higher salary range). If you have questions about pay decisions, both the Employment Manager (541 346-2963) and Assistant Director for Human Resources (541 346-2964) would be glad to discuss this with you.
The RTO documents that you have completed references. You will also provide other information, including whether the candidate is a current OUS employee and the rate of pay you would like to offer. If you choose to start someone higher than the first step, send a written request to the Employment Manager, stating the salary step and the reason for the request; relevant information include years of related experience and special skills or certifications. OUS employees automatically get a one step increase for promotions (movement to a higher salary range) and will serve a promotional trial service period. Transfer employee (movement to a position in the same salary range) are not eligible for an increase in pay and do not serve a trial service period. If you have questions about pay decisions, both the Employment Manager (346-2963) and Assistant Director for Human Resources (346-2964) would be glad to discuss this with you.
After you make the offer to your top candidate, notify HR about the starting date and pay level. Human Resources will send a confirmation to the new hire. You should send letters to unsuccessful applicants.
You are responsible for maintaining all documentation related to a job search. These records must be maintained for three years. This documentation helps protect the University and your department in cases of complaints or charges of discrimination and provides the framework for your next recruitment.
Documentation should include items related to the vacancy: position description; recruiting announcement; copy of ads (including where and when they were placed); list of recruitment sources; names of interview panel members.
Documentation must also include things related to all applicants: applications; resumes; reference letters; supplemental questionnaires and rating forms; interview notes (make sure the names of note takers are included); reference check notes; documentation of work samples.
In short, document everything you take into consideration when making the hiring decision!
Orientation takes two forms: formal orientation conducted by Human Resources, and on-the-job orientation by the hiring department. The Employment Manager will send information about the Benefits Orientation to the new employee in the confirmation letter. Human Resources also conducts a half-day general orientation program for all new classified employees. It is scheduled the first Tuesday morning, every other month, October through June. Invitations will be sent prior to the event.
Departmental orientation could include topics such as: departmental policies; parking; training policies; how to report absences or on-the-job injuries; material safety data sheets. Employees should get a copy of their position description to sign. Many departments also schedule a walking tour of campus. Generally, campus tours are scheduled twice a day departing from the Ford Alumni Center.
Trial service (probationary period) is an extension of the selection process and, as such, provides an opportunity to assess whether an employee's performance warrants regular status. The initial trial service period is the employee's first six months in a classified position; promotional trial service is the first six months after promotion from a UO or OUS position (movement to a job in a higher salary range). For part-time employees who are less than .5 FTE, trial service is 9 months. There is no trial service period for employees who transfer from UO or OUS positions in the same salary range or demote from a higher salary range.
You should give frequent feedback to new employees about performance. It is the University's expectation that supervisors will take a progressive approach in their attempt to correct less than satisfactory performance. Call the Employee Relations Manager at x6-2965 or the Employment Manager at x6-2963 for assistance with this process. The action to remove an employee from trial service is taken by the Director of Human Resources.