HRM-030: Recruiting and Hiring of University Staff and Wage Employees

Date: 12/12/2009 Status: Final
Last Revised: 01/26/2023
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: UVA Human Resources
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Applies To:

Academic Division and the College at Wise.

Reason for Policy:

The University of Virginia is committed to hiring the most qualified person for each position while ensuring equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals. The policy provides guidelines for an efficient and competitive hiring process that produces the highest quality applicant pools and promotes equal employment opportunity.

Policy Summary:

This Policy describes recruitment and hiring policies and certain employment restrictions for all University staff employees and wage employees.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Executive & Senior Administrative Staff (E&SA):

    University staff employees on limited term appointments having significant administrative responsibilities and duties and exercising considerable independent discretion and having the ability to commit the University to a long-term course of action. This category includes:

    • University Executive officers including Executive Vice Presidents, Vie Presidents, and the Athletic Director but excluding academic administrators (whose primary responsibility is administrative but who oversee an academic or academic-support unit of the institution) such as the Provost, Deans, University Librarian, and VP Research.
    • The President’s direct reports.
    • Senior administrative officers with a direct reporting line to any of executives named above, academic administrators, or Presidential professional staff, for example, Associate or Assistant Vice Presidents, Associate or Assistant Deans with administrative responsibilities, Vice Provosts with administrative responsibilities, Executive Directors, Directors, or other key senior staff.
    • Head and Associate Head Coaches/Coordinators on individually negotiated contracts.
  • Limited Term Appointment:

    A University Executive & Senior Administrative staff position having a defined term renewable for successive terms, usually ranging from one to three years.

  • Managerial & Professional Staff Employee (M&P):

    University staff employees who manage a division or subdivision of a major academic or administrative unit and/or exercise significant knowledge, discretion and independent judgment gained through advanced education or experience. This category includes coaches, other than Head or Associate Head Coaches/Coordinators, on individually negotiated contracts. M&P Staff are typically exempt employees under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and therefore not subject to the FLSA provisions governing the payment of overtime.

  • Operational & Administrative Staff Employee (O&A):

    University staff employees performing office, laboratory, student, and library support; building construction and maintenance; equipment services; public safety; and other operational responsibilities. O&A Staff are typically non-exempt employees under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and therefore are subject to the FLSA provisions governing the payment of overtime.

  • Underutilization:

    Occurs when the University employs fewer females and minorities in a particular job group than would be reasonably expected based on their availability in the relevant geographic recruiting area [per Executive Order No. 11.246 (September 28, 1965)].

  • University Staff Employees (University Staff):

    Those salaried, non-faculty employees hired on or after July 1, 2006, and those salaried non-faculty employees and administrative and professional faculty electing to participate in the UVA Human Resources System established by the Board of Visitors under the authority granted by the Restructuring Act and the Management Agreement. (The term “University Staff Employee” includes all three categories of University staff employees - Operational & Administrative, Managerial & Professional, and Executive & Senior Administrative.)

  • Wage Employee:

    An employee whose terms and conditions of employment stipulate an hourly rate of pay rather than a fixed salary and is paid on an hourly basis for actual hours worked. Wage employees are not eligible for leave or other benefits. These employees are not covered by the Virginia Personnel Act and are non-exempt for purposes of overtime compensation as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Policy Statement:

The University's recruiting and hiring process strives to achieve an excellent workforce with representation and participation from all the diverse sectors of our society. University Human Resources (UHR) coordinates the recruiting and hiring process for all staff positions (except for E&SA staff positions) and wage employees. The Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) coordinates the recruiting and hiring process for all E&SA positions.

UHR oversees the recruiting and hiring process as outlined in this policy. EOCR provides oversight for adherence to equal employment and affirmative action laws, regulations and executive orders.

The primary objectives of the process are:

  • recruitment of the best qualified candidates, matching the qualifications of the candidates to the needs and expectations of the hiring units;
  • expeditious hiring of qualified candidates into vacant positions;
  • participation of qualified candidates from underrepresented groups in applicant pools; and
  • equitable and unbiased treatment of all candidates in the recruitment and hiring process in accordance with state and federal law.
  1. Posting the Job:
    Once the hiring authority has approved the request to post the job opening, the hiring official creates the job posting in the online Human Resources Management System. All University Staff positions must be posted in the Human Resources Management System. Postings are reviewed by UHR Consulting Services for M&P and O&A University Staff positions prior to posting. E&SA postings are reviewed by EOCR prior to posting. Contact UHR for access to and training on the Human Resources Management System.

  2. Use of a Search Committee:
    A search committee must be established for the recruiting and hiring of all E&SA University Staff positions. The hiring official should notify EOCR that a search committee is being formed for an E&SA University Staff position. All members of the search committee for an E&SA University Staff position are required to complete the online training provided by EOCR.

    The use of a search committee is optional for O&A and M&P University Staff positions. The hiring official is only required to notify EOCR for E&SA University staff positions. Whenever a search committee is used, the hiring official enters the names of the search committee members in the Human Resources Management System. Regardless of the type of position, all search committee members are required to complete EOCR online training.

    An essential role of the search committee is to ensure that all applicants are considered equitably throughout the process.

  3. Evaluating the Successful Candidate:
    The University's goal is to hire the best qualified candidate for each position. Based on the required and preferred qualifications of the position description, the hiring official will identify the specific criteria for each posting. The hiring official reviews the referred applicant information and must determine which candidates will be interviewed and ultimately select the final candidate. UHR is available to partner with the hiring official to identify posting criteria which maximizes the opportunity for a broad applicant pool as well as provide assistance in the development of interview questions and other screening resources. The University strives to achieve a diverse representation that matches the availability of underrepresented individuals (based on race, gender and ethnicity), and also any under-utilization for the position as identified in the University’s Affirmative Action Plan.

    1. Veterans:
      Consistent with the requirements of the Va. Code §§ 2.2-2903 and 15.2-1509, a veteran’s military service shall be taken into consideration by the University during the selection process, provided that such veteran meets all the requirements for the available position.

      Additionally, if the position is filled using a scored test or examination, the grade or rating of an honorably discharged veteran must be increased by 5% or by 10% if the veteran has a service-connected disability rating fixed by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    2. Testing:
      Informal evaluation of work samples is encouraged as a valuable source of information during the applicant evaluation process (either requested prior to or completed during the interview). As long as the work is not scored, it is not considered a formal “test.”  All scored tests used in the recruitment and selection process must be related to the work that will be performed. Departments may not use scored tests unless the Department has obtained a valid testing instrument that has been approved in advance by UHR. Testing is defined as any test that is scored and includes verbal or written tests, compositions, and skill tests, such as typing or word processing. (For more information concerning testing, contact UHR).

    3. Reference Checks:
      Authorization from candidates to contact references is included on the job application. (This authorization does not apply to conducting a background check. A separate document must be signed by the final candidate in order to conduct a background check.) At a minimum, references must be checked on the final candidate. However, checking references on other applicants may also be done. A written summary of reference checks, which includes questions, responses, and identities of individuals contacted is required and must be maintained on file in the department. If the applicant is a current or former UVa employee, the hiring official may review the UVa personnel file of those applicants selected as finalists.

    4. Background Checks:
      A background check provides a review of an individual’s work and personal history to determine if a candidate is suitable for certain positions. A release form must be signed by the candidate in order to conduct a background check. For specific information, refer to policy, HRM-034: Background Checks and Ongoing Responsibility for Employees to Disclose Criminal Convictions.

  4. Offer and Acceptance of Employment:
    All final offers must be made by a UHR Consultant or certain HR professionals within a department with pre-approved delegated hiring authority to extend job offers. The offer letter and the candidate’s acceptance must be made in writing.

    1. Accepting Staff Job Openings:

      University staff employees who apply for and accept a different University Staff position will remain University Staff employees.

      Classified Staff who apply for and accept a “Managerial & Professional” or an “Operational & Administrative” position may elect to become University Staff or choose to remain in their current “classified staff” status. Classified Staff who apply for and accept an “Executive & Senior Administrative” position must become a University Staff employee.

      Current Administrative & Professional (A&P) Faculty who apply for and accept a “Managerial & Professional” or an “Executive & Senior Administrative” University Staff position may elect to become University Staff or choose to remain in their current “A&P faculty” status. A&P Faculty who apply for and accept an “Operational & Administrative” position must become a “University Staff” employee.

      Academic faculty (teaching and research) who apply for and accept any University staff position must become a "University Staff" employee.

      Current Professional Research Staff who apply for and accept a University staff position must become a "University Staff" employee.

    2. Finalizing the Hiring Process:
      Once a candidate accepts an offer, the hiring official is responsible for notifying all other applicants of the results of the search. Personal contact with interviewed candidates is encouraged.

      New employees hired into benefit-eligible University staff positions and wage positions, must complete required paperwork, which may include the W-4/VA-4, I-9, benefit forms, payroll deposit authorization, selective service, etc. For the I-9, the Immigration Reform and Control Act requires an employee to complete an I-9 no later than close of business on the first day of work, and employers to certify the 1-9 no later than the close of business on the third day of work. The University has implemented an automated (paperless) I-9 system. With several exceptions noted below, I-9s are completed by designated I-9 Specialists located within hiring departments:

      • For new faculty, staff and wage employees: The I-9 is completed by the hiring department.
      • For all student wage employees: The I-9 is completed by the hiring department.
      • For temporary employees: The I-9 is completed by UHR.

      [For more information, see policy HRM-022: Employment Eligibility Verification (Completing Form I-9).]

  5. Wage Employees: Wage employment is considered "at-will" employment. This means a wage position is temporary in nature and may end at any time. Wage employees may work a maximum of 1500 hours per year, which begins each October 1 and ends September 30 of the following year. [Refer to HRM-029: Managing Staff Wage Employment.]

    Temp employees are a type of wage employees. Departments may not hire temporary employees other than through UVA Temp Services, a UHR program designed to assist hiring departments with their temporary staffing needs.

    UVA students enrolled full-time (with 12 credit hours or more) must apply for UVA employment through University Career Services (Handshake). Part-time UVA students may apply for employment through the Human Resources Management System. Student employees may not be employed for more than 20 hours per week while school is officially in session.

  6. Restrictions on Employment:
    1. Employment of Minors:
      Consistent with federal and state law, and with the exception of youth of any age performing in theatrical productions, the minimum hiring age for University employees is 14 years of age. Please consult with University Human Resources for limitations on permissible hours and times of day for 14- and 15-year-olds. Certain positions that require the use of hazardous equipment or involve exposure to hazardous materials may require a minimum age of eighteen years.

      The hiring department must be knowledgeable about federal and state regulations pertaining to minors with reference to hours of work, time records requirements, hazardous occupations, payment of wages, establishment of regular pay period, equal pay without regard to sex, discrimination because of physical handicaps, and the Minimum Wage Act (Code of Virginia §40.1-28.10 et seq.) and the Federal Fair Labor Employment Act 29 U.S.C. §201 et. Seq.).

    2. Employment of University Retirees:
      Employees who retire under the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) (including the University’s Optional Retirement Plan) may work for any non-VRS employer and continue to receive retirement benefits. However, the retirement benefits of those employees returning to covered employment (i.e., typically full-time, permanent salaried employment with an employer participating in VRS), must stop.

      Under some circumstances, a retired employee receiving benefits under VRS may continue to receive retirement benefits while working in a non-covered position (i.e., a part-time position with a VRS-participating employer that typically requires 80 percent or less of the hours of comparable full-time positions) not to exceed an average of 28 hours per week and 1500 hours per fiscal year. Former UVa employees, retired under VRS and working for the University in a wage capacity must have a bona fide break in service.  A bona fide break in service is a break of at least one full calendar month from the employee’s retirement date over a period the employee would normally work. Periods of leave with or without pay do not count towards satisfying the break in service.

      Hiring a retiree in a position that would be considered covered without reporting the retiree to VRS or hiring a retired former employee in a non-covered position without a bona fide break in service may subject the University to liability for repaying any retirement benefits received by the retiree while working in the position.  The Code of Virginia also authorizes VRS to collect benefit overpayments from any employer (not the retiree) in cases where the employer does not comply with return-to work requirements.

      [Faculty are covered by policy PROV-003: Part-Time Employment of Retired Members of the Faculty.]

    3. Employment of Spouses and Dependents:
      The University adheres to the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (Va. Code §2.2-3100 et seq.), which provides that an employee shall not be in a position to exercise any control over the employment or the employment activities of a member of his/her immediate family and the employee is not in a position to influence those activities. Exercising control over the employment or the employment activities of an employee includes, but is not limited to, making decisions regarding initial appointment, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence, and evaluation.

      For purposes of this policy, a member of the immediate family is defined (per the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act) to include an employee’s spouse and any other person residing in the same household as the employee who is a dependent of the employee or of whom the employee is a dependent. A dependent is a person, whether or not related by blood or marriage, who receives from the employee or provides to the employee more than one half of his financial support.

  7. Roles and Responsibilities:
    The hiring official is responsible for:

    • Adhering to UHR and EOCR recruiting and hiring policies and procedures.
    • Proactively recruiting and hiring from a diverse applicant pool.
    • Treating all candidates in an equitable and unbiased manner.
    • Successfully completing EOCR’s University Staff recruiting and hiring training.
    • Providing input to UHR in determining types of background checks to be conducted.
    • Contacting other applicants not selected for the position (including the finalists).
    • Completing the I-9 forms according to federal guidelines as detailed in Section 4.b of this policy.
    • Complying with this policy.

    The Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights is responsible for:

    • Providing oversight for the compliance of equal employment and affirmative action laws, regulations, and executive orders applicable to recruiting and hiring.
    • Identifying any under-representation or under-utilization associated with a position.
    • Facilitating and monitoring E&SA University Staff employee recruiting and hiring.
    • Providing training regarding applicable laws and best practices for hiring officials and others involved in the recruiting and hiring process.
    • Providing training regarding applicable laws and best practices for search processes to staff search committees for E&SA positions.
    • Developing and monitoring the University's Affirmative Action Plan.

    University Human Resources and Departmental Human Resources Professionals with delegated hiring authority are responsible for:

    • Advising hiring managers on best practices for recruitment and interview techniques, tools, and resources.
    • Designing and participating in recruitment outreach activities.
    • Assisting hiring managers and search committees in the development of evaluation criteria for O&A and M&P staff positions.
    • Serving as primary contact to applicants and hiring officials throughout the recruiting and hiring process.
    • Determining appropriateness of posting requirements.
    • Validating test instruments.
    • Requesting background checks be conducted.
    • Approving the terms and conditions of employment for University Staff hires and extending the official job offer.
    • Overseeing the I-9 process and reviewing all I-9s.
    • Completing the I-9s according to federal guidelines and as detailed in Section 4.b of this policy.
    • Administering alternate staffing options (e.g., UVA Temps, etc.).
    • Overseeing the recruiting and hiring process to assist with compliance of the provisions contained in this policy.
  8. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to UVA Human Resources.


Final Written Offer of Employment: A final written offer of employment will be extended when the (1) applicant recommended for hire provides authorization for the University to conduct the background check, and (2) results of the background check are complete and satisfactory. In certain compelling circumstances (such as if the duration of obtaining the results of a particular background check will significantly exceed the desired timeline for filling the vacancy), a final written offer may be extended prior to the completion of all background checks if, and only if, the Dean/VP of the school or department which will employ the new hire provides a written request to the appropriate UHR official (a) stating the circumstances for the accelerated action, (b) agreeing to assume the risk of the consequences of an unsatisfactory background check (e.g., that an offer may need to be rescinded), and (c) authorizing the extension of a final offer letter.

Hiring Procedures at U.Va.

Related Information:

HRM-021: Terms and Conditions of University Staff Employment
HRM-022: Employment Eligibility Verification (Completing Form I-9)
HRM-024: Compensation Program for University Staff Employees
HRM-029: Managing Staff Wage Employment
PROV-003: Part-time Employment of Retired Members of the Faculty

Major Category: Human Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 07/30/2018
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 12/12/2009
Revision History: 1/26/23 removed reference to Jobs@UVa; Added Compliance section 7/20/21; Updated Section 3d, 3/5/18; Updated 8/19/16, 8/18/16, 7/30/15, 7/13/15, 5/28/13, 7/7/11, 3/30/11.