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

Date: 12/12/2009 Status: Final
Last Revised: 08/01/2023
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 fostering a respectful environment that values diversity and complies with its non-discrimination policy. The University uses standardized procedures to recruit and hire the best qualified candidate for each available position while providing equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals. This 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:
  • Designated Hiring Official:An individual who is authorized to extend a conditional offer of employment to individuals on behalf of the University. The president, vice presidents, academic deans of the University’s schools, and the University librarian are designated hiring officials. Hiring authority may be delegated in writing by one of these individuals with the approval of the president or the appropriate vice president.
  • 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 diverse sectors of our society. University of Virginia Human Resources (UVA HR) coordinates the recruiting and hiring process for all staff positions through the Human Resources Management System (HRMS) and for wage employees. This policy establishes the University’s recruitment and hiring policies, procedures, and certain employment restrictions for all University staff and wage employees.

UVA HR oversees the recruiting and hiring process outlined in this policy. The Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) provides oversight for adherence to and compliance with applicable equal employment opportunity and affirmative action laws, regulations, and executive orders.

The primary objectives of the University hiring process are:

  • Attracting a diverse pool of the most highly qualified individuals available for all University positions in accordance with the legal principles of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity and retaining an inclusive workforce to achieve the University’s goals.
  • Matching the qualifications of the candidates to the needs, requirements, and expectations of the hiring school/department/unit.
  • Encouraging the participation of qualified candidates from underrepresented groups in applicant pools.
  • Treating all candidates in an equitable and unbiased manner in the recruitment and hiring process in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Hiring well-qualified candidates expeditiously.
  1. Posting the Job:
    It is expected that the most broadly diverse and qualified pool of applicants comes from an advertised and competitive search. All new positions and vacancies will be posted online in the applicable HRMS except where permitted based on an approved request (see Procedures for Requesting an Exception). Role changes, reclassifications, promotions, demotions, and transfers based on reorganizations or other legitimate business activities are subject to UVA Human Resources procedures for these practices.

  2. Use of a Search Committee:
    To consider all applicants equitably throughout the review process, a search committee must be established for the recruiting and hiring of all E&SA positions. It is highly encouraged that search committees be utilized in recruiting and hiring other University staff positions and is best practice to do so. However, the use of a search committee is optional for the recruiting and hiring of Operational & Administrative (O&A) and Managerial & Professional (M&P) positions.

    Search committee members should be appointed based on their understanding of the position’s substantive areas and be qualified to evaluate the candidate in these areas. Committee members should possess strong interpersonal and recruitment skills. Committee members should be aware of and sensitive to equal opportunity and affirmative action principles and be willing to evaluate all steps of its search in relation to these principles. Equitable consideration must be given to each applicant throughout the process.

    All hiring officials and members of the search committee are required to complete the EOCR recruitment and hiring training. Once completed, this certification is valid for two years.

  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 as detailed in the job announcement, the designated hiring official will work with UVA HR to determine the appropriate standard title applicable based on the work performed and the University job architecture, consistent with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures as issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The designated hiring official reviews the referred applicant information and must determine which candidates will be interviewed and ultimately select the final candidate. UVA HR is available to partner with the designated hiring official to identify posting criteria which maximizes the opportunity for a broad applicant pool as well as aid in the development of interview questions and other screening resources.

    1. Veteran Preference:
      Consistent with the requirements of the Va. Code Ann §2.2-2903 and §15.2-1509, a veteran’s military service shall be taken into consideration as a preferred qualification by the University during the selection process, provided that such veteran, their surviving spouse or child, or member of the National Guard meets all the minimum 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). All scored tests and evaluation tasks used in the recruitment and selection process must be related to the work that will be performed and conducted consistent with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. Schools/departments/units may not use scored tests unless the school/department/unit has obtained a valid testing instrument that has been approved in advance by UVA HR. 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.” (Contact UVA HR for additional information regarding testing.)

    3. Reference Checks:
      Authorization from candidates to contact references is included on the online job application. (This authorization does not apply to background check(s). A separate authorization or release must be signed by the final candidate for the University to conduct a background check.) At a minimum, three references must be checked on the final candidate. UVA HR will conduct candidate reference checks and, when required, reference checks on other applicants. A written summary of reference checks, which includes questions, responses, and identities of individuals contacted is required and UVA HR will maintain this information in the applicable HRMS. If the applicant is a current or former University employee, the designated hiring official may review the UVA HR personnel file of those applicants selected as finalists as part of the background check screening process.

    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 authorizing the University to conduct a background check. Background checks will be reviewed in accordance with this policy and 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 UVA HR professionals within the school/department/unit having pre-approved delegated hiring authority to extend job offers. The offer letter and the candidate’s acceptance must be made in writing.

    1. Accepting University Staff Job Openings:
      University staff employees who apply for and accept a different University staff position shall remain University Staff.

      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 University Staff.

      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 University Staff.

      Academic Faculty (teaching and research) and current Professional Research Staff who apply for and accept any University staff position must become University Staff.

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

      New employees hired into benefit-eligible University staff and wage positions must complete required paperwork, including but not limited to, IRS form W-4, Virginia Department of Taxation form VA-4, a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form I-9, benefit forms, payroll deposit authorization, selective service, etc. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires an employee to complete the USCIS form I-9 no later than close of business on the first day of employment. Employers are required to review and verify the completed USCIS form I-9 within three business days of the employee's first day of employment. The University has implemented an automated (paperless) USCIS form I-9 system.

      UVA employees must complete Section 1 of the USCIS form I-9 by the close of business on the first day of employment and upload appropriate documentation to meet the requirements of Section 2 of the USCIS rorm I-9 in UVA’s HRMS prior to presenting that documentation to UVA HR. The employee must present the prescribed documentation establishing identity to UVA HR, or their authorized designee, no later than the close of the third business day of employment.

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

  5. Documenting the Selection Process:
    Document retention and detail actions related to the selection process must be maintained in accordance with EOCR’s Checklist: Documenting the Selection Process.

  6. Wage Employees: Wage employment is considered "at-will" employment. Moreover, wage positions are temporary in nature and may end at any time. Wage employees may work a maximum of 1500 hours per year, beginning October 1 to September 30 of the following year. (Refer to HRM-029: Managing Staff Wage Employment.)

    Temporary employees are a type of wage employee. Schools/departments/units may not hire temporary employees other than through UVA Temp Services, a UVA HR program designed to assist hiring schools/departments/units with their temporary staffing needs.

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

  7. Restrictions on Employment:
    1. Employment of Minors:
      Consistent with federal and state law (with an exception for youth of any age performing in theatrical productions), the minimum hiring age for University employees is 14 years. Contact UVA HR for limitations on permissible days and hours of work related to the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds. Certain positions that require the use of hazardous equipment or involve exposure to hazardous materials may require employees to be at least 18 years old.

      The hiring school/department/unit must be knowledgeable about federal and state regulations pertaining to minors with reference to hours of work, time record requirements, hazardous occupations, payment of wages, establishment of regular pay period, equal pay without regard to sex, discrimination because of physical disabilities, and the Minimum Wage Act (VA Code §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 University 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. Va Code Ann. §51.1-124.9 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 Ann. §2.2-3100 et seq.), which provides that an employee shall not be able to exercise any control over the employment or the employment activities of a member of their 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) as 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 related by blood or marriage, who receives from the employee or provides to the employee more than one half of their financial support.

  8. Roles and Responsibilities:
    The designated hiring official is responsible for:

    • Complying with UVA HR 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 UVA HR in determining the appropriate background checks to be conducted.
    • Contacting those candidates not selected for the position (including the finalists).

    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.
    • Providing training related to applicable laws and best practices for hiring officials, search committees, and others involved in the recruiting and hiring process.
    • Developing and monitoring the University's Affirmative Action Plan.

    UVA Human Resources is responsible for:

    • Advising hiring managers on best practices for recruitment, 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 designated hiring officials throughout the recruiting and hiring process.
    • Determining appropriateness of posting requirements.
    • Validating test instruments.
    • Conducting all required background checks.
    • Approving the terms and conditions of employment for University Staff hires and extending the official job offer.
    • Overseeing the employment eligibility verification process.
    • Completing the USCIS form I-9 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 comply with the provisions of this policy.
  9. 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. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may impose penalties upon the University for violation of its recruiting and hiring laws.

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

Major Category:
Human Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 12/12/2009
Revision History:
Revised 8/1/23; 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.