Fair Hiring Guide

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Topic: Recruitment Planning

  1. Preparing Job Descriptions

    The Job Description serves as the foundation for the evaluation of candidates. Your HR Service Team Representative (HRSTR) can provide you with assistance in and resources for developing or updating a job description.

    Writing Qualifications (Experience, Skills, Knowledge and Abilities)

    • All qualifications should be directly job related and are identified by an analysis of the functions and tasks of a position.

    • The terms “skill” and “ability” may be used interchangeably - do not get bogged down in trying to decide whether something is a “skill” or an “ability”.

    • Physical requirements, special work schedules, required background investigations, environmental work conditions, etc., should be noted as Special Conditions of Employment on the job description, rather than written as a qualification.

    • You can use qualifiers (such as “excellent”, “good”, etc.) for a criterion. You will be responsible for the interpretation and application of qualifiers in the evaluation of candidates.

    • When writing qualifications, keep in mind that we have an obligation to reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities. Therefore, try to write what is to be done, as opposed to how it is to be done, so as not to exclude a person with a disability who may be able to do what needs to be done in a different way.

  2. Supplemental Questions

    Supplemental questions are generally used to gather additional information about applicants in order to make a better decision about who to interview. Responses to supplemental questions may be requested as part of the original application, or may be requested after an initial screening of applicants in order to effectively screen the pool further.


    • While an effective means of gathering additional information, supplemental questions may discourage applicants from applying, especially those who learn of the job at the last minute.

    • If requested as part of the original application, longer initial review periods (at least an additional week) should be allowed to provide applicants with sufficient time to complete and return their responses.

    • Staff Human Resources will not screen out applicants who do not provide responses to the requested supplemental questions. Job postings will state “Completion of Supplemental Questions Requested for Full Consideration.”. All applications received by Initial Review Date will be released to the Unit who will make the decision on how to evaluate the applications of those who do not provide responses to the supplemental questions.

    • It is important to keep in mind that supplemental questions is a tool used for the purpose of gathering additional information to assist you in selecting the best-qualified candidates for interview. Options for using the supplemental questions in screening include doing an initial screening of all applications, based on the information available (including responses to additional questions), and selecting the best qualified for interview or contacting those who did not provide a responses and providing an additional opportunity to respond.

  3. Outreach/Advertising

    A comprehensive outreach and advertising plan will increase the probability of attracting highly qualified diverse applicants.

    You Should Consider:

    • Job group underutilization

    • Appropriate recruiting area (i.e., local, regional, national)

    • Reasonable initial review period

    • Free advertising

    • Paid advertising

    • Networking opportunities (e.g., professional organizations, colleagues at other higher ed institutions)

Plan components should be identified prior to the initiation of a recruitment. See Recruitment Advertising Resources for more information. Your HR Service Team Representative or Recruitment Specialist can assist with plan development.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Can I use a degree as a qualification?

    • The basic principle is that an educational requirement must have a significant relationship to successful job performance or there must be other business necessity, since a degree requirement may disqualify members of a protected group at a substantially higher rate than non-protected group members (adverse impact).

    • A degree qualification for professional and highly skilled jobs is generally more supportable than, for example, blue-collar jobs. Educational requirements are even more supportable if “knowledge equivalent to degree” is used.

    • If you choose to use a degree as a qualification you should consider the negative impact it may have on the diversity of your pool and be prepared to support such a requirement if challenged by an outside agency.

  2. When writing qualifications, can I specify that the people have recent experience?

    • The recency of a person’s job experience may matter, but only in fields that have changed significantly, and remember that an applicant may be able to keep him or herself current in other ways.

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Revised November 2006: C.20