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Recruitment and Hiring Policy for SPA Permanent Employment

Introduction

The University consistently applies the SPA recruitment and selection process to promote open and fair competition to select from the most qualified persons to fill vacant positions. Selection decisions will be based solely on job-related criteria. Employment is offered based upon the job-related qualifications of applicants for employment using fair and valid selection criteria and upon satisfactory completion of all relevant reference checking, pre-employment background checking, credentials verification, and verification of eligibility to work in the United States.

No selection decision shall be made that will constitute unlawful discrimination in violation of State and Federal law. The University will give Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) to all applicants, without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, veteran status or political affiliation/influence. Preferential treatment will not be given to any private organization or individual based on undue influence.

Recruitment Requisition

To initiate recruitment for a vacant SPA permanent position, departments must submit a posting request through PeopleAdmin. Departments do not need to wait until the position is vacant before submitting a posting request. However, the hiring supervisor must have received a signed resignation letter or other official documentation of separation date from the current employee.

Each SPA position has State standards for minimum training and experience. These standards indicate the knowledge, skills, and abilities, or competencies, necessary for successful job performance. Specific formal education may be substituted for required experience in some positions. Directly-related experience also may be substituted for certain educational requirements.

Hiring departments are responsible for determining any job-related qualifications required in addition to minimum State standards and for documenting the qualifications on the PeopleAdmin Position Posting Worksheet and in the recruitment requisition. Additional qualifications may be identified as essentials or preferred.

Essential skills are the required knowledge, skills and abilities that are critical to a position, without which the duties of the position cannot be performed. Any essential skill listed in the job posting must also be reflected as an essential skill in the position description. A selected candidate must possess all essential skills listed in the job posting of the position for which they are being selected.

Preferred Skills are the knowledge, skills and abilities that would aid in successfully performing the primary duties of a position, but are not required.

For assistance in determining what is appropriate to list as essential or preferred skills, contact your department’s Employment Consultant in the Office of Human Resources.

The Office of Human Resources advertises any special physical or mental requirement(s) in the posting if the hiring department identifies any such requirement(s) for an open position. Other training and experience preferences may also be determined by the hiring department; however, there is no substitute for a State-required license, registration, or certification.

Internal Only Recruitment

Departments have the option to post SPA permanent and time-limited positions as internal only. Internal only recruitments limit applicants to current, permanent or time-limited employees of UNC-Chapel Hill or to individuals with UNC-Chapel Hill layoff priority. Internal only recruitments may not be limited to employees of any specific unit, department or division of the University, nor may any of the positions’ essential requirements indirectly infer required employment in a specific area of the University.

For more information, see Internal Only Recruitment for SPA Positions.

Posting Requirements

The Employment Consultant in the Office of Human Resources must approve a posting request before the vacancy can be posted. There are three required locations for posting announcements of SPA position vacancies:

Statewide Posting

The Employment & Staffing Department in the Office of Human Resources provides permanent job openings information to the N.C. Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security as required by State policy. The posting information includes the State’s minimum training and experience requirements and, as appropriate, additional position requirements as defined by the hiring department.

University Posting

The Employment & Staffing Department provides the Staff Openings List of SPA positions under active recruitment. The list is posted at the Office of Human Resources, Administrative Office Building, 104 Airport Drive. The Staff Openings List is also updated continuously on the Office of Human Resources website.

Departmental Posting

After the posting request has been approved by the Employment Consultant, the hiring department prints the position posting summary (applicant view) from PeopleAdmin. State policy requires hiring departments to post conspicuously within the department the SPA Posting Announcement for all of its SPA vacancies. This internal posting must be concurrent with the posting maintained by the Office of Human Resources and must remain posted in the department through the defined recruitment period’s closing date. The hiring department must retain the posting announcement for two years.

Hiring departments are also responsible for ensuring that department employees currently on extended Military Leave or Family Medical Leave have been informed in a timely manner of all departmental internal postings.

Recruitment Posting Period

The hiring department establishes the length of the posting period on the posting request in PeopleAdmin. Vacancies must be posted for a minimum of five business days. In no case shall a posting close on a day on which the Office of Human Resources is closed for business. The posting period opening and closing dates are included on each job posting. Only applications received no later than 11:59 pm EST/EDST on the closing date may be considered for the position. No employment offer or other commitment can be extended for an open position before the end of the vacancy’s posting period. The hiring department may request to extend the posting period as needed by contacting their Employment Consultant. Extensions to posting periods must be for at least three business days. The maximum posting period for recruitment is six months from the date of the initial posting; this maximum posting period includes initial recruitment and extensions.

Waiver of Posting

A waiver of the required posting requirements may be requested and approved:

  • to avoid a reduction-in-force or layoff,
  • to effect a disciplinary transfer,
  • to achieve a mandatory reinstatement, or
  • to avoid a critical work stoppage

A request to waive posting must be submitted as part of the posting request in PeopleAdmin. It is strongly recommended that departments consult with their OHR Employment Consultant prior to initiating a waiver request. The Senior Director of Employment & Staffing in the Office of Human Resources determines if the waiver is warranted.

External Advertising

Each external employment advertisement in any medium for any SPA employment opportunity, permanent or temporary, must be approved in advance by the Employment & Staffing Department in the Office of Human Resources, which is responsible for the placement of all advertisement for permanent and temporary SPA openings. Any external advertising for vacancies is optional and at the expense of the hiring department. See the Related Forms section below for the Recruitment External Advertising Request Form Word Document

Application Submission

In order to apply for an SPA permanent or time-limited position at the University, all applicants must use the University’s online PeopleAdmin applicant portal to:

  • Create an account in PeopleAdmin,
  • Complete an Application for Staff Employment which includes the applicant’s work history, and
  • Submit an Application for Staff Employment to each individual position for which they wish to be considered no later than 11:59 pm EST/EDST on the position’s posted closing date.

Applicants may attach cover letters and resumes to their applications for specific positions; however, information provided solely on a resume in lieu of an Application for Staff Employment is insufficient for consideration.

Anyone requiring assistance with the online application process should contact the Employment & Staffing Department in the Office of Human Resources at (919)843-2300.

Transfer Opportunities

To promote career advancement and to fill job openings with individuals who possess the best skills available, permanent SPA (full-time or part-time) employees are eligible to seek transfer to another department or to another position within their current department. There is no requirement for the employee to work in a position for a specified minimum period before applying for a position change. An employee seeking a transfer is encouraged, but not required, to notify his/her supervisor.

With the advance approval of their supervisors, permanent and time-limited SPA employees may consider time spent in an interview for a UNC-Chapel Hill position (including travel time) as work time. Alternatively, employees may request vacation leave, use other available paid time off, or request a flexible work schedule in accordance with department procedures to attend job interviews.

Application Falsification

False or misleading information or documentation or an omission on the University’s employment application or supplemental application forms may result in rejection of employment or transfer consideration, or termination, if already employed, and may result in being ineligible for employment with the University for a minimum of two years.

Application Referral & Interviewing

Applicant Referral

Hiring managers (and selection committees) review referred applications through PeopleAdmin. The hiring department is responsible for evaluation of referred applications, including ensuring applicants meet the State minimum education and experience requirements for a position and reviewing applications for the essential skills listed in the job posting. Prior to interviewing any selected candidate the hiring manager must contact their respective Employment Consultant to review the applications to ensure the State minimum education and experience requirements are met. Applicants who do not have the requisite essential skills and State minimum education and experience requirements as indicated on the job posting cannot be hired into the position.

Best Qualified Pool and Interviewing

Once obtaining approval from the Employment Consultant the hiring department will contact the best qualified applicants directly to schedule interviews. It is expected that hiring departments will interview at least three candidates.

Hiring departments cannot interview any candidate whose application was not referred via PeopleAdmin for the vacancy. Interviews may take place by telephone or in person, but the interview questions must be applied consistently, regardless of method of contact. During interviews, applicants may not be accompanied by any other person except in cases where such special accommodations are required due to a disability, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (the “ADA”). All layoff priority applicants must be interviewed for the vacant position, if referred.

Hiring supervisors with questions about appropriate interviewing should contact their Employment Consultant. The Training & Development Department in the Office of Human Resources provides programs on interviewing skills for supervisors on a regular basis.

All interview documentation must be maintained by the hiring department for at least three years.

Commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

The University is committed to ensuring that employment decisions are based on individuals’ competencies and qualifications. Consistent with this principle and applicable laws, the University does not discriminate with respect to employment terms and conditions on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veterans’ status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards are applied to all personnel actions. More information and a copy of the University’s SPA Equal Opportunity Plans are available on the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office website.

The diversity of our staff brings strength to the University. Our focus on diversity with each search, gives us the opportunity to hire, attract and retain the talented staff we want and need to continue our legacy of excellence. The department is expected to collaborate with their respective Employment Consultant to develop a recruitment strategy in order to meet EEO workforce profile objectives.

An online training module for Supervisors and Search Committees is available and provides valuable information, helpful advice and proven techniques to enable our search committees to run more efficiently. This 60-minute module can be accessed at http://www.unc.edu/depts/eooada/sct/ and is encouraged for SPA recruitment.

Special Consideration for Applicants with Disabilities

In regard to an applicant with an obvious disability, an applicant who voluntarily discloses a hidden disability, or an applicant who expresses the need for reasonable accommodation, it is permissible to discuss the accommodation that may be needed and how the applicant with a disability would perform the essential functions of the job. For more information about disabilities and accommodation contact the EO/ADA Office.

Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-employment tests (written, oral, physical, or skills) may be administered by the hiring department with prior approval from the Employment Consultant assigned to work with the department, in collaboration with the EO/ADA Office. Pre-employment test procedures and results must be retained by the hiring department for at least three years.

Candidate Selection

The hiring department must select for hire the best qualified applicant from those interviewed. Hiring departments must also apply the following hiring priority consideration when determining candidate selection:

  • Return from Military Leave within five years: Placement does not require formal application for the position. The Office of Human Resources coordinates such placements.
  • State agency political appointees: Political appointees with at least 10 years of service who have separated from policy-making or confidential Exempt positions for reasons other than just cause qualify. Placement does not require formal application for the position. The Office of Human Resources coordinates such placements.
  • Employment Priority Due to Workers’ Compensation: When employees who have been injured on the job and placed on workers’ compensation leave are released to work by their treating physician, there are several possible return-to-work or transfer situations, based primarily on the employee’s medical improvement. If worker’s compensation priority referrals are involved, the Employment Consultant advises the hiring department of its responsibilities to give priority re-employment consideration.
  • State Government Employee Priority: A career status State/University employee is to be promoted when his/her related qualifications are substantially equal to or greater than the best qualified applicant who is not a current State or University permanent or time-limited employee.
  • Layoff Re-employment Priority: An employee officially notified of reduction in force shall receive priority consideration. If it is determined that an eligible employee and any other applicant have “substantially equal qualifications,” then the eligible reduction-in-force (RIF) employee must receive the job offer.  “Substantially equal qualifications” occur when the employer cannot make a reasonable determination that the job-related qualifications held by one applicant are significantly better suited for the position than the job-related qualifications held by another applicant. The priority for employees separated by RIF and the priority of employees with less than 10 years of service subject to the State Personnel Act separated from exempt policy-making or exempt managerial positions are equal.
  • Veteran’s Preference: Applicants who are eligible for veteran’s preference must be selected when s/he is substantially equal to the best qualified applicant(s) who are not current State permanent or time-limited employees. To qualify for Veteran’s Preference, applicants must submit the “Veteran’s Worksheet” with their Application. For more information, see Veterans’ Preference in SPA Employment.

Nepotism

Employment of Family Members or Other Closely Affiliated Persons

This policy refers to SPA Permanent, Temporary, Unpaid Volunteers, Interns, and Visiting Scholar positions. For the Nepotism Policy for EPA Faculty and Non-Faculty positions, refer to the EO/ADA Office.

Family members or other closely affiliated persons may not occupy a position of influence over each other’s employment, promotion, transfer, salary administration or other related management decisions. If family members or closely affiliated persons are considered for employment or transfer, whether in temporary or permanent positions, the department head must certify lack of influence on the Nepotism Certificate. In addition, the department must submit one or more organizational charts with the Nepotism Certificate  to the Employment Consultant by attaching the document online as part of the PeopleAdmin Hiring Proposal for approval.

Applicants are required to disclose family members or closely affiliated persons working at the University, and identify their departments on the University employment application. Positions of influence over affiliated positions may occur within a subunit, unit, or entire department, or may span across departments or divisions. The department head is responsible for verifying management relationships for new hires and transfers to ensure compliance with this policy.

Definitions

Family members include:

  • Husband or wife
  • Father or mother
  • Brother or sister
  • Daughter or son
  • Grandfather or grandmother
  • Granddaughter or grandson
  • Step-, half, and in-law relationships of the above.

Other closely affiliated persons may include, but are not limited to:

  • Domestic partners, current or former
  • Close friends, current or former
  • Former spouses or in-laws
  • Other persons who share a relationship comparable to family members.

Family members and other closely affiliated persons of current employees are not given preference in employment. Management decisions concerning current employees are based on individual merit.

Applicant Selection and Non-Selection

The Applicants tab located in the posting in PeopleAdmin is the official University record of those referred by the Office of Human Resources and where the hiring department documents non-selection reasons. The department’s HR Representative or hiring supervisor designates the applicant workflow state and enters the appropriate reason for non-selection in PeopleAdmin. The  Hiring Proposal must be completed and approved by the Employment Consultant before a job offer can be extended to the final candidate.

Hiring departments must also submit an Background Check Request and submit a Nepotism Certificate, if needed, for the selected candidate along with the Hiring Proposal.

Reference Checking

Hiring supervisors are required to complete reference check(s) on the selected candidate prior to recommendation of employment (minimum guideline and best practice is to conduct 3 reference checks). The candidate’s signed application authorizes the University to request information pertinent to the candidate’s work experience, education, and training. Even if the applicant indicates on the Application that the current employer should not be contacted, the hiring supervisor must advise the applicant that contact will be made if s/he is selected to proceed in the recruitment process. The Reference Check form is the form for documenting reference checks.

Reference Information for State Employees

For applicants who are current or former State employees, the hiring supervisor also may request to review the applicant’s performance appraisals by requesting the appraisals from the applicant’s supervisor. This request must be honored. Contacted supervisors are required to provide direct, honest evaluations of the applicant’s work performance to other State hiring supervisors.

Background Check

Selected candidates must satisfactorily complete a background check conducted through the Office of Human Resources prior to employment.  See the Background Check Policy page.

Credentials Verification

State laws (G.S. 126-30 and 14-122.1) require the verification of certain education and professional credentials. These laws further require appropriate action up to and including termination of employment for falsification of qualification statements.

Credentials requiring verification are:

  • the highest post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate listed on the selected candidate’s Application for Staff Employment; and
  • any professional license, registration or certification, as indicated on the selected candidate’s Application for Staff Employment, used to qualify the candidate, be applied as a pay factor, or is required by regulation for the position.

When a permanent SPA employee transfers from another University department or State agency, credentials that have already been verified and documented in his/her personnel file do not have to be verified again.

If a department has previously verified credentials, a copy of the credentials must be attached to the background check request or submitted to the Background Check Unit within 90 days of hire.

Note: If a foreign degree is the highest post-secondary degree, then the department must verify the degree. A certified translated copy of the verification should be attached to the background check request or submitted to the Background Check Unit within 90 days of hire.

The Employment & Staffing Department in the Office of Human Resources is responsible for conducting the legally-required credentials verification and is required to complete the credentials verification within three calendar months of the employee’s University entry-on-duty date for the position.

Credentials Falsification

Upon the discovery that an applicant or employee provided false or misleading information, or omitted information related to education and professional credentials, the hiring supervisor should work with the Employment & Management Relations Consultant in the Office of Human Resources assigned to his/her department to determine the appropriate disciplinary action.

When falsified credentials are discovered prior to employment or transfer, the applicant or employee must be disqualified from further consideration. If discovered after employment, the following will apply:

  • Confirmed falsification of required credentials will result in immediate dismissal under the Unacceptable Personal Conduct guidelines of the disciplinary policy for SPA employees.
  • Confirmed falsification of other credentials will result in dismissal, demotion, reduction in pay, or written warning. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, consideration must be given to the sensitivity of the employee’s position, the effect of the false information on the hiring decision, the advantage gained over other applicants, and the effect of the false information on starting salary.
  • Confirmed falsification may result in criminal charges.

Employment Offer

Offers of Employment

Prior to making any commitment to a person for an open position, the Employment Consultant:

  • Reviews the completed selection documentation from the hiring department. This includes salary, review of the essential requirements and competencies, and review of efforts to meet workforce profile information.
  • Advises the hiring department’s HR representative of any apparent policy or legal question raised by the review of the department’s written selection and non-selection reasons.
  • Reviews pre-employment background check results and consults with the hiring department, as needed.
  • Reviews and approves the proposed salary offer from the hiring department.

In order to facilitate a successful orientation and ensure a smooth transition to UNC Chapel Hill, the department HR Representative should forward documentation to their Employment Consultant prior to making any commitment to a person for an open position no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday before the new employee orientation session.

Please note that failure to submit the proper documentation by this deadline may result in a delayed hire date.

Salary Commitment

The hiring department is required to submit a Hiring Proposal in PeopleAdmin for the selected candidate to the Employment Consultant for review and approval, to ensure that the recommended salary is justified, based on the salary administration requirements of the career banding program. The Employment Consultant (or authorized hiring department) will extend the official job offer to the candidate. If the candidate accepts the offer, the Employment Consultant notifies the hiring department, who initiates a hire ePAR. The Employment Consultant reviews the salary administration and approves the hiring proposal in PeopleAdmin and ePAR through ConnectCarolina.

Commitments are subject to review and final approval by the Office of State Human Resources. For additional information on this process, contact the Employment Consultant assigned to the hiring department.

Starting Date

Employees new to the University can negotiate their first day of work with the hiring University official.  The first day of work at the University must be on a Monday (with some exceptions due to State holidays).  Overlap with a separating employee is possible, but must be approved by the Employment Consultant. When a current permanent University employee accepts a transfer offer to another department, the two departments involved are responsible for arriving at the starting date for the transfer. If the two departments do not agree on an effective date, they refer the issue to their respective organizational leadership.

New Employee Orientation Session

All new SPA permanent employees must attend OHR’s New Employee Orientation Program on their effective hire date. This includes any SPA employee new to the University, any temporary SPA employee changing status to a permanent SPA employee, or any EPA employee changing status to SPA. New Employee Orientation is not required for current permanent University SPA employees transferring to a new SPA position with no break in service.

When the Employment Consultant extends the job offer to the candidate and it is accepted, the Employment Consultant will approve the department’s ePAR. The OHR Staffing Orientation Coordinator will then enroll the candidate in the New Employee Orientation session.

When the hiring department’s Human Resources Representative extends the job offer to the candidate and it is accepted, the HR Representative must ensure the ePAR is fully approved before the OHR Staffing Orientation Coordinator can enroll the candidate in the New Employee Orientation session.

In addition to receiving information about employment with the University during New Employee Orientation, the employee also

  • officially accepts the offered position
  • completes the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, State Creditable Service form, and payroll forms
  • signs the Conditions of Employment with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Federal Immigration Control: Verification of Employment Eligibility

The University is permitted to hire only properly identified U.S. citizens and legally-authorized aliens. The Employment & Staffing Department verifies eligibility for permanent SPA appointments. The verification process is documented on a Federal immigration form, Form I-9, “Employment Eligibility Verification” and verified during the New Employee Orientation Session provided by the Office of Human Resources. The University also is required by law to confirm employment eligibility through the federal E-verify program. For returning employees, a new I-9 is required in all cases where there has been a gap in service to the University (paid through payroll) of 1 business day or longer.

For any employee with an employment expiration date, re-verification must be done before the expiration date. If the employee cannot produce work authorization, his/her employment must be terminated.

Please note that SPA positions do not qualify for H-1B visas.

Appeal Rights

Refer to the University System SPA Employee Grievance Policy for information on applicable appeals rights for applicants, employees and veterans regarding hiring actions for SPA permanent and time-limited positions.