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This is the third of three policies outlining the recruitment/interviewing/hiring process:

Employment for SHRA employees is offered based upon the job-related qualifications of applicants 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 discrimination in violation of State and federal law. Preferential treatment will not be given to any private organization or individual based on undue political affiliation or influence.

Policy Details

This policy applies to University supervisors, managers and search committees responsible for selecting and hiring SHRA employees.

The hiring department must select for hire the best qualified applicant from those interviewed. A selected candidate must possess all essential skills listed in the job posting of the position for which the candidate is being selected.

Priority Consideration

The hiring department must apply the following hiring priority considerations when determining candidate selection:

  • Layoff re-employment priority: A career status employee officially notified of layoff shall receive priority consideration. If it is determined that an eligible laid off employee and any other applicant have substantially equal qualifications, then the eligible laid off employee must receive the job offer. The priority for employees laid off and the priority of employees with less than 10 years of service subject to the State Human Resources Act separated from exempt policy-making or exempt managerial positions are equal.
  • Veteran’s preference: Applicants who are eligible for veterans’ preference must be selected when they are substantially equal to the best qualified applicant(s) who are not current State permanent or time-limited employees. To qualify for veterans’ preference, applicants must submit within the applicant tracking system a veterans’ worksheet with their application. Learn more about veterans’ preference.
  • State government employee priority: Career status State or University employees are to be promoted when their 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.
  • Workers’ compensation re-employment priority: 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 scenarios, based primarily on the employee’s medical improvement. If workers’ compensation priority referrals are involved, the Employment Consultant advises the hiring department of its responsibilities to give priority re-employment consideration.
  • Return from military leave within five years: Placement does not require formal application for the position. The Office of Human Resources (OHR) 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. OHR coordinates such placements.

Commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity

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. The University’s equal opportunity plans and information about disabilities and accommodations are available on the Equal Opportunity & Compliance Office website.

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 of or persons closely affiliated to a current University employee are considered for employment or transfer, whether in temporary or permanent positions, the hiring department head must certify lack of influence on the Employment of Related Persons Certificate. In addition, the hiring department must submit one or more organizational charts with the Employment of Related Persons Certificate to the Employment Consultant by attaching the document as part of the applicant tracking system’s Hiring Proposal for approval.

For more information about employing family members or other closely affiliated persons, refer to the University’s Nepotism Policy.

Hiring supervisors are required to complete reference check(s) on the selected candidate prior to recommendation of employment. Minimum guideline and best practice are to conduct three 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 that contact will be made if the applicant is selected to proceed in the recruitment process. The Reference Check Form is used for documenting reference checks.

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 to other State hiring supervisors direct, honest evaluations of the applicant’s work performance.

The “Applicants” tab in the applicant tracking system’s posting is the official University record of those referred to the hiring department and where the department documents non-selection reasons. The HR Representative or hiring supervisor is responsible for updating the applicant workflow state and entering the appropriate reason for non-selection in the applicant tracking system.
Selected candidates must satisfactorily complete a background check conducted through OHR prior to employment. See Background Checks for Faculty and Non-Faculty Employees, Student Employees, and Affiliates for more information.

State laws (G.S. 126-30 and G.S. 14-122.1) require the verification of certain education and professional credentials. The Background Check Unit of OHR’s Employment & Staffing Department is responsible for conducting credentials verification and is required to complete the credentials verification within three calendar months of the employee’s effective University hire date.

Credentials requiring verification include

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

When permanent SHRA employees transfer from other University departments or State agencies, credentials that have already been verified and documented in their personnel file do not have to be verified again.

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

Credentials Falsification

State laws require appropriate action up to and including termination of employment for falsification of qualification statements.

Upon the discovery that an applicant or employee willfully provided false or misleading information, or willfully omitted information related to education and professional credentials, the hiring supervisor should work with the department’s OHR Employment & Management Relations Consultant 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.

When falsified credentials are discovered after employment, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, may be taken.

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 or continued employment, the advantage gained over other applicants, and the effect of the false information on starting salary. Confirmed willful falsification can result in criminal charges.

The University is permitted to hire only properly identified U.S. citizens and legally authorized aliens. The Employment & Staffing Department verifies eligibility for permanent SHRA appointments (SHRA positions do not qualify for H-1B visas). The verification process is documented on a federal immigration form (Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification) and verified during New Employee Orientation. The University also is required by law to confirm employment eligibility through the federal E-Verify program. For returning employees, a new Form I-9 is required in all cases where there has been a break in service to the University of one calendar day or longer.

For any employee with a temporary employment authorization, re-verification of Form I-9 must be completed on or before the expiration date. If an employee cannot produce work authorization, the employment must be terminated.

More information about employment eligibility verification can be found at Employment Eligibility Verification and Form I-9 – Information for Departments.

Hiring ranges are expected, but not required, to be within the competency level ranges assigned for the position. The maximum of the hiring range may not exceed the journey market rate of the next higher competency level.

The manager is accountable for fairly applying the pay factors and documenting the hiring justification in accordance with OHR’s Classification & Compensation policy and guidelines.

For State employees in a graded position applying for positions in the University’s career banded classification system, the department’s Employment Consultant assigns a salary grade equivalent for each competency level within the career banded role to determine if the action is a promotion. More information about salary grade equivalents can be found in Reviewing and Interviewing Candidates for SHRA Permanent Employment.

The approved salary offer must be within the advertised hiring range that was published in the posting. A salary offer shall not be communicated to a candidate until after the proposed selection and offer have been approved by the Employment Consultant, unless a school or department has previously obtained from OHR delegated authority to do so.
Refer to the University System SHRA Employee Grievance Policy for information on applicable appeals rights for applicants, employees and veterans regarding hiring actions for SHRA permanent and time-limited positions.

Hiring Procedures

In order to facilitate a successful orientation and ensure a smooth transition to UNC-Chapel Hill, HR Representatives must complete and forward to their OHR Employment Consultant a Hiring Proposal in the applicant tracking system. The Hiring Proposal must be approved by the Employment Consultant before a job offer can be extended to the final candidate.

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.

The Hiring Proposal and, if necessary, a completed Nepotism Certificate, along with the appropriate ePAR must be fully approved no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday before the effective hire date. Please note that failure to provide the proper documentation by this deadline shall result in a delayed hire date.

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

  • reviews the completed selection documentation from the hiring department including salary, essential skills, and information about efforts to meet the department’s work force profile
  • ensures that the recommended salary is justified based on the salary administration requirements of the career banding program
  • 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
  • approves the proposed salary offer from the hiring department
If a department has been delegated authority by OHR to do so, the hiring department’s HR Representative extends the approved offer of employment to the selected candidate and notifies its OHR Employment Consultant to confirm acceptance of the position. Otherwise, the offer of employment is made by the Employment Consultant.

Employees new to the University can negotiate their effective hire date 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 effective date for the transfer. If the two departments do not agree on an effective date, they refer the issue to their respective organizational leadership.

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

When the OHR 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 schedule the New Employee Orientation Session.

When the hiring department’s HR 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 schedule the candidate for 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

career status: employment status achieved by a State employee after 12 continuous months of service

ePAR: an “electronic Personnel Action Request” in the ConnectCarolina system

essential skills: required knowledge, skills and abilities critical to a position, without which the duties of the position cannot be performed

substantially equal: refers to job-related qualifications held by more than one applicant from which an employer cannot make a reasonable determination that those held by one are significantly better suited for the position than those held by another