SELECTION PROCEDURES FOR NON-FACULTY EMPLOYEES

Selection involves identifying the most qualified applicant for a particular position. The process requires each position to be clearly defined with the knowledge, skill, and other qualifications required to accomplish the responsibilities of the position accurately stated. The selection process is governed by a variety of legal requirements designed to assure equal employment opportunity and fair employment practices.

I. Advertising the Position/Recruitment

Vacancies should be advertised both internally, through the weekly edition of "Campus News" and externally, through advertisement in appropriate publications. For clerical and service positions, a local newspaper is appropriate. For faculty and administrative positions, professional journals and publications may be included. If service departments allow "walk-in" applicants and retain their applications for all positions that open up within a 2-year period, then those departments do not have to advertise externally.

In your classified advertisement, be sure to include either the phrase "An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer" or simply the abbreviation "AA/EOE". (See the Supervisory Guide for more Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statements).

A. When to Advertise

The best day to advertise is Sunday. City papers go into homes throughout the state and often contain a featured classified employment section on Sundays. If advertising in daily papers, the earlier in the week the better. To aid you in this process, you can contact Davis Advertising Inc., at 215-851-8600. Davis Advertising offers services in drafting ads and placing them in the various publications.

B. Ad Check List

1. Does the position title communicate?

2. Does the ad briefly describe the job?

3. Where is it?

4. Who should apply? (Specify minimum qualifications of applicants)

5. What are the selling points (What makes La Salle and the particular position attractive as an employer?)

6. How does the applicant apply?

7. Does the ad violate any federal, state or local discrimination laws? (Must include AA/EOE; also review section 2.)

8. Cost of Ad: Abbreviate freely and wherever you can.

9. State employment references are required.

10. The Human Resources Office is available to assist you.

 

II. The Application Process

The official University application form for non-faculty positions should be used. It is designed to provide relevant data for preliminary screening and to comply with various laws. Normally, you should request resumes along with a letter of application for all positions other than service positions. A resume format often gives more detail of an individual's work history and capabilities. Applicants that are interviewed should complete the University's standard Application Form.

Do not recruit strictly by "word of mouth" or through employee referrals. This does not comply with government regulations and violates University policy. (See the Supervisory Guide for the University's "Policy Statement on Maintaining Employment Applications").

Do not conduct the application or interview process by telephone. Resumes and applications protect you by documenting that a search process was in fact conducted and conducted fairly.

The law requires that all applications received be maintained for two years in a general application file. In reviewing applications received it is not permitted to make statements of a derogatory nature on the application. Such statements would include any reference to sex, race, age, religion, handicap or any other protected class by law. Any related materials, such as test results or letters of reference, should not be permanently attached to the application. The law requires that these materials be maintained separately. This is to protect a person from not being considered in the future based on information that may be inaccurate after a period of time. If an applicant is hired, his/her application and all related materials should become a part of the his/her permanent personnel file maintained in the Human Resources Office.

A. Applicant Flow Data Log Procedures

Federal regulations require a compilation of figures, by sex and minority status of all applicants for a position. However, an applicant cannot be required to give such information. As a result, such information can be obtained by requesting an applicant to voluntarily release this information which will be kept separately from his/her application or by visually recording the information when an applicant walks in for an interview or to complete an employment application. The Master Applicant List form, (see the Supervisory Guide), should be used to compile the applicant flow data for each position.

The Applicant Flow Data Log (see the Supervisory Guide) must be completed and the original transmitted to the appropriate Vice President/Provost. An Area Vice President/Provost will review a position's applicant flow data for compliance with the University's commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action in all of our hiring, promotion and transfer practices.

The Area Vice President/Provost may request a copy of the Master Applicant List form as a part of reviewing the applicant flow data. You should follow the directions on the Applicant Flow Data form for appropriate transmittal and retention procedures.

B. Testing an Applicant

The testing of applicants is governed by strict EEOC guidelines. Any such test must demonstrate or predict successful job performance and must be validated by criteria established by the EEOC. Typing and shorthand tests, for example, are permissible. Even in these straightforward skill tests, the Supervisor cannot be arbitrary in the use of scores. If the job requires a typing speed of 50 wpm, it should be applied to all candidates. The Human Resources Office must review all other types of testing, such as character or personality tests against the EEOC criteria before they are used in the screening process.

Only applicants that are interviewed for a position should be tested and, typically, the test should occur after the interview has been completed.

C. Summary of the Application Process:

a) Advertise.

b) Accept only solicited applications for the advertised vacancy unless you are willing to accept all applications. (See the Supervisory Guide for standard responses to solicited and unsolicited applications.)

c) Request resumes and letters of applications (This is also the best time to request a salary history and employment references.)

d) Do not accept an application for a position by telephone.

e) Make evaluation notes, good or bad, on a separate report or through stick-on note pads. Do not make notations on applications where they will be permanent. The same process should be followed for letters of reference or testing materials.

f) Testing, besides a typing (or similar) test, must be validated by the EEOC. Test evaluation criteria must be consistently applied to all candidates.

g) From the application (resumes) received, only interview the candidates with the work and skills experience that are most closely related to the requirements of the position.

h) When in doubt contact the Human Resources Office.

III. Interviewing

The interviewing process is critical. The more exhaustive the screening process, the more likely the best candidate will be matched to a job vacancy. The pre-employment selection interview requires structure as well as tailoring to each particular applicant. Yet, as an interviewer, you must evaluate each applicant on the same criteria. Applicants should be evaluated against your perceptions of their abilities to perform the job requirements. Evaluate applicants against the job description or job specifications not against the other applicants. Using a set format will produce more reliable and valid information for selection. An unstructured or informal interview is more likely to make it difficult to evaluate each applicant on the same criteria and is likely to make your decision more subjective than objective. A structured interview is less likely to violate the laws and regulations, which govern the selection process.

A. Process

In order to set the stage for finding the best candidate within the regulations governing the interviewing process, we recommend the following format:

  1. Review the job description and job specifications. List the specific tasks performed on the job and decide which of the tasks are essential to performance in that position.
  2. Gathering this essential information will allow the interview to elicit relevant information on the applicants. Know the specific demands of the job; know salary ranges, and know the technical skills required to successfully perform the duties of the job.

  3. Identify the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform these tasks. Based on previous employees' success, what qualifications were found to be essential to success on the job? What qualifications did unsuccessful employees lack? How much of the job did successful employees learn and develop while on the job?
  4. Formulate and outline questions. Questions should be developed to help reveal areas of knowledge, skills and abilities required for a new employee to be successful on the job. See the Supervisory Guide for a guide on permissible inquiries and inquiries which must be avoided. This is a guide and not a complete encyclopedia on what can and cannot be asked of applicants. Also included in the Supervisory Guide, is a list of eleven general questions, which are designed to evaluate a candidate's job experience and suitability for a position.
  5. Review the resume/application. Note areas to explore. Before the interview, study the application or resume, test scores and any correspondence that is useful in understanding the applicant's background. Do more than ask the applicant to reiterate what is already in his/her application. Encourage spontaneity and freedom in the applicant's responses by using open-ended questions, which allow an applicant to express more than an application can document.

Interview Design:

    1. Establish rapport.
    2. Explain purpose; set agenda. Control the interview by providing a "road map" to be followed.
    3. Gather predictive information. Use words or phrases such as "why", "how", "what", "describe", or "tell me about". Such expressions will yield more complete answers than questions such as "Do you like to work with people?" or "Do you like to work in an office setting?" Such questions are too general and tend to elicit a closed response of yes or no. The question "What type of work do you enjoy?" for example, will elicit more information than "Do you like working in an office setting?" Do not be overly apprehensive about silences; allow time for formulating one's thoughts. Note taking can be helpful. (See below precaution regarding note taking). Inform the applicant that you will take notes when you are setting the interview agenda.
    4. Describe the job and the organization. Be informative but do not oversell. Provide facts, favorable and unfavorable. Resist discussion of any possible long-term employment relationship an employee may have if hired. Do not discuss any type of permanency in a position because it can be construed as an implied contract.
    5. Answer questions and allow the applicant to add information.
    6. Conclude the interview. Thank the applicant. Outline, for the applicant, what will happen next such as the approximate date by which you will make your decision as to the successful candidate. Finally, ask if the applicant has any objections to checking his/her employment references. Have the applicant sign the release of employment information. (See the Supervisory Guide).
    7. Assess verbal responses and nonverbal conduct of the candidate. Immediately following the interview, rate the responses given against the criteria you established in step 1 above. For example, communication skills - fair, work related experience - good, explanation of duties correlated to experience required, etc. In addition to the applicant's answers to questions, evaluate factors such as punctuality, neatness in appearance, attitude, and the manner in which the applicant answers questions.

 

"Pitfalls of Interviewing":

As previously mentioned, the first step in avoiding interviewing pitfalls is to define, as objectively as possible, the qualifications necessary for the successful performance of the job. Once the qualifications are set forth, as the interviewer it is important to devise questions that are job-related only. Questions should be voiced in an objective manner as well. For example, if a job requires a certain amount of overtime, you should not ask a female applicant what she will do with her children if she is required to work overtime, instead, state the normal working hours explain that overtime will be required under certain circumstances and ask whether she will be able to work such overtime. The same question and manner should be asked of male applicants for the position.

This is not to say that you are forbidden to ask certain questions during an interview. On the contrary, you may ask any question as long as the question, or the answer to it, is not used to discriminate in a prohibited manner. Therefore, it is best to center the interview questions on job-related issues. (See the Supervisory Guide for sample interview questions.)

Some of the pitfalls of interviewing are illustrated by the following examples:

  1. Age discrimination was found after an interviewer asked an applicant's age and the applicant was able to demonstrate that applicants within his age group had consistently been evaluated more poorly than younger applicants.
  2. Race and sex discrimination were found when an interviewer asked about military experience, which was found to have had a disparate impact on women and minorities who did not have military experience.

These are just a some examples of how a question not fully thought out can lead to trouble for the interviewer and the organization and such a problem is more likely to occur in an unstructured interview. (See the Supervisory Guide for Preemployment Inquiry Guide which is a general list of do's and don'ts for interviewing.)

Other Interviewing Tips:

    1. Volunteered Information: During the interview, the applicant may raise issues that you should NOT care to discuss. For example, affiliation with a feminist organization or sexual preference or religious beliefs. It is not discriminatory, on the part of the interviewer, if the applicant volunteers information of this nature, as long the employer does not base his/her decision on the comment. Still, you may wish to make a statement about La Salle University being an equal opportunity employer.
    2. Taking Notes: As previously mentioned, note taking may be helpful and if properly done, not only will help in the decision making process but support your decision in an agency hearing or trial. Notes should be taken in a manner that does not indicate any sort of prohibited discrimination and should not involve discriminatory information, even if the applicant volunteers it.
    3. Multiple Interviews/Interviewers: If more than one person is going to assist in the interview process, the individual responsible for the final decision should review the types of questions and the manner in which each interviewer plans to ask such questions. This will help insure that the interview(s) is conducted in as consistent and objective a manner as possible. If a member of the interviewing team has no previous interviewing experience at La Salle it is recommended that role-playing sessions be conducted.

IV. Post-Interview Procedure

You should refrain from making a formal job offer until all appropriate employment references and University approvals have been checked. This can be done through the mail or by telephone depending on your preference and, sometimes, the preference of the company or the individual to whom you have been referred. (See the Supervisory Guide for copies of standard Reference Letter and Telephone Reference Questionnaire). In all cases the University recommends that reference checks be conducted. Often, a telephone conversation allows you to raise pointed questions, gain insights, or allow the other party to give you a better understanding on how an applicant will perform on the job by expounding on a related subject. Such information is not commonly included in a letter of reference or a standardized form as found in the Supervisory Guide. It is appropriate to notify applicants and considered candidates that a decision has been made and thank them for their interest.

V. The Final Decision

As a general rule, documentation as to why a particular applicant was selected should be retained. Such documentation can be of great assistance should questions arise in the future, particularly with regard to possible discrimination suits. As previously mentioned, all applications must be kept on file for a minimum of two years. Upon completion of a search, retain the remaining applications and a copy of the ad material within the department's general application files for the required 2-year period.

VI. Appointment Process

Before finalizing a selection, the appropriate approval(s) is required. This approval is required not only of a candidate but of the salary to be offered as well. Below is a chart, which outlines the approval process for appointments.

Classification
of Employee

President

Provost/
VP of Area

Immediate
Supervisor

Professional/Faculty

X

X

X

Clerical/Service

X

X

Work-Study Student *

X

Budget Student*

X

 

* If other than the standard minimum wage rate, Provost or appropriate Vice President approval is required.

 

A) Steps to Follow:

    1. Consult the La Salle University Salary and Wage Guidelines for Clerical/Secretarial and Service Personnel

b) Consult the appropriate salary scale.

c) Identify the budgeted salary for a given position.

d) If needed, confer with the Human Resources Office for assistance.

 

B) Information Required in Letter Requesting Approval to Hire:

The minimal information necessary includes:

a) Full Name of Candidate

b) Position Title

c) Employment Date

d) Department Name

e) Department Accounting Budget Code

f) Term of Appointment (Fiscal, Academic Year or other type of appointment

specified)

g) Employment Classification (full-time, part-time, etc.)

h) Annual Salary (or hourly rate, if weekly)

i) Appropriate Grade and Step

C) Applicant Flow Data Log

 VII. Contact Candidate Selected for Vacant Position

Make your offer for employment and provide relevant information such as salary and expected starting date. Although this may seem uncomplicated it is not. Caution must be taken in the manner in which an offer is extended.

In a case where an employee can prove that he/she had an oral or implied contract, not only is the University liable but you as the supervisor may also be the subject of litigation. Therefore, read the Personnel Manual to be aware of the University's rules and policies. Also, in discussing terms of employment do not imply that a position is for a special length of time or will be permanent. Temper all statements with a sense that employment is at the will of the University.