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The university does not require non-student wage (part-time) positions be advertised. The departments may fill these positions without interviewing or screening applications. However, if a department chooses to conduct a formal search, the guidelines below must be followed.

Hiring Process Guidelines

Before beginning a recruitment and selection process departments must:

  • Analyze the vacant position and determine if any changes in the job have occurred that would require a new or updated job description.
  • Update the position description in the PD App in PeopleSoft.
  • Determine the necessary and preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) or competencies for the position and identify up to five job-related screening criteria associated with the KSA’s that are predictive of a candidate’s ability to successfully perform the job.
  • Determine the appropriate salary hiring range.
  • Determine, with Human Resources assistance as needed, if the position is assigned to the proper role and make role changes as necessary.
  • Identify any education qualifications required for the position.
  • Identify any bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQs).

Departments should determine the recruitment strategy that best fits the department’s needs. This may be done in collaboration with Human Resources.

Job announcements must include the following:

  • Position title: Hiring officials will have the choice to use state role titles, working titles or a combination of both.
  • Any bona fide occupational requirements. Please call Human Resources for help in determining appropriate requirements.
  • A summary of job duties.
  • Any educational requirements not required by law, stated with a provision for equivalent substitution of applicable experience or training (e.g., bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience required). When indicating a preference for a college degree, the announcement must also include the specific types of related degrees that are applicable to the position’s core duties.
  • Any occupational certification, license, or registration required by law.
  • Salary or hourly pay rate (Ensuring that the Salary Administration Plan is adhered to and involving the HR Consultant to verify appropriate salary, hiring officials may choose to advertise one of the following):
    • Specific hiring range
    • Maximum starting salary
    • Minimum starting salary
    • Statement such as “commensurate with experience.” Advertised pay rates must be based on the appropriate pay bands and be within the budgeted amount for the position.

Job announcements may also include the following:

  • Preferred qualifications
  • A requirement for related experience (but requiring specific years of experience is prohibited)
  • Other aspects of the position such as shift, work hours, etc.

Advertisements for all classified positions will automatically be placed:

  • In the JMU JobLink recruitment system (including JMU only announcements).
  • In the state’s Virginia Jobs system. Job announcements must be posted for at least five consecutive workdays (including JMU only announcements).
  • Through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities listserv.
  • Through the Hispanic Association of Colleges Universities listserv.
  • Posted on Heroes to Hire website (H2H).

Exceptions to the requirement for automatic advertisement placement are allowed for the following:

  • Positions that will be used as a placement for employees affected by a layoff.
  • Positions to be filled by agency-initiated demotions, promotions or reassignments.
  • Similar positions that become vacant within 90 calendar days from the closing date of the previously recruited positions. The hiring authority may use the same candidate pool if the two positions have the same role title, primary duties, work title and organizational unit.

Departments may also choose to advertise in newspapers, journals, websites, or other print or electronic periodicals, etc. This can be done through Recruitment and Employment Services in Human Resources. Advertisements must meet all required Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations.

  • Web and display ads (ads with images) must include the following statement: James Madison University is committed to a diverse and inclusive community and to maintaining a work and educational environment that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.
  • Line ads (ads without images) must include the following statement: JMU does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.

Positions may be posted for a fixed period of not less than five consecutive workdays (excluding weekends and holidays) from the posting date. When choosing a fixed period, a closing date must be included in the announcement. All applications received by the closing date must be considered.

Positions may also be posted with an open-until-filled statement. If this method is chosen for a classified position, the announcement must be posted on the JMU JobLink recruitment system and the state’s Virginia Jobs system for at least five consecutive workdays (excluding weekends and holidays).

Departments may either interview all applicants for a position or reduce the applicant pool by screening applications/resumes. Before screening applications, the hiring authority must choose up to five job-related criteria based on the Position Description (found in the PD App). These job-related criteria must be included as qualifications in both the JobLink posting and in related advertisements. Recruitment Specialists are available to assist departments with screening.

Interviews must be conducted for all advertised classified positions. An exception to this policy regards persons on layoff status. If a person in layoff status is minimally qualified for the position, no interview is required to make an offer of employment to that person. All candidates selected for an interview must be interviewed before an offer is made. However, departments are not required to reschedule interviews with applicants who were unable to make the initial scheduled interview.

Interview questions must be developed before the interviewing process and all questions must be asked of each applicant interviewed. Questions must be job-related and based on knowledge, skills and abilities. Additional follow up questions may be asked in response to statements or questions from the applicant, or to clarify information provided by the applicant.

Interviews may be conducted by the hiring authority, persons designated by the hiring authority or by a selection panel. The following are expectations and responsibilities for selection panel members conducting interviews:

  • Selection panel members should familiarize themselves with the basic responsibilities of the position.
  • If they are classified employees, selection panel members should be in the same role or a role with greater authority than the position for which they are interviewing candidates (unless the panel members are a human resource professional whose responsibilities include interviewing applicants).
  • Selection panel members must excuse themselves from the search process if they are related to or have knowledge of a candidate that creates a conflict of interest.
  • Selection panel members should make recommendations regarding their choice of applicants to the hiring authority.

At least three job-related references must be completed before any employment offer is made. All rehired employees with a break in service of more than one year are required to have one reference completed prior to being rehired. This reference may be provided by a former JMU supervisor who is familiar with the employee's work performance. Re-hired employees with a break in service of less than one year will also be required to have one reference completed if no references are on file.

References may be obtained in any one of a variety of formats including face-to-face, telephone, e-mail, etc. Personal references may be contacted if the applicant has limited work experience. However, it is important to note that personal references are often not helpful in determining a candidate's ability to perform job-related tasks or functions.

Reference checks should attempt to obtain information including, but not limited to:

  • Employment dates
  • Position title
  • Position duties
  • Beginning and ending salaries
  • Training completed
  • Job performance, including performance strengths and weaknesses
  • Attendance including reporting to work at the scheduled time
  • Whether the employer would rehire the applicant
  • Verification of any required license, degree or certification
  • Reason(s) for the candidates' leaving his/her current employment

The staff application in JMU JobLink contains a release statement by which applicants consent to verification of the information provided in the application.

The application also contains a release statement by which applicants grant the university permission to contact their current and former employers. If permission is not given, the current employer may not be contacted. However, when the hiring manager is conducting final references, he/she may inform the candidate that the inability to contact the current supervisor could affect the selection decision or result in a contingent offer of employment.

Please note that the above provisions do not limit the hiring manager to only contacting the references listed on the application itself.

When conducting reference checks, questions should be phrased in a manner that will solicit objective and job-related information only. Any information supplied that is not directly job-related shall be disregarded and not considered in making a selection decision. The objective of the reference check is to gather information that is open, truthful (or documented) and job-related. A sample reference check form can be found on the Human Resources website.

Reference checks are covered in detail in Policy 1320-Providing and Obtaining Employment Reference Information.

Criminal background checks are covered in detail in Policy 1321-Criminal History Investigation.

Reasons for non-selection of applicants must be specific and job related and for each applicant who is not selected a ‘reason for non-selection’ must be noted in JobLink.

Using any of the following criteria as reasons for non-selection is prohibited by law and university policy:

  • Age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.
  • Mental or physical disability that does not interfere with the applicant’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation.
  • Other factors that have no bearing on job-related requirements.

Appropriate reasons for non-interview or non-selection may include any one or a combination of the following:

  • Unsatisfactory references or relatively weak references.
  • Applicant’s refusal or inability to accept work schedule, salary, duties or other job-related conditions.
  • Job-related education and/or training insufficient or not as strong as selected candidate.
  • Job-related experience insufficient or not as strong as selected candidate.
  • Job-related knowledge/skills/abilities insufficient or not as strong as selected candidate.
  • Interpersonal or communications abilities not suited to the needs of the position.

After the hiring authority, person(s) designated by the hiring authority, or the selection panel has completed reference checks and made a decision on the candidate who should receive an offer, the hiring authority must contact Human Resources to discuss the appropriate starting salary. After speaking with an HR Consultant, the hiring authority may extend an offer of employment. When the offer has been made and accepted, the candidate and the hiring authority can determine a start date, and the hiring authority must then submit the Onboard Form/ePar to Human Resources. Human Resources will send a welcome letter to all new classified employees. The selected candidate will be required to complete the Onboard process prior to the hire date. As part of the onboard process the candidate must present appropriate documentation in a timely manner to comply with requirements of the Form I-9 and the E-Verify system.

Nepotism and employment of family members is covered in detail in Policy 1301-Nepotism and Employment of Family Members.

The recruiting process is one that is closely monitored by state and federal agencies. It is critical that the process for hiring employees at JMU reflect a commitment to hiring practices that do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.

For the protection of those involved in applying for positions, the information related to the recruiting and selection process shall be kept confidential. In addition, under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (2.2-3700), agencies are not required to allow applicants to examine reference data or recommendation letters. Therefore, documentation of reference checks and information obtained must be maintained in strict confidence.

It is important to provide rigorous documentation for each selection. Therefore, all hiring supervisors of classified positions (and of wage positions when a competitive search has been conducted) are responsible for submitting all of the following documentation to Human Resources within 14 days once a selection has been made:

  • The Screening Criteria Grid found in JMU JobLink documenting the following:
    • Names for all the applications received
    • Specific criteria used to evaluate applicants
    • Ratings based on the established criteria for all applicants
  • Interview notes/questions on all applicants interviewed from all selection panel members
  • Reference check forms (separately and with direct attention to the Recruitment Assistant)
  • Any correspondence to or from the applicants

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