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How to Hire Staff

Use this step-by-step guide to recruit and select staff employees.

In the right place? See how to hire students. If you need to hire academic employees, contact Academic Personnel.

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1. Initiate the recruitment process.

Talk to the Human Resources (HR) contact in your department about:

  • Funding for the position and departmental approvals.
  • Type of position: career, contract, limited appointment, short-term exception, etc.
  • Job descriptions process and necessary departmental approvals.
  • Requisition process and necessary departmental approvals.
  • Other related department recruitment requirements.

2. Establish a job description.

  • Perform a thorough job analysis:
    • Determine the duties, responsibilities, and specifications needed.
    • Incorporate the required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs).
  • Identify an appropriate payroll title.
  • Prepare and submit the job description and any other supplement forms needed to classify the position.
  • Be sure to note the Job Description number assigned when you log out.
  • Ensure that the position has been classified.

3. Determine recruitment logistics, timeline, screening/selection criteria and committee members.

  • Discuss your recruitment logistics & timeline with your department HR contact or central Human Resources and make modifications if necessary. Topics may include:
    • Where to advertise and post the job to cast a wide net.
    • Content of the job posting to attract qualified candidates.
    • Decide on when you will begin and finish accepting resumes.
    • Interview format and timeline.
    • Determine dates for the first round and final round interviews.
    • Place holds on rooms where interviews will take place.
  • Develop your screening and selection criteria.
    • Create criteria based on the qualifications associated with the job description.
    • If the hiring supervisor chooses to involve other interviewers or a committee.
      • Determine who will serve on the interview committee.
      • Select individuals who are experts in the field or qualified to determine the skills required for the position.
      • Invite committee to serve via phone call or email.
      • Committees are optional but highly recommended.

4. Prepare the HireOnline employment requisition.

    • Go to HireOnline to prepare and submit an online requisition.
    • Select Create Requisition and choose a requisition type.
    • Complete the required fields and submit to Campus Human Resources.
    • Provide your initial screening criteria that recruiters will use to screen applicants.
      • Ensure that your criteria is nondiscriminatory and is based on the required qualifications.

5. Review the early referral candidates.

  • Give special consideration to any early referral candidates, including preferential rehire or special selection candidates.
  • Review their applications/ resumes to determine if they meet the qualifications of the position.
  • Interview those candidates that appear to meet the qualifications.
  • Make a decision to either hire the candidates or if these candidates do not meet the qualifications through the review or interview process, disqualify them in writing and send the letter to the HR recruiter with the justification for disqualification.

6. Review the resumes.

  • An e-mail sent by your Campus Human Resources Talent Acquisition Advisor will link to HireOnline.
  • Hiring supervisors can click on the link to direct them to the Requisition Overview Page.
  • Candidates referred by Campus Human Resources will be located in the Referral Pool. Select the Referral Pool Icon to access candidates.
  • Hiring supervisors can then review candidates to match the candidate’s qualifications against the screening criteria. Ensure that the matching process is focused on specific, measurable, and job-related skills.
  • Carefully review each candidate's education, training, and experience, using the online screening worksheet (optional but highly recommended).

7. Prepare for the interview.

  • Prepare key questions to explore past job performance, covering all essential functions. Prepare follow-up questions.
    • Use a variety of approaches to elicit different kinds of information through behavioral based interview questions.
    • Tailor questions to open-ended allow space to have a dialogue on the topic or to confirm information.
    • Remember anything a candidate places on their resume that is job-related can be discussed or expanded upon outside of the original set of interview questions.
    • Visit this page to learn about the types of questions to ask (and not ask) during an interview. 
  • If the hiring supervisor chooses to involve other interviewers or a committee.
    • It is highly recommended to have a charge meeting where the supervisor can provide insight to their needs of the position and the type of candidate experience they are seeking.
    • Provide the committee a copy of the selected candidates resumes and job description in advance of the interviews.
    • Inform the interview committee how important confidentiality is in the process.
    • It is a best practice to use the same interview format and setting for each candidate.
  • Schedule candidates for interview dates and times.
    • Contact selected candidates, provide date, and time options.
    • Provide candidates with directions to the interview location (map recommended).
    • Provide candidates with any additional logistical information necessary.
      • If traveling, hotel options, travel reimbursement, etc.

8. Conduct the interview.

  • Choose an appropriate environment for the interview. Ensure that you will not be interrupted. Think of the interview as a business conversation.
  • Welcome and provide the candidate with an overview of the interview process.
  • Ask job-related questions based on their unique experience provided in the resume.
    • Ask for “specific examples” to gain an understanding of the candidate's experience level.
    • A good question to include is “What am I likely to hear both positive and negative when I call your references?” – Be sure to call references.
  • Ask your questions and then sit back and listen. Ideally, you should talk no more than 20% of the time.
  • Paraphrase to clarify and expand on the candidate's answers. Comment on what the candidate says to show interest and to encourage discussion.
  • Take notes. 
    • Notes will help jog your memory for decision time. 
    • Use exact quotes from the candidate.
    • Remember, notes and e-mails are legal documents.
  • If you plan to use a test or performance-based assessment, consult with Campus Human Resources first to ensure it is valid.
  • Conclude the interview by thanking the candidate and explaining what happens next. Ask for permission to call references.
  • If you used a committee, discuss your findings at the end of the interview if possible.

9. Document your decision.

  • Gather all the data from the applications, resumes, interviews, and reference checks.
  • Prepare a Selection Worksheet within HireOnline listing the selection criteria and rate the candidates against those criteria.
  • After you have rated each candidate against the criteria, evaluate final candidates against each other to identify the best candidate in terms of skills, worker characteristics, and organizational fit based on experience.
  • Review all your notes and write up your decision. Ensure that your decision is nondiscriminatory, complies with laws and policies, and is based on sound judgment.
  • Use HireOnline to record your final scores, create an offer and route your offer for approval. For assistance, contact your department Human Resources or the Campus Human Resources Talent Acquisition Advisor.
  • Wait for Campus Human Resources approval before making any offer of employment.

10. Confirm candidate interest and make the offer.

  • After you receive Campus Human Resources approval, call the candidate to make an offer. Include relocation information, if applicable.
  • Make a verbal offer and if necessary negotiate any offer details such as salary, moving expenses, and start date.
  • Confirm the offer and acceptance in writing.
    • If you are part of the ONBOARDING Solution; for new hires to UC San Diego begin the electronic pre-boarding process.
  • Tell the new employee about the Employee Orientation, Resources, and Information Checklist.
  • Inform all candidates in writing of the outcome of the interview process.
  • Let your Campus Talent Acquisition Advisor know when your offer has been accepted.
  • Coordinate with your department's HR contact to ensure that the new hire receives and completes all appropriate paperwork.

11. Check the references of your final candidates.

  • Prepare questions
    • Use similar questions you used for interviewing the candidate to confirm what was said during the interview.
  • Call references and ask specific questions about the candidate's background and information discussed in the interview.

For more detailed information, review How to Conduct Reference Checks.

12. Background Check (PPSM-21)

  • If the position requires it, conduct a background check. Consult PPSM-21(PDF) to determine if a background check is required.

For more detailed information, review How to Conduct a Background Check.

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Note: This page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://ucsd.edu/go/hirestaff
Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.