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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 approvals
  • Type of position: career, limited career, exception, student to staff, etc.
  • Job descriptions process and necessary approvals
  • Requisition process and necessary approvals
  • Other related issues you might want to address

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).
  • 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.
  • Identify an appropriate payroll title.

3. Determine the recruitment timeline and screening/selection criteria.

  • Discuss your recruitment 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 to begin interviewing
  • Develop your screening and selection criteria
    • Ensure that criteria is nondiscriminatory
    • Ensure that criteria is based on qualifications of the position

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 Human Resources.
  • Provide your initial screening criteria that recruiters will use to screen applicants.
  • Ensure that your criteria is nondiscriminatory.

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 central Human Resources recruiter will link to HireOnline.
  • Hiring supervisors can click on the link to be directed to the Requisition Overview Page.
  • Candidates referred by central 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 interviewing questions.
    • Tailor questions to open ended  space to have dialogue on the topic or to confirm information.
    • Remember anything a candidate places on their resume that may be job related can be discussed or expanded upon outside of the set interview questions.
  • If the hiring supervisor choose to involve other interviewers or a committee.
    • Select individuals who are experts in the field or qualified to determine the skills required for the position. (Committees are optional but highly recommended).
    • Meet with other interviewers to review the questions and their order, and other logistics that will affect the interview process.
    • It is a best practice to use the same interview format and setting for each candidate.

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 candidates 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 can be subpoenaed.
  • If you plan to use a test or performance based assessment, consult with central 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. 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.
  • If the position requires it, conduct a background check. Consult PPSM-21 (PDF) to determine if a background check is needed.

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

10. 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 that 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 Central Human Resources recruiter.
  • Wait for HR approval before making any offer of employment.

11. Confirm candidate interest and make the offer.

  • After you receive HR 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 Pilot; for new hires to UC San Diego begin the electronic Preboarding process. (Contact your department HR representative to determine if you are part of the pilot).
  • 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 HR recruiter 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.

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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.