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Recruitment Exceptions

The University of Kansas has established a recruitment process which promotes equal opportunity for all applicants, with the intent of attracting a diverse and qualified candidate pool for the hiring department’s consideration.  The University’s goal is to maintain the integrity of the recruiting/hiring process to ensure legally defensible hiring decisions.  In limited circumstances, an exception to the recruitment process may be justified through either a Search Waiver or Personnel Related Action (explained below).

Initiating a Recruitment Exception

All recruitment exceptions  require review and approval by the unit’s hierarchy and HRM.  All search waiver requests also require the review and approval by the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA).  A verbal offer to the candidate may not be initiated until appropriate approvals have been received.

Contact your Shared Service Center (SSC) representative to begin the recruitment exception process. Hiring units will be required to provide an updated position description, letter of justification (include salary data), resume or CV of the candidate, and an organizational chart of the unit. Determinations of the appropriate official job title and FLSA designation will be made by HRM based on a review of the provided information.

*Please note that any internal and/or external candidate who will be appointed to a new job title assignment must have a brief employee profile completed in the BrassRing recruitment system in order to be presented with, and to accept, an on-line offer letter.

Recruitment Exception Categories

There are two categories where a recruitment exception can be initiated, a search waiver or a personnel related action. These two categories are outlined below, click on the drop downs to understand the scenarios that would necessitate a recruitment exception.

Search Waiver for an Open Position

A search waiver is a type of recruitment exception where the department requests to waive the search process.  Appointments made without a search will be approved only in exceptional circumstances and must be accompanied by compelling rationale that documents the reasons for not conducting a search.  A search waiver should not be requested when the hiring authority has a reasonable time period to conduct a search that would attract an adequate pool of qualified candidates.

Reasons for initiating a search waiver request may include one of the following circumstances:


An immediate, critical need to hire due to operational necessity (i.e. essential services would be critically affected) and the appointment needs to be made on unavoidably short notice (explanation/justification is required).  Another instance of an emergency may be the duration of the appointment is for less than one year and there is not sufficient time to conduct a search.

Domestic Partner Accommodation

An employment accommodation for the domestic partner of a person hired through a search.  Typically such appointments are made to attract promising faculty and/or researchers.

Negotiated Hire

Agreed upon appointment by University administration and/or the result of a start-up package for a newly recruited faculty, researcher or executive that may want to bring their existing staff to KU. Such appointments may also occur when an adjunct appointment or candidate generates external grant funding and needs to be added to the KU payroll.


An appointment to a vacant position that results in both a title change and salary increase.  Such appointments generally result in an open vacancy within a unit that would require a search.

Failed Search

An action that results in the need to initiate a direct hire based upon the inability to fill a position when there is an immediate, critical need.

Target of Opportunity

The hire is a strategy for addressing underutilization and achieving diversity and excellence at the University.  Such hires fall into two categories:

  1. The hire of a prominent, nationally sought-after scholar or researcher; or
  2. The hire of an underrepresented group member in an area where there is statistically based evidence of underutilization (contact HRM or IOA to confirm).

Immediate need to hire on a short term basis and the appointment duration will not exceed 999 hours within a calendar year.  Such appointments should not lead to regular appointment without going through a search.

Others (Examples)
  • Appointment of an individual whose experience and accomplishment make him/her uniquely qualified
  • A visiting faculty or researcher appointment of two years or less in duration that is not funding based
  • A candidate identified in a previous search pool for a similar position

Personnel Related Action for Current Positions

A Personnel Action is a type of recruitment exception that does not create a vacant position, but typically necessitates a change in job title and/or compensation beyond the range established by the Classification and Market Study.  See Compensation Related Actions for more information.

Change in Job Title

A change in job title is often necessitated when the responsibility of a given position changes due to reassignment or job restructure.  Such changes may be an ongoing or be in an interim or acting role.  All job title change request will require a recruitment exception to be processed.  Please contact your SSC for guidance.

Change in Compensation

For unfrozen University Support Staff (USS) and Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) positions where an increase in compensation is requested outside of the established salary grade, a recruitment exception is required.

Please reference the guidelines above for initiating a recruitment exception.

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