Recruitment Exceptions

The University of Kansas has established a recruitment process which promotes equal opportunity for all applicants, with the intent of attracting a 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 Human Resources. A verbal offer to the candidate may not be initiated until appropriate approvals have been received.

Contact your Talent Acquisition Team representative to begin the recruitment exception process. Hiring units will be required to provide an updated position description, letter of justification (include requested annual salary), resume or CV of the candidate, and an organizational chart of the unit. Determinations of the appropriate official job title, salary and FLSA designation will be made by the compensation team in HR based on a review of the provided information.  During the HR review, we will utilize market salary information and work with the units to ensure the salary is equitable and doesn’t create compression within the unit.

*Please note that any internal and/or external candidate who will be appointed to a new job title assignment will be required to digitally accept an offer letter online, submit any required background check documents and complete any required Onboarding documentation.

Recruitment Exception Categories

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:

  • Emergency - 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.

  • Promotion - 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 of a prominent, nationally sought-after scholar or researcher that is strategically aligned with university and unit vision and can immediately meet targeted goals.

  • Temporary - 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):

    1. Appointment of an individual whose experience and accomplishment make him/her uniquely qualified

    2. A visiting faculty or researcher appointment of two years or less in duration that is not funding based

    3. A candidate identified in a previous search pool for a similar position

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 HR for guidance.
  • Change in Compensation
    • For 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. If the requested increase is within the established salary grade, please see Compensation Related Actions for the process to initiate this change