Guidelines for Successful Recruiting

Aerial view of campus


These guidelines have been compiled to assist university personnel in conducting searches for unclassified professional staff and university support staff. While staff recruitment is the primary focus of this training, student hourly recruitment will also be touched upon. The recommendations contained in these guidelines are intended to further the university’s efforts to eliminate discrimination, take affirmative action, and to fully engage in equal opportunity principles.

The University of Kansas is proud of its commitment to helping secure employment for all interested individuals.  All university policies and programs allow equal opportunity for employment, conditions of employment, services and participation in university activities regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, retaliation, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities.

The University generally expects units to conduct external searches for all unclassified professional and university support staff appointments, including appointments for visiting and part-time positions.  Internal searches may be conducted in those instances where institutional experience is necessary at the onset of the appointment in order to successfully meet the objectives of the position.  However, all appointments must conform to equal opportunity and affirmative action guidelines for inclusion.  Any waiver from the suggested recruitment guidelines must be approved by the Department of Human Resources (HR) before an offer of employment is extended.

Persons with inquiries related to discrimination should contact the Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS, 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY.


  • Search Committee System Access: To view application materials go to the HR Recruitment page or go directly to Brass Ring. On the HR Recruitment page you can also view a User Guide to learn how to use BrassRing.
  • Classification & Compensation: For a current list of job titles, job title summaries, minimum qualification and salary ranges visit the Job Title Table. For compensated-related questions, reach out to
  • Refilling Vacant Staff Positions: Except for USS positions covered by a bargaining unit, all vacant positions will be filled as Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS).
  • Onboarding Center: KU wants all new employees to feel welcomed to campus and be prepared for their positions.  The Onboarding Center makes onboarding a quick and simple process for new employees to complete necessary hiring documents and to learn about available services and trainings offered by the University. For more information about services, go to New Employee Onboarding or contact 
  • Moving Expenses: Moving expenses are provided at the discretion of the department, please review the Moving Expenses Policy.  
  • Background Checks:  Background checks are required on all newly hired or rehired (after a break in service of one year or longer) faculty and staff appointed to regular positions, current or newly hired faculty/staff appointed to “serve at the pleasure of” positions, temporary/regular lecturers, salaried student employees, and temporary or limited-term appointments.  Those holding a graduate salaried appointment (GTA/GRA/GA) moving to a different graduate appointment are required to complete a background check if one has not previously been done.  Student hourly employees are required to have a background check through the National Sexual Offender Registry.  Any student hourly working with non-KU minors is required to complete a full background check.  For more information about these guidelines please see the Policy on Criminal Background Checks.
  • Probation:  There is a six-month probationary period for staff that are newly hired or rehired into regular positions.  The policy also provides for an extension of the probationary period and for the initiation of a new probationary period in the event that an employee serving a probationary period accepts a different position that is substantially different in job duties or requires different qualifications. 
  • Questions? Contact the Talent Acquisition team at

Generally, the Area Administrator, or Hiring Authority, is the person(s) who ultimately makes the final hiring decision, and is therefore responsible for the following: 

Confidentiality: Throughout the entire process, the search committee needs to maintain confidentiality and not discuss any aspect of the search outside of the search committee meetings. Overheard conversations can lead to misunderstandings and misinformation. 

Affirmative Action Plan: Refer to the University’s Affirmative Action Plan and review the statistical analysis for the position to be filled. This analysis should assist in determining the scope of the search, outreach efforts, newspapers and journals for advertisements, and give a benchmark for the number of underrepresented persons which might be expected in the applicant pool. 

Updating Position Descriptions: Ensure that there is a position description for each Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS) position in the unit. An updated position description is required and will provide basic information needed to begin the recruitment process.

Search Committee: Ensure that search committee membership is diverse and that search committee members understand:

  • What is expected of them and their role in the search process.
  • Responsibilities of the position
  • What skills, abilities, and experiences are necessary to perform the job
  • How to respond to and manage candidate associations

Equal Employment Opportunity: All applicants should be treated equitably. All persons have a legal right to be accorded full and equal consideration on the basis of merit regardless of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, or gender expression with regard to all terms and conditions of employment (e.g. hiring, promotion, layoff, demotion, termination, access to training).


Search committees are not required; however, as the recruitment process can be subjective, utilizing a search committee can add objectivity to the process. 


Throughout the entire process, the search committee needs to maintain confidentiality and not discuss any aspect of the search outside of the search committee meetings. Overheard conversations can lead to misunderstandings and misinformation.

Forming the Search Committee

The size of the search committee can affect the progress of the search. Calendaring for multiple members is complicated and may draw the search out too long, causing top candidates to accept other positions. It is helpful to include individuals who have different perspectives due to their various roles in the University community. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and other University community personnel may serve on search committees.

Leading the Search Committee

Search committee members should have a full understanding of their charge and the limits of their authority as well as their responsibilities at the beginning of the process. To be most effective, it is recommended that search committees be charged by the Area Administrator for a clear understanding of their role in determining applicants’ qualifications, interview guidelines, reference contacts, and expectations for making final candidate recommendations.

Search committee chairs are encouraged to consult with a member of the Talent Acquisition team at any time to discuss screening, appropriate interview questions, diversity issues, confidentiality, reference checks, or any other information related to the recruitment process.

Step 1 - Begin the Search

  • Verify through administrative channels permission to begin a search
  • Select search committee members
  • Determine job related criteria and documents to be collected from applicants
  • Develop and/or update the position description and complete the Talent Acquisition checklist
  • Talent Acquisition (TA) team will submit, review, and approve requisitions for staff and student positions
  • Requisitions for student hourly positions should be posted for a minimum of 3 days
  • Advertise the opening - reach out to a TA team member for assistance
  • All jobs are posted to the University’s employment website

Step 2 - Screen Candidates

  • Prepare a screening rubric. The TA team will provide the search chair with a standardized screening tool or departments may create their own
    • All search committee members should agree on how required qualifications will be assessed.
  • Once the application review date has passed, rank applications based upon the required and preferred qualifications listed in the position description.
    • Have you generated a sufficient pool of qualified applicants? If not, consider keeping the position open longer, extending the review date, and/or additional advertising.
    • Complete a screening rubric for every applicant.
    • Screen applicants based upon the advertised requirements and job duties as outlined in the job description.
    • Identify and discuss any candidate associations.

Step 3 - Interview & Offer

  • Schedule interviews.
  • Prepare interview questions.
    • Interview questions should relate to the position duties and/or qualifications.
    • Determine the format of the interview (phone, in-person, zoom/teams, etc.).
  • Prepare interview evaluation form (optional).
  • Conduct interviews in a consistent manner using permissible inquiries.
    • Document responses to interview questions.
  • Check references of finalist(s) before extending a verbal offer.
    • Contact HR if the candidate is an internal hire or has been previously employed by KU.
  • Provide a final status on the screening tool for each applicant interviewed and for any applications received after the initial review date.
  • Verify with administrative hierarchy prior to extending the verbal offer
  • Extend the verbal offer to the candidate and contact your TA team member to submit the official offer in BrassRing
  • Appointments cannot be backdated, and candidates cannot start working before Onboarding documents have been completed.

Step 4 - Hire

  • Applicant accepts the official offer and completes a background check if new hire or a rehire with a break in service greater than 12 months.
  • KU Onboarding Team will contact and set up an appointment with candidate to finalize Onboarding documents on or before the date of hire.
  • Provide the TA team with your completed screening tool so unsuccessful candidates can be notified and the search closed out.
  • Send all search materials to the TA team for scanning and record retention
  • Have you documented the rationale for your hire and those not hired?
  • Have you collected all documentation (screening tools, interview evaluations, correspondence, committee member notes, etc.) for recordkeeping purposes?
  • Have you contacted your TA team member with all documentation, including the screening instruments and hiring information, in order to have the job offer prepared?

It is not that unusual for search committee members to know one or more of the applicants applying for their opening and such associations might cause other applicants to feel the selection process was not equitable. The perception of fairness and transparency is essential to the success of each search.  The following guidelines are a starting point from which to have a discussion with those involved, including the Area Administrator, search committee membership, Office of Civil Rights and Title IX and/or HRM.

  • Casual Association: might include having served on a committee with the applicant or knowing the applicant through a non-work-related association.  In this instance, simply disclose to the search committee the nature of the association.
  • Professional Association: might involve working together as colleagues or co-workers.  In this instance, it is recommended that the committee member not actively participate in the discussion of this applicant.  If it is critical that the committee member participate in discussions, then any information (negative or positive) should be substantiated by outside references that can lend additional objectivity. 
  • Close Personal Association: might involve an applicant that is a family member or someone with whom there is or has been a past consensual relationship. In such instances, it is recommended that the search committee member resign from the committee or at least not participate in any discussion about that applicant.  In the case of a family member, or a consensual relationship, the search committee member must resign from the committee to eliminate any possibility of a conflict of interest. 

Should an applicant name a search committee member as a reference, it is recommended that the committee member consider in which capacity he/she will serve since one cannot objectively be both.  In the event the search committee member declines to serve as a reference, ask the applicant to name a replacement.  If a search committee member is familiar with an applicant from a previous search, the committee member should avoid discussing the previous search details.  The previous information may have changed and should not be used, especially in a decision-making manner.  If the previous search revealed items of concern, they must be relevant and substantiated.

Position descriptions are critical for providing consistency and equal opportunity in the recruitment process.  They are therefore required of all unclassified professional staff and university support staff positions.  During the recruitment process, a current position description provides the framework for advertisements, screening criteria, interview questions, salary determinations and job expectations.  A well-thought-out position description defines the position, outlines the detailed and essential functions, as well as the required and preferred qualifications.

Position descriptions are also used to determine the status of the position under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  An FLSA determination will indicate how the wages for the position are paid.  Positions are exempt (salaried) or non-exempt (hourly).  Following the recruitment process, position descriptions provide the basis for evaluating the work of the employee and establishing goals.  Position requirements such as travel, overtime and/or required meetings outside the normal work schedule alone are not sufficient reasons for determining a position to be exempt.

Position Overview

The position overview should provide a brief description of the job duties while also introducing the potential applicant to the department/unit. Consider adding language that describes the work location and work schedule and any perks/benefits that may encourage someone to apply.

Outlining Job Duties

When developing a position description, describe in detail the main responsibilities and duties which are expected to be performed. These duties should be described in a way that an employee can be evaluated from this list. Primary responsibilities should be listed first, with percentages assigned to each duty statement totaling 100%. Job duty percentages should be assigned in increments of 5%. Group these duties in meaningful categories using separate paragraphs to describe the main duties. The average number of duty statements in between 5 and 8. Avoid making a long list of unrelated tasks; instead focus on the major duties and essential functions of the job. Use duty statements beginning with action verbs (e.g., responds, develops, repairs, manages, interprets, etc.). A well written duty statement will answer the following questions:

  • What work is being performed?
  • What are the methods, procedures, etc. for accomplishing work duties?
  • Why is the work being performed?
  • How often are duties performed/what percentage of time per week is spent performing these duties?

Position Requirements

The position requirements are the physical requirements of the job, such as being located on-campus, lifting 20 lbs. with or without accommodation, or required travel. 


University guidelines stipulate required qualifications be limited to those fundamental to perform the position responsibilities. Well-written required qualifications should make it apparent to any potential applicant whether they are minimally qualified to perform the duties of the vacancy. Vague qualifications tend to lend themselves to various interpretations, not only by applicants, but also by search committees.

Federal guidelines stipulate that required qualifications be objective and therefore should be clearly measurable and quantifiable (see pg. 15 for Sample Required Qualifications). The more specific a qualification, the easier it can be measured. For example, “two or more years of student advising experience” is objective while “ability to meet deadlines” is subjective.  Since it is essential to be able to clearly identify which applicants meet the minimally required qualifications from their applications, subjective qualifications are better served as preferred qualifications.  For instance, even though “ability to work collaboratively” may be considered important, it should be a preferred qualification since it is not measurable.  Another example might be “Familiarity with the PeopleSoft payroll system”.  Since the level of familiarity can vary a great deal, and therefore cannot be easily measured, it is not a good candidate as a required qualification. Preferred qualifications are usually those that are assessed through references and/or an interview and cannot be used to initially disqualify applicants.

Every USS & UPS position can be found on the Job Title Table with established minimum required qualifications and salary ranges. When launching searches for positions, it is necessary to utilize the established minimum required qualifications and hire within the salary range.  Additional requirements, beyond the stated minimums, may be added if necessary for successful job performance.


Minimum Posting Requirements

Most searches are considered external and must be posted for 10 calendar days. Internal-only searches require HRM approval and must be posted for a minimum of 7 calendar days. Faculty searches and nationally advertised searches (executive/c-suite level) must be posted for 30 calendar days. Student hourly positions are posted for a minimum of 3 calendar days.


In accordance with new rules published under the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRRA) and amended regulations to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, all positions (except student and temporaries) must be advertised through KansasWorks. This service is free and openings are automatically posted with KansasWorks.


JobElephant is a service that can provide data metrics (views & clicks) and job-specific recommendations for online advertising locations, helping departments better use their budgets and attract qualified candidates. There is no additional cost for utilizing JobElephant, departments will be charged the posting rate for the specific online locations that they choose. To utilize this service, reach out to your SSC HR representative or HR Sr. Recruiter.

Print Advertisements

Print ads are not generally required if there are other resources that better attract qualified applicants. Generally, it is preferred to advertise on a Sunday rather than a weekday advertisement. KU has a group ad special with the Lawrence Journal-World. Contact your SSC HR Representative for more information.

Ad Copy

At a minimum, the ad copy should include the following:

  • Title; Department Name; KU
  • Deadline and/or review date
  • Direct link to job opening
  • EEO Statement

Job advertisements/announcements sent over e-mail or posted on other electronic media are subject to the same rules and must include all required language.

EEO Statement

Job announcements should end with the full EO/AAE Statement: The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and is the Title IX coordinator for all KU and KUMC campuses: Associate Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY.

Ad copies may contain a shortened EO statement: KU is an EO/AAE.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetic information or protected Veteran status.

Promoting a Culture of Belonging and Growth 

To promote KU's culture of belonging, the following statement may be included in the position:

KU’s excellence is a result of the rich tapestry of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds of our faculty, staff, students, and colleagues from across our nation and the globe.  At KU we invest in continuous learning and growth by creating a climate where people engage in respectful dialogue and debate and support each other’s success. We foster a culture of care where each person is seen, heard and valued. When people feel a true sense of belonging, we believe they are better able to reach their full potential and achieve remarkable things.

KU HR has compiled online advertising locations that attract a qualified pool of applicants. If advertising locally, you may consider sending your announcement to local non-profits and organizations, utilizing online and print options. A broad distribution of the position announcement is encouraged to ensure that potential applicants have a reasonable opportunity to learn of the vacancy.

Personal networking is ongoing and can be a valuable tool in broadening the pool of applicants. It is important to note that inviting someone to apply does not imply that they will be given preference in the recruitment process. Consider sending your position announcement to professional organizations and their subgroups/interest groups.

Talent Acquisitions recommends interviewing multiple candidates from the qualified pool to increase your strategic hiring goals. Sometimes the top candidate on paper is no longer at the top following the interview.

Initial Screening

To ensure consistency, it is imperative that all individuals who are screening applications base their evaluation the same criteria.  The search committee should also discuss what will be considered evidence of meeting all the qualifications prior to the screening process.  Documentation for meeting qualifications can be found through the:

  • Cover letter (content & quality)
  • Resume/CV
  • Application/screening questions
  • Phone interviews (optional)
  • Interview
  • References

Utilizing a screening instrument serves as documentation to support the Search Committee’s rationale for interview decisions.  When drafting the screening instrument, or using the summary provided by the Talent Acquisition Team, identify the method of evaluation which will assist the search committee in demonstrating how the applicant met each qualification.

Since required qualifications are generally measurable, the search committee should be able to quickly eliminate those who are not minimally qualified.  When attempting to narrow the pool of applicants to a group of interviewees, the cover letter, resume and application will serve as the primary source of information.  For example, if the required qualification is “experience performing multi-task assignments,” carefully examine the applicant’s current and past positions and their responsibilities in those jobs.  However, an applicant may not provide sufficient details for each of their past positions, so requiring applicants to answer questions at the application stage may be worth considering.  In this example, the application question might read “Give an example from your past positions that required you to multi-task.”  This will not only save the search committee time, but it also provides valuable evidence of whether applicants meet qualifications.  Limit the application screening questions to 3 or 4 and they should not substitute for an interview.  Finally, keep in mind that this initial screening should be based on the application materials.  At this point in the process, personal knowledge of an applicant should not influence the objective assessment of qualifications.

When evaluating the interviewees, it is best to use all the tools available.  With the “multi-tasking” example, in addition to using the resume/cover letter, ask references to give examples of the applicant’s multi-tasking abilities and how well they performed those duties.  In the interview ask the applicant to provide examples of multi-tasking.  Another example might be “effective communication skills”.  Gathering evidence from multiple sources will be valuable in gaining an accurate picture of the applicants’ potential to succeed in the position. 

Other issues to consider when screening applications:

  • Remember that preferred qualifications are not necessary to perform the job.  Excellent applicants may not meet any or all of the preferred qualifications, but meet the required qualifications at an exceptional level. 
  • An incomplete application is defined as an applicant not attaching all required documents.  Incomplete applications should be treated consistently.  If one incomplete applicant is considered, then all incomplete applicants must be accepted and reviewed.
  • Regardless of where the vacancy was advertised, we must consider all applicants despite their state of residence.  If an applicant emerges at the top of the pool and lives outside the scope of the search (i.e. out of state), the applicant might be willing to pay their own expenses or a telephone interview or desktop conferencing might be a cost effective alternative.  This situation should be discussed with HR at the appropriate time.
  • If an applicant volunteers they are not eligible to work in the United States, consult with HR prior to screening them. 

Planning the Interview

Campus interviews should be conducted with the top candidates before a hiring decision is made. To the extent possible, each applicant should be interviewed in the same environment, under similar conditions, and ideally introduced to the same group of individuals. Each interview candidate should have an opportunity to meet with the Area Administrator (e.g. chair, director, manager, etc.). The search committee should ensure that the entire search committee understands the confidentiality expectations.

  • Although there is not a required minimum number of candidates that must be interviewed, whenever possible it is a good practice to try to interview a minimum of at least three individuals for comparison purposes.
  • Maintain consistency throughout all interviews. Internal applicants should be interviewed in the same manner as other applicants. Make it clear to internal applicants that they need to fully answer interview questions as if the search committee is unfamiliar with their background.
  • Search Committees may choose to do a first round of phone, virtual, or in-person interviews, then a second round of either virtual or in-person interviews. Keep in mind that non-verbal communication like eye contact, gestures, body language, tone of voice, and facial expression are often used to evaluate an applicant’s communication skills, including interpersonal skills. In the event of a phone interview, non-verbal communication factors are limited. Phone interviews can serve as a preliminary screening interview to help narrow down a large pool of applicants to a more manageable number.
  • Interviews may not be recorded. If you are requesting candidates to give a presentation that will be made available to campus, please reach out to HR before planning.
  • When possible, send all candidates the itinerary for their visit to campus in advance. Within this context, you can ask if candidates would like to meet with any groups or organizations such as the Faculty & Staff Councils and the KU Disability Network. 

Conducting the Interview

  • The interview should be conducted with all search committee members present. Avoid interviews with individual search committee members. To ensure consistency, prepare a list of questions to ask all candidates or refer to our list of Behavioral Interview Questions and the HR Interview Question Builder. It’s appropriate to ask additional questions or follow-up questions to gather information regarding a candidate’s unique qualifications or to supplement the application materials.
  • Interview questions should directly related to the responsibilities and qualifications of the position. Discussion of non-job-related issues may lead to unintentional discriminatory statements.
  • In the event that an applicant inquires about a topic that is not related to the position (i.e., can you tell me more about the schools in Lawrence), an appropriate response may be provided but refrain from asking additional questions or conducting additional discussion on the topic.

Interview Tips

  • Allow some time for the candidate to review the position description.
  • Introduce the committee members.
  • Put the applicant at ease with neutral, not personal, topics.
  • Describe the format of the interview.
  • If an applicant doesn’t understand a question, repeat and/or rephrase it.
  • Do not imply an employment offer, avoid using statements like “you would be responsible for…”
  • The applicant should do about 75% of the talking:
    • Keep the interview on track.
    • Observe nonverbal behaviors.
    • Take notes; make sure all recorded comments are job-related.
    • Describe the position in more detail after asking the questions. Doing so too early in the interview might cause the applicant to modify responses and overstate qualifications.
    • Leave time for the applicant to ask questions.
    • Provide a timeline for concluding the search.
  • Once interviews have concluded, a major responsibility for the committee is to prepare for deliberation of candidates. Use of an Interview Evaluation form can help search committee members evaluate the information in a more consistent manner.

Information obtained from references can be vital in the applicant evaluation process.  It is recommended that reference checks be used for every search to provide additional information about applicants that cannot be established from the resume or interview alone and to confirm applicants’ qualifications.   In addition, the information can help further screen applicants who meet the required and/or preferred qualifications or to further screen all top applicants following interviews.  Information can be gathered either through reference letters or by contacting references via telephone.  If letters are requested it is recommended that applicants be notified when letters have not been received.  The following are guidelines for checking references by telephone and will help search committees avoid any perception of unfairness.

  • At a minimum be sure to contact the references of the top candidate before making a verbal offer.  It is also recommended that references come from individuals who have evaluated the candidate’s work performance, rather than personal references.  Reference checks for student hires is optional but encouraged. 
  • If contacting individuals other than the references listed, it is recommended that the applicant be notified.  Ask the applicant if there is anyone they wish not to be contacted.  Be sure any additional individuals contacted have direct knowledge of the applicant’s experience and skills.  Do not collect hearsay.
  • When developing a core list of questions, be sure they are related to the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of the position 
  • When contacting references describe the duties and qualifications of the position or e-mail a copy of the position description prior to your call.  Be sure any information gathered is clearly linked to the applicant’s experience and ability to perform the responsibilities of the position. 
  • If a reference indicates they are not allowed to give out information, inquire about sending a signed release form or contact the applicant for an additional reference.
  • If performance problems are reported by previous employers, consider whether it is in areas that might affect performance in the position being filled.
  • If negative comments are received from a reference, it is recommended that the comments be confirmed or refuted by an additional reference(s). 
  • If unsolicited comments are received, they should be disregarded.  If the source of these comments is persistent, consult with HR prior to discussion with the search committee.
  • A search committee member who has a close personal or professional relationship with an applicant should not contact the references, formally or informally.

If considering an internal candidate, or former employee of KU, contact the past supervisor of record, as well as HR for employment verification.

Search committee members often have their own opinion about what education, training, experience, and abilities make one person more qualified than another to succeed in a position.  It is helpful to avoid overly simplistic means of determining who is most qualified.  For example, is a person who has performed a task for eight years necessarily more qualified than someone who has performed the task for five years?  Does the search committee value the amount of experience or the quality/relevance?  Thorough search committee discussions very early in the process play a vital role in reaching consensus as to what qualifications are most valued.  This will assure that all of those involved will evaluate applicants with the same priority in mind.

Before making an offer to a candidate who has retired from the University be sure to review the Retiree Rehire Policy.  Contact HR if further clarification is needed. 

When deliberating a final selection, consider each applicant’s application, resume, cover letter, qualifications and quality of the interview.  Reference information should be weighed against the overall qualifications of the applicant.  Be sure to clearly document the rationale for hiring the selected individual, along with those not being offered the position.

A few pitfalls to avoid include:

  • Not checking all references thoroughly
  • Basing the hiring decision only on the interview
  • Not thoroughly reviewing and verifying all information contained in application materials
  • Confusing charisma for competency

Once the selected applicant has been approved by the appropriate hierarchy, an authorized designee should contact the applicant by phone or in person to extend a verbal offer. Information such as salary, benefits, work hours, job title, starting date and any other employment conditions should be reviewed.  Questions regarding benefits can be referred to the HR Benefits Office at 

The successful candidate will be sent an electronic offer by HR, which should be accepted prior to the starting date of the appointment.

If a search is unsuccessful in identifying a candidate or the only identified candidate declines an offer of employment, consult with the Talent Acquisition Team regarding closing the search or re-advertising the vacancy.

Several federal agencies require that the University keep records regarding hiring.  Additionally, it is necessary to have the records available in case an employment decision is questioned.  After the search is completed, inquiries regarding the search should be directed to Human Resources.

  • The department is required to keep all documentation on each search for a minimum of three years, after which time the records should be destroyed. 
  • Documents that should be collected must be kept in a confidential location and include the following:
    • Tear sheets of advertisements
    • Verification of any listservs used to announcement the opening
    • Any correspondence to and from applicants
    • Completed screening instruments of all applications
    • Interview questions and documented responses
    • Reference questions and documented responses
    • All intra-university correspondence regarding the search
    • Any other documentation associated with the search
  • Human Resources provides electronic storage and destruction of all search related materials. All search related materials (faculty, staff, and student) that are three years old or newer will be accepted through this new process.  It is University practice to shred search related documents going back more than three years from the date of hire.

Materials to be shredded are to be treated as confidential and must be placed in a secured area or locked receptacles.

Affirmative Action

Specific result-oriented actions taken by the institution to eliminate the effects of discrimination, increase the number of historically underrepresented persons and increase overall diversity.

Affirmative Action Plan

A written program required by the government which includes a statistical analysis of the workforce and applicant pools. The analysis determines the underutilization of underrepresented group members. It includes a plan of action for outreach and any other measures or activities to ensure equal employment opportunity and increase the diversity of the workforce.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Legislation intended to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, public transportation and public business and facilities.  The act covers those persons who are disabled due to an injury or ailment, or a person who is regarded as having an injury or ailment, which substantially limits major life activities.


At the University of Kansas an individual is considered an applicant when the following has occurred: 1) A position opening has been posted on the official University of Kansas employment site; 2) the individual has followed the standard procedures and instructions listed on the online job posting for submitting a complete application; 3) the individual has received on-screen confirmation of submission from the online employment site; 4) the individual is minimally qualified and 5) the individual has not withdrawn their application.

Applicant, Qualified

Anyone who meets all the required qualifications.

Applicant, Unqualified

Anyone who does not meet all the required qualifications or anyone who does not complete their application; neither can be hired for the position.


Statistical analysis that determines the percentage of underrepresented group members that might reasonably be expected in the applicant pools. The purpose of the analysis is to establish a benchmark against which the demographic composition of the University’s workforce may be compared to determine whether barriers to equal employment opportunity may exist.

Clery Act

Federal regulation requiring disclosure of campus security policies and campus crime statistics to all job candidates and prospective students.

Equal Opportunity

A legal right of all persons to be accorded full and equal consideration on the basis of merit regardless of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, or gender expression with regard to all terms and conditions of employment (e.g. hiring, promotion, layoff, demotion, termination, access to training).

Ethnic and Race Categories (as defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

American Indian or Alaska Native

All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.


A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Black or African American (Not of Hispanic Origin)

All persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

Hispanic or Latino

All persons of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

White (Not of Hispanic Origin)

All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino)

All persons who identify with two or more of the above race categories.

FLSA Designation

Designation of positions as non-exempt (hourly) or exempt (salaried) as specified under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This designation is made for all university positions by HR.

Funding Source

The budgetary source for the position. Positions funded by grants and revenue are designated as contingent on funding.

Job Groups

Divisions of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s categories used in reporting for institutions of higher education. They consist of job titles grouped according to similarity of wage, content, and opportunity.

Limited term Appointment

A benefits-eligible appointment that is for a specific period of time, usually for at least six months and not to exceed two years. Appointment to a Postdoctoral Researcher position may go up to a period of five years, counting prior appointments at this title.

Online Application System (BrassRing)

An online, web-based system used to post all University of Kansas job openings. It is also used for processing of online applications and approvals associated with University searches and Recruitment Exception requests.

Person with Disability (PWD)

A person whose disability is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and who can perform the essential functions of a position, either with or without reasonable accommodations.

Position Number

Each job and employee is assigned a position number in the HR/Pay system for human resource management.

Qualifications, Required

Minimum qualifications set by the department/unit which are essential to perform the job. An applicant that does not meet these qualifications cannot be interviewed nor hired for the position.

Qualifications, Preferred

These are qualifications that are desirable, but not necessary to perform the job. An applicant does not need to meet any or all preferred qualifications to be hired for the position.

Temporary Appointment

A short-term appointment typically lasting less than a 6-month period. Temporary employees are not eligible for benefits and do not accrue leave. Appointments cannot be made to such positions for more than on year and must not exceed 999 hours in a payroll calendar year across all temporary appointments. Temporary positions are typically non-exempt (hourly). If multiple temporary appointments are held the combined total FTE cannot exceed 100%. Individuals cannot be simultaneously appointed to a temporary and regular position.

Title IX Coordinator

The individual designated for this role is the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX at, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

Underrepresented Group Member

Persons who belong to a race and/or ethnic group or other category of persons who have experienced discrimination and are specifically protected by anti-discrimination statutes. For some disciplines, this may include women.


Having fewer minorities or women in a particular job group than reasonably would be expected by their availability.

Veteran Statuses

Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran

A veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985 (61 Fed. Reg. 1209).  

The Armed Forces Service Medal may be awarded for qualifying service performed on or after June 1, 1992.  It is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who, as a unit, participate in a United States military operation deemed to be a significant activity and who encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action. In many respects, this provision makes the award a non-combat parallel of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. 

Disabled Veteran

A veteran who is entitled to compensation (or who, but for the receipt of military retired pay, would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  The term also refers to a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability. 

Other Protected Veteran

A veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

Recently Separated Veteran

Any veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran’s discharge or release from active duty. 

Special Disabled Veteran

A veteran entitled to disability compensation (or who, but for the receipt of military retired pay, would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Veterans Administration for disability rated at 30 percent or more, or rated at 10 or 20 percent in the case of a veteran who has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs to have a serious employment handicap.  The term also refers to a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability. 


Any person who served on active duty in the U.S. military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable.

Vietnam-Era Veteran

A veteran who served on active military duty for a period of more than 180 days, and was released or discharged there from with other than a dishonorable discharge, if any part of such active duty occurred 1) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 or 2) between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975, in all other cases.  The term also refers to a person who was discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, or between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975, in all other cases.