Updated hiring and employment policy offers more flexibility

An updated university policy on hiring and employment went into effect July 1, providing more flexibility and best practices for job searches, hiring and employee movement within the university.

New guidelines that accompany the policy, also effective July 1, include additional detail on general hiring and search procedures as well as specifics on promotions, transfers and demotions of professional and scientific staff. The policy and guidelines replace previous policies for P&S staff concerning open searches, changes in employee status, reclassification and reclassification salaries. 

"The primary change is that we are giving more flexibility at the local level," said Emma Houghton, compensation and classification director for university human resources.

For instance, the minimum time for posting an open P&S or faculty position is now seven days, instead of 15 or 30 days. Merit jobs still require at least a 10-day posting per state Board of Regents merit system rules.

New guidelines also provide more flexible waiver parameters for open recruitment, requiring approval from the office of equal opportunity instead of the president. Fulfilling waiver requests usually is based on documented evidence that an open search would be unlikely to yield qualified candidates or would put at risk an opportunity to hire a member of an underrepresented group.

"Hiring managers will now have the flexibility to fill positions and promote high performers according to policy provisions instead of exploiting waivers to the former open search policy requirements," said Margo Foreman, assistant vice president for diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity. "My hopes are that the practice of work-arounds will not be necessary and waiver requests will be utilized to enhance diversity and equal opportunity according to best practice."

Formalizing common university practices, the guidelines for the first time spell out expectations for P&S interim assignments. For example, interim roles shouldn't exceed 18 months except in extraordinary circumstances, under the guidelines.

Based on feedback from senior leaders and through the comment period, the guidelines for starting salary for P&S staff who are hired and promoted will remain at the first third of the pay range. A draft version of the guidelines considered increasing the maximum salary for a promotional increase.

"We hope that in time we will be able to provide more flexibility around starting salaries and promotional salaries as we continue to make improvements to our P&S classification and compensation system. We intend to update the guidelines and the university as we make these considerations," Houghton said.

The revised policy and guidelines are among several July 1 policy library changes that incorporate Workday and service delivery teams. See the policy library for a list of updated policies.