Several changes effective April 1 will streamline hiring temporary workers, including a smoother process for retaining graduating hourly student employees.
The changes only apply to temporary employees hired on a short-term basis, up to 780 hours per fiscal year, often to cover for an employee on leave or to take on a special project. Amy Mann, university human resources (UHR) associate director for talent acquisition, announced the updates in a March 21 memo to hiring managers. Here's a look at what's changing:
Hourly student workers
In a typical year, UHR processes about 200 temporary hires, and student hourly workers make up more than 25% of the transactions. Student workers who aren't registered for classes -- after graduation, for instance -- have been required to complete an application to be hired as a temporary employee.
Now, students who are registered for classes in the fall can remain a student worker in the summer, and HR delivery can transition graduating or unenrolled students to be temporary employees without a new application. HR delivery will prepare an offer letter for the shift to a temporary employee, which the employee and hiring manager must sign.
Some processes stay the same, such as graduating international students not being able to work in an hourly position beyond the last day of the semester they graduate. Additionally, graduate assistants transitioning to be a temporary employee also must still apply for the new temporary position, as in the past.
The student employment guidance will be updated April 1 to reflect the updates.
Another change gives direct supervisors final approval for hiring temporary workers, instead of the appointment authority -- often a department head or a higher-level leader. Department heads and other unit leaders should provide hiring managers clear expectations for hiring temporary employees. The policy will be updated April 1 to reflect the supervisor’s authority for hiring.
In the past, temporary merit employees have been hired into specific job profiles that align with their duties. Due to changes in state Board of Regents system rules and in collaboration with other state agencies, most temporary merit employees now will be hired into one of two temporary profiles: clerical helper or helper. That will make job duties and compensation for temporary employees more flexible while performing in temporary roles.
This change will not affect temporary hires in some positions where the duties are an exact match for an existing job profile -- veterinary technicians, for example.
As part of the streamlining effort, the appointment duration policy for professional and scientific employees will be updated to clarify that temporary P&S staff are limited to 780 hours per fiscal year and ineligible for benefits. Individuals can work in more than one temporary position, but all hours worked count toward the 780-hour cap, which is a little less than 20 weeks of 40-hours-per-week work.
The 780-hour limit was temporarily lifted by the state Board of Regents during the pandemic, but the waiver is set to expire June 30. As is customary, the hours calculation for hitting the annual limit will restart July 1.
Supervisors can contact HR delivery if they have questions about these changes.