Hiring Guidelines

University of Nebraska at Kearney - All Positions 

The University of Nebraska at Kearney Hiring Guidelines for Regular Academic and Nonacademic Professional Positions[1] conform to the University of Nebraska Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity statements, the Board of Regents guidelines on affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney Nondiscrimination Policy. In support of these policies and statements, the University of Nebraska at Kearney Hiring Guidelines are designed to sustain a commitment to affirmative action on behalf of minorities and women in job groups where underutilization is demonstrated.


1. Identify Position Vacancy 

The position vacancy will be identified by the Dean or Director and Vice Chancellor[2].

2. Complete Personnel Requisition (which includes indicating the search committee and the recruitment plan Steps 3 & 4) 

The Personnel Requisition Form represents a request to fill a position and subsequent authorization to proceed with the hiring process. The essential functions and position qualifications stated on the Personnel Requisition must be specific. (Hiring Criteria and advertising statements will be developed from this description of the position.) The Hiring Manager (Requisitioner) for the position requested shall be responsible for contacting Human Resources and requesting that a personnel requisition be copied or created and forwarded to the hiring manager or department chair/director for reviewing/editing.  The Hiring Manager/Department Chair/Director is encouraged to review past recruitment efforts to determine if essential functions or position qualifications attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates. Members of the Search Committee (see Step 3) may participate in defining the position functions and qualifications at the request of the Hiring Manager. Prior to any recruitment activity, the Personnel Requisition shall be approved by the appropriate offices, which include the Hiring Manager, Dean or Director, appropriate Vice Chancellor or Chancellor, Budget Office, Vice Chancellor of Business & Finance and the Human Resources Office.

The form is completed using UNK’s online employment system at unkemployment.unk.edu. If you have not requested a User Account in the system, call Human Resources to request the account. You will receive an e-mail from "info" titled "Message from NEOGOV Insight: Your New User Account" which will provide your user name. A second e-mail from "noreply" titled "Important Security Notice from NEOGOV!" will provide the link to reset your password and activate your account. With this account information you can proceed with reviewing/editing a Personnel Requisition.

 3. Identify Search Committee. 

In accordance with UNK’s Affirmative Action plan, Search Committees are used to help broaden the pool of qualified applicants by encouraging applicants to apply and suggesting additional sources to advertise. Depending on the level of the position within the campus (with the exception of Deans and above where search committees are required), the option of whether to utilize a search committee will be decided by the relevant dean, director, department chair or vice chancellor.

The Search Committee should consist of not fewer than three members, including at least one female or racial minority, and may include, but is not limited to, members from within the department, related disciplines, the student body, and the community.  (It is recommended that the committee be an odd number to avoid potential problems in decision making.)  The Administrative Head (normally the Dean, Director or Vice Chancellor) vested with final selection shall not normally serve on the Search Committee. The Search Committee and Department Chair/Director must meet with the Human Resources Director or a designated representative about affirmative action goals, policies and procedures before receiving applications to review. The Department and/or Search Committee is/are responsible for a good faith effort to recruit a broad applicant pool including members of protected classes, for conducting a lawful and nondiscriminatory screening, interview and selection process, for recommending acceptable candidates for the position and maintaining documentation of the search process. A vigorous program of affirmative recruitment shall be evident in job groups where under-utilization of minorities or women is evident. Final selection is vested with the Dean or Director and appropriate Vice Chancellor.

4. Identify Advertising Plan 

The Department and/or Search Committee shall make a good faith effort to acquire a pool of applicants which includes persons from protected class groups. A broad advertising approach is likely to yield the most diverse pool of qualified applicants, including women, minority persons, veterans and disabled; therefore, advertising of positions will not be limited to a single source. In addition to multiple advertising sources, professional and informal networks may be used to generate nominations and applications, i.e., announcement at professional conferences, online Bulletin Boards, other professional networks, or mailing position announcements to a suggested list of institutions and/or organizations.  The appropriate scope of advertising depends upon the position type and affirmative action goals for job groups where underutilization of women, minorities, veterans and disabled persons is evident. Departments should also consider methods that help move the search forward as efficiently as possible so as not to lose qualified candidates.

Positions should be open a minimum of 5 workdays from the initial date of notice in a local source for Office/Service positions; a minimum of 10 workdays for Managerial/Professional positions. For Academic/Administrative positions the position should be open a minimum of 30 workdays from the initial date of notice in a national source. Academic/Administrative positions should be posted in at least one national publication (the Chronicle of Higher Education or an approved national journal).

Positions will normally be advertised on campus, on the UNK Employment website, with Workforce Development and a minimum of one additional external source. As long as UNK maintains a membership with HigherEdJobs.com, positions that are classified Managerial/Professional and above will be posted there as well. 

Information provided on the Personnel Requisition will be used by the Human Resources Office to prepare a position announcement and advertising statement in a standardized format which shall include the position functions, qualifications, salary and benefits statement, hire date, application information, and standard campus and community statements. In compliance with federal and University regulations, all position announcements and advertisements must also include an affirmative action/equal opportunity statement. Original copy for the advertisement and position announcement will be provided to the Department once the Personnel Requisition is approved. The Hiring Manager or Department Chair/Director is responsible for placement and payment of display and classified advertising, for ensuring that position announcements are sent to recruitment sources and for adhering to the time lines and advertising plan stated in the Personnel Requisition. The Human Resources Office will submit a position announcement to Workforce Development and post announcements on campus e-mail and the UNK website, as well as HigherEdJobs.com (as long as membership is maintained). Any modification in the approved advertising plan must be communicated in writing to the Human Resources Office. 


5. Maintain Confidentiality/Review Applicant Files 

All candidate application files are confidential. Access to applicant files is restricted to Search Committee members and, to the extent necessary, the department staff. The files will be made accessible to the appropriate administrative officials, e.g. Department Head, Director, Dean, Vice Chancellor, Chancellor and Human Resources Director as needed. The UNK Employment system allows for an electronic method of accessing and maintaining most of the recruitment information. If files must be printed for review by committee members, a check-out system should be used and the individuals cautioned about keeping the files secure. Applicant files remain confidential normally until candidates have been selected and have agreed to be interviewed on campus.  Applicants not selected for an interview will have their records kept confidential.  (Nebraska Open Records Law LB389 states that records (employment application, resume, reference letters and school transcripts) should also be made available when an applicant accepts an on campus interview when requested.  At that time the Department may release names and credentials of the final candidates. Using the established Screening Criteria (see Step 6), Search Committee members may review applicant files throughout the advertising period; however, no approvals for interviewing or reference checks will be provided until the advertised application review or deadline date.


6. Develop Screening Criteria 

Prior to review of any applications, the Search Committee and/or Department shall develop Screening Criteria identifying job-related criteria and an evaluation system to ensure uniform screening of applications. Hiring Criteria shall be developed from the position functions and qualifications stated on the Personnel Requisition Form. An evaluation method shall be devised ranking or weighing each criterion based on its relative importance for the position. The Search Committee Chair or Department Chair/Director will consult with the Human Resources Director to assure that all criteria on the evaluation system are lawful and nondiscriminatory.  Copies must be provided to Human Resources prior to use.

 7. Compile Interview and Reference Questions 

The Search Committee and/or Department will compile interview and reference questions, which adhere to guidelines for lawful and nondiscriminatory inquiry. Interview questions should closely follow the hiring criteria and be job related. Separate sets of questions should be developed for contacts with references and for candidate interviews. The same base set of questions shall be asked of each reference or candidate, as the case may be, and must meet lawful requirements of appropriate inquiry. The Search Committee Chair or Department Chair/Director will consult with the Human Resources Director to assure that all questions are lawful and nondiscriminatory.  Copies must be provided to Human Resources prior to use. 

8. Select Candidate for Shortlist  

After the application deadline or review date, the Search Committee and/or Department shall identify the Shortlist of candidates for consideration for the position. The Shortlist will contain the names of applicants who are being seriously considered for the position (those that reference checks and possible interviews are being considered).  When assessing candidates and determining those to be interviewed, it is beneficial to include women, racial minorities, veterans and disabled persons in order to achieve a desirable diverse workforce. The Search Committee Chair or Department Chair/Director will e-mail the names for the shortlist to Human Resources.  Human Resources will enter the shortlist electronically and notify the Department Head (if applicable), Dean or Director, Vice Chancellor and the Human Resources Director for approval. The proposed Shortlist will be reviewed against, among other things, the utilization history and the available candidate pool to ensure due consideration has been given to affirmative recruitment requirements.  If it is determined by Human Resources that a protected veteran is included on the shortlist,  the search committee will be notified at this time. Documents used to develop the Shortlist (Screening Criteria Sheets etc), should be maintained in the search file.



9. Continue Screening Process/Contact References 

After receiving approval of the Shortlist, the Search Committee and/or Department may continue the screening process. Candidates under consideration may be called to determine if they remain available and interested in the position. At least one reference will be contacted, via telephone or in person, who can attest to the candidates skills and abilities.  Predetermined questions shall be asked of each reference. If a search committee would like to contact references outside of those listed on the resume or application, the candidate should be contacted and asked for his/her permission in writing to generally contact any people deemed appropriate and necessary to make good hiring decisions. The Search Committee and/or Department should act according to the candidates' wishes or directions. Notes and other information from reference contacts shall be shared with all members of the Search Committee, if applicable, and maintained in the search file.

10. Invite Candidates for Interview 

Based on evaluation of information derived from references and the applicant files, a minimum of two candidates will normally be selected by the Search Committee and/or Department for interview. Review of the candidate pool selected for interview may be requested by the Dean/Director or Vice Chancellor. The Dean/Director or Vice Chancellor may add candidates to the interview pool prior to arranging interviews. Candidates shall be invited to campus for interview. The predetermined interview questions should be asked of each candidate, however, job related questions about activities are allowed/encouraged. To ensure uniformity of information about all candidates, a ranking/weighting system may be used whereby answers may be evaluated according to relative desirability for meeting the department or division needs. Search committee members and/or the responsible Hiring Manager are urged to take thorough notes, which will be placed in the search file and maintained for four years.

When arranging a campus interview with a candidate, the following should be considered, keeping in mind equal treatment for all candidates if possible (the top four are required with the others being good recommendations):

_____ campus tour

_____ visit Human Resources regarding benefits

_____ community tour (which may be handled by a realtor)

_____ meet with administrative head (faculty should meet with the SVCAA)

_____ visit realtor (optional)

_____ visit Dual Career Director, if requested

_____ meet with Search Committee, if applicable

_____ meet with student groups, if applicable and if they provide value to the search process

_____ meet with community group(s), if they provide value to the search process

_____ schedule for meals and evenings

_____ visit Office of Graduate Studies and Research, if applicable

_____ other (Library for faculty candidates) 

Candidates should be asked if there is anything specific they would like to see or do while in Kearney. Also encourage them to checkout websites, i.e. www.unk.edu or http://www.kearneycoc.org/index.html or http://www.kearneyhub.com.

11. Indicate Finalist Candidates 

After completing the interviews, two or more final candidates shall be identified by the Search Committee and/or Department as acceptable and recommended for selection. The names of finalists recommended for the position shall be e-mailed to Human Resources.  Human Resources will indicate the finalists in the electronic employment system and notify the Department Head (if applicable), Dean or Director, Vice Chancellor and the Human Resources Director for approvals.  Note:  If one of the finalists has self-identified as a Protected Veteran and the search committee and hiring official agree that qualifications are equal, hiring preference shall be given to the Protected Veteran.  The search materials for the finalists shall be available to the administrative head for final selection and to Human Resources/Auditor as requested. The finalists and hiring decision must be approved by the appropriate administrative offices prior to a formal offer of appointment by the appropriate hiring official, Vice Chancellor or Chancellor.


12. Verbal Offer, Background Check, Written Offer 

Notification by Human Resources of the approval of the Finalist Candidate(s) will initiate the verbal offer of employment.  The verbal offer is contingent on completion of a successful background investigation. Once verbal acceptance is received, the hiring supervisor should notify Human Resources and the background investigation paperwork will be forwarded to the candidate.  The completed and signed background investigation paperwork is submitted to the Director of Human Resources.  Upon completion of the investigation, the department is notified and a formal written offer of appointment is forwarded to the prospective employee.

13. Send Notification to Applicants 

Upon receipt of the signed contract letter of acceptance, the Search Committee Chair and/or Department shall send a letter thanking all other applicants for the position and notifying them that the position has been filled. For those applicants who were not interviewed and were not hired, and who also indicated an e-mail address, this can be done electronically by Human Resources via the employment system. It is recommended that those applicants who were interviewed but not hired, should be sent a letter by the department. Sample letters are available by contacting the Human Resources Office.


14. Retain Records of Search 

All documents that were not part of the Employment System, but used during the search process are a vital part of the documentation that the search process has been followed in accordance with the University's Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and procedures. These forms become part of the records used to support the department's and the institution's position relative to equal opportunity and affirmative action in recruitment and hiring decisions. Search Committee members should return all search information, including their notes from reference checks and interviews, to the Search Chair within 10 days after an offer has been accepted. The Search Chair will ensure that search files are complete. The complete search files will be retained by the Department for four years. Records shall be available upon request of Human Resources.


Normally regular academic and nonacademic positions will be filled through an open and external search process in accordance with the procedures stated in the Hiring Guidelines. Exceptions will be for instances where the University chooses to promote or transfer from within the campus, reorganize within a unit or division, or modify the Hiring Guidelines with approval due to numerous factors (budget constraints, time constraints, etc).  Normally the person being considered for a promotion or transfer will have been selected from an external search prior to this potential appointment.  A request for Exemption from Hiring Guidelines is completed within the Personnel Requisition within the Employment System in these instances

UNK: AA/EO 12/95

Update 5/00

Update 10/00

Update 6/04

Update 5/08

Update 1/10

Update 9/10

Update 7/12

Update 4/14

Update 5/14



[1]Regular academic and nonacademic professional positions are those positions classified as academic/administrative and managerial/professional positions, with an employment contract of .5 FTE or greater and having an anticipated length of employment of six months or more.

[2]In the event that the search is for a Vice Chancellor position, the Chancellor would be consulted in lieu of the Vice Chancellor.