Academic and Professional Employees
The University at Albany is committed to providing equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action (AA) for all people seeking employment at the University. To that end a recruitment and selection process (outlined below) has been developed, which applies to all faculty and professional positions at the University, except where a search exemption or waiver has been approved.
Initiating the Search
Request authorization from the appropriate Dean, Director, or VP:
- For units in the Division of Academic Affairs the Department Chair consults with the Dean’s Office. The Dean or the Dean's designee then consults with the Provost’s Office.
- For colleges and schools without academic departments, the Dean begins discussion with the Provost’s Office.
- For administrative offices within the Division of Academic Affairs, the initial consultation would be with the appropriate Vice Provost or Associate Vice Provost before advancing to the Provost’s Office.
- For all other units outside the Division of Academic Affairs, the hiring authority initiates the search by requesting authorization from the appropriate Director or VP.
Consultation with Human Resources and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion:
In consultation with Human Resources, the Dean, Director, or VP will agree on the rank, title, salary, and programmatic responsibilities associated with the position. Additional information is located on our Classification and Compensation page. This information will be stated on the applicable sections of the HRM-1 position authorization form and the UP-5 form. OHRM will review the classification and salary before the search is approved for advertising.
This is also the time for the hiring authority to review and be made aware of the diversity and affirmative action goals for the hiring unit, establish a search committee, and begin developing the Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan.
Establishing a Search Committee
The Search Committee is appointed by the department head, supervisor and/or by the Dean/Director or Vice President as appropriate. For joint faculty appointments or positions carrying extra-departmental responsibilities, the secondary department is represented on the committee. Search committees must reflect the diversity of the University community, including but not limited to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans.
Members serve on the committee to assist in the outreach to qualified persons for position vacancies, to develop screening mechanisms in accordance with the job description, to interview qualified candidates, and to recommend candidates to the hiring authority. It is the responsibility of each search committee, with the support of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, (ODI) to promote equal employment opportunity for all qualified individuals including but not limited to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans.
Committee Chair and ODI Representative
One member of the Search Committee will serve as Chair and assume ultimate responsibility for moving the search process forward. In addition, one member of the committee will serve as the ODI Representative and work directly with the ODI to ensure that the Search Committee has a clear understanding of its responsibilities in promoting equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. The ODI Representative will consult with the ODI staff as necessary to support the search process. For more information on the ODI Representative please contact the ODI directly.
At the outset of the search process, it is recommended that the Search Committee Chair and the ODI Representative contact the ODI to review the following:
- The affirmative action placement goals;
- The procedures for the affirmative action recruitment process, including specialized outreach efforts by the department in its search for underrepresented groups;
- Any questions regarding guidelines for the search and hiring process.
Developing a Recruitment Plan and Vacancy Announcement
The hiring unit completes the Affirmative Action Recruitment document, which outlines the following:
- The gender and racial diversity of members of the Search Committee;
- The recruitment sources that will be utilized in the search process, including targeted or specialized outreach efforts to recruit qualified women and minorities as well as individuals with disabilities and veterans.
- The screening procedures that have been agreed upon by the Search Committee with the concurrence of the hiring authority.
The final decision-maker should not serve on the committee. This could potentially be seen as causing an undue influence on the search committee.
In addition to the Recruitment Plan, the search chair should develop an external generic advertisement to be approved by the ODI at the time the search packet is approved (see approvals and advertising below).
The Vacancy Announcement (UP-5)
The Vacancy Announcement (UP-5) is an overview of the job including a brief description, the minimum requirements, the rank and salary, and the application instructions. The contents of the UP-5 make up the online posting on the Interview Exchange via the Human Resources website.
The description of duties should be clear and concise, and all of the required qualifications must be included. Any special or preferred qualifications or skills should be stated and based on a rationale that relates to the job description. Professional and academic positions at the University require formal education, generally at the Bachelor's degree level, or higher. For faculty positions, in addition to the appropriate degree requirement, the qualifications shall be directly related to the responsibilities of the job and at minimum shall include previous professional or employment experience and where applicable, professional accomplishments and demonstrated competencies.
For all vacancies, the UP-5 should include application instructions and a closing date. An anticipated start date is recommended, but not required. The closing date cannot be less than 30 days from the date the announcement is posted on the Human Resources website. Please note the following:
For searches that elect to remain “open until filled,” OHRM will include the following “Review of applications will begin <<date>> and continue until the position is filled.” This statement means that ALL applications will be reviewed and assessed until a recommendation to the hiring authority is made. This also means that all applicants in the pool by the date the final recommendation is made must be included in the final applicant flow analysis with a non-select reason code, and should receive correspondence from the search committee when the search is concluded. For this reason, OHRM recommends including a specific closing date, particularly for entry-level positions, or positions for which a high volume of applicants is expected.
The items that constitute a completed application must be listed and can be incorporated in the Special Notes area. For example, letter of application, resume, contact information for references, and any other materials required by the Search Committee can be included here. Any additional information, action, or activity required at the later stages of the search (e.g., a writing sample), must be described in the Announcement of Vacancy (UP-5). At this time, confidential letters of recommendation cannot be submitted through the online application in the Interview Exchange; therefore, special instructions for sending these letters separately should be included.
Pre-screening questions are a useful tool that will identify qualified applicants in the Interview Exchange. These questions should be included on the UP-5 and must be directly related to the minimum qualifications. They cannot be based on preferred qualifications. Although pre-screening questions are optional, OHRM recommends, at minimum, two pre-screening questions addressing the degree requirement for the position, and the ability to work with a culturally diverse population. Up to 10 screening questions can be used.
NOTE: United University Professions (UUP) Promotional Opportunities at the SL-3, 4 and 5 level are posted internally for 10 business days to current UUP members in permanent or term appointments. Upon completion of the 10 days, if the decision-making authority does not choose to offer the position to an internal candidate, the department must notify OHRM, who will then post the position externally. The department will execute the outreach plan as stated on the AARP at this time.
Budget, HR, and ODI Approvals
Upon completion of the HRM -1, UP-5, and Recruitment Plan, the completed search packet is forwarded to the appropriate Dean, VP, Vice Provost, or Associate Vice Provost for approval and signature. The packet is then forwarded to the Office of Financial Management and Budget (OFMB), located in University Hall, room 209. Once the OMFB approves funding, the search packet will be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources Management. OHRM will review the classification and compensation, and the vacancy announcement before authorizing the search. OHRM will forward the packet to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for review of the vacancy announcement and recruitment plan. Once all respective offices have reviewed and approved the search packet, the OHRM will notify the hiring unit that the search has been approved for advertising. At this time, OHRM will provide the hiring unit with the Interview Exchange link to the online vacancy announcement to be used in the search advertising.
Advertising and Promoting the Position
Attracting a broad and diverse pool of candidates to compete for the position is an important component of the search process. While paid advertisements are not the only way to search for possible candidates, they are an important element in the recruitment effort. The advertisement must include responsibilities, qualifications and experience. The required items for a completed application must be the same on both the ad and the Announcement of Vacancy (UP-5). However, to minimize advertisement costs, notices may be shortened to refer candidates to the web link provided by OHRM for the complete vacancy notice.
The University at Albany has contracted with the Graystone Group Advertising for placement of approved advertisements. To contact Graystone for placement of ads in selected media, visit their website at www.graystoneadv.com or call (800) 544-0005.
In addition to paid advertisements, other affirmative action efforts and recruitment strategies include, but are not limited to the following:
- Personal contacts with potentially qualified candidates, including current students or recent graduates of programs;
- Personal contacts with colleagues, unit heads, department chairs, etc., in departments similar to the one where the vacancy exists, in order to seek assistance in identifying qualified women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities and others who may be interested in the position;
- Internet sites as appropriate to the discipline or profession;
- Departmental mailings to minority and female Ph.D. candidates identified in the Minority and Women Doctoral Directory (available in the ODI);
- Posting of notices at local, regional and national meetings and conferences;
- Letters to graduate schools in the discipline for the type of position being advertised;
- Contact with qualified persons who have written letters of application in the past year;
- Use of placement services in professional organizations.
Support in attracting and recruiting candidates from underrepresented groups can be provided from the ODI. The ODI is an important resource for best practices in creating diverse pools of applicants.
External ads can be posted only after the ads have been approved by ODI and the Vacancy Announcement has been posted on the OHRM website.
For units in the Division of Academic Affairs:
the Search Chair emails the external print ad to the Dean’s Office or administrative office via email for submission to Graystone Publishing (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with a list of the places in which the ads should be placed. Search Chairs will be responsible for getting their ads posted on listservs and other professional organization websites identified in their Recruitment Plans that do not charge for the posting of positions. Any posting for which there is a charge must be placed through Graystone.
The Search Chair and Committee Members will make contact with colleagues at other universities and/or professional organizations to recruit candidates (especially minority candidates) and are required to maintain a log of those contacts to support the commitment to recruiting minority candidates. A sample “Contact Log” template will be distributed to the search committee members by the Search Chair.
Note: Decisions regarding selection of interview candidates CANNOT take place until after the completion of the posting period.
For professional positions at the SL-3, 4 and 5 level there is a mandatory 10-business day posting period. HR will place the vacancy announcement on the promotional opportunities section of their website. The position cannot be posted externally until this internal posting period has been completed and any applications received must be reviewed by the search committee before considering other candidates. A decision must be made for each internal application as to whether it will be declined, accepted, or added to the broader search pool. Acces to applications in the Interview Exchange will not be given to search committees until after a decision is made to broaden the search. During the 10-day internal posting period, the OHRM will forward internal applications to the search committee.
Special Consideration for International Candidates
When the University commences a search to fill a position, it is important that the hiring department conduct a comprehensive recruitment for the job opportunity. This will help to ensure that in the event a foreign candidate is selected and wishes to obtain permanent residency, the University is able to satisfy the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) criteria for the labor certification component of the permanent residency process. There are two classifications for achieving labor certification: basic recruitment (used for professional positions with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree), and 2) optional special recruitment for university teaching faculty. Both are filed using DOL’s Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) process. Please note that the basic recruitment must also be used for advertising for librarian positions. The specific requirements for each category are set forth below: For all positions (teaching and professional), the University must advertise the position to determine if there is any qualified U.S. workers available for the position using the following recruitment methods:
- post a notice of the job opportunity in conspicuous places at the work site for at least 10 consecutive business days;
- post a notice of the job opportunity through all in-house media within the University. This includes electronic and printed in-house media and is separate from the posting requirement listed above. The duration and manner used by the University must be in accord with normal procedures used by the University to recruit for similar positions.
- place a job order with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) for at least 30 days. SWA is the state employment agency with jurisdiction over the place of employment, which in New York State is the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”). Human Resources will automatically post all vacancies on JobCentral which will satisfy this requirement.
For professional positions:
- a. place a print advertisement for the job opportunity in two consecutive Sundays in the newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment, such as the Sunday edition of the Times Union. NOTE: if the job requires experience and an advanced degree, the University may opt to place a print advertisement in a professional journal for one of the Sunday ads (e.g. one print ad in the Times Union on 1/1 and one print ad in the Chronicle of Higher Education on 1/7)
For teaching positions:
- b. place at least one print advertisement for the job opportunity in a professional journal.
In addition to the above, the University must take three additional recruitment steps for professional positions.
- The University must seek applicants using at least three (3) of the following ten (10) types of additional recruitment steps:
- job fairs (Note: a printed listing of the job opportunity in meeting brochure does not satisfy the print advertisement requirement);
- the University’s website;
- a job search web site other than the university’s, such as Inside Higher Education http://www.insidehighered.com;
- on-campus recruiting;
- listing the position with trade or professional organizations;
- listing with private employment firms;
- an employee referral program;
- campus placement office;
- advertising in local and ethnic newspapers if appropriate for the job opportunity; and
- radio or television advertisements.
The time within which the University can apply for labor certification varies between the two categories. For teaching positions, a labor certification must be filed within 18 months of the date of selection. For professional positions, the labor certification must be filed at least 30 days after placing the job order with the SWA but within180 days of advertising the position. It is strongly recommended that the hiring department contact Pamela Moniz, Paralegal and Immigration Associate at the University Counsel’s Office for additional guidance on the above requirements.
Receipt of Applications and Response to Applicant Inquiries
- Interview Exchange automatically acknowledges job applications and collects gender, ethnicity, etc. information for the ODI.
- Training for the Search Committee members and other interested individuals on how to use Interview Exchange to review application materials can be arranged through HR.
- For those positions posted on Interview Exchange requiring reference letters, any reference letters received via regular mail will need to be scanned and uploaded to the candidate’s Interview Exchange application. This scanning and uploading is done by the department (if applicable). A copy of the uploading instructions can be obtained from the Search Chair.
- Reference letters received as email attachments should also be uploaded.
- During the search process the Search Committee should communicate with applicants via phone, email, or letter every 2-3 weeks to let them know the status of the search. The Interview Exchange provides a mass email function for this purpose.
Typical elements of a completed file include:
- Letter of application
- Resume or Vitae
- Proof of licensure if appropriate
- Names of references with contact information as requested
- Any additional information required in the Vacancy Announcement
All searches must be conducted in a manner that best protects the privacy of the applicants. Access to files is limited to search committee members, supervisors/department chairs, and to the extent necessary, the department or unit’s clerical staff. (Campus members or employees not on the search committee shall not have access to the files until finalists have been named.) The files may, of course, be made accessible to the necessary administrative officials. STRICT CONFIDENTIALITY MUST BE MAINTAINED. Candidates assume that their candidacy is held in confidence. Do not break this confidence. Likewise, do not break the confidence of your committee members by discussing privileged remarks of the committee deliberations.
Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
The NYS Freedom of Information Law governs what information about an applicant is considered public. Search Committee members should refer any outside inquiries about candidates to the Director of Media Relations, who serves as the University Records Access Officer, (518) 442-4980.
NOTE: All questions regarding employment eligibility of foreign nationals should be directed to the Office of Human Resources Management.
Evaluation and Screening of Candidates
Once the search is approved, the Search Committee should meet to develop an Application Screening Form to assist the committee members in evaluating the credentials of the applicants. This form, the contents of which are agreed upon by the Search Committee, should list relevant job-related criteria that are directly related to the Announcement of Vacancy (UP-5). Each application should be reviewed to assure completeness, to substantiate academic attainments and experience, to assess the strengths and weaknesses in the position criteria, and to eliminate those candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements. Our sample Application Screening Form provides examples of the ways in which it provides a helpful tool for screening applicants.
In cases where there are a large number of applicants, initial screening using the Application Screening Form can be conducted by a subcommittee of at least two members. It is permissible to call candidates as necessary to seek clarification or discuss qualifications. The work of each subcommittee should be reported to and affirmed by the full committee.
After the applicant screening process is complete, the committee members should submit their screening forms to the Chair to maintain for the record.
The result of the entire screening process is typically a “short list” of applicants whose knowledge, skills, and abilities closely meet the needs of the hiring unit.
The Applicant Flow Analysis and Request for Interviews
Once the short list of applicants to interview has been determined by the Search Committee, the Search Chair prepares the Applicant Flow Analysis worksheet. The Applicant Flow Analysis includes the reason(s) for the Committee’s decision in the case of each applicant and the Committee’s recommendation of the top candidates for interviews. This worksheet can be started using the "Quick Report" the Interview Exchange generates for you. To prepare the Applicant Flow Analysis using the "Quick Report," the Search Chair exports the report to a spreadsheet and adds a column for "non-select" codes, or copies required information from the report into the worksheet provided by the ODI.
Once the Search Committee completes this form and, where required, receives approval from the appropriate Chair, Dean, Director, VP, Vice Provost, or Associate Vice Provost, it is submitted to the ODI (via email) with a copy to the hiring authority. Be sure to include the “Search Number” in your email. All applicants not being considered for an interview should have a non-selection code included (Note that the Applicant Flow Analysis spreadsheet has two tabs, the second of which contains a listing on non-selection codes).
The ODI has access to identity information in the Interview Exchange and will add this information from to the Applicant Flow Analysis to review the diversity of the applicant pool. The ODI will respond to the Chair of the Search Committee within two working days with approval for interviews. Once the ODI approves the list of applicants to be interviewed the hiring unit is free to make the arrangements to bring them to campus.
NOTE: For units in the Division of Academic Affairs, there are specific procedures for bringing an interviewee to campus.
To ensure uniform and fair treatment of all interviewees, interview questions should be developed in advance and must relate closely to the Announcement of Vacancy. Please note the questions that cannot be asked of candidates. Questions developed and agreed to by the search committee are forwarded to ODI for approval.
After the proposed interviewees have been approved, the Search Committee shall prepare an interview schedule to be followed for all candidates and make arrangements for telephone interviews (if applicable) and/or to bring candidates to campus for an interview. NOTE: For units in the Division of Academic Affairs, there are specific procedures for bringing an interviewee to campus.
A letter confirming interviews may be sent to all candidates invited to participate in this stage of the process. If candidates have special needs that necessitate accommodations during the interview process, they should contact the search chair, and or the ODI. At this time an updated Applicant Flow Analysis is sent to ODI for approval.
In the event there are a large number of final candidates, the committee may choose to conduct phone interviews encouraged to reduce the field. Where telephone interviews are conducted that reduce the number of campus interviewees, the ODI representative should ensure that the reasons for non-selection are documented and reviewed by ODI.
Individuals who clearly do not meet the minimum qualifications should be notified at this point. The ODI provides a sample letter, which can be used. Alternatively, there is a template set up in the Interview Exchange using the email function. Other applicants may remain in the pool for consideration.
The Search Committee should interview candidates as a whole committee whenever possible. The Chair should also schedule candidate interviews with the hiring authority, the appropriate dean/director, vice president and/or president, other academic or administrative departments, units, and other pertinent persons or groups as appropriate.
Contacting references by telephone regarding a candidate’s qualifications is encouraged. If there are individuals who are not listed as references whom you would like to call, you should notify the applicant as a professional courtesy. A record of all inquiries must be maintained within the candidate’s file. Under the Freedom of Information Act, information received by telephone is available to the applicant upon request. An example of the format for recording information from a telephone reference is provided for your reference.
Final Recommendation for Hire
1. Upon completion of the interview process, the Search Committee prepares and submits its recommendation to the hiring authority, who consults with the ODI staff member on the proposed hire.
2. An updated Applicant Flow Analysis and request to make an offer is sent to the ODI along with a summary of strengths and weaknesses for all candidates interviewed.
3. The Search Committee Chair and the hiring authority will consult to determine rank (if applicable), salary, and any other aspects of the appointment package. Please note, the salary offered should be within the range advertised. An offer is made by the hiring authority or by the appropriate Provost or Vice President (VP). Teaching faculty appointments are made by the Provost based on the recommendation of the appropriate dean.
4. Once an offer is accepted, an Appointment Request (HRM-2), or Change in Status Request (HRM-3) , for current employees is generated by the hiring authority, signed by the dean/director and the appropriate Vice President and forwarded to the Office of Human Resources Management. This transaction form activates the personnel record for the new hire and is critical for initiating many campus services such as computing and SUNY card.
5. If inquiries are made by applicants before an appointment is made, the unsuccessful candidates may be told the status of the search. Once the position has been accepted and the candidate has signed an appointment letter, letters of regret, should be sent to unsuccessful candidates. This can be accomplished using the email template provided in the Interview Exchange.
Note: If an offer is declined, the hiring authority should work in conjunction with the Search Committee Chair, dean or VP to determine if an offer can be made to another qualified finalist. The ODI must be informed of the declined offer, and approve a request to make supplemented offer.
6. At the conclusion of the search the Search Committee Chair, with the assistance of the ODI Representative, should complete the Affirmative Action Search Report with the pertinent information on the finalists and submit it to the ODI.
7. All search file information should remain in the hiring unit office for three (3) years from the end of the search.