Step-by-Step Process for Staff


University at Albany’s Strategic Plan, "Great Danes Rising: Unleashing Our Potential" lists Diversity and Inclusion as one of its core priorities.

The University's recruitment and selection procedures are designed to guide search committees through a fair, inclusive, and transformative search process. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is committed to collaborating with and assisting deans, departments, hiring authorities, and others as they navigate the search process.

The ODI also oversees the campus Affirmative Action program for employment and monitors individual hiring recommendations for compliance. Search committees can use the recruitment and selection procedures to assess their equal opportunity and affirmative action efforts in recruitment and to develop, where necessary, plans to improve their efforts. The procedures also ensure the University follows all federal and state regulations.  

The following guidelines do not apply to Civil Service placements. Please contact the Office of Human Resources at 518-437-4700 for information on Civil Service placements.


Recruitment & Selection Procedures

Step 1: Obtain Authorization to Begin the Search

Department: The hiring authority initiates the search by first requesting authorization from the appropriate Director or Vice President. Once approved, the hiring authority will submit the request to search along with all supporting documentation through the Workforce Planning HRTS system.

Workforce Planning: In consultation with the Office of Human Resources (HR), the hiring authority or designee will agree on the rank, title, salary, and programmatic responsibilities associated with the position. HR will conduct a class and compensation review and notify the hiring authority of Workforce Planning approval. All supporting documentation will then be forwarded by HR to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).

Office of Diversity and Inclusion: The ODI will review all supporting documentation to ensure that recruitment and selection procedures are fair, inclusive, and transformative as well as in compliance with all federal and state regulations.

Step 2: Form a Search Committee

The Search Committee is appointed by the supervisor, Department Chair and/or Dean, Director, or Vice President, as appropriate. Any active University faculty member, professional staff or support staff member can serve on a search committee.

Search committees must have a minimum of five members that reflect the diversity of the University community in relation to gender, race and ethnicity. Generally, most search committees have five to nine members and include employees from other areas/departments.

There must be gender and racial diversity present on the search committee and during all interviews.

Note: The supervisor, Department Chair, and/or final decision-maker should not serve on the committee or take part in the initial applicant review as this could potentially be seen as having an undue influence on the search process.

Read about the overall responsibilities of each search committee member, the ODI Representative, and the Search Chair.

Step 3: Establish a Recruitment Plan and Job Posting

Recruitment Plan

Download and fill out the Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan (AARP) to include:

  • the current composition of the Hiring Department /Office/Job Group;

  • the gender and racial diversity of members of the Search Committee. Each search committee member should self-identify their race and gender where indicated on the AARP form.

  • the recruitment sources that will be used in the search process, include targeted or specialized outreach efforts to recruit qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans; 

  • the screening procedures are agreed upon by the Search Committee and the hiring authority.


Job Posting

The job posting should include a job description that includes an overview of the position and explains the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of the job advertisement to applicants.

The posting should also include specific measurable qualifications that are tied to a job task, duty, or responsibility of the job description.  Measurable qualifications are utilized on the Rubric_AFA.  Other qualifications such as soft skills are assessed during interviews.  


  • Candidates need to meet the listed required qualifications to warrant employment.  If there are qualifications the candidate can be trained or mentored on, include those in the preferred qualifications.

  • The closing date for accepting applications should be included (30 days minimum from the publication date of advertising for a national, regional or state search.)  For searches that elect to remain “open until filled,” the Office of Human Resources will include the following language, “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.

  • Promotional opportunities in United University Professions (UUP) classifications of SL-3, SL-4 and SL-5 are posted internally for 10 business days. Only current UUP members who are in a permanent or term appointment can apply. Upon completion of the 10-day internal posting, if the hiring authority does not choose to offer the position to an internal candidate, the department must notify the Office of Human Resources to post the position externally. The department will execute the recruitment plan as stated on the AARP at this time.

Once the AARP and the job posting have been finalized, submit these two documents along with the Rubric_AFA to the Workforce Planning request via the HRTS system.

Step 4: Attend Inclusive Search Workshop & Advertise and Promote the Job Posting

Inclusive Search Workshop

All search committee members are required to attend an Inclusive Search Workshop in support of the University’s Strategic Plan.

This 75-minute workshop is mandatory for anyone who serves on a search committee and must be completed before evaluating applicant materials. 

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • recognize biased thought patterns and/or behaviors that interfere with objective candidate evaluations;
  • identify key points within the recruitment process where bias checkpoints should be intentionally applied;
  • implement strategies that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and
  • prepare objective screening tools that mitigate bias and consider inclusive search best practices.

Advertise and Promote the Job Posting

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 Job Posting and the Announcement of the Vacancy. However, to minimize advertisement costs, notices may be shortened to refer candidates to the Office of Human Resources for the complete vacancy notice. 

In addition to paid advertisements, other affirmative action efforts and recruitment strategies include but are not limited to the following:

  • Professional Associations, Listservs, and conferences
  • Social Media platforms, including LinkedIn and Twitter
  • 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 qualified people who have written letters of application in the past year
  • Outreach to other colleges and universities

Diversity Recruitment Resources are available to support attracting and recruiting candidates from underrepresented groups. The ODI is also an important resource for best practices in creating diverse pools of applicants.

Step 5: Create Rubric and Applicant Flow Analysis

All search committees utilize a rubric as an applicant screening tool to evaluate the application materials objectively, negate bias, and select candidates for first-round interviews.

Note: The applicant rubric should be created by the hiring authority and/or a designee at the same time as the job posting is created and submitted to Workforce Planning. If it was not, then it must be created and submitted to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) for review and approval before applicant review can begin.

The Rubric_AFA should list all the measurable qualifications of the job posting. Other qualifications such as soft skills are assessed during interviews. Applicants need to meet the listed required qualifications to warrant an interview.

Once created, the ODI Representative should submit the Rubric_AFA to the ODI for review and approval prior to evaluating applicants.

Download a sample Rubric_AFA, Applicant Rubric FAQs, and Sample Qualification and Criteria for Rubrics as search resources. 

Step 6: Request Applicant Pool Snapshot Midway through Posting Period

As a condition of receiving federal contracts and to comply with federal laws and procedures, the University at Albany collects data and maintains an affirmative action plan regarding women and minorities.  The University is also required to collect and report non-identifying information on covered veterans and individuals with disabilities.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations require the University to identify the gender, race, and ethnicity of each employee and, where possible, the gender, race, and ethnicity of each applicant.

Midway through the posting period (i.e., day 15 of a 30-day posting) and prior to reviewing applications, the ODI Representative will email the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) requesting the applicant pool snapshot called the EEOC Data Report.

This snapshot contains a summary of the diversity of the applicant pool as a result of the advertising and recruitment efforts outlined in the AARP.  The ODI Representative will share this with the search committee.

It is important that this report is requested and reviewed by the Search Committee prior to reviewing applicants’ resumes to ensure that the recruitment plan strategy is resulting in an inclusive and diverse applicant pool.

At this point in the search process, if the applicant pool is not deemed to be adequately diverse, the ODI will work with each search to identify additional sources to advertise to target diverse populations.

Step 7: Send Acknowledgement Letters and Respond to Applicant Inquiries

The Search Committee Chair is responsible for communicating with applicants throughout the search process using Interview Exchange.

An Acknowledgement of Applicant Letter could be sent to each applicant that applies to the job posting and a follow-up letter should be sent to applicants with incomplete files. The follow-up letter should refer to the job posting application instructions section indicating the required application documents.


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. 

Department colleagues, hiring authorities, and other interviewers participating in second-round interviews will have access to the files of finalists. 

Strict confidentiality must be maintained as candidates assume that their candidacy is held in confidence. Do not break this confidence. Likewise, do not break the confidence of your colleagues by discussing privileged remarks and interview outcome assessments.

Step 8: Evaluate Applicants utilizing the Rubric

Each search committee member is expected to review and evaluate all applicants utilizing their approved Rubric_AFA.  Applicants need to meet the listed measurable qualifications of the job posting to warrant an interview.  Other qualifications such as soft skills can be assessed during an interview.

Applications must be treated as confidential and only search committee members should have access to applications at this stage.

For any applicant not selected for a first-round interview, an appropriate employment non-select code should be indicated on the Rubric_AFA.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) does not set a requirement on how many applicants need to be selected for an interview.

Once all applicants have been evaluated, a request for first-round interviews should be submitted by the ODI Representative to the ODI along with

Conflicts of Interest

Cases may occur in which a member of the search committee has a conflict of interest, either personally or professionally, with an applicant. These conflicts should be disclosed to the Search Committee Chair and the ODI for the appropriate next steps which may include the search committee member recusing themselves from the search committee or recusing themselves from the evaluation of the applicant.

Step 9: Prepare Interview Questions

The Search Committee Chair should propose both sets of interview questions that are related closely to the Job Posting. Each set of questions should be different and include at least one diversity-related question in each set.

It is the responsibility of the ODI Representative to submit the interview questions to the ODI along with the completed Rubric_AFA and the names of the applicants selected for first-round interviews in the body of the email.

Read sample interview questions for staff searches and diversity questions.

Step 10: Conduct Interviews and Contact References

First-round interviews

Once the request for first-round interviews and the proposed first-round interview questions have been approved by the ODI, the Search Committee Chair can send a Non-Selection Letter to all candidates who received employment non-select codes. The Search Committee Chair can then contact all selected candidates to schedule and arrange interviews. All search committee members are required to participate in first-round interviews.

In order to offer a consistent and equitable interview experience, the same interview format (Zoom/Teams, in-person, or phone) should be offered to all candidates. There must also be gender and racial diversity present on the part of the search committee during all interviews. If a search committee member cannot attend an interview, please contact the ODI for direction.

After the candidate accepts the interview request, the Search Committee Chair can send a letter confirming interviews. If a candidate has special needs that necessitate accommodations during the interview process, the candidate should contact the Search Committee Chair and/or the ODI.

At the conclusion of all first-round interviews, the Search Chair will update the AFA First Interview Results tab with the outcomes of the interviews and any appropriate employment non-select code.

The ODI Representative will submit a request to conduct second-round interviews to the ODI for review and approval along with the following:

  • the names of the second-round interview candidates
  • the updated Rubric_AFA
  • the second-round interview questions from all interviewers listed in the Screening Procedures section of the AARP

Once the ODI has approved the request, the Search Committee Chair can arrange second-round interviews with all interviewers listed in the Screening Procedures section of the AARP.

Second-round interviews

At the conclusion of all second-round interviews, the Search Committee should submit their final hiring recommendation to the Hiring Authority, Department Chair or Dean’s office.

The Search Committee Chair should update the AFA Second Interview Results tab with the appropriate selection code for finalists and non-selection code for candidates not selected for the position.

A request to extend an offer should be sent to the ODI for review and approval as outlined in Step 11.

Contacting References

Contacting candidates' references by telephone is encouraged. 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. Read the Reference Check Questions example.

Step 11: Submit a Final Hiring Recommendation

After all the second-round interviews have been conducted, the Search Committee reconvenes to prepare and submit the final Rubric_AFA along with their candidate recommendations to the hiring authority.
The hiring authority or the Search Committee Chair will then submit a request to extend an offer to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) for review and approval along with the following:

  • the updated and final Rubric_AFA
  • a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of all the second-round interview candidates
  • the name of the selected candidate and any alternate

Only after the ODI has reviewed and granted approval can the hiring authority extend an offer to the candidate.

Once an offer is accepted and the candidate has signed an appointment letter, the hiring authority should review the Hiring Proposal Instructions to finalize the appointment. This transaction form activates the personnel record for the new hire and is critical for initiating many campus services such as computing and SUNYcard.

A post-interview regret letter should be sent through Interview Exchange to all other finalists who were not offered the position.

All search file information should remain in the hiring unit office for three years from the end of the search.