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Merit-Based Recruitment and Selection Program

Human Resources Policy HR 17 98 November 23, 2010

SCOPE: This policy applies to all positions Subject to the Personnel Act.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this merit-based recruitment and selection plan is to fill positions subject to the State Personnel Act from among the most qualified individuals. In the recruiting and selection process, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will give equal employment opportunity to all applicants, without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability or political affiliation/influence. Selection decisions will be based solely on job related criteria.  The recruitment and selection process will be consistently applied, nondiscriminatory, and promote fairness, diversity, and integrity. The recruitment and selection process will comply with all Federal and State laws, regulations, and policies.

POLICY: COMMITMENT FROM MANAGEMENT The Chancellor, Director of Human Resources, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors and Hiring Officials, as well as all managers and supervisors accept responsibility for ensuring that all hiring practices are applied consistently and equitably, thereby demonstrating commitment and support of the merit-based recruitment and selection plan. This responsibility includes ensuring the recruitment and selection process complies with all applicable state and federal laws, policies, and rules governing personnel actions. The merit-based recruitment and selection plan will also comply with established policies issued by the Office of State Personnel. Positive efforts will be made to recruit qualified individuals including minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities for applicant pools. 

ETHICS STATEMENT The citizens of North Carolina and the state workforce deserve strong assurances that knowledge’s, skills and abilities (KSAs) and competencies are the basis for state government hiring decisions, not political patronage. In order to assure the integrity of University employment, every employee has a responsibility to view public service as a public trust and to act impartially. Preferential treatment will not be given to any private organization or individual based on political affiliation or influence.

COMMUNICATION The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will implement strategies to inform employees, applicants, and the general public of the merit-based recruitment and selection plan. After receiving approval from the State Personnel Commission, UNCP will provide information to current employees using existing university sources such as the HR Website, Brave Bulletin, New Employee Orientation, supervisor training and others to explain the Merit Based Recruitment and Selection Policy and processes.   A copy of the university plan will be available in the Human Resources Office, Suite 347, Lumbee Hall, One University Drive, Pembroke, and will be available electronically on the Human Resources web site at  Persons with questions may contact the Human Resources Office at (910) 521-6279. In addition, UNCP will post the merit-based recruitment and selection position statement, “Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer”on the Human Resources Employment Opportunities Board and Online Employment web site job listings.

TRAINING The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will provide merit based recruitment and selection training to managers, supervisors and human resources staff on a scheduled routine basis.  Updates and revisions to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke's merit-based recruitment and selection plan will be communicated through written materials and training sessions.  Special training is available on request to hiring departments and search committees.


A. The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors are responsible for

  • Leadership in the development and implementation of merit-based recruitment and selection procedures.
  • Commitment to and support of merit-based recruitment and selection policy.

B. Hiring Officials are responsible for

  • Evaluation of the need to fill a vacant position and determination that the position is essential.  The Hiring Official will write a justification to their Vice Chancellor which outlines the reason the position is needed and how it will be funded.
  • Maintaining an accurate and updated Career Banded position description for all SPA Employees supervised by them.
  • Understanding the concepts of the merit-based system and communicating the process to employees and applicants.
  • Making every effort to achieve and maintain a diverse workforce through the recruitment process by demonstrating commitment and support for merit-based recruitment and selection.
  • Making all hiring decisions based on merit principles, documenting selection decisions, and retaining their departmental recruitment files for thirty-six (36) months, for auditing purposes, after the conclusion of each recruitment.

C. Director of Human Resources /EEO Officer and designees are responsible for the:

  • Commitment and support for merit-based recruitment and selection in daily operations.
  • Technical advice and assistance to Hiring Officials and applicants.
  • Developing University specific policies and procedures for merit-based recruitment and selection actions;
  • Ensuring the training of Hiring Officials and supervisors on merit-based recruitment and selection;
  • Monitoring recruitment and selection activities for adherence to merit-based policies and procedures;
  • Maintaining recruitment and selection data in order to conduct employment trend analysis.

D. Employees and applicants are responsible for the following:

  • Obtaining vacancy information in order to submit the required application materials,
  • Providing full and complete information as to their qualifications, and submitting application materials for the vacancy by the established deadline, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, on the closing date shown on the job posting.

Applications for vacancy announcements must be submitted for employment by completing an application electronically on the Human Resources Online Employment System (OES) available at

PRE-RECRUITMENT/RECRUITMENT ACTIVITIES The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will strive to actively recruit from a variety of sources to achieve a diverse workforce that successfully meets the needs and demands of the university.
With assistance and guidance from the Human Resources staff, prior to posting any position, the Hiring Official will do the following:

  • assess the need for the position to ensure it contributes to the current business need of the work unit (meeting the goals, objectives, and mission);
  • review the job description prior to entering an Online Employment System Requisition.  This would include an evaluation of the duties and responsibilities of the position, the career banded classification title, the career banded level (contributing, journey or advanced) and the qualifications required for successful performance.  If the Hiring Official believes that the position should be revised, he/she will work with HR Staff.
  • The Hiring Official will work to identify position funding and obtain budget authorization to proceed with new position establishment from the Office of Financial Planning and Budgeting, the respective Vice Chancellor and/or Chancellor, as appropriate.

NOTE: Job analysis is necessary only when there is a change in the duties and responsibilities that impact the qualifications required.  If a current, accurate job analysis already exists for a given job type, there is no need to conduct an analysis for each vacancy. For example, in instances where there is a high volume of positions in a class, frequent turnover in a class, or little job change, there will likely not be a need to conduct a new job analysis each time a vacancy occurs. The Hiring Official and Human Resources staff should work together to ensure that the critical tasks, essential functions, knowledge, skills and abilities, competencies, and training and experience requirements, including any position specific selective criteria necessary to successfully perform the duties of the position are identified. In order to assure a timely and efficient process, KSAs/Competencies (included on class specifications) developed by the Office of State Personnel may be utilized for recruitment and selection purposes where they are sufficient to differentiate among qualifications of applicants.

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT Vacant positions will be advertised on the UNC Pembroke Online Employment System and in other recruitment sources as requested by the Hiring Official.  Job Postings will also be posted on the bulletin board outside of the Office of Human Resources.

Each Vacancy Announcement shall contain the following components, at minimum:


  • The Position Control Number (*PCN 00XXXX)
  • The Banded Classification Title (*Administrative Support Associate)
  • The Competency Level (*Journey)
  • Banded Class Salary Range and Recruitment Range
  • Salary Grade Equivalency (*Grade 65)
  • Essential Functions of Position
  • Competencies associated with targeted Competency Level
  • Minimum Training & Experience Requirements
  • Vacancy-Specific Qualifications (in accordance with 25 NCAC 01H .0635(c)
  • Job Opening and Job Closing Dates
  • Contact Information for Department / Search Committee Chair

Information from the job analysis, state career banding profile and position description will guide the Hiring Official in drafting the vacancy announcement. Human Resources staff will ensure the vacancy announcement meets the State and university requirements.  Human Resources staff will also consult with the department about adding additional job duty information, as well as preferred qualifications, to vacancy announcements.  The Hiring Official and Human Resources staff will determine the appropriate option in posting a vacancy (internal to the university, state government, or external). In addition, Human Resources staff consults with the Hiring Official to determine additional recruitment sources, if needed, to target specific audiences, including professional journals, newspapers, websites, and technical colleges and universities to target specific audiences.

  • The minimum period for posting a position is five business days.  Hiring Officials may choose to post internally or externally. 
  • If a Hiring Official chooses to post internally, the Employment Manager or designee will send an email with a link to the Job Posting over the Faculty and Staff listservs.  The email will contain the position title, the department, the job open date, the job close date, and a link to the actual posting on the Online Employment System.  Internal postings shall also be posted on campus bulletin boards for employees who do not have access to email. 
  • If a Hiring Official chooses to post externally, the Employment Manager or designee will post the position on the Online Employment System and the Vacancy Announcement will be posted on the Human Resources Bulletin Board. 
  • If the position is not filled after the first posting period, the time may be extended and the position reposted at the Hiring Official’s request.
  • A closing date shall be given for all SPA positions unless the classification has been approved for continuous posting by the Office of State Personnel. 
  • All SPA Vacancy Announcements are automatically removed from web at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the Job Closing Date.  Applications shall not be accepted after a position closes.

Prior to the vacancy closing date, the Hiring Official and/or Search Committee will determine any selection tool(s) that will be used in the final evaluation process. Any selection tool(s) utilized will be objective, based upon job-related KSAs and competencies, and to be consistently applied for all applicants in the final selection pool. Human Resources staff will be available for consultation and assistance in this area.  Some examples of selection tools include structured interviews, written tests, skills tests, and reference checks.

APPLICATION PROCESS  Applicants for a posted vacant position must complete and submit the appropriate application related to the specific position of interest within the posting period.  Candidates are responsible for staying abreast of vacancy notice information.  Applications that are not complete will not be considered. A complete employment application, which must be submitted electronically on the UNCP Online Employment System through the UNCP Online Employment System must identify and contain:

  • Complete information on education and all work experience; this includes dates and, if part-time, number of hours worked per week, and gaps in employment with reason.
  • Complete personal information, including nepotism information, and information about criminal convictions.
  • Optional personal information may include demographic information and veteran’s preference eligibility.  

SELECTION PROCESS A. DEFINITIONS: 1.   Selective criteria: additional essential qualifications specifically related to the duties and responsibilities of the individual position which are determined prior to the vacancy being posted and are included on the vacancy posting.  An applicant who does not show possession of selective criteria is not qualified for the position. 2.   Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs):

  • Knowledge: information which makes adequate performance on the job possible
  • Skill: a proficiency that is readily observable, quantifiable, and measurable, i.e. skill in typing, skill in operating a vehicle, etc.
  • Ability: capacity to perform an activity at the present time

3.   Competencies:  Sets of knowledge, skills and work behaviors that contribute to success in the job and the organization’s mission and business strategies. 4.   Minimum qualifications:  Minimum education and experience requirements and competencies, defined by the Office of State Personnel for each position classification.  5.    Priority Re-Employment: Rights apply to employees reduced in force or scheduled to be reduced in force (RIF) and employees separated from policy making/exempt positions for reason other than just cause.  6.   Preferences: specific types of experiences, degrees, licenses, KSAs, or other selection factors above those minimally required to perform the duties and responsibilities of a position as determined by the Hiring Official in consultation with Human Resources staff. 7.  Essential qualifications (minimum qualifications): minimum training and experience requirements including knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies, and selective criteria necessary to perform the work which are included on the vacancy announcement and without which a candidate will not be considered. 8.  Qualified: applicants whose credentials indicate the possession of required training and experience, selective criteria, KSAs and competencies included in the vacancy announcement. 9.   Most Qualified: The individual or group of applicants who, to the greatest extent, possess the qualifications for the position which exceed the essential requirements described in the vacancy announcement.  The person(s) interviewed will constitute the most qualified candidates.

B.  IDENTIFYING QUALIFIED AND MOST QUALIFIED APPLICANTS: 1. Determining qualified applicants: Applications are to be submitted electronically to the Human Resources department. The Employment Manager or designated Human Resources staff will screen all applications for a specific vacancy to determine which applicants meet minimum qualification requirements and review the initial applicant pool to identify applicants with priority status.  If the quality of applications forwarded is deemed insufficient, the Hiring Official may choose to repost the position. If a position is reposted, applicants who applied under the original announcement do not need to re-apply.  Their applications will remain under consideration. 2. Determining most qualified applicants: The Hiring Official and/or Search Committee will evaluate the applications to determine to what extent essential qualifications and selective criteria are exceeded in order to identify the pool of most qualified applicants.  The Employment Manager or designated Human Resources staff and Hiring Official and/or Search Committee will review applicants with priority employment and reemployment status to ensure applicants receive appropriate consideration.  Those applicants clearly exceeding the essential qualifications will be a manageable number, typically between 5 and 10. Any further analysis must continue to be based upon the job-related qualifications identified in the vacancy announcement. If no applicants clearly exceed the essential qualifications, the Hiring Official may consider the existing applicants to be the most qualified applicant pool, or a decision may be made to repost the vacancy. 3. Use of Search Committee (panel/individual for evaluation process): If a Search Committee is utilized for the purpose of identifying the Most Qualified individuals in an applicant pool, the Hiring Official will identify potential committee members and appoint a chair; assistance in this process will be available from Human Resources.  All participants in the process will maintain the confidentiality of the material they review.
When a Search Committee evaluates applications, committee members will:

  • Be selected from the same or a closely related field to the position being filled or may be customers of the hiring department familiar with the function of the position being filled
  • Be familiar with selection guidelines, if not previously trained in selection processes; learn selection policies, guidelines and procedures through specific training.
  • Represent the organization’s diversity
  • Consist of an appropriate number of members, depending upon the number of applicants being evaluated.

The Human Resources staff will be available as needed as an advisor to ensure the recruitment and selection policy and procedures are consistently applied.

When a Hiring Department Representative evaluates applications to determine the most qualified applicants, he or she will

  • Be a subject matter expert with specific knowledge of the job(s) being filled;
  • Have received training/selected information on the selection process and related policies.

Decisions for SPA employment will be made in accordance with the University’s EEO Plan, which is annually reviewed and approved by the Office of State Personnel and the State Personnel Commission.

C. EMPLOYMENT/REEMPLOYMENT PRIORITIES All employment/reemployment priorities are to be afforded in accordance with State and University policy. This will require, in some instances that applications of individuals with certain priorities will be included among those referred to the Hiring Official. Individuals involved in application evaluation will receive advice and guidance from the Human Resources staff regarding the priority consideration that must be afforded. Consideration must be given to applicants that have the following priorities:

Priority Reemployment Employees scheduled to be separated or separated through reduction-in-force have priority consideration over non-state applicants. RIF candidates must only meet essential qualifications (including selective criteria) to be referred. 

Exempt Policy-Making and Exempt Managerial: Employees separated from exempt policy-making/confidential and exempt managerial positions for reasons other than just cause have priority consideration over non-state applicants and must only meet essential qualifications (including selective criteria) to be referred.

Veterans Preferences: Preference is to be given in initial employment opportunities to qualified veteran applicants and shall be extended to eligible veterans in subsequent employment, promotions, reassignments, horizontal transfers and reduction-in-force situations.

Promotional Priority: Career state employees (those having 24 months of continuous SPA service) being considered for promotion are eligible for priority consideration over non-state applicants when the individuals possess substantially equal qualifications.   Workers' Compensation: Employees injured-on-the-job, placed on worker's compensation leave, and who have been released by their physician to return to work, have reemployment priority based upon maximum medical improvement. They must meet the essential qualifications (including selective criteria) for any job for which considered.

D. MAKING THE FINAL SELECTION RECOMMENDATION/DECISION The final selection recommendation/decision will be made from among the most qualified applicants, which may include applicants with re-employment priority. The Hiring Official will utilize selection tools that are objective and based on job-related KSAs and competencies.  Any selection tool(s) will be consistently applied to all persons in the final pool of most qualified applicants. The Hiring Official will be responsible for documenting the selection process and justifying the hiring recommendation and decision. Human Resources staff will be available for guidance and assistance to the Hiring Official at any time during the selection process. Human Resources staff will review the selection documentation to ensure employment/reemployment procedures have been followed. Applicants not selected for the position will receive an electronically generated email notice of the selection decision.


Once the recommended candidate is determined, the Hiring Official must have signatures from the Department Head, the Vice Chancellor for the Hiring Official's department, and the Human Resources Director. No offer of employment can be made until all signatures are obtained and the completed documents are received in the Human Resources Office.  Human Resources will notify the Hiring Official when an offer may be extended.  

Human Resources reviews the selection decision to ensure compliance with the Merit Based Recruitment & Selection Plan and relevant regulations and approves the selection decision. The Employment Manager consults with the Hiring Official to establish an appropriate salary based on qualifications, competencies and equity.

DOCUMENTATION OF PROCESS Human Resources will maintain documentation of the recruitment and selection process in order to document the decisions and to provide fact-based information for monitoring and evaluating recruitment and selection practices and procedures.

A file in a format useful to the university and acceptable to the Office of State Personnel will be maintained for each selection or canceled vacancy event for a minimum of three years. Each file will contain:

  • job analysis conducted for the vacancy including any additional KSAs, competencies and/or selective criteria that resulted from job analysis (or a reference to the job analysis utilized for the vacancy) vacancy job posting announcement,
  • recruitment sources,
  • selection tools and criteria
  • selection/decision log,
  • inventory of applicants as not qualified, qualified, and most qualified as appropriate,
  • recruitment and selection checklist, and
  • referral record.

E. APPEALS PROCESS If an applicant has reason to believe he or she was denied employment due to political affiliation or influence, the applicant may appeal the hiring decision directly to the Office of Administrative Hearings within 30 days of written notification that the position has been filled if all the following conditions apply:

  • applicant applied timely for the position in question;
  • applicant was not hired into the position;
  • applicant was among the most qualified persons applying for the position;
  • successful applicant for the position was not among the most qualified persons applying for the position; and
  • hiring decision was based upon political affiliation or political influence.

F. MONITORING/EVALUATION Human Resources staff will periodically review and process data from across the University to ensure the recruitment and selection activities are in compliance with the University's plan. Human Resources staff will compile and analyze an annual summary of selection activity for the Chancellor, and write a report that will include analysis of the impact of demographic groups (which is also a part of the University’s EEO Plan). The report will include exceptions to policy, and other relevant factors. Human Resources staff will also comply with the reporting and plan update requirements from the Office of State Personnel.

G. EFFECTIVE DATE The effective date of this policy will be January 1, 2011.