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Recruitment and Appointment Policy

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions of this document click the link in the main navigation (grey) bar above or contact policies@scu.edu.au for versions that expired pre August 2012.

Section 1 - Definitions

(1) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. a 'continuing appointment' is one where the position continues until the employee retires unless the appointment is terminated either by the employee or the University;
  2. a 'fixed-term appointment' is one where the employee is engaged for a specified term or ascertainable period with precise start and finish dates, or in lieu of a finishing date, expiry contingent on some event;
  3. a 'casual appointment' is one where the employee is engaged on an hourly basis, at an hourly rate of pay for the relevant job classification that includes an appropriate loading;
  4. an 'externally advertised' recruitment process is where an invitation to apply for a job is open to members of the public as well as employees;
  5. An 'internally advertised' recruitment process is where an invitation to apply for a job is only open to current employees and trainees who, at the date of publication of the advertisement, have six months continuous service;
  6. an 'expression of interest' is where an invitation to fill a temporary position is open to all staff or a specified group of staff and comprehensive applications are not required;
  7. 'nomination of a suitable candidate' refers to an appointment by invitation;
  8. a 'transfer' refers to the movement of an employee to other work units and/or locations within the University, in response to changing organisational circumstances and/or to perform other duties consistent with their area of expertise or disciplinary competence;
  9. a 'relieving appointment' refers to the temporary appointment of an employee to another position, normally of a higher classification, where the substantive incumbent is absent or the position is vacant awaiting recruitment;
  10. a 'short-term emergency appointment' is a temporary appointment to undertake essential duties that could not otherwise be done due to unforeseen circumstances or an emergency beyond reasonable control;
  11. a 'trainee' is employed by the University or hosted by the University, is a signatory to a training agreement registered with the relevant State Training Authority and is involved in paid work and structured training which may be on or off the job; and
  12. an 'apprentice' is an employee who is a signatory to an apprenticeship contract and is involved in paid work and structured training in a recognised trade.

Section 2 - Policy Statement

Part A - Policy Declaration

(2) The Recruitment and Appointment Policy sets down a framework and principles for the University's recruitment and appointment processes.

Part B - Policy Description

Objectives

(3) The Recruitment and Appointment Policy aims to promote fair, equitable, competitive, transparent, flexible and legally compliant recruitment, selection and appointment processes.

Scope

(4) The provisions of this policy apply to the recruitment, selection and appointment of University employees for positions other than Vice Chancellor, Executive Member professorial staff and adjunct or visiting staff. The policy does not apply to the filling of vacancies on the University Council.

Part C - Content and Implementation

Legislative Requirements

(5) Recruitment and selection processes are to comply with all relevant state and federal legislative requirements.

(6) Recruitment and selection processes for academic employees engaged in teaching must also comply with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 requirement regarding qualifications.

Recruitment

(7) Normally, vacancies are categorised as continuing or temporary.

(8) When approval is given to proceed to fill a vacancy, the following recruitment processes apply:

  1. continuing academic positions and professional positions are normally filled through either an externally-advertised recruitment process, or an internally-advertised recruitment process which is subject to a sufficiently competitive pool of internal applicants being available;
  2. temporary academic and professional positions are filled through:
    1. externally-advertised recruitment processes;
    2. internally-advertised recruitment processes;
    3. expressions of interest;
    4. casual employment registers; or
    5. nomination of a suitable candidate in the following circumstances:
      • where the term of an appointment is for a fixed-term normally equal to or less than 12 months;
      • in order to facilitate an employee's rehabilitation program;
      • where the temporary position is funded by an external grant and the appointee has been endorsed by the granting body; and
      • where a casual position is required for a period of no longer than 1 month.
Casual Employment Eligibility Registers

(9) Casual professional employment registers are compiled from:

  1. candidates interviewed for an externally-advertised vacancy who have not been successful but who have been considered appointable and have registered an interest in suitable short-term vacancies; and/or
  2. candidates whose resumes have been received via the University's casual employment application process and who have been interviewed and considered appointable to suitable short-term vacancies.

(10) Candidates' resumes will remain on casual professional employment registers for a period of no longer than 12 months.

(11) Casual academic staff eligibility registers will be compiled from applications received for selection processes as a result of periodic external advertising. Registers must be updated by this means at least every 2 years.

(12) At the discretion of the Relevant Executive Member, applicants for externally advertised positions may also be sought through external recruitment agencies.

Selection

(13) Selection of staff is based on merit and must be free from unfair or illegal discrimination. Selection processes incorporate the principles of equity and cultural diversity, and take account of the particular needs of applicants from equity groups such as, but not limited to, Indigenous Australians, women, people with disabilities and people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

(14) Subject to the provisions of the University's Personal Relationship Policy, selection for appointment to casual academic vacancies will normally be undertaken by the head of the academic work unit and at least one other staff member, usually the relevant course coordinator, who will shortlist applications and interview candidates.

(15) Subject to the provisions of the University's Personal Relationship Policy, selection for appointment through an Expression of Interest will normally be undertaken by the Head of Work Unit and one other person from the work unit, normally the supervisor of the position. At the discretion of the Head of Work Unit, a HR representative may be invited to participate as a panel member.

Selection Panels

(16) Where the recruitment process requires applicants to be interviewed by a selection panel, the minimum membership of the selection panel is:

  1. the Head of Work Unit, or nominee (Chair);
  2. one representative from the work unit, normally the supervisor of the position being advertised;
  3. a representative from outside the cost centre, school or administrative directorate;
  4. for academic positions at Level C and D, a person external to the University, within the appropriate discipline area; and
  5. for academic positions at Level D and above, the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) or nominee.

(17) The Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) may nominate an additional selection panel member for academic positions at Level A to Level C, with the exception of teaching positions.

(18) A Pro Vice Chancellor may elect to Chair any selection panel for positions within their portfolio.

(19) At the discretion of the Director, Human Resources, a representative from HR Services may participate as a panel member.

(20) The Head, Equity and Diversity may request to attend interviews as an observer.

(21) Where a job vacancy is an identified Indigenous position, the selection panel will include at least one Indigenous person either internal or external to the University.

(22) All selection panels will have an appropriate gender balance. Panels with less than 5 members must have at least 1 member of each gender. Panels with 5 or more members must have at least 2 members of each gender.

(23) All members participating on selection panels must have been trained in the University's selection processes and the University's anti-discrimination policies and procedures.

(24) Selection panel members will not act as referees for applicants.

Shortlisting

(25) In order to expedite the recruitment process, the Chair, and a HR representative may conduct an initial cull of applications for professional employee vacancies at HEW Level 5 and below. The result of the cull is reported to the full selection panel.

(26) A majority of panel members must participate in the shortlisting process.

Interviews

(27) Interviews may be held in conjunction with other appropriate selection activities, for example, skills testing, presentations or public lectures.

(28) Candidates are not to be recommended for appointment unless they have been interviewed by a selection panel either in person or by video conference.

Referee Reports

(29) Confidential referees' reports may be sought from referees nominated by the applicant.

(30) Selection panels may seek additional verbal reports from referees agreed to by the applicant.

(31) All referees' reports are confidential. Neither the report nor its contents are made available to anyone other than selection panel members and the person authorised to approve the appointment.

Selection Report

(32) The selection panel report is the responsibility of the Chair and will include a list of candidates considered appointable in rank order and, in terms of the selection criteria, the reasons for the recommendation.

(33) If a member of the selection panel is not satisfied with any aspect of the selection process, they should make this known to all panel members. They may submit a minority report to the person authorised to approve the appointment at the same time as the majority report is submitted.

(34) The list of appointable candidates will remain current for up to 12 months from the date of approval of the selection decision. If the recommended applicant declines the offer of the position or resigns within twelve months of taking up the appointment, the Relevant Executive Member may approve that the next-ranked candidate be offered the position.

Conflict of Interest

(35) Selection panel members must comply with the University's Code of Conduct and Personal Relationships Policy and ensure that there is no actual or potential conflict of interest between their personal interests and their responsibilities as a panel member.

(36) If selection panel members have either a personal relationship with an applicant, or consider that there is an actual or potential conflict of interest, they should draw this to the attention of the Chair, who will determine if alternative arrangements are necessary.

(37) Where a person is to be appointed to a vacancy other than via a merit-based process, the supervisor and/or authorising officer must not appoint a person with whom they have a personal relationship.

Confidentiality

(38) The proceedings of a selection process, including all documents and correspondence considered by the panel, are to be treated with the strictest confidentiality. Panel members must refrain from discussing any aspect of the process with non-panel members.

Procedural Review

(39) An employee who is an unsuccessful applicant for appointment to a position which has been advertised has the right to request a procedural review of the selection process, provided:

  1. the person appointed to the position concerned is already employed by the University;
  2. the position applied for carries a higher salary than the appellant's substantive position; and
  3. the appellant satisfies the advertised selection criteria for the position.

(40) An application for a procedural review must be lodged with the Vice Chancellor within seven working days of the date the employee is notified of the outcome of the selection process. The Vice Chancellor will normally determine the outcome of the procedural review within 10 working days of receiving the employee's application.

Employment Screening

(41) The University reserves the right to undertake a range of employment screening checks before an offer of appointment is made to a successful candidate. Examples include, but are not limited to, Working with Children Check and Criminal Record Check. The type of screening undertaken will correspond to the nature of the duties advertised.

Appointments

(42) The employer/employee relationship at the University is governed by a combination of legislation, industrial instruments, common law and the University's rules, regulations, by-laws, policies and procedures.

(43) All contracts of employment are to be in writing and only issued in accordance with the University's delegation register.

(44) Prospective employees, including casuals, must not commence work prior to receipt and written acceptance of a written offer of employment.

(45) The University offers a range of appointment types, described below.

Continuing Appointments

(46) Continuing appointments are appointments which continue until the employee retires unless they are terminated either by the employee or by an action of the University.

(47) Continuing contracts of employment must inform employees of the terms of engagement in relation to:

  1. classification level, if applicable;
  2. salary;
  3. hours or fraction of full-time hours to be worked;
  4. length and terms of any period of probation; and
  5. other main conditions of employment including the duties and reporting relationships.
Fixed-Term Appointments

(48) Fixed-term appointments are appointments for which the employee will be engaged for a specified term or ascertainable period with precise start and finish dates, or in lieu of a finishing date, expiry contingent on some event.

(49) Fixed-term appointments must comply with one of the following fixed-term categories:

  1. Fixed-term employment for a specific task or project:
    1. Specific Task or Project will mean:
      • A definable work activity that has a start date and is expected to be completed within a given timeframe; or
      • A period of employment provided for from funds external to the University, that is, not being funding that is part of an operating grant from government or funding comprised of payments of fees made by or on behalf of students; or
      • Employment of recent University graduates up to a maximum period of 12 months.
  2. Research
    1. 'Research' means work activity by a person engaged to undertake research for a contract period not exceeding five years.
  3. Replacement Employee
    1. 'Replacement Employee' means an employee undertaking work activity replacing a full-time or part-time employee for a definable period for which the latter is either on authorised leave of absence or is temporarily seconded away from their usual work area; or performing the duties of:
      • a vacant position for which the employer has made a definite decision to fill and has commenced recruitment action; or
      • a position the normal occupant of which is performing higher duties pending the outcome of recruitment action initiated by the employer and in progress for that vacant higher duties position.

        until a full-time or part-time employee is engaged for the vacant position or vacant higher duties position as applicable.
  4. Secondee
    1. Fixed-term employment may be offered to a secondee from another employer.
  5. Recent professional practice required
    1. Where a curriculum in professional or vocational education requires that work be undertaken by a person to be engaged who has recent practical or commercial experience, such a person may be engaged for a fixed period not exceeding two years.
  6. Pre-retirement contract
    1. When an employee declares an intention to retire, a fixed-term contract for a period of up to three years may be offered.
  7. Apprentice
    1. The University may offer fixed-term employment in conjunction with an approved apprenticeship scheme.
  8. Teaching Fellowship
    1. May be offered where a person is enrolled as a student of the University, or who will enrol within a reasonable period of time, provided that:
      • such fixed-term employment will be for a period that does not extend beyond the academic year in which the person ceases to be a student, including any period that the person is not enrolled as a student but is still completing postgraduate work or is awaiting results; and
      • the work activity is not within the description of another circumstance within this Clause; and
      • the employment is within the student's academic unit or an associated unit of the academic unit and is generally related to the degree course the student is undertaking; and
      • employment will not exceed a total period of five years and the fraction to be worked will not exceed 60% of an academic staff member's allocation of teaching load when averaged across any calendar year provided the employment does not contravene the terms of the student's funding or scholarship; and
      • an offer of fixed-term employment on the basis of a Teaching Fellowship will not be made on the condition that the person offered the employment undertake the studentship.
  9. Early Career Development Fellowships (ECDF's)
    1. ECDF's are standard teaching and research academic fixed-term contracts of two years duration which will be open to existing casual academic employees.
    2. Eligibility to apply for ECDFs will be restricted to casual academic employees who have as a minimum been awarded a PhD and performed casual teaching work for the University in three entire teaching sessions over the preceding two years.
    3. Applications will be called annually by HR Services's for ECDF's. Successful candidates will be selected from eligible applicants on academic merit. The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.
  10. New organisational area
    1. Fixed-term employment may be offered in the case of employment in a new organisational area, about which there is genuine uncertainty of continuing operation for up to three years prior to or from the establishment of any such area.
    2. A new organisational area shall mean positions established:
      • in relation to a new organisational area, discipline or sub-discipline area of academic work not previously offered; or
      • as a result of a demonstrated sudden and unanticipated increase in student enrolments; or
      • as a result of an academic function organised in either a new geographical location, distant from existing campuses where that function is offered or organised distinctly from existing schools or centres, and not created from the merger or division of or movement of work from the existing unit(s).
  11. Disestablished organisational area
    1. Where an organisational work area has been the subject of a decision by the University to discontinue that work within three years, fixed-term employment may be offered.

(50) Fixed-term contracts of employment must inform employees of the terms of engagement in relation to:

  1. classification level, if applicable;
  2. salary;
  3. hours or fraction of full-time hours to be worked;
  4. term of the employment;
  5. length and terms of any period of probation;
  6. the reason for the fixed-term employment; and
  7. other main conditions of employment including the duties and reporting relationships.

(51) Employees must also be provided with a position description for appointments of six months or more, or a duty statement for appointments up to six months.

Casual Appointments

(52) Casual appointments are appointments for which the employee is engaged on an hourly basis, at an hourly rate of pay for the relevant job classification that includes an appropriate loading.

(53) Normally, casual appointments are used to fill ad hoc and/or temporary vacancies. The purposes for which casual appointments may be used include, but are not limited to:

  1. assist with temporary high workloads;
  2. meet semester teaching requirements;
  3. temporarily fill positions during organisational change;
  4. provide short-term workforce flexibility;
  5. enable the employment of eminent people;
  6. cover staff absences;
  7. secure specific expertise in the short term; or
  8. provide training opportunities for students.

(54) Casual employees may be employed for a period or cumulative periods in excess of one month in the same or similar position in the one Work Unit provided they have been selected from eligibility registers established through a competitive selection process.

(55) The hours stated in contracts of employment are the maximum number only and the actual hours worked may be varied in accordance with the needs of the Work Unit.

(56) Casual contracts of employment must inform casual employees of the terms of engagement in relation to:

  1. the duties required;
  2. the maximum number of hours required;
  3. the rate of pay for each class of duty;
  4. payment for additional duties approved by the Head of Work Unit during the term of the contract; and
  5. other main conditions of employment including reporting relationships.