Recruitment and Selection - P&S

  Additional Information

University Human Resources (UHR) Talent Acquisition and the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) are available to provide advice and consultation to employing units.

The “Recruitment and Selection Guide-P&S” provides additional information and should be referenced by those involved in the recruitment process

Effective: August 12, 2015
Reviewed and Updated: November 15, 2016
Contacts: University Human Resources (UHR)



• Hiring Manager
• Search Committees
• Position Description
• Recruitment Sourcing Requirements
• Search Firms
• Applicants
• Screening and Evaluating Applications
• Interviewing
• Conducting Reference Checks/Background Checks
• Offering Employment
• Confidentiality
• Retention of Job Applications and Search Files


The university’s recruitment and selection activities are guided by a commitment to diversity, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative action. Iowa State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Iowa State University is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce.

This policy applies to hiring managers or others involved in the recruitment and selection for professional and scientific (P&S) positions, as well as current employees and external applicants for positions within the P&S classification system.

Policy Statement

Iowa State University employing units will engage an active recruitment and selection process for P&S positions to attract qualified applicants to meet the unit’s employment needs and to assure compliance with equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Recruitment and selection activities are based on the position’s job-related education, training, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities. top

Hiring Manager

The hiring manager has primary responsibility within the employing unit’s guidelines for developing and maintaining position descriptions, screening and evaluating applicants, identifying candidates for interviews, interviewing candidates, conducting reference checks, and selecting the candidate for hire.

Search Committees

The hiring manager may form a search committee to assist with the recruitment and selection process for P&S positions. Search committees are strongly recommended for positions at pay grade 38 and above. For positions at a pay grade 37 and below, the use of a search committee, though not required, will be determined by the hiring manager and consistent with guidelines outlined by the respective dean, vice president, senior vice president or the president.

Position Description

The position description (PD) contains job related criteria and serves as the foundation for establishing the basis for hire selection.

P&S position descriptions for new and vacant positions must be reviewed and approved by the UHR Classification and Compensation Office for appropriate university title, pay grade, and exemption status in accordance with applicable law and policy. top

Recruitment Sourcing Requirements

Iowa State University values diversity and has a strong commitment to affirmative action. Recruitment sourcing is taking proactive steps to search for qualified job applicants. Employing units should create a strategy for external advertising in order to reach the broadest and most diverse pool of applicants possible. UHR talent acquisition can provide consultation by advising departments on position-related recruitment resources. Placement of advertisements is the employing unit’s responsibility. All advertisements must include the university’s equal opportunity/affirmative action statement:

Iowa State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the director of equal opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 294-7612, email

Positions that require the collection of applications for a competitive search must comply with the open search policy including the minimum posting periods. P&S positions that require posting are:

  • Continuous appointments
  • Term appointments
  • Searches restricted to internal applicants consistent with the open search policy

Employing units are encouraged to advertise openings using external sources such as journals, newspapers, and websites. Publicized information must direct applicants to the university jobs website and shall be consistent with the approved position posting.

Hiring managers shall consult with the international students and scholars office in advance of initiating recruitment activities for a position on which a labor certification might be based. Print ads and other sources of recruitment efforts may be required if the search is related to a future labor certification need.

There may be circumstances that necessitate filling the position without competitive recruitment. In accordance with the open search policy, such requests must be approved by the appropriate senior vice president or the president and the director of office of equal opportunity prior to submission to UHR. top

Search Firms

Use of a search firm is at the discretion of the hiring manager and at the expense of the hiring unit. UHR is available to provide consultation on the selection and arrangement of search firms. When using a search firm hiring managers must comply with the requirements of the following university policies:

  • Employment verification and background checks
  • Open search
  • Hiring authority
  • Procurement authority
  • Starting rate of pay-P&S

Use of a search firm does not negate the requirement to post the P&S position on the university jobs website.


An applicant must submit a current, certified application and all required materials per the application instructions for each opening to be eligible for consideration.

Screening and Evaluating Applications

The hiring manager is responsible for using a consistent screening process to evaluate candidates. This assures an equitable and fair selection process for both applicants and the university.

Applicant materials must be evaluated against the required, supplemental required and preferred qualifications advertised in the job posting. All qualifications on which applicants are evaluated must be job related, quantifiable, and correlate to the advertised qualifications of the job. top


Hiring managers are required to submit interview requests within the ISU classification and hiring system per the approval guidelines defined by the respective dean, vice president, senior vice president, or the president or his or her designee prior to any form of interview being conducted.

Qualified applicants who have requested veteran’s preference or P&S referral (see workforce reorganization-P&S) policy must be interviewed. UHR notifies the hiring manager if veteran’s preference or P&S referral applies.

All questions asked of candidates being interviewed must be job-related. Each candidate being interviewed shall be evaluated on the same set of interview questions.

A pre-employment “test” may not be used as a part of the screening process unless it has been validated and approved in advance by UHR. A test is any performance measure used as the sole basis for an employment decision or which by itself could preclude the hire of an individual.

UHR talent acquisition will review a random selection of positions on a quarterly basis for compliance with candidate interview selection procedures.

Conducting Reference Checks/Background Checks

In compliance with the employment verification and background checks policy, the hiring manager is responsible for obtaining job-related reference information for (at a minimum) the finalist for positions - including for current employees being considered. UHR is responsible for conducting background checks in accordance with the employment verification and background checks policy. top

Offering Employment

Candidates will be chosen for hire based on job-related criteria identified in the position description (PD) and posting to ensure that the best qualified candidate is selected.

UHR talent acquisition must approve all offers of employment prior to the formal offer.

The salary offered to the selected candidate will be in accordance with the starting rate of pay-P&S policy or change in status of current employee-P&S policy. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the vice president of UHR or his/her designee. A formal offer consists of an authorized letter of intent with the terms and conditions as outlined in the posting in accordance with the hiring authority policy.


Candidate application materials are considered confidential. The hiring manager and any individuals involved in the interview process should only disclose the selected finalist(s) for searches that become public once those candidates have been notified.

Retention of Job Applications and Search Files

Hiring managers and search committee members are required to document their searches to remain in compliance with university policy and U.S. Department of Labor regulations. The employing unit must retain these documents in accordance with the retention of job applications policy. top



Recruitment and Selection Guide-P&S
ISU Classification and Hiring System
University Jobs Website
Position Descriptions

University Human Resources (UHR)
UHR Classification and Compensation Office
UHR Recruitment & Selection (Talent Acquisition)
Office of Equal Opportunity
International Students and Scholars Office

Affirmative Action policy
Change in Status of Current Employee - P&S policy
Employment Verification and Background Checks policy
Hiring Authority policy
Open Search policy
Procurement Authority policy
Retention of Job Applications policy
Starting Rate of Pay-P&S policy
Veteran’s Employment Preference
Workforce Reorganization - P&S policy