View Current

Recruitment and Selection Policy

This is not a current document. To view the current version, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This policy details the University's requirements in regard to recruitment and selection for continuing and fixed-term academic and general staff positions. It sets out the University's standards for employment in such positions and details the procedures to be followed in recruiting and selecting applicants.

(2) This document applies to continuing and fixed-term academic and general staff positions within the University, except where a vacancy is expected to last six months or less. Where a position, which was expected to last six months or less, continues for longer than the initial six months period such vacancy falls under this policy.

(3) Casual staff members are not covered by this policy. A hiring manager who engages casual staff shall do so in compliance with the procedures and guidelines set down from time to time by the University and in accordance with the University's Delegations (Administrative) Policy, any relevant employment agreement (e.g. Collective Agreement) and any other applicable University policy or procedure.

(4) This policy should be read in conjunction with the provisions of the University's collective staff agreements in force from time to time.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. capability - is defined as the combination of attributes, qualities, skills and knowledge that enables a person to perform to a high standard in a given context and role.
  2. competency - is the ability to perform particular tasks and duties to the expected performance standard in the workplace and requires the application of specified skills, knowledge and attributes relevant to effective participation. Competency covers all aspects of workplace performance and involves:
    1. performing individual tasks,
    2. managing a range of different tasks,
    3. responding to contingencies,
    4. dealing with the responsibilities of the workplace, including working with others.
  3. confidentiality - means that information will only be released to those who have a legitimate 'need to know' and not for general consumption.
  4. vacancies - refers to all existing positions, including new positions, that are currently vacant due to their recent introduction, temporary or permanent employee movement (e.g. secondments, resignations, retirements) or the like.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) The University of Western Sydney is committed to the selection of staff on merit and to building organisational capability and excellence through its people.

(7) The University's objective is to ensure a professional, fair and ethical approach to recruitment and selection which matches the skills, expertise and experience of the individual to the requirements of the operating unit and the University's strategic direction. Appointees must be able to contribute to building a diverse, inclusive and performance driven culture based on University values and directed towards achievement of the University's strategic and operational objectives.

(8) The University recognises its responsibility to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia and is committed to extending opportunities to their communities. Certain positions in the University may be identified as an "identified indigenous" which allows special treatment for advertising.

Merit-based Recruitment

(9) To achieve its objectives the University has adopted a merit-based recruitment and selection process which draws from a wide pool of applicants, is competitive, fair and transparent, assessing applicants on the basis of their knowledge, skills, attributes and experiences as these relate to the requirements of the job, the Operational Unit and the University. The process is targeted toward hiring applicants who demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the job and also to supporting decision-making practices that will withstand public scrutiny.

Ethical Recruitment Practices

(10) All recruitment and selection activities are to be conducted using ethical practices that demonstrate integrity and impartiality in decision-making. Employees involved in the process are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, following both the letter and the spirit of University policies and procedures, to establish and maintain appropriate records detailing reasons for decisions and providing clear audit trails, to maintain confidentiality and protect individual's rights to privacy. Confidentiality during a recruitment process includes every aspect of that process from beginning to end. It is not limited to keeping confidential results of the recruitment process before the appointment and is essential for an effective selection process.

(11) Both the process and resulting decisions must be undertaken in a manner that is fair (i.e. clear and understandable, evidence-based and free from unlawful discrimination). In addition, the value placed on diversity in the workplace by the University, incorporating affirmative action initiatives for under-represented groups whenever possible and practicable, must be evident.

(12) Staff members engaged in the recruitment and selection process must assess potential conflicts of interest in terms of the likelihood of their being influenced or appearing to be influenced in the performance of their role in the process. The onus is on the staff member to declare the potential conflict of interest to the Selection Committee Chairperson to enable appropriate alternative arrangements to be made. This is in accordance with Part B, Clause (16) of the Code of Conduct.

(13) The Chair Selection Committee must ensure that any Selection Committee members who are external to UWS have read and understood the policy requirements.

(14) Members of any Selection Committee should have attended Recruitment and Selection Training offered by the University's Professional Development Unit.

(15) Section 4 of this document details the procedures which must be applied by all University employees when recruiting and selecting staff to fill the academic and general staff appointments covered by this policy.

Eligibility for Appointment

(16) To be eligible for appointment to a position within the University individuals must meet all relevant employment provisions including those contained in:

  1. legislation (e.g. employment, immigration, taxation, etc);
  2. university requirements, as provided for in this policy, its procedures and any other associated information (e.g. position descriptions, advertisements).

(17) Where the University chooses to advertise a vacancy internally only, applicants must be ongoing employees (Full Time or Part Time); employees on a fixed term contract (Full time or Part Time) employed at the time of the advertisement; or casual employees employed at the time of advertisement to be eligible to apply for and be appointed to the position.

(18) A former employee who has previously separated from the University under redundancy provisions cannot be re-employed until after the period of time equivalent to the total redundancy payment (notice period and payment for completed years of service) has elapsed unless there is a clear change in occupation from that previously held (e.g. from a previous administrative role to an academic position or visa versa).

Pre Recruitment Issues

(19) Prior to proceeding with any recruitment or selection action, the advertising of all new or vacant positions must be approved by the appropriate delegate as set out in the University's Delegations (Administrative) Policy.

(20) In regard to current and future workforce requirements, the proposed mechanism for filling the vacancy must be considered in terms of strategic impact, taking into account both the duration of the appointment (i.e. permanent, fixed term, temporary) and the type of appointment including options such as cadetships, apprenticeships, traineeships, graduate placements and the like.

(21) Decisions regarding whether to recruit internally only or internally and externally will be made by the approving delegate for recruitment action and be based on:

  1. The position involved;
  2. The availability of a reasonable pool of applicants within the University;
  3. The duration of the vacancy;
  4. The knowledge that internally only advertised positions limit eligibility to apply to all casual, fixed term and ongoing staff employed by the University at the time of the advertisement.

(22) Where a line manager considers a vacant position to be suitable for job share, part time or other flexible work arrangement, the opportunity to work under such an arrangement should be included in the 'Request to Fill a Position' documentation and the subsequent advertisement.

(23) Requests to include reference to the possible payment of a loading in a recruitment advertisement falls within the parameters of the Recruitment and Retention (High Performance) Loadings Policy and will require a prior specific submission from the Executive Dean /Director to be forwarded to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor responsible for the portfolio in which the vacancy occurs. The advertisement will not appear in any media until the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor has been received by the Office of Human Resources. Where this has occurred and a subsequent Selection Committee report includes a recommendation that a loading payment is warranted for the preferred applicant, the approval of the payment rests with the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor.


(24) Where the availability of a short term vacancy is advertised internally and/or externally and a current staff member is selected as the preferred applicant, staff may be seconded from their substantive position for the duration of the vacancy. The staff member's substantive line manager must be consulted to determine a suitable release date.

(25) Secondments may be:

  1. at the staff members substantive level (recognising developmental opportunities should exist for all staff) where the position to which they are seeking to move is at the same level; or
  2. at a higher level in which the benefits of working in a different environment are recognised and the position to which they are moving is a higher level.

(26) Where a secondment is contemplated, the supervisor of work area where the vacancy occurs or the Chair Selection Committee must liaise with the preferred applicant's supervisor to discuss the details and circumstances of the release from the applicant's substantive position for the duration of the vacancy. The applicant's supervisor must be given the opportunity to consider the impacts of the secondment on the operation of their work unit and agree to the release.

(27) Under no circumstances should the recommended (internal) applicant be advised of success or any offer of secondment made until discussions have been held and release arrangements agreed to with the substantive Supervisor and formal approval obtained.

(28) Should the supervisor refuse to release a staff member, the Supervisor is required to prepare a submission to the Executive Dean /Director explaining the reasons. Should the Executive Dean /Director refuse to release the staff member, the issue must be submitted to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Strategy and Services via the Director Human Resources for determination.

Eligibility for Secondment

(29) Internal secondment opportunities are available to all ongoing employees and fixed-term employees where the period of the fixed term contract covers the duration of the secondment.

Release Date

(30) Where a staff member has been selected to fill a short term vacancy on secondment and an agreement has been reached on the release, it would normally be expected that the release date from the substantive position would occur no later than 20 working days from the date of secondment approval.

(31) Where a date within this timeframe cannot be agreed with the releasing supervisor, the issue is to be referred to the Heads of the two operational areas.

Expressions of Interest Option

(32) Where it is expected that a General Staff position needs to be filled for six months or less and a secondment opportunity is deemed appropriate, the unit involved may seek "expressions of interest" from staff within the area or division via email rather than by placement of an advertisement on the UWS website. A suitable pool of applicants would need to exist within the area or division for this to be a viable option.

(33) To target a broader pool of internal applicants, the secondment may be advertised on the UWS Recruitment website as an expression of interest.

(34) Internal secondment opportunities advertised as an expression of interest, are available to all ongoing employees and fixed-term employees where the period of the fixed term contract covers the duration of the secondment.


(35) Staff members who proceed on a secondment are expected to exhaust any leave entitlement accrued during the period of the secondment prior to returning to that substantive position.

(36) In the event that it is not possible to take leave accrued, the seconding cost centre will be required to pay for the cost of the leave accrued. These arrangements must be confirmed before a staff member returns to their substantive work unit.

Return to Substantive Position

(37) At the end of the secondment the staff member will return to their substantive position unless the position has been made redundant. Where this has occurred, procedures will be implemented in accordance with the redundancy provisions of the relevant collective agreement.

External Executive Search

(38) The use of an external executive search organisation may assist in sourcing applicants for senior management roles or specialised roles that are difficult to fill through normal advertising. Advice from the Office of Human Resources is to be sought should the services of an executive search organisation be considered necessary.

(39) The engagement of an executive search organisation will be facilitated by the Director Human Resources. These organisations specialise in sourcing applicants for senior management or specialist roles that are difficult to fill through normal advertising media.

(40) From time to time the University may call for tenders for the provision of search services and appoint preferred suppliers. Where a preferred supplier arrangement is in place the Office of Human Resources will produce and communicate to the hiring managers the procedures and guidelines for the use of such services.


(41) A contact officer must be nominated prior to advertising in order to take enquiries from interested applicants.

(42) The contact person must be contactable throughout the advertising period, either via phone or email.

(43) A position may be advertised either internally, externally, or both, dependent upon the vacancy. With the exception of 'expressions of interest' as detailed above, all position advertisements are to be advertised on the vacant positions section on the UWS website and the Jobs@UWS Position Vacant emails which are distributed twice weekly.

(44) Where appropriate, the University may employ other advertising mediums including newspapers, the internet, and recruitment services. All advertising mediums are subject to approval by the relevant authority as outlined in the Delegations (Administrative) Policy.

Receipt of Applications

(45) The advertisement will encourage all applications to be submitted via email to Applications are also accepted via mail, fax and in person to the Office of Human Resources. Any applications received in other locations are to be promptly forwarded to the Office of Human Resources.

(46) The Office of Human Resources will receive, register and collate all applications.

(47) Late applications will generally not be accepted. However the Chairperson has the discretion to accept a late application up until the short-listing has been completed and agreed by all committee members. Applications received after completion of the short-listing process will not be considered.

The Selection Committee

(48) The selection process will be undertaken by a Selection Committee. Care should be taken to ensure that there is a gender balance on the Committee and at a minimum the committee membership will consist of:

  1. the Chairperson, usually the hiring Head of Unit or their nominee who is familiar with the requirements of the position being filled;
  2. another employee from the work area at the same grade or higher than the position being advertised; and
  3. an independent member, normally from another Unit or Division, though consideration may be given to seeking the services of an individual from outside the University who is familiar with the general skills required for the position, particularly where the vacancy relates to a specialised position.

(49) The Chairperson is responsible for inviting people to participate on the Selection Committee, however formal approval of the Committee composition is required in accordance with the Delegations Register.

(50) The committee membership may be extended to include the following members where there is a legitimate need for their involvement in order to ensure a fair and equitable assessment of all applicants:

  1. the Director Indigenous Employment and Engagement, or nominee, where a person who identifies as being an Indigenous Australian (of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent) is selected for interview;
  2. a person who has experience with disabled or disadvantaged people; and/or
  3. other parties with relevant experience, invited by the Chairperson in relation to senior positions (academic staff positions, managerial positions).

(51) On completion of their deliberations it is the responsibility of the Selection Committee to recommend:

  1. an offer of appointment to selected applicants; and/or
  2. determine an eligibility list of suitable applicants if appropriate; or
  3. no appointment be made and refer back to line management.

(52) Any concerns about the recruitment and selection process are to be referred in the first instance to the Chair Selection Committee. If the Chairperson is unable to resolve or requires advice or assistance, the matter is to be referred to the Director Human Resources.


(53) A short-listing process must be undertaken for all advertised positions and all Selection Committee members are required to consider each of the applications in terms of key selection criteria. The purpose of short-listing for interview is to focus the time and attention of the Selection Committee on those applicants who seem most competitive for the position.

Reference Checking

(54) Verbal reference checking is suggested for the recommended applicant even where a written reference has been provided, to ensure a full and rigorous probing of the applicant's particular claims. Written references should support the applicant's application with specific comments addressing the selection criteria. Where verbal references are sought, a written summary will be provided to the Selection Committee by the Chairperson.

(55) Only information supplied by the applicant in the written application, and from the interview process and information obtained from referees may be included by the committee in making the selection decision. No additional information is to be volunteered by committee members or sought from third parties.

(56) All references sought by the University are confidential. Neither the report nor its contents will be made available to anyone other than Selection Committee members and the approving officer unless directed under a Freedom of Information (FOI) ruling. Referees are to be advised that their report may be accessed under FOI.


(57) No commitment of employment is to be made formally or informally by any member of the Selection Committee to any applicant, nor any feedback provided to applicants prior to receipt of written approval of appointment from the approving officer.

Invitation for Appointment

(58) The University reserves the right to offer an invitation for appointment to a specific individual where the appointment will meet the strategic requirements of the University, in accordance with the Appointment by Invitation Policy.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Understanding the Recruitment Elements

(59) A sound understanding of the following elements is essential in preparing an advertisement that will result in a successful recruitment and selection campaign:

  1. the applicants' decision to seek employment with the University;
  2. realistic job previews;
  3. the image of the University;
  4. matching people and jobs.

(60) More information regarding each of the above elements is provided in Section 5, Guidelines.

(61) Staff members must also have a good understanding of the merit-based principles that underpin the University's recruitment and selection process. Please refer to this Policy for details. The Professional Development Unit provides recruitment and selection training, the availability of which can be accessed via Staff Online.

(62) Clarification is available from the Office of Human Resources should any staff member require additional clarification in regard to merit-based principles and/or the above elements. Assistance should be obtained from the Office of Human Resources prior to preparation of the recruitment documentation.


(63) The Office of Human Resources is the key liaison point for immigration issues.

(64) Where immigration issues relate to particular recruitment actions, this may delay the commencement date due. Therefore, to facilitate the process, the Chair Selection Committee must notify the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible.

(65) In negotiating a commencement date with the recommended applicant, the Chairperson must allow time for completion of the immigration process. The recommended applicant cannot commence employment with the University until clearance from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is received in writing by the University.

(66) If any of the short-listed applicants are non Australian residents and are considered to be strong candidates, the Chairperson should notify the Office of Human Resources at the post short-listing stage. This early notification will speed up the immigration process. An employer nomination under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) can be lodged before an applicant has been selected for the position as the nomination application does not require applicant details.

(67) The Chairperson must notify the Office of Human Resources once a verbal acceptance of an offer of employment has been received from an overseas applicant to enable the immigration process to commence.

(68) The Office of Human Resources will contact the selected applicant to discuss immigration requirements and will liaise with DIAC, the selected applicant and the Chairperson or nominee throughout the process.

(69) The DIAC service standard processing times for permanent residence visa applications is five months for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) eligible nationals and seven months for non-ETA eligible nationals after the Employer Nomination has been finally determined. These standards are indicative only and apply to visa applications lodged with complete documentation. An application may take longer if lodged without all required documentation or if there are delays due to Health and Character checks.

(70) The DIAC service standards for temporary Visa 457 applications is four weeks for ETA eligible nationals and six weeks for non-ETA eligible nationals. Most temporary Visa 457 applications do not require police clearances. Generally only a chest x-ray will be required, unless they are working in a classroom environment where a full examination is required.

(71) The successful applicant may arrive in Australia on the basis of a temporary Visa however cannot commence employment until DIAC clearance is received by the University.

Document Preparation

(72) In preparing the following documentation, in the first instance staff must seek approval to fill the vacancy. The completed documentation should be sent to the Office of Human Resources electronically to facilitate the process. The required documentation includes the following:

  1. Request to Fill a Position Form,
  2. Position Statement,
  3. Selection Criteria which forms part of the Position Statement,
  4. Copy of a draft advertisement.

(73) Information regarding each of these documents is provided below.

Approval criteria

(74) Approval to fill a vacancy will only be given where:

  1. the vacancy falls within the approved staffing plan for the relevant College /Division;
  2. the necessary budget and other resource infrastructure is in place to support the position;
  3. a viable option does not exist to appoint a currently displaced employee into the position; and
  4. in consideration of both the current and future workforce requirements for the area there exists a clear and demonstrable need to fill the position in the proposed manner (e.g. on a permanent, fixed term or temporary basis).

Reviewing and Preparing the Position Statement

(75) Before commencing the recruitment process, the position requirements should be determined by the relevant Executive Dean /Director (or nominee) and the position statement should be reviewed to ensure that it is up-to-date and accurately reflects the required position. This is particularly important for any position that has changed significantly. The position status (full-time, part-time, fixed term or continuing) needs to be clear.

(76) If there is no position statement or the position tasks/responsibilities have changed, a position statement must be prepared and evaluated before recruitment action can commence.

(77) General Staff position statements requiring evaluation must be sent to the Office of Human Resources who will undertake the evaluation process. This ensures consistency and fairness in General Staff evaluations across the University.

(78) Where a General Staff position statement accurately reflects the vacant position and there is no change to the previously approved HEW level, it can be sent to the Office of Human Resources with the Request to Fill a Position Form and the draft advertisement to allow recruitment action to commence.

(79) Position statements for academic positions are to be in accordance with the Positions Classification Standards as detailed in the UWS Academic Staff Agreement and included for all advertised positions.

(80) The University's current position statement template is available on the Office of Human Resources 'Forms and Templates' web page.

Preparing the Selection Criteria

(81) Selection criteria assists the recruitment and selection process by providing a consistent set of standards for all applicants which can be observed/measured, and a structured means for a comparative assessment of the applicant.

(82) Prior to advertising, key selection criteria should be identified by the Executive Dean or Director (or nominee) based on the "person specification" as outlined in the position statement. The selection criterion must contain the critical skills, knowledge, qualifications, experience and attributes required for competent performance. Desirable criteria must not be included.

(83) Formal qualifications are only essential where the requirements of the position include a legal/award obligation for such qualifications, or where it can be demonstrated that the qualification is required for competent job performance.

(84) It is important to ensure that the selection criteria do not exclude eligible people from consideration on the basis of unlawful discriminatory grounds, including: age; disability; homosexuality; marital status; political affiliations; views or beliefs; pregnancy or potential pregnancy; carers' responsibilities, race; religious affiliations; sex and transgender or transexuality.

Nominating the Contact Officer for Receiving Enquiries

(85) A contact officer must be nominated and available to take enquiries from interested applicants when the vacancy is advertised. Staff intending to take leave or who may not be available due to classes or meetings should not be nominated. The nominated contact is to be detailed on the Request to Fill a Position Form.

Part B - Advertising

UWS Website Advertising

(86) Where a position is to be advertised on the UWS Positions Vacant website either internally and/or externally, the approved Request to Fill a Position Form, Position Statement, and draft advertisement must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources will liaise with the Chairperson and nominated recruitment contact throughout the process.

(87) The following information is displayed on the UWS Positions Vacant website:

  1. the advertisement,
  2. the position statement,
  3. guidelines on how to apply,
  4. information on working at the University,
  5. any other UWS information that may be relevant.

(88) To ensure that advertising is effective, internally advertised positions on the UWS Positions Vacant website will include a notation in the advertisement regarding eligibility to apply, (i.e. that intending applicants must be either ongoing, fixed term, full or part time or casual employees of the University at the time the availability of the position is advertised).

Preparing the Advertisement

(89) In drafting an advertisement attention is required to ensure:

  1. The advertisement is based on the position statement.
  2. Non-essential criteria or "desirables" are excluded.
  3. Any language that could be construed as discriminatory is not used.
  4. Advertising is very expensive and all Colleges /Divisions have a responsibility to advertise in a cost effective manner. Advice on advertising can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources.

Part C - Selection Process


(90) Selection processes and assessment must be relevant to the skills, experience and attributes required for competent performance. The short-list is determined on the basis of information supplied in each application, and elimination of applicants for interview should be determined in the following order:

  1. Those who do not possess the essential knowledge, skills, or attributes stated in the selection criteria; and
  2. An applicant's knowledge, skills and attributes are clearly not competitive with other applications.

(91) Each Selection Committee will need to agree, in writing on the reasons why applicants have been/have not been short-listed and the details provided on the short-listing form.

Arranging Interviews

(92) The Chair Selection Committee will be responsible for arranging interviews, including an appropriate interview venue. The Office of Human Resources can provide advice on the interview process.

(93) Interviewees must be provided with reasonable notice to attend an interview in addition to appropriate advice regarding the location and any other relevant information.

(94) A list of relevant questions must be compiled prior to interviews being held to ensure consistency in information gathering across all interviewees. At the conclusion of the recruitment process, a copy of the interview questions must be returned to the Office of Human Resources with all associated documentation for auditing and possible FOI purposes.

(95) The interview is essentially an information gathering and evidence seeking exercise. To facilitate the process, each Selection Committee should:

  1. base questions on job relevant factors only,
  2. encourage the applicant to provide examples of actual past experiences,
  3. develop questions to gauge competency in relevant areas,
  4. include questions on applicants' likes and dislikes in relation to previous roles as a way to gauge the 'fit between the job and the person's requirements.
  5. have a structured approach treating all applicants equally,
  6. provide applicants with a realistic job preview.

Referee Checking

(96) Reference checking is an important element of the selection process, and is necessary in order to establish the truth of applicant data, probe specific skills areas and confirm impressions obtained during selection interviews. Past work experience and actions are a comparatively reliable predictor of future performance.

(97) It is generally preferable to obtain "employment" rather than "person" information. In all cases referees should:

  1. have observed the applicant's actual behaviour;
  2. have the competence to evaluate performance (that is be free from bias and have perceptual skills);
  3. have the capacity to express evaluations in meaningful terms; and
  4. be able to be completely candid about applicants.

(98) Referees not specifically nominated by the applicant (i.e. current and/or former supervisors) may be contacted although the applicant's prior permission must be obtained before doing so.

(99) Guidelines are included on how to conduct reference checking and reference reports in Section 5.

Selection Committee Report

(100) When all selection processes have been finalised, the Selection Committee will make a recommendation to appoint a suitable applicant on the Selection Committee Report Form. All members of the Selection Committee are required to sign the Selection Committee Report Form unless a minority report is contemplated by a Committee Member.

(101) The report will document the reasons an applicant is considered suitable for appointment, and the specific reasons each other applicant was considered not suitable for appointment. The reasons outlined must be clearly expressed in relation to the specific selection criteria in the Selection Committee Report form. The only information to be considered in the decision making process is that available to the Selection Committee from the application, interview, any practical tests/demonstrations and referee checks.

(102) In a selection process where more than one applicant is considered suitable for appointment, the Selection Committee should rank applicants in order of suitability and note the Selection Committee Report accordingly.

(103) If the recommended applicant declines the position or leaves the University through resignation or any other reason within six months of commencement, the next applicant identified as suitable for appointment on the Selection Committee eligibility listing may be offered the appointment. Alternatively line management may decide to readvertise and recommence the recruitment and selection process.

(104) The eligibility list may also be utilised where a subsequent position/s at the same campus with the same selection criteria becomes available within six months of the initial advertised position being accepted.

(105) A member of the committee, who is not satisfied with any aspect of the selection process or the majority selection of a preferred applicant, may choose to inform the Selection Committee of their decision and intention to submit a minority report. In this case the dissenting Committee Members should not sign the majority report. A minority report forms part of the Committee's full report that is submitted to the relevant approving delegate and can be accessed under FOI legislation. The approving delegate may approve the majority recommendation or authorise that further selection processes take place by:

  1. calling for additional referee reports,
  2. re-interviewing applicant/s,
  3. conducting additional approved selection processes.

Unsuccessful Applicants

(106) Unsuccessful applicants must be treated with courtesy and sensitivity. In particular, where an unsuccessful applicant is also a current staff member the Chair Selection Committee should contact the unsuccessful applicant/s directly as soon as possible as a matter of courtesy.

(107) To ensure that applicants not selected for interview are notified as soon as possible, the Chair Selection Committee should complete and forward the short listing form to the Office of Human Resources prior to interviews taking place. Non interviewed applicants will then be sent unsuccessful letters by the Office of Human Resources.

(108) On receipt of the completed and approved Selection Committee Report and notification from the Chairperson regarding verbal acceptance of an offer, the Office of Human Resources will send appropriate letters to the unsuccessful interviewed applicants.

Approval of the Appointment

(109) Appointments are approved by the delegation holders as per the Delegations (Administrative) Policy. Where a delegation holder acts as Chair Selection Committee or forms part of the Selection Committee, the report is to be forwarded to the next level of authority for approval before being sent to the Office of Human Resources. The decision of the approving officer as described in the University's delegations is final.

Part D - Confirmation of Appointment

Salary Considerations

(110) Following discussion with the Selection Committee, the Chairperson will recommend a salary step within the salary level for the advertised position.

(111) Normally appointment is at the minimum rate of the salary range for the position except in exceptional circumstances. Each Selection Committee may recommend a higher step within the salary range taking into account:

  1. the applicant's relevant skills, experience and qualifications,
  2. the rate required to attract the applicant,
  3. existing salary relativities.

(112) Where a higher than base step is recommended, rational for this decision must be included in documentation and approved by the delegated officer.

(113) Where a loading payment is recommended for the preferred candidate [see Section 3, clause (23)] the recommendation is to be forwarded to the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(114) The decision of the delegated officer as detailed in the Delegation (Administrative) Policy is final.

Part E - Commencement

(115) Following receipt of written approval from the delegated offer to appoint, a verbal offer may be made to the successful applicant. If the offer is accepted, the Chairperson and the successful applicant will negotiate a start date and the Chairperson will notify the Office of Human Resources who will complete and send the successful applicant a formal letter of offer.

(116) The recommended applicant is required to sign and return a copy of the University's formal Letter of Offer to indicate acceptance of the offer within 10 days of the date on the letter of offer. On receipt, the Office of Human Resources will enter the staff member on the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) for payroll and record purposes. Entry on HRIS also enables connection to IT services and facilitates application for a parking permit and staff card.

(117) As part of the acceptance, the successful applicant must acknowledge that they have read and will comply with the University's Code of Conduct and Intellectual Property Code throughout the course of their employment with the University.

(118) Where a position requires a Working with Children Check, documentation will be included with the letter of offer for completion by the successful applicant and return to the Office of Human Resources. This requirement is a condition of employment as detailed in the University's Working with Children (UWS Employees) Policy.

(119) Office of Human Resources will notify the supervisor regarding completion of the process and the staff member's personnel number to enable the supervisor to arrange the IT connections.

(120) A successful applicant must not commence employment until such time as they have received and accepted the University's formal letter of offer and have satisfied the requirements detailed in that letter.

(121) All successful applicants should attend the University's Orientation/Induction training programs as early as possible after appointment.

Payment and Relocation Expenses

(122) In the event of special circumstances which may warrant the payment of fares and relocation expenses to the successful applicant, reference must be made to the Relocation Fares and Expenses Payment Policy for conditions and information.


(123) All new staff to the University must undergo a probationary period relevant to their employment classification and level of appointment. The duration of the probationary period will be reasonable having regard to the nature and circumstances of the appointment. Managers of new staff members should refer to the probation clause in the relevant Staff Agreement. Probation does not apply where existing staff are successful in gaining a new role.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Guidelines

The Applicant's Decision

(124) Recruitment is a two-way process. While the panel is making a decision about an applicant, the applicant is also making a decision about working at the University.

(125) It is generally in the interest of both parties that a well-informed decision is made, however, it is often assumed that applicants have more knowledge of a job than they actually do.

Realistic Job Previews

(126) Successful applicants should be provided with a realistic job preview. Staff members are more likely to remain in a position if they accepted the position with a realistic impression of the role. "Telling it how it really is" allows any myths about the role to be dispelled and prevents disillusion if expectations are not met.

The Image of the University

(127) Recruitment is also a critical public relations exercise and is often the first or most direct contact that people will have with the University. The extent to which the process is professional will have an impact on the general image of the University and its staff. Professionalism can be conveyed by ensuring that:

  1. the interview is punctual,
  2. is held in appropriate facilities,
  3. insightful questions are asked; and
  4. the applicant is relaxed and well-informed throughout the interview.

Matching People and Jobs

(128) It is important to identify interviewees' values, competencies and behaviours accurately to ensure that both the applicants' competencies and their requirements of the role are appropriate to the role. Failure to consider these factors may impact on subsequent performance and retention.

(129) The following helps conceptualise what we are trying to achieve in selection, (i.e. a good 'fit'). There are two aspects of this 'fit' to consider:

  1. The fit between the person and the job requirements "can they do the job?"
  2. The fit between the job and the person's requirements "will they do the job?" i.e. Fit in terms of:
    1. capability;
    2. values;
    3. motivation to do the job based on the job being what the candidate thinks it is.

(130) What the University needs to know is whether a person has the knowledge, skills and personal attributes to perform in the job. Importantly, also whether the person will be motivated by the University's culture, work practices, reward systems, management, team environment.

(131) If a strong 'fit' is achieved in both these areas it should result in an employee that is:

  1. highly competent;
  2. satisfied; and
  3. long serving.

(132) The types of questions included in the interview should provide relevant information which achieves appointment of the most suitable applicant for the particular role. Please refer to the Section on Arranging Interviews.

Advertisement Guidelines

(133) For consistency, the construction and composition of any advertisement should adhere to the current UWS job advertisement template as updated from time to time by the Office of Human Resources and available on the recruitment website.

Role of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee

(134) The role of the Chairperson is to direct the conduct and activities of the committee towards the objective of making its recommendation for the position on the basis of merit.

(135) The Chairperson has a vital role in:

  1. co-ordinating the selection process,
  2. ensuring compliance with policies and procedures,
  3. facilitating committee discussions and decision-making,
  4. completing and forwarding the required documentation,
  5. providing post-selection feedback,
  6. co-ordinating the provision of information in the event of an appeal regarding the selection process only. Appeals against selection outcome will not be considered.

(136) At commencement of the recruitment process, all staff directly involved in the recruitment process should be made aware of the need for confidentiality in relation to the recruitment action. The Chairperson should also request that these staff complete Confidentiality Forms. The forms are to be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources with other recruitment documentation on completion of the recruitment process.

(137) After the position closes, the Chair Selection Committee should make arrangements to obtain the recruitment file from the Office of Human Resources.

(138) As part of the selection process, the Chairperson will arrange for committee members to:

  1. read and complete the Confidentiality Undertaking forms;
  2. discuss and reach a clear understanding of the selection criteria;
  3. read the applications;
  4. short-list applicants for interview;
  5. reach agreement on areas of questioning and structure of interview;
  6. determine how and when the committee will seek referees and which applicant's referees are to be sought if written reports are required in advance.

(139) The Chairperson will:

  1. complete the short-listing form and arrange for it to be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources;
  2. confirm the committee's availability for interview date;
  3. organise refreshments for the Selection Committee if required;
  4. organise interview times with applicants;
  5. determine whether applicants will be required to provide any additional information; and
  6. prepare Selection Committee papers including, the selection committee report, copy of referee reports etc.

(140) The Chairperson must ensure that:

  1. the Committee gives fair consideration to all written information in relation to applicants, thus allowing fair and effective short-listing;
  2. applications are assessed by the Committee in accordance with the selection criteria and the reasons for the decisions recorded;
  3. questions are prepared by the Committee which cover the selection criteria and avoid issues not related to the requirements of the position;
  4. interviews are conducted so that there are no elements of bias, patronage or unlawful discrimination;
  5. each member of the Selection Committee declares any perceived or potential conflict of interest with any applicant;
  6. the Selection Committee Report is prepared and includes a comparison of relative merits in terms of the selection criteria for all applicants interviewed;
  7. the Selection Committee Report is signed by all Committee members, excepting any who intend to present a dissenting report;
  8. the skills and experience of recommended applicant are checked through referees;
  9. committee members keep all discussions, papers and recommendations strictly confidential;
  10. all documentation is forwarded to the Office of Human Resources.

Short-listing Guidelines

(141) In making short-listing decisions, care must be taken not to exclude applicants:

  1. with work experiences gained overseas or with overseas qualifications before qualifications have been checked for acceptability,
  2. with disabilities on the basis of assumptions about their capacity to perform the duties of the position,
  3. with job related experience that, while unusual, may be relevant, eg, voluntary work or community based work,
  4. on the basis of untested assumptions about factors such as child rearing plans or other carer responsibilities or willingness to travel or to work shifts or overtime,
  5. who may appear to be over-qualified in the assumption that they will get "bored" with the job.

(142) The information from the short-listing sheet is confidential. However, it can be used in conjunction with applicants' resumes for the following purposes:

  1. In explaining to applicants why they were not short-listed;
  2. To enable the Complaints Resolution Unit to respond to complaints regarding fairness of an appointment;
  3. To justify a final appointment.
  4. For the above reasons and in accordance with legislative requirements, it is important that there is accurate and comprehensive documentation completed at each stage of the selection process.

(143) It is also important to make sure short-listing sheets are completed comprehensively because; the information pertaining to an individual can be requested by that person under the Freedom of Information Act.

Arranging Interviews

(144) When determining an interview date, the Chairperson should ensure that there is enough time to contact all the short-listed applicants and that reasonable notice can be given to the applicant so they can make appropriate arrangements (particularly if travel is involved). At least three working days notice should be given for interview.

(145) For interstate/intrastate or overseas applicants who have been short-listed for interview, a telephone interview may be considered. Where it is proposed to interview a short-listed interstate/intrastate or overseas applicant, the Executive Dean or Director is required to approve the funding of the travel expenses for the applicant. The Chair Selection Committee should liaise with the Office of Human Resources. Interview expenses are charged to the relevant College /Unit.

Selection Techniques

(146) There are various selection tools that a panel can use to complement the interview. Combining different kinds of assessment greatly increases the validity of the selection. Whichever methods chosen, you need to:

  1. avoid over-reliance on the interview alone;
  2. realise that different methods work better for different kinds of work and tailor the method to the job;
  3. clearly identify the link between selection tools and the selection criteria;
  4. avoid racial, cultural, gender, socio-economic and other forms of bias in the testing method;
  5. avoid tests which favour applicants with superior communication skills if these are not necessary to the job;
  6. respect applicants privacy when developing the questions;
  7. advise applicants of the assessment methods to be used;
  8. ensure all applicants take assessments under equivalent conditions (e.g. the information and time given are the same.)

(147) Adjustments should be made as necessary for people who indicate they have a disability.

Referees' Reports

Who to Contact?

(148) The most relevant referee information about job applicants will concern prior work experience and it is usual to contact several of the applicants' immediate supervisors. Applicants will usually suggest referees favourable to themselves. Therefore it is important to select several rather than single referees, and to request permission to contact them personally rather than through applicant-supplied written references.

(149) In cases where applicants are unwilling for contact to be made with immediate supervisors, the reasons should be discussed with applicants at the interview and respected, and alternative referees sought. Clients, customers or previous supervisors may be useful options. If inability to contact a referee would prejudice an application, the applicant should be made aware of this.

(150) It is generally preferable to obtain "employment" rather than "person" information. In all cases referees should fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Adequate opportunity to observe, and observation of, actual behaviour;
  2. Competence to evaluate performance (that is free from bias, perceptual skills);
  3. Capacity to express evaluations in meaningful terms; and
  4. Complete candour about applicants.

Written Referee Reports

(151) As many referees are very busy people it is often difficult to obtain written referee reports on an applicant at short notice. When scheduling interview dates Committees intending to request written referee reports should be aware it might take two to three weeks before such reports are received.

(152) Referees are to be reminded that their report could be accessed under a FOI ruling.

(153) Whether written or verbal contact it is important to remember that referees are verifying information supplied to the committee by the applicant and therefore it is important that questions to referees are consistent with those asked of the applicant. The Chairperson should make the contact and keep accurate and objective records.

What Information is sought?

(154) Information sought from work referees can include, but is not restricted to, the following work aspects:

  1. Experience gained - dates of employment, job title, skills and abilities displayed;
  2. Promotional, career-path and training aspects;
  3. Specialist projects, outcomes, problem-solving and decision-making exercises, personal styles;
  4. Actual job responsibilities - financial, budgetary, managerial, etc;
  5. Interpersonal relationships (supervisors, colleagues, subordinates and clients) and demonstrated abilities and inadequacies;
  6. Reasons for the applicant leaving and referee comments on rehiring the applicant;
  7. Questions could also cover areas such as behaviour under pressure or in particular situations.

(155) When checking references it is suggested that patterns of past accomplishment or failure are a guide to the applicant's character. Isolated events should not be disregarded, but should be put in perspective with the rest of the information obtained. If necessary, further inquiry could be made of the applicant regarding any unusual events.


(156) The University's Privacy Policy protects the rights of both applicants and their referees; ensures that access to information is restricted and that such records are free from bias or discriminatory language.

(157) Importantly, applicants are entitled to obtain access to referee information under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation and as such, records of referee contact must be as objective as possible and demonstrably relevant to the position applied for.