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Recruitment and Selection Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This policy details the University of Western Sydney's requirements in regard to recruitment and selection for academic and general staff positions. It sets out the University's standards for employment in such positions and details the principles for recruiting and selecting applicants.

(2) The University's goal as part of Our People 2015 strategy is to build a reputation as an employer of choice in the Greater Western Sydney Region and to attract appropriately skilled applicants who reflect the Region's diverse community. The benefits to the University are an increased pool of potential applicants and access to a broader range of knowledge and skills. The University has policies and programs that support workplace diversity such as the Respect and Inclusion in Learning and Working Policy, the Equal Opportunity Policy, Reasonable Adjustment in the Workplace for People with Disabilities, the Disability Policy, and the Indigenous Employment Strategy.

(3) The University's objective is to ensure a professional, fair and ethical approach to recruitment that matches the skills, expertise and experience of an individual to the requirements of each operating unit and the University's strategic priorities. It does this by having a range of recruitment, selection and appointment strategies.

(4) This document applies to ongoing, fixed-term and secondment vacancies within the University.

(5) Employment of casual staff is not covered by this policy. A hiring manager who engages casual staff shall do so in accordance with the Delegations (Administration) Policy and the relevant staff agreement.

(6) This policy should be read in conjunction with the General Staff Agreement 2009 - 2012 and the Academic Staff Agreement 2009 - 2012.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(7) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. eRecruit - is the University's web-based recruitment management system
  2. Jobs@UWS - is the University's positions vacant web page
  3. Indigenous Australian - is a person who;
    1. Is an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
    2. Identifies as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; and
    3. Is accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(8) The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is committed to the selection of staff on merit and to building organisational capability and excellence through its people. The University's merit-based recruitment and selection principles allow for competitiveness, fairness and transparency. Merit-based recruitment and selection draws from a wide pool of applicants and assesses applicants on the basis of their knowledge, skills, attributes and experiences as these relate to the requirements of the position, the operational unit and the University. The recruitment and selection process:

  1. targets applicants who can clearly demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the position; and
  2. supports decision-making practices that will withstand public scrutiny.

(9) The University strives to provide a work and study environment for staff and students that encourages fairness, equity and respect for social inclusiveness and cultural diversity and is consistent with the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity. Refer to the Respect and Inclusion in Learning and Working Policy.

(10) Employees involved in recruitment are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner, following the University's policies and procedures and to maintain confidentiality of the selection process, and protect individual rights to privacy. The Convenor of the Selection Panel is responsible for ensuring that all Selection Panel members and the support staff are aware of these responsibilities.

(11) Convenors of Selection Panels must ensure that any Selection Panel members who are external to UWS have read and understood the policy requirements.

(12) Where it can be reasonably expected that a staff member will be involved in the recruitment and selection process, Recruitment and Selection Training must be undertaken. Training is provided by the Organisational Development Unit. In circumstances where a Selection Panel member has not undertaken training, the Convenor must ensure that they have read and understood the policy and relevant associated documents.

(13) Employees 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. In accordance with the Code of Conduct and the Conflict of Interest Guidelines, the onus is on the employee to declare any conflict or potential conflict of interest to the Convenor of the Selection Panel.

Indigenous Australian Recruitment

(14) The University will encourage Indigenous Australians to apply, through a competitive process, for positions at all levels of the University in order to build a staff profile which reflects the region in which the University operates. This is in accordance with the University's Indigenous Employment Strategy and its aim to foster an inclusive and diverse workplace for all staff.

(15) The University supports various employment initiatives including recruitment of Indigenous Australians into positions at all levels including Indigenous Non Identified and Identified positions, i.e. trainees, graduates, cadets, interns, management and professorial roles.

(16) The Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement is situated within the Office of Human Resources and has responsibility for strategy, policy and implementation across the University. Where a hiring manager is considering an Identified Indigenous position; or where an applicant declares Indigenous Australian descent for a non Identified Indigenous position, the Director must be consulted.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Recruitment

(17) Recruitment is managed using the University's on-line recruitment management system, eRecruit. The Office of Human Resources manages eRecruit and provides training in its use.

(18) Employees involved in recruiting are to use eRecruit and establish and maintain appropriate records detailing reasons for decisions and providing clear audit trails.

(19) Decisions regarding whether to recruit internally only, or internally and externally will be made by the approving delegate 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 understanding that internal only advertised positions, excluding secondments, limits eligibility to apply to all casual, fixed term and ongoing staff employed by the University at the time of the advertisement.

(20) Prior to proceeding with any recruitment action, advertising must be approved by the appropriate delegate as set out in the Delegations (Administrative) Policy.

(21) In regard to current and future workforce requirements, the proposed type of employment required to fill the vacancy must be considered in terms of strategic impact, taking into account both the duration of the appointment and the type of appointment (i.e. ongoing, fixed term, casual). Types of employment also include Identified Indigenous employment, cadetships, apprenticeships, traineeships, and graduate placements.

(22) The University must be able to demonstrate that it has reasonably considered flexible employment options when recruiting vacant positions. The hiring manager will consider whether a position is suitable for job share, part time or other flexible work arrangement. The appropriate option should be included in the advertisement.

(23) Requests to include reference to the possible payment of a higher performance loading in a recruitment advertisement will be considered in accordance with the Recruitment and Retention (High Performance) Loadings Policy.

(24) Under the Indigenous Employment Strategy, certain positions within the University may be designated as identified Indigenous positions. Designated development programs which include vocational and professional development opportunities are available for Identified Indigenous Australians to assist in increasing the participation of Indigenous Australians at all levels of the University in accordance with the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) and the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth).

(25) Identified Indigenous Positions are positions which provide specific services to Indigenous Australians and/or provide advice about Indigenous Australian culture and people and therefore are most effectively filled by Indigenous Australians. This includes positions that are established with special requirements to recruit, support, educate and/or provide services to Indigenous Australian staff and students. A position description for a formally approved Identified Indigenous position must include the following statement: "This position requires an Indigenous Australian as a genuine occupational qualification under section 14 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)."

External Executive Search

(26) 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.

(27) The engagement of an executive search organisation will be facilitated by the Director Human Resources. Advice from the Office of Human Resources is to be sought should the services of an executive search organisation be considered necessary.

(28) 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.

Appointment by Invitation

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


(30) A position may be advertised either internally only or internally and externally dependent upon the vacancy. With the exception of secondments of less than six months duration advertised via 'expressions of interest', all position advertisements are to be advertised on Jobs@UWS.

(31) Where appropriate, the University may employ other advertising media including newspapers, the internet, recruitment services and community networks. Decisions about suitable advertising media must consider the capacity to attract a wide applicant pool, including applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. All advertising media are subject to approval by the relevant delegated officer as outlined in the Delegations (Administration) Policy.

(32) Where a position could reasonably be anticipated to involve direct contact with children, where that contact will be unsupervised as defined in the Working With Children (UWS Employees) Policy, the Convenor must contact the Office of Human Resources prior to advertising.

(33) In accordance with the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) where a position provides a service specifically for Indigenous people, the University will identify such positions and include wording to this effect in advertising.

(34) The advertisement should include the following wording, or variation thereof; "This position requires an applicant to be an Indigenous Australian as a genuine occupational qualification as authorised by section 14 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)." The University will develop a database of relevant publications, networks and media outlets to support effective recruitment of Indigenous Australians.

(35) Where a position has been advertised as an Indigenous Identified position and a reasonable number of suitable applications have not been received, the recruitment strategy is to be reviewed in consultation with the Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement.

Submission of Applications

(36) Advertisements will direct all applications to be submitted online via the Jobs@UWS website.

(37) Applicants who are unable to submit applications electronically should contact the Office of Human Resources Recruitment team to arrange submission of a written application. On receipt, written applications will be entered into the eRecruit system. Any applications received in other locations are to be promptly forwarded to the Recruitment team.

(38) Late applications will generally not be accepted. However the Convenor has the discretion to accept a late application until the short-listing has been completed. Applications received after completion of the short-listing process will not be considered.

Part B - Selection Panels

(39) The selection process will be undertaken by a Selection Panel. Membership of the Selection Panel is approved in accordance with the Delegations (Administrative) Policy. Care should be taken to ensure that there is a gender balance on the Panel and at a minimum the Panel membership will consist of;

  1. The Convenor, usually the Unit Manager 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, and
  4. Where required by Clause 41, the Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement or nominee.

(40) The Panel membership should be expanded to include the following members to ensure equity:

  1. A person(s) with expertise in disabilities where an applicant has declared a disability;
  2. People from a diversity of backgrounds, e.g. people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, or with an expertise in cultural diversity;
  3. Additional people with relevant experience invited by the Convenor (e.g. for senior staff positions, academic staff positions, managerial positions);
  4. Where there needs to be a gender balance;
  5. To meet the requirements of Clause 41.

    (41) Note: Any additional Panel members included as a result of Clause 40 must be involved in all aspects of the selection process, including short-listing, interviewing and so on.

(42) Selection Panels established for the selection of an identified Indigenous position, or for the assessment of an existing Indigenous Australian employee for any purpose, will aim for at least 50 per cent Indigenous Australian membership in accordance with the relevant staff agreements. These Selection Panels must include the Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement or nominee. The Convenor of the Selection Panel or nominee is to liaise with the Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement regarding all inquiries associated with the selection process.

(43) Selection Panel members must sign a confidentiality notice in which they acknowledge the requirement to maintain confidentiality of the selection process.

(44) On completion of their deliberations it is the responsibility of the Selection Panel 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 the matter back to the hiring manager.

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

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


(47) A short-listing process must be undertaken for all advertised positions and all Selection Panel 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 Panel on those applicants who seem most competitive for the position.


(48) Applicants must be provided with adequate interview notice.

(49) The Convenor must ensure that resources and venues facilitate effective communication between the Selection Panel and applicants.

(50) All applicants attending for interviews must be given the opportunity to indicate that they have particular needs as a result of a disability and have their needs accommodated without discrimination in accordance with the Disability Policy. Where an applicant requires assistive technologies or other adjustments due to disability, the Convenor must seek advice from the Equity and Diversity Unit.

Reference Checking

(51) Prior to making a recommendation to appoint a candidate, the Convenor will arrange for a minimum of two and generally three reference checks.

(52) 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. Where verbal references are sought, a written summary will be provided to the Selection Panel by the Convenor.

(53) Written references should support the applicant's application with specific comments addressing the selection criteria.

(54) All references sought by the University are on a confidential basis. The University's position is that neither the report nor its contents will be made available to anyone other than Selection Panel members and the approving officer to ensure that references are provided on a full and frank basis. Referees should be advised that their report may be requested as part of an FOI application, and that if they wish their reference to remain confidential they should state in the document that they are providing it on a strictly confidential basis to those formally involved in the selection process.

(55) Where appropriate, having regard to the duties and responsibilities of the position in question, a Convenor may request the Office of Human Resources to arrange for a criminal record check to be carried out in relation to a successful applicant to whom an offer of employment will be made.


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

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

(58) If any of the short-listed applicants do not have an appropriate visa or eligibility to work in Australia and are considered strong candidates, the Convenor should notify the Office of Human Resources at the post short-listing stage. This early notification will speed up the immigration process. Any 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.

(59) In negotiating a commencement date with the recommended applicant, the Convenor 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.

(60) 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.

(61) Staff on an Employer Nomination for Temporary Visa 457 should be covered by health insurance as per the conditions of their visa.

Part C - Appointment

Eligibility for Appointment

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

  1. Legislation (eg. employment, immigration, taxation, etc);
  2. University requirements, as provided for in all policies, procedures and any other associated documentation (eg. position descriptions, advertisements).

(63) 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 (eg. from a previous General administrative role to an Academic position or visa versa).

(64) To be eligible to apply for and be appointed to a position that has been advertised internally, with the exception of secondments, applicants must be:

  1. A UWS employee (ongoing, fixed-term or casual) employed at the time of the advertisement; or
  2. An ongoing employee or an employee on a fixed term contract employed at the time of the advertisement by an entity of UWS in which UWS has more than a 50 percent controlled interest.
    Eligibility for Secondments is Outlined in Part D.

(65) Only applicants who have established Indigenous Australian status will be considered for selection into Identified Indigenous positions. Further information is located at the Indigenous Employment website. Indigenous Australian applicants will be required to provide the necessary proof at a time agreed between the applicant and the Convenor of the panel but prior to completion of the short listing and subsequent interview process. There is no requirement for an applicant to provide proof of Indigenous descent when applying for a Non Identified position. This does not prevent an applicant from choosing to provide such documentation to support their application.

(66) All applicant queries regarding proof of Indigenous Australian status are to be referred in the first instance, to the Office of Indigenous Employment and Engagement within the Office of Human Resources.

(67) Documentary evidence provided by the applicant shall be assessed by the Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement or nominee. Where uncertainty remains, the onus shall be on the applicant to prove their Indigenous Australian status.

(68) The Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement or nominee may;

  1. conduct a full or random audit of evidence provided to ensure contact details and referees (as provided in Clause 69) are correct and legitimate,
  2. request further information and/or an interview with any applicant where it is determined that further verification is required or uncertainty exists.

Fares and Relocation Expenses

(69) In the event of circumstances which may warrant the payment of fares or relocation expenses to the successful applicant, this must be in accordance with the Relocation Fares and Expenses Policy.


(70) 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 employees 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.


(71) All successful applicants must complete the University's On-line Orientation Program within three months of commencement and attend a Welcome to UWS Orientation session which is conducted by the Organisational Development Unit.

(72) New appointees should be encouraged to complete the EEO Survey on the University website and if a disability exists, disclose the need for reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

(73) The Director, Indigenous Employment and Engagement will also monitor and support Indigenous Australians employed by the University in accordance with the Indigenous Employment Strategy.

Part D - Secondment Positions

(74) Secondments provide eligible staff with career development opportunities in accordance with the Professional Development Policy. The principles in this policy also apply to recruitment to fill secondments.

(75) Where a vacancy is for a specified period of time and it is advertised internally and/or externally and a current eligible employee is selected as the preferred applicant, that employee may be seconded from their substantive position for the duration of the vacancy.


(76) Where a vacancy is for a period of more than six months, the recruitment process will follow those outlined in Part A of this policy.

(77) Where a secondment opportunity is deemed appropriate and the vacancy is for a period for six months or less, the Unit may seek expressions of interest from staff within the Unit, College or Division via email. A suitable pool of applicants should exist within the Unit, College or Division for this to be a viable option. To target a broader pool of internal applicants, the secondment may also be advertised on Jobs@UWS as an expression of interest.


(78) All ongoing full-time or part-time employees who have completed a minimum of the equivalent of 12 month's full-time continuous service and who have satisfactorily completed performance planning and development may be considered for an internal secondment.

(79) Internal secondment opportunities are also available to fixed-term employees who have met the requirements of clause 77 and where the period of their fixed-term contract covers the duration of the secondment. Casual employees are not eligible to apply for secondments.

(80) An ongoing employee or an employee on a fixed term contract employed at the time of the advertisement by an entity of UWS in which UWS has more than a 50 percent controlled interest may also apply for secondment opportunities at UWS so long as they meet the requirements of Clauses 77 and 78.

(81) The Head of Unit or the Convenor of the Selection Panel (where applicable) is responsible for checking the eligibility of applicants.


(82) Delegation to approve a secondment at the conclusion of the selection process is in accordance with the Delegations (Administrative) Policy. This applies to both the approving of the selection process outcome and the release of the employee who is the preferred applicant.

(83) After approval of the selection process outcome, the preferred applicant may be verbally advised of the outcome and that approval for release to take up the position is subject to the provisions of this policy. A letter of offer will not be issued until the employee's supervisor has been consulted to determine a suitable release date.

(84) Where filling a vacancy will result in a secondment, the supervisor or Head of Unit where the vacancy occurs 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. Where a secondment presents a genuine opportunity for an employee to gain new skills or knowledge and/or to act at a higher level, the delegated officer for the employee's substantive position is expected to support the secondment.

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

(86) Where agreement between the Heads of Units has been reached on the release, the release date from the substantive position would normally occur no later than 20 working days from the date of secondment approval. 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 units.


(87) The role and responsibilities of the position (as provided within the position description), a work plan with performance objectives, and a development plan with learning outcomes should be agreed to by the employee and the supervisor at the commencement of the secondment. Appropriate on-the-job training and supervision should be provided during the secondment.

(88) Secondments may be at the same, higher or lower level compared to the employee's substantive position. If the position is at a higher level, the employee may be eligible for payment of an allowance in accordance with the relevant Staff Agreement. If the position is at the same level, the staff member remains eligible for any increments that would normally apply if they had remained in their substantive position. If the seconded position is at a lower level, the agreement to allow the employee to take up the opportunity is on the understanding that the employee will be paid at the highest salary step for the lower level position.

(89) Employees who proceed on a secondment are expected to exhaust any leave entitlement accrued during the period of the secondment prior to returning to their substantive position. In the event that it is not possible to take leave accrued, the cost centre where the secondment took place will be required to pay for the cost of the leave accrued. These arrangements must be confirmed before an employee returns to their substantive unit.

(90) At the end of the secondment the employee 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 organisational change provisions of the relevant staff agreement.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(91) A Recruitment and Selection Toolkit is available on the UWS Intranet website and is linked to the eRecruit system.