Recruitment and Merit Selection

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Approved And To Be Published 13 April 2017

Recruitment and Merit Selection Policy

Policy Code: HR964


To ensure that recruitment and merit selection processes contribute to the alignment of the staff profile with the current and emerging strategic directions of the University.

To state the University’s commitment to equal employment opportunity in all recruitment and merit selection processes.

To ensure the selection of all University staff is based on merit.


This policy applies to the recruitment and merit selection of senior, general, academic and TAFE teaching staff for continuing, fixed-term, casual / sessional, secondment and temporary appointments.


Appointment: when an individual accepts an offer of appointment under defined terms and conditions and a formal contract of employment is established between the University and the individual.
Casual / Sessional: employment that is short term in nature and gives coverage of a position where flexibility to vary hours or modify the employment is required.  Employment is by the hour, to work on a irregular basis to cover leave absences, provide assistance for additional, seasonal or special project type work.
Continuing: employment with no fixed end date that does not include casual or sessional employment. It infers an on-going or permanent meaning to employment.
Delegated Officer: a staff member of the University who is responsible for approving actions at stages of the recruitment and merit selection process.  The person delegated will depend upon the type of position being filled.  (Refer to Delegations - Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy as Authorised by the Council of the University.)
Fixed term: employment for a specified term or ascertainable period, for which the employment contract will specify a period of employment and the reason/s for the appointment being fixed term.
Internal Applicant: an existing University staff member holding a full-time or part-time appointment who applies for an advertised University position.  Sessional or casual staff of the University may be permitted to apply for internally advertised positions provided they were in paid employment for the University in the fortnightly pay period when the position was advertised.
Merit selection: selection based on merit is where the best possible match is made between qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and relevant experience of the applicants, and the selection criteria in the Position Description. When assessing applicants, only selection criteria are taken into account; that is, unlawful discrimination based on other applicant characteristics must not occur.  In the case of casual and sessional staff, merit is determined by assessing applicants qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience against the duties to be performed.
Personal Relationships: a relationship which arises from being a member of immediate or extended family, or in a relationship which gives rise to a conflict of interest and includes such matters as matrimonial (including defacto), sexual, business and financial relationships.
Recruitment: the process of seeking and attracting a pool of qualified applicants from which candidates for job vacancies can be selected.
Secondment: a temporary appointment for internal applicants only.  This is to cover specific situations or for employee development reasons as outlined under ‘Secondment’ in this Procedure where at the end of the secondment period, the employee returns to their substantive position.
Selection: the process of choosing the individual best suited to perform the requirements of a particular position.
Temporary appointment: fixed term employment of no longer than 6 months to cover specific situations as outlined under ‘Temporary Appointment’ in this Procedure.
For further definitions, refer to the University Recruitment and Merit Selection Procedure.

Policy Statement

The University applies consistent recruitment and selection practices and procedures to ensure all applicants for positions receive fair and equitable consideration.  The knowledge, skills and experience required for each position is determined to ensure the quality of the University’s operations and services is maintained and continually improved.  The University further aims to select the best available person on merit for each position.

The Recruitment and Merit Selection Policy will operate according to the following principles:


It is essential that the University’s Recruitment and Merit Selection Policy and Recruitment and Merit Selection Procedure are consistent with the principles of equal employment opportunity, and take into account the University’s Equal Opportunity and Valuing Diversity Policy.

Selection Based on Merit

Selection based on merit is where the best possible match is made between qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and relevant experience of the applicants, and the selection criteria in the Position Description.  An applicant’s skills and experience gained and applied in other contexts may be transferable to the University context.


The confidentiality of applicants must be maintained at all times.  Disclosure of information must only be made to those directly involved in the recruitment and merit selection process. In particular, Merit Selection Panel members must maintain confidentiality about the outcomes of the selection process until the Panel’s recommendations have been endorsed by the Delegated Officer and, where relevant, an offer of employment has been accepted.


The process and basis for all merit selection decisions must be clear and transparent.  Applicants have the right to lodge a compliant if they believe that an irregularity has occurred or steps in the process have not been followed in the implementation of the University’s Recruitment and Merit Selection Policy and Recruitment and Merit Selection Procedure.


The Vice-Chancellor is ultimately responsible for the implementation of the policy and procedure.

Chairs of Merit Selection Panels must be trained in the merit selection process and are responsible for ensuring that the policy and procedure are enacted in the processes for which they are responsible.

The Director, Human Resources, is responsible for:


The Recruitment and Merit Selection Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' on the ‘FedUni’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. inclusion on the University's online Policy Library; and
  3. information sessions advertised via FedNews (dated 1/12/2009) and provided by Human Resources to Head of Schools, Head of Departments, Directors and Managers.