Recruitment and Appointment

Continuing and Fixed-Term Recruitment and Appointment Procedure

Policy code: HR2054
Policy owner: Director, People and Culture
Approval authority: Vice-Chancellor
Approval date: 25 October 2021
Next review date: 25 October 2024

Purpose

The University aims to be a first-choice employer and destination for students in each of our communities we serve, embedding a values driven and talent-focused culture, ensuring contribution and commitment to the candidate and employee experience.

Our recruitment and appointment decisions are aligned to the strategic goals and priorities of the University. They will support our values of inclusion, innovation, excellence, empowerment and collaboration as outlined in Federation’s Living Values Charter. As Australia’s leading regional University, we will recruit and appoint talented people who will continue to transform lives and enhance communities; ensuring a strong and sustainable university for all.

Appointments are made on the principles of merit and achievement relative to opportunity, ensuring adherence to equity and equal opportunity employment.

The purpose of this procedure is to advise recruiting managers and Selection Committees on the recruitment process and to ensure compliance with relevant legislative frameworks.

All continuing and fixed-term recruitment at the University should be initiated and managed via the e‑Recruitment system, to support consistent and timely appointments.

Scope

This procedure applies to the appointment of all continuing and fixed-term staff at our campuses, sites and centres of the University.

Definitions

For further definitions, refer to the University’s Recruitment and Appointment Policy, Federation University Australia Union Enterprise Agreement 2019–2021, and Federation University Australia TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement 2019.

Term Definition
Minimum employment period The purpose of this period is to allow an employer with a period of time to assess a new employee, without being subject to an unfair dismissal claim. In accordance with Fair Work Act 2009 s.383, in the case of the University the minimum employment period is six months.
Probationary period A period of time during which the staff member is subject to formal assessment and provided with counselling and support to confirm their progress as outlined in the relevant University probation policy and procedure.

Actions

Conflict of interest within a recruitment process

A conflict of interest occurs where a person’s personal interest could improperly influence, or may appear to improperly influence them when making a work-related decision/s as outlined in the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy and Conflict of Interest Procedure.

A conflict of interest exists whether it is:

  • actual, it currently exists;
  • potential, it may arise, given the circumstances; or
  • perceived, members of the public could reasonably form the view that a conflict exists, or could arise, that may improperly influence the performance of their duties to the University, now or in the future.

Where an actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest occurs within the Recruitment and Appointment process, the following steps must be undertaken.

Committee Members

Where a potential conflict of interest exists (or may exist at some time in the future) the committee member must declare that conflict of interest in writing to the Chair of Committee. 

It is at the discretion of the Chair of Committee, in accordance with relevant policies and procedures, to determine if the disclosure may impede the committee member’s impartial decision making and advise People and Culture of the declaration.

Chair of Committee

Where a potential conflict of interest exists (or may exist at some time in the future) the committee member must declare that conflict of interest in writing to the Director, People and Culture. 

It is at the discretion of the Director, People and Culture, in accordance with relevant policies and procedures, to determine if the disclosure may impede the Chair of Committee’s impartial decision making.

The University is committed to ensure that no undue advantage or disadvantage occurs as a result of the existence of a personal relationship.  Staff members should access the Staff Code of Conduct Policy for further information.

In the event that a potential conflict of interest has been disclosed and that disclosure is not considered a conflict by the delegated approver, upon deliberation at shortlisting and after interviews, the committee member will be the last person to provide their preferences, and must also be disclosed on the selection committee report.

Establishment and approval of new/replacement staffing positions

The authority to establish new positions and appoint to vacant positions must be in accordance with the Staffing Delegations in the Delegations – Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy.

Within each area of responsibility, Delegated Officers have authority to create new positions, establish parameters of a position, and initiate the recruitment and appointment process. The establishment of positions is subject to Finance approval.

A position description must be prepared or reviewed and/or classified (where appropriate) to ensure it accurately reflects the duties and responsibilities of the position, the Living Values Charter, and must be attached to the recruitment request.

To obtain approval of new/replacement staffing positions, a recruitment requisition must be created in the e‑Recruitment system and approved by the Delegated Officer, outlining Finance and space management approval.

Advertising the position

It is the University’s position that all jobs should be advertised to ensure that the best person is selected through an open and competitive process. However, there are some circumstances where advertising may not be required, such as:

Where a search assignment is being conducted by an approved Recruitment or Executive Search Agency or using a targeted search plan approved by the Director, People and Culture.

The recommended advertising period is two weeks. Where international sponsorship has been approved, advertising must meet the required conditions, for further advice please contact People and Culture.

People and Culture will advise the Chair of the Selection Committee of any senior managerial directives applicable to the recruitment activity i.e. the application of special measures.

Candidates may be contacted and interviewed throughout the duration of the advertising period in order to expedite decision-making.

Selection Committee

The selection process for all positions within the scope of this procedure will be coordinated by People and Culture. To ensure timely recruitment, the recruiting manager should advise People and Culture of the Selection Committee membership at the time of requisition.

At all stages of the selection process, the Selection Committee is expected to ensure that they possess:

  • all materials and records regarding the selection process are securely destroyed or centrally stored at the end of the selection process;
  • the selection process is given a high priority in order to ensure a timely outcome;
  • the achievements of all candidates are assessed relative to opportunity;
  • equity principles are adhered to and considered when shortlisting and providing recommendations for appointment;
  • all personal information is protected and only used for the primary purpose of assessing the suitability of the candidate for the position (see Information Privacy Procedure); and
  • any potential conflict of interest is declared and documented.

Composition of Selection Committee

The Selection Committee Chair must advise People and Culture of the Selection Committee.

Selection Committees will include reasonable gender balance, and will be comprised of (at a minimum):

  • the direct supervisor of the position as the Chair;
  • a person with relevant expertise; and
  • a peer representative.

Additional person/s may be included as committee members as required.

If an applicant is from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, the committee membership will include an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

Shortlisting

All internal members of the Selection Committee are required to participate in the shortlisting of applicants, external committee members may be invited to participate in shortlisting.

The Selection Committee must ensure that all candidates selected for interview align to the Key Selection Criteria and the University’s Living Values Charter.

Interviews

Interviews are a requirement of the recruitment and appointment process, except where:

  • the position meets the requirements as per the Direct Appointments Procedure; or
  • if, following advertisement of a position, a person who has been acting in that position for a period of nine months or more is the only applicant. The selection process then involves consideration of the application and referee reports. Members of the Selection Committee are required to complete and sign the Selection Committee Report.

Candidates must be asked a series of behavioural based questions aligned to the key selection criteria and the University’s Living Values Charter. To ensure consistency and due process, all shortlisted candidates will be asked the same interview questions at first-round interview.

More than one interview may be conducted throughout the recruitment and appointment process. At the discretion of the Chair, other experts may be requested to provide an assessment following the first interview. However, the nominated Selection Committee remains responsible for providing the recommendation for appointment.

Supplementary selection assessment

In some circumstances, in consultation with People and Culture, it may be appropriate to request applicants to complete supplementary selection assessment/s.

Reference Reports

Prior to a recommendation for appointment, at least two referee checks for external applicants and one referee check for internal applicants must be recorded. Referees must be able to provide feedback regarding an applicant from a professional, and ideally managerial perspective.

Only referees who have been nominated by the candidate may be contacted.

References must be documented, and any documentation related to the reference check process must be centrally stored with People and Culture.

Recommendation for new appointment

Appointment decisions will be based on merit using equitable and transparent processes, and on achievement relative to opportunity.

At the conclusion of the interview process, and following consideration of referee feedback, supplementary selection assessments and checks (where applicable), a Selection Committee Report must be completed, signed by all internal committee members, and provided to the Delegated Officer for approval.

Where the committee reaches consensus, the Chair of the Selection Committee (or nominee), may advise the first ranked candidate that they are the preferred candidate for appointment, subject to Delegated Officer approval.

While it is desirable that recommendations are by consensus, a Minority Report may be submitted by any member of the Selection Committee outlining the reason/s for dissent. The Minority Report must be submitted with the Selection Committee report for review by the Delegated Officer.

Decisions made by the Delegated Officer are final.

Approval of appointments

Approval of the appointment must only be undertaken on the authorisation of the Delegated Officer in accordance with the Delegations – Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy, and the provisions detailed within the recruitment request.

The Delegated Officer will consider Selection Committee Report and supporting documentation (and Minority Report where applicable) to determine approval of the appointment. Approval of the Delegated Officer must be recorded.

Where the Delegated Officer determines that no appointment will be made, the Chair must consult with People and Culture to explore alternative recruitment options.

Offer to successful appointee

Following the Delegated Officer’s approval, the Chair of the Selection Committee (or nominee), will confirm the offer of employment to the preferred candidate, advising the preferred candidate that the offer is subject to pre-employment requirements and a completed employment contract.

Following the verbal acceptance of the offer, the Chair must notify People and Culture for contract preparation.

If the successful applicant is a current University employee, and the position is fixed-term, the employee may request to be appointed on a secondment basis, in accordance with the Temporary Appointment, Secondment and Expression of Interest Procedure.

Where an offer is declined, the Chair may make a verbal offer to the next ranked applicant without requiring further delegated approval.

Pre-employment checks

Employment may be conditional on the satisfactory completion of pre-employment checks, such as

  • Working with Children or equivalent check (WWCC);
  • Right to work validation;
  • Validation of qualification or certificates (where appropriate);
  • Pre-employment screening, in accordance with AS 4811-2006 Employment Screening standard.

The University reserves the right to withdraw the offer of employment if we receive information of any relevant criminal convictions, or knowledge that the applicant has been investigated for any other behaviour that would be incompatible with the position, or which may adversely affect the University's reputation if subsequently disclosed, conflict of interest or contrary medical information, or to take other action in the event of the candidate's failure to disclose such information prior to appointment.

This will be determined by the Director, People and Culture or nominee who will inform the candidate in writing of the outcome, and if employment has commenced, the employment relationship will cease.

Advising Unsuccessful Applicants

Unsuccessful applicants that have been interviewed must be verbally notified by the Chair of the Selection Committee. Notification to the unsuccessful applicants who were not interviewed will be sent by People and Culture.

Relocation allowance

If a successful applicant is required to relocate, they may be eligible for reimbursement to an agreed value of expenses incurred.

For further information, see the Relocation allowance guidelines.

Employer sponsorship

Where an appointee does not hold permanent or temporary residence in Australia, the University may sponsor the employee for permanent or temporary residency. In these circumstances, the university will pay the nomination fees. The employee will be responsible for the payment of all other associated expenses, including (but not limited to) visa application fees, for both themselves and any dependent family members (such as spouse and wholly financially dependent children), English language tests, health examinations and private health insurance (if applicable).

Recognition of Prior Service

New staff may apply for recognition of prior service. See the Recognition of prior service guidelines.

Selection Procedure for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Trainees for Academic and General staff

The University is committed to providing employment opportunities for trainees by ensuring preference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees (who successfully complete a traineeship) to fill a suitable vacant positions at the University.

Upon receipt of the submission of an application, the Selection Committee will convene to assess the application based on merit. If the committee determines that the applicant is suitable to shortlist, an interview and reference checks will take place. If the trainee is determined to be unsuitable, the position will be advertised in accordance with the Continuing and Fixed-term Appointment Procedure.

Re-employment of previous staff members

Re-employment of previous staff, following resignation or redundancy, is based on the selection process described in this procedure, provided that re-employment with the University is not in breach of any legislation regarding taxation or superannuation.

Staff whose employment at Federation University Australia has ceased due to redundancy (whether voluntary or otherwise) will not be re-employed within the exclusion period.

Supporting Documents

All university policies and procedures

Related Items

•      Applicant Information via Careers at Federation University website.

Forms

Responsibility

The Vice-Chancellor is ultimately responsible for the implementation of the Policy and Procedure.

The Chair of the Selection Committee is responsible for ensuring adherence to Policy and Procedure, and making appointments based on an applicant's merit, free from bias and unlawful discrimination.

The Director, People and Culture is responsible for:

  • the development of the Recruitment and Appointment Policy and Procedure;
  • monitoring recruitment and appointment activities and addressing inconsistencies in the implementation of the Policy and Procedures; and
  • overseeing the provision of support and advice on the Policy and Procedure.

Promulgation

This procedure will be communicated throughout the University community via:

  1. A FedNews announcement and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the University’s Policy Central website.
  2. Distribution of emails to Deans/Directors / Directors / Managers / University staff.
  3. Documentation distribution, e.g. posters, brochures.
  4. Notification to Schools.

Implementation

This procedure 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 Procedure; and
  2. inclusion on the University's online Policy Library.
  3. Information and training sessions advertised via FedNews and provided by People and Culture to Deans/Directors, Directors and Managers.

Records Management

Document title Location Responsible Officer Minimum retention period
Recruitment Request Form and Approval People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired
Additional Recruitment/Contract Renewal Information People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired
Shortlisting Grid People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven year after employee commencement
Selection Committee Report People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired
Referee Check People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired
Minority Report People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired
Reimbursement of Re‑location Expenses People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired