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Policy Manual

Staff Requisitioning, Recruitment, Selection, Reference Checks, Employment Offers, and Offer Letters

Human Resources provides recruitment services for Hiring Officers of the University seeking candidates for posted staff positions. The University is committed to affirmative action/equal employment opportunity and to full compliance with federal, state and local regulations regarding employment.

101.1 REQUISITIONING

All staff positions, new and replacement, will require a requisition in Workday. All requisitions will be go through an approval process which includes review by the school/center budget partner and Human Resources. Once the requisition is approved and posted as an open job, it must remain on the https://jobs.hr.upenn.edu for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days.

101.2 RECLASSIFICATION REQUEST

A reclassification is a significant change in the duties and/or qualifications of an existing position since it was last posted or classified.  Reclassification requests need to be reviewed by Human Resources.

101.3 EXEMPTION FROM POSTING

To initiate a waiver of posting request, create a “confidential job requisition” within Workday. The job will go through the approval process including a review by the Office of Affirmative Action. If approved, a link to the ‘posting’ will be created and the candidate is invited to apply; if not approved, a non-confidential requisition will be created. All hiring process requirements still apply. For information on hiring processes please refer to the Hiring Officer Handbook.

101.4 RECRUITMENT

Hiring Officers should consult with Human Resources to develop appropriate recruitment strategies once a position becomes available.

Hiring Officers and any other University employee involved in the hiring process are required to complete the Best Practices for Hiring@Penn found in Knowledge Link. Training should be completed before the position is posted.

Human Resources support includes: advertising strategy, search strategy, stakeholder meetings, research and sourcing, identification and recruitment of candidates, communications with applicants, candidate screening, interviews and reference management. 

Hiring Officers are encouraged to interview and consider qualified University staff members, especially those affected by position discontinuation or other restructuring efforts, to fill vacant positions. For former Penn staff members, supervisors are advised to contact the applicant’s previous supervisor from that University position. The records of former staff members who were terminated involuntarily may be subject to review by Human Resources to determine the circumstances of the termination.

101.5 SELECTION

Hiring Officers are urged to seek assistance from Human Resources when establishing the selection criteria for an opening. Request assistance from Human Resources to develop of an effective interviewing strategy and questions, check references and verify candidate application information. 

A range of screening and testing services for office support positions is available through the University’s partnership with AppleOne Employment Services. Any screening and testing services must be approved by Human Resources and used for all candidates being considered for the position. Additionally, all testing materials and results for all candidates must be uploaded with the hiring proposal.  Once approved, Hiring Officers can contact AppleOne directly at (215) 252-9023.

101.4 REFERENCE CHECKS

Hiring Officers are required to conduct a reference check as part of the hiring process.  The reference check should include no less than two (2) references from the candidate’s current and/or previous direct supervisors. 

References must be checked for the candidate to whom the Hiring Officer intends to make a conditional job offer. This should be done as the last step before the conditional job offer is made, although reference names and contact information can be collected earlier in the hiring process. Candidates should be advised in advance of the reference check. At a candidate’s request, the reference check from the candidate’s current supervisor can be delayed until after the conditional offer is extended.

In the event that the Hiring Officer believes it is necessary to obtain references for multiple finalist candidates to assist with the final selection decision, the Hiring Officer may do so, provided the Hiring Officer communicates this in advance to the candidates and their permission is obtained.  

SkillSurvey is the preferred method of obtaining references. References also may be obtained over the phone or in other written form. All references must be retained and documented in the Hiring Proposal.  

In addition to the references described above, before an offer can be extended to a candidate who previously worked for the University, the Hiring Officer must contact the candidate’s prior supervisor from that position to obtain a reference. Additionally, the Hiring Officer must work with Human Resources to determine whether the candidate was involuntarily separated from his or her prior position at the University. For any candidates with a prior involuntary termination from employment at the University, Human Resources must review their record to determine the circumstances surrounding the termination. 

101.5 EMPLOYMENT OFFER

To ensure adherence to applicable University policies, salary practices and federal law, after the search has been completed, but before an offer is made, the Hiring Officer is required to submit a Hiring Proposal to Human Resources.

The Hiring Proposal must include information regarding other applicants interviewed, two completed references, and a salary/start date request. Human Resources must authorize the salary and approve the Hiring Proposal before an offer is extended.

Any school/center that makes an unauthorized offer of employment or a significant change to the conditions of employment assumes responsibility for penalties, liabilities, and expenses that may arise out of that action. 

101.6 OFFER LETTERS

All offers of employment are generated through Workday with limited edits available. The offer letter reflects any contingencies upon which the offer is being extended, including: funding for the position, compliance with the Federal Immigration and Control Act and continued work eligibility (see Form I-9 Policy 108), review of records (background check) and references, and compliance with performance expectations for the position.

The offer letter should be sent immediately to the prospective staff member following the oral acceptance of the offer and salary for the position. Applicants accepting offers must sign a statement at the bottom of the offer letter, indicating acceptance and understanding of the conditions of the offer. A copy of the signed offer letter will be retained in the employee’s official Human Resources personnel file.

101.8 TEMPORARY STAFF

Departments that hire temporary staff must adhere to the following guidelines listed below. Please see Temporary Staff on Penn's Payroll - Policy 114.  

1. Prior to hiring a temporary staff member, supervisors should check the employment history and obtain at a minimum of two (2) references from the applicant’s current and/or previous direct supervisors. 
2. All offers of employment are generated through Workday with limited edits available. The offer letter reflects any contingencies upon which the offer is being extended, including: explanation that the position is temporary and does not receive University benefits, funding for the position, compliance with the Federal Immigration and Control Act and continued work eligibility (See Form I-9 Policy 108), review of records and references, and compliance with performance expectations for the position.

3.  The offer letter should be sent immediately to the prospective staff member following the oral acceptance of the offer and salary for the position. Applicants accepting offers must sign a statement at the bottom of the offer letter, indicating acceptance and understanding of the conditions of the offer. A copy of the signed offer letter will be retained in the employee’s official Human Resources personnel file.


Policy Number: 101 
Effective Date: 06/27/2016
Revised Date: 06/11/2019
Last Reviewed Date: 10/09/2019
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 101 (01/01/1993, 06/01/1998, 11/18/2003, 1/22/09, 04/05/2012, 12/09/2014, 04/27/2015)
Applicability: Staff Hires 
Cross-reference: Search Committee Policy 103Posting of Position Openings - Policy 104Applicant Testing - Policy 106Employment of Non-U.S. Citizens - Policy 108Placement Agency Referral - Policy 111Temporary Staff on Penn's Payroll - Policy 114Confidentiality of Records - Policy 201Introductory Period - Policy 618

 

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