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Getting Started

When a vacancy occurs, it is the perfect time to take into consideration organizational needs, and what this position needs to include going forward. There are several things to take into consideration including unit needs, workloads across the unit, reporting relationships, and budgetary impact. When a vacancy occurs, of course you want it filled as quickly as possible, but do not sacrifice long term gain for short term convenience. This is the first step in getting the search right and reaching out to the most qualified candidates.

Before starting a search, ask yourself “If everyone in my organization left today, how would I restructure the work,” or think about the implications if certain vacancies occurred. What opportunities would you take? This is a worthwhile exercise so that you are prepared if a vacancy occurs, and can quickly move through this process. A vacant position is a gift in the world of editing and structuring your organization, and is not an opportunity to be missed.

Helpful things before getting started that you may need for a position or posting
  • A current organization chart for EHRA Non-Faculty
  • Think through FSLA exemption if applicable.
  • Take a look at budget implications. Be aware of inter-departmental needs

Beyond providing critical information about job functions and responsibilities, a job description serves as both an essential hiring tool for those conducting a search and a candidate’s first impression of the role, your office or unit, and the institution at large. Details such as required qualifications, job functions, and even language choice can create documents that welcome a diverse and varied pool of applicants – or exclude those who might be excellent qualified candidates. Keep the following points in mind.

  • Think broadly: Job descriptions with narrowly defined terms and required experience or education can produce a similarly narrow pool of candidates.   On the other hand, job descriptions that are too broad can attract many applicants who may not be a good fit for the position.  Ensure that the job description has a clear set of responsibilities (e.g. provide one-on-one and group counseling for college students; provide leadership and set direction for orientation programs; maintain APPA level 1-2 standards for facilities).
  • Determine what is truly required versus preferred. A long and/or highly specific list of requirements can exclude qualified candidates. Checking extraneous boxes can cause individuals who may identify as having a physical mobility challenge to opt out of some positions that could be easily and readily accommodated.
  • Review your job descriptions for biased language. Certain terms, for example may be perceived as more masculine or feminine and may discourage potential applicants. 
  • Do not write a job description for a particular candidate. 
  • Review positions to ensure that tasks or functions were not added to the position because of a particular incumbent’s skillset. Does the position now make sense?
  • This is not the time to place tasks that you do not wish to do into the vacancy. In addition, if items did shift, remember to update job descriptions for all involved.
  • Consider the use of gender-neutral terminology (you may utilize the incumbent or they rather than he/she).

Using NinerTalent:

  • Human Resources lists a myriad of resources for viewing, creating, and tracking in NinerTalent: NinerTalent User Guides

NinerTalent Definitions:

  • Update Position-Updates a position without a monetary change, meaning no banding, core job functions, or responsibility levels have changed. This simply has a details phase, and needs to be performed whenever a reporting structure has been changed.
  • Modify-Changes a position with a monetary change and requires a two-phase process of approvals. There is a proposal phase and a details phase.

Using NinerTalent:

  • Primary Purpose of Position
    • Explanation of what position does
    • No specific duties
    • 2-5 sentences or bullet points
  • Summary of Position Responsibilities
    • Overview of the responsibilities of the position
    • 3-5 sentences or bullet points
  • Duties and responsibilities
    • This is the area to be specific
    • Do not list any duties less than 5%
    • This is the area HR looks at for setting salary ranges. Be as detailed as possible
    • Every position needs 3-6 duties and responsibilities
  • Guidance or Supervision Position Receives
    • Describes the supervision received by the position
    • If position receives guidance other than supervisor that should be listed here (included dotted reporting lines)
  • Independence and/or Administrative Authority and Discretion Position has
    • Should explain what this position has the authority to commit the University to
    • Should be specific
  • Include the responsibilities for hiring, terminating, supervising, training, and disciplining of others.
  • Minimum and Preferred Qualifications and Licenses
    • These pull into the posting
    • All candidates must meet anything listed under the Minimum Qualifications
    • Most EHRA Non-Faculty positions require a Masters Degree as a minimum qualification. If the position allows, you may list “or Bachelor’s with equivalent experience.” This will mean that the position will require an additional 2 years of experience. Ex. Masters with 5 years could be bachelors with 7 years.

Note that the working title and the Banner title will often not match.

Resources and Further Reading (need links)

  • UIC Guide to Writing Job Descriptions
  • UC Davis Guidelines for Job Descriptions
  • Non-prejudicial Language for ADA Job Descriptions
  • Choose your words: avoiding biased language
  • CA inclusive workplaces & hiring practices
  • Your job descriptions are hurting your hiring pipeline

To hire great staff, you need a great pool of applicants. If you’re seeking to both hire the best possible candidate and avoid a biased search process, you’ll want to think broadly about how you seek out applicants. Rather than only relying upon word-of-mouth, tapping people you know, or sending your job description through a limited network, think about ways to broaden the scope of your search. Recruiting for our next openings is always ongoing. A 2016 survey revealed that around 85% of jobs in the US were filled through personal networks, which can be very problematic in working for an inclusive workplace.

Points to consider:

  • Your search - and ultimately the candidate you hire - can only be as great as the pool from which you’re recruiting. Soliciting a wide array of applicants will allow for the greatest opportunity to find an excellent candidate.
  • Think about posting broadly and through multiple networks beyond institutional HR sites.
  • Consider non-traditional posting methods.
  • What do your personal networks look like and do they serve the needs of a diverse candidate pool?
  • How can you highlight unique communities/networks/resources available (beyond standard benefits)? 

Active recruiting-Don’t be passive, help applicants find us.

  • Develop an active and aggressive recruitment plan

  • Post to professional organizations, send emails to colleagues requesting they share the position opening with great candidates, and call potential applicants directly to encourage them to apply. Be sure advertisement references the UNC Charlotte online application process.

    • Examples: HigherEd Jobs, Diversity in Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National and Regional Associations such as NASPA and ACPA,  and newsletters such as the one sent by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at UNC Chapel Hill. 

  • Do some research and seek out resources such as this list for developing diverse applicant pools: UNCC Minority Recruitment Website List (Excel Format)