Recruitment Guidelines Practice Directive No. 105 June 2009


105.1 It is the philosophy of San Francisco State University (SF State) and the California University System, in conformance with the California Education Code, Title 5, State, and Federal guidelines, to recruit from within the University and from external labor markets as widely and for as much time as is practical to obtain a pool of qualified applicants.  SF State will make special efforts to ensure that the recruitment process facilitates  equal employment opportunities, upward mobility and reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


105.2 These guidelines apply to all positions for staff covered by collective bargaining agreements, appointed into the Management Personnel Plan (MPP) or into designated Confidential positions.

105.3 These guidelines do not apply to Faculty, Unit 3 positions or classifications, SF State Head Start, Unit 12 positions, excluded from collective bargaining representation, e.g., Student Assistants/Work Study, Special Consultants, etc.

105.4 Where the provisions of these guidelines are in conflict with the Collective Bargaining Agreements reached pursuant to Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 3560) of  Division 4 of Title I of the Government Code, the Collective Bargaining Agreements shall take precedence.


105.5 Formal recruitment procedures are not implemented for an appointment that is less than 90 days.  To initiate a less than 90-day appointment, consult with an Employment Specialist, submit a Position Description, Work Schedule, employee's application/resume, create an employee hire E-TRAC and submit to Human Resources.  Such an appointment may be filled from the temporary short-term applicant pool maintained by Human Resources or by some other personal referral.   Deans/Directors or HR Liaison shall contact Human Resources to arrange completion of the hiring documents (?sign-in? packet) at the time the appointment documents are submitted. 

105.6 The temporary appointment of an employee initially hired for less than 90 days,  i.e., a non-posted position, may be extended for an additional 90 days based upon the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Hiring Supervisor shall notify Human Resources at least 30 days prior to the end of the 90-day temporary appointment to initiate formal posting procedures.

105.7 Formal recruitment procedures are not implemented for a lateral transfer within the same department under the same supervisor; a disciplinary action; i.e. temporary or permanent reassignment; demotion of an employee; a recall of a laid-off employee; or placement of an employee with reinstatement rights to a classification.

105.8 All positions of more than 90 days, whether temporary with an ending date or probationary with no ending date, except for temporary reassignments, shall be posted a minimum of 14 calendar days. Full recruitment procedures are required for the conversion of a temporary appointment to a probationary appointment unless a statement is made about the possibility of conversion when the initial temporary appointment is posted.

105.9 It shall be the policy of the CSU and SF State University in filling vacant positions in CSUEU bargaining units 2, 5, 7, 9 to fill such vacancies from among qualified SF State University employee applicants holding positions within CSUEU bargaining units 2, 5, 7, 9. 

105.10 Recruitment for Administrator level I and II MPP positions is normally conducted in a manner similar to staff positions with advertising (posting) through Human Resources.  Recruitment for Administrator level III and IV MPP positions is often conducted by a search committee independent from Human Resources. The Associate Director of Human Resources is to be notified of any/all recruitment and hiring activities for positions in the Management Personnel Plan (MPP) (refer to Management Recruiting Guidelines for further information).  All recruiting materials shall be forwarded to Human Resources for retention at the conclusion  of the search process.


105.11  STEP 1 The recruitment process is initiated by identifying/defining the essential functions, knowledge, skills, abilities and other qualifications required to perform the essential functions.  The Position Description (HR #320A) including an organization chart, is reviewed and updated by the Hiring Supervisor.
The Position Description must be clear, concise and provide the following: 1. position summary; primary purpose for the position
2. minimum qualification; required experience; preferred qualification
3. essential job functions; knowledge, skills, abilities
4. nature and scope of decisions    
5. interpersonal skills, nature of work environment and work relationships. 

105.12  STEP 2 To post a Staff (Unit 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) or Administrator level I and II position for recruitment, a Recruitment Authorization (HR #105A), Position Description, Work Schedule, SF State Careers on-line posting is submitted. 
The Recruitment Authorization, Position Description including an organization chart, Work Schedule (HR #101), shall be submitted to Human Resources no later than Monday at noon for review and job announcement posting in SF State Careers on-line for the following week.

105.13 Each job announcement within SF State Careers on-line contains a closing date, which shall be at least 14 calendar days until a reasonable number of qualified candidates apply.  The Hiring Supervisor may extend posting on a week-to-week basis by calling or e-mailing Human Resources - Employment Specialist by noon on Thursday, two working days prior to the closing date; otherwise, the posting will be automatically removed on-line after the minimum 14-day posting requirement has been met.

105.14 Human Resources may edit department posting submission to finalize on SF State Careers.  The weekly SF State Careers on-line job announcement is published and mailed/e-mailed every week to on-campus departments and off-campus agencies. Recruitment may be restricted to a campus search upon consultation with an Employment Specialist in Human Resources.  For special recruiting, identifying the compensation and benefits package may be included on each job announcement for hard-to-fill, unique, administrative, MPP or Confidential positions.  When a wider recruitment is initiated, Human Resources may assist with advertising of positions in local or regional newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News.  The text of the advertisement must correlate specifically with the job announcement on SF State Careers and be submitted with the original posting materials.  The Hiring Supervisor may also place an announcement in an on-line recruiting service such as Craig's,, concurrent with posting in SF State Careers.  The Hiring Supervisor may also advertise in national journals such as the Wall Street Journal or Chronicle of Higher Education.

105.15 All applications/resumes must be processed by Human Resources prior to being considered by the hiring department.  Applicants are not considered candidates for a position without having their application/resume first processed by Human Resources.


105.16 STEP 3  Hiring Supervisors shall develop a list of job-related interview questions to be asked of all interviewed candidates to ensure equal consideration.

105.17 Interviews may be conducted with selected candidates after the 14-day posting period, although contact may be made with the candidates during the posting period to schedule interviews. Interviews may be conducted during an extended posting period only after the initial 14-day posting requirement has been met. All candidates interviewed must complete and submit a SF State Application form.

105.18 STEP 4 Whenever possible, a minimum of three (3) candidates shall be interviewed.  Although the Hiring Supervisor may conduct the interviews alone, often recruiting is more effective when interviews are conducted by at least two people. The standard number of members of a search committee is between 3 and 7. The Hiring Supervisor and each member of the search committee shall prepare a written rating of each candidate based on the interview questions.

105.19 STEP 5 Reference checks shall be conducted on the recommended number one and number two candidates.  There should be two areas of questions asked in the reference process:
1) the qualifications of the candidate, i.e., duties performed, skills demonstrated, level of performance, degree of initiative and judgment, etc., and
2) how the candidate acts in interpersonal relationships, i.e., problem-solver, team-player, etc.  Questions about the effectiveness of the candidate?s dealings with peers, superiors and students are appropriate.  Information gathered during the reference process should be recorded; however, notes should not be made directly on the application/resume.


105.20 STEP 6 The Hiring Supervisor may recommend a candidate for selection by completing a Staff Employment Recommendation Form (#171) indicating the candidates interviewed, comments, reasons for selection (9.3 justification, refer to 105.9 above) and non-selection, desired salary and start date, and forward to Human Resources.  All recruiting materials including the original application/resume for all candidates, interview questions, reference checks must be forwarded to Human Resources at the conclusion of the search process.

105.21 Human Resources shall work with the Hiring Supervisor to make arrangements for a physical/placement examination if required as a condition of employment.  Human Resources will make the formal job offer and schedule an appointment with the new employee for the 'New Employee' Orientation Program and completion of hiring documents including a letter of appointment, position description, work schedule.

105.22 Human Resources shall send each applicant a notification concerning the selection of a candidate at the conclusion of recruitment.


105.23 The style and approach utilized in the interview process will determine the outcome.  Strategic planning is crucial.  After the position description and position announcement is prepared, plans begin for interviewing and selection.
The following steps provide a guide:

  1. Identify the interview format.  Normally, one of two formats are utilized: 

    • a set of questions is prepared (normally between 6 and 10 questions); each candidate is asked the same questions and the answers are compared, or
    • an outline of the areas to be covered is developed and candidates are queried in the general areas.
  2. Carefully review the resume/application to know the candidate's formal qualifications and accomplishments.
  3. Establish a comfortable, accessible and private meeting space for the interview.
  4. Open the interview with friendly courtesies; maintain eye contact at all times.
  5. Outline the interview process so that the candidate will know what to expect.
  6. Before the questions are asked, provide the applicant with a copy of the position description and outline the purpose, major responsibilities and essential functions of the position.
  7. Begin the interview with an easy open-ended question to engage the candidate and facilitate discussion, i.e. tell us more about your experience as it relates to this job.
  8. Conclude the interview with the recruitment timeline, i.e. expected the conclusion of the interview process and recommendation.
  9. When all queries have been made, ask the candidate if he/she has any questions.

Questions relating to knowledge, skills and experience:
What have you done in the past that is reflective of the requirements for this position? Describe activities in which you have been involved that demonstrate your ability in the areas just cited. Describe an achievement or accomplishment of which you are particularly proud. What unique or special skills do you possess that will aid in performing the major functions of the position?
What unique or special methods would you use in performing the major functions of the position?

Questions relating to professional style, approach to work, work values, interpersonal skills:
 Tell us about the experiences you have had working with groups and individuals from various ages and ethnic backgrounds. What was the most trying time you ever had with a co-worker? How did you handle it?  How was it resolved? How would you describe yourself and/or your work habits? How would the persons with whom you have worked describe you? (relate it to a specific behavior or skill e.g. how you respond in a crisis,  your skill in designing a web site, etc.) Has anyone ever criticized your performance?  How did you handle that criticism? How have you been effective in encouraging cooperation by co-workers, students or supervisors? What strategies did you employ?
Describe how you have handled disputes with co-workers, students or supervisors?  What strategies did you employ?


105.24 Questions unrelated to the position may be perceived as discriminatory and lead to litigation.  Thus, questions about a candidate?s education, scholarship, experience, skills, as well as work values, style and approach to work and work relationships are appropriate.  On the other hand, queries about age, religion, disability, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, and financial status must be avoided.  Indirect questions that might elicit information unrelated to the position should also be avoided.  Examples include asking the dates of educational attendance, asking for a photo, asking any question about general physical condition, asking about an arrest or conviction unless it directly relates to the qualifications for the position.

105.25 Maintain confidentiality in the interview process; do not discuss the candidates or anything about the interview process with anyone not directly associated with the search process.  It is essential that all applicants know that all applications will be accorded equitable consideration and confidentiality and that their application will be judged against the position description and position qualifications. All application materials including interview notes/ratings and reference notes shall be forwarded to Human Resources at the conclusion of the search.

105.26  Understanding roles and responsibilities as a supervisor are essential in the appropriate application of authority in hiring.  No SF State University employee shall make decisions affecting selection, appointment, tenure, compensation, promotion, termination, other employment status or interest of an "immediate family member" (spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, registered domestic partner, step-parent, stepchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and by guardianship and/or adoption or a person residing in the immediate household employees or roomers. Relative of domestic partners shall be treated as relatives of spouses).
Other important information: For additional information concerning recruitment, including Principles of Conduct, Nepotism, etc., refer to Human Resources Practice Directives and Guidelines.

Effective Date:  Jan 92, rev 10/94, rev 4/01, June 2009