Hiring Toolkit

As a UVA hiring official or HR professional, you are tasked with a great honor and responsibility—bringing in top talent to help the University achieve its mission and to advance your department’s mission and goals.

The information set out here should be helpful for first-time managers and experienced HR professionals alike. In addition, you can contact your school/unit HR department or your school/unit’s assigned HR Consultant for further assistance throughout this entire process.


UVA is a federal contractor, meaning it receives federal funds like student financial aid, grants and research funds, and must follow certain compliance requirements (monitored by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights). We are required to engage in affirmative outreach and other efforts to broaden the pool of qualified applicants to include groups previously excluded from consideration.

Equal employment opportunity ensures individuals the right to be treated on a non-discriminatory basis. Affirmative action is a set of positive steps the employer uses to promote access and opportunity, and to eliminate discrimination. The Affirmative Action Plan contains placement goals to assist the employer in addressing any existing underutilization in its workforce of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans (“underutilized groups”).

Underutilization exists when fewer persons in the underutilized groups are employed in job groups than would be expected, given their availability (with the requisite skills to perform the job) in the relevant labor pools.

Federal contractors must engage in good faith efforts to expand outreach and recruitment of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and certain protected veterans, thereby making them aware of employment opportunities and providing access to be able to pursue such opportunities. While placement goals are important, the demonstration of a good faith effort to achieve those goals is more important. UVA must be able to show that it has taken vigorous, active, measureable steps to ensure that qualified women and minorities are included in its applicant pools and be able to objectively demonstrate that the selection process was fair and consistent.

Creating a Job Posting

All vacancies (faculty, staff, professional research staff, wage, temps) are posted online at Jobs@UVA. Prior to posting

  • University Staff and Wage positions are reviewed by HR Consulting Services, except for units/schools with delegated hiring authority agreements
  • University Executive Staff, Professional Research Staff, and Faculty positions are reviewed by Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR)

To help ensure hiring the best possible person for the job, the hiring official should consider the following before posting a vacant position:

  • Ensure that the position description is up to date, as well as the required experience and qualifications and any preferred experience and qualifications. Don’t just rely on what may be in the system; take the opportunity to review and update as necessary, focusing on the tasks that you really need the person to do. Try not to use overly bureaucratic language. Make sure there is logic between what is required and what is preferred. An offer cannot be made to a candidate who possesses preferred attributes but not the attributes required, so think carefully about your choices.

  • Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate in any aspect of employment. If an educational requirement for a job, like a degree, has a discriminatory impact on minorities or other protected categories of applicants, it could be considered a violation of Title VII or applicable Virginia law dealing with discrimination based on protected categories, unless the educational requirement has been validated. This means that there must be a correlation between the educational requirement and the functions that the employee will perform.

  • Employers may ask job applicants if they have a certain level of education and require that they possess a high school, college, or other degree as long as it can be demonstrated that successful performance of the particular job requires that specific level of education. If you require an educational degree for a position, the degree requirement would need to be specifically job-related in that you would have to be able to demonstrate that the specific behaviors, products, skills, or training from the content of the degree directly correlate to successful job performance. For example, to practice law in Virginia, it is generally required that attorneys have a law degree and are licensed in this state. There is nothing discriminatory to require such qualifications for an applicant to be considered to work as an attorney for the University.

  • As you review job duties and responsibilities, you should also think of and draft questions for applicants that will help to distinguish among applicants. These questions can be used in the posting in order to highlight required qualifications and to allow applicants to better describe their related experiences.

  • If you need to make changes to the job description, use Jobs@UVA to submit a modification (work with your school/unit HR department or designated HRCS Consultant).

  • If you need to create a new position for posting, submit a request to Create a New Position through Jobs@UVA (see the Dept. User Guide below for instructions).

  • Hiring Officials must complete the EOCR’s Search Committee Training and University Staff Hiring Official Training found on the EOCR’s Training and Education website (see links below).

  • Hiring Officials may use a search committee to assist in the hiring process. The committee must consist of at least three members, including the chair, and all members must take the University Search Committee Training found on the EOCR’s Training and Education website.

Once a posting has been finalized, the hiring official submits it through an established workflow process to obtain necessary approvals. Each department has a different internal approval process for the creation of new positions or maintenance of existing positions, so please check with your school/unit/department HR professional to learn your process. Once all the necessary approvals are obtained, the posting goes live on Jobs@UVA.

Recruiting Process

It is the University’s general practice to post all vacancies first for Current UVA Employees Only in order to offer promotional opportunities to qualified candidates within the University and to encourage the use of existing skills and abilities gained through current employees’ service.

Current UVA employees are Medical Center and Academic Employees including Wage, UVA Temps, and UVA Student Workers in active assignments, as well as current UVA Foundation employees. Contract Workers are not eligible.

Internal postings must be posted for at least five business days. During this time, the hiring official may review applications as they come in, but only to determine if the applicants meet required qualifications. This step is different than the screening process, which occurs after the posting period has closed.

If the internal search does not yield suitable candidates, the position may be posted externally. External postings must be posted for at least 10 business days. During that time, the hiring official may review applications as they come in, but only to determine if the applicants meet required qualifications (as noted above, this step is different than the screening process, which occurs after the posting period has closed).

If your position falls within a job group deemed underutilized for women, minorities, people with disabilities, and/or veterans, you may post directly externally for a minimum of 15 business days. If your position demands a highly specialized skill set, you may post directly externally for a minimum 15 business days with VP/dean approval.

The hiring official will have to certify that the candidate pool is acceptable before scheduling interviews.

Advertising a Position

HRCS Consultants are available to help hiring officials draft and review advertisements before they are published to ensure they contain appropriate language and meet EOCR requirements. They can also help select the appropriate advertisement options and arrange for ad placement in a variety of publications for University Staff positions. EOCR manages advertisements for University Executive Staff and Faculty positions.

For positions with placement goals under the University’s Affirmative Action plan, hiring officials should refer to the EOCR Recruitment and Hiring Resource Guide for details on developing a Diversity Recruitment Plan.

The cost of advertising positions is the responsibility of the department.

Viewing and Accessing Applicant Information

Jobs@UVA allows hiring officials to have access to all application materials in real time, 24/7/365. Application materials should be reviewed to ensure the required qualifications (as detailed in the job posting) for the position are met. If an applicant does not meet the required qualifications, hiring officials need to indicate this fact in Jobs@UVA by selecting the appropriate drop down: “Does not meet the required qualifications-send email.”

It is important to note that there is a difference between “required” qualifications and “preferred” qualifications. If a candidate meets the required qualifications, they are part of the “active” applicant pool and can now be referred to as “candidates.”

Please consider carefully both the requirements and the language used to describe them. Candidates that meet the preferred qualifications must also meet the required qualifications. For example, if a required position qualification is “Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering” and a preferred qualification is “Master of Arts in Teaching,” an applicant with the MAT and a Bachelor’s in English cannot be considered for the position. If hiring officials need assistance in screening their applicant pool, please contact either your department’s HR professional or your designated HR consultant.

Certifying the Applicant Pool

You must certify the applicant pool for external postings before interviewing candidates. Once you have reviewed the applicant pool to ensure that only those people with the required qualifications remain, you must certify that the pool is diverse. An automatic pool calculator is available for your use.

Interviewing Candidates

A successful interview should gather information about a candidate, present a realistic description of the position, ensure a fair selection process, establish adequate records in the event that the hiring decision must be justified, and determine whether the candidate would succeed in the position. Assuming you have more than one qualified candidate in your pool, you are required to interview at least two people before you make a hiring decision.

Checking References

Once you have selected your finalist and made a tentative hiring decision, you must conduct reference checks. References are used to substantiate the hiring decision, not to make a decision between two or more candidates. Generally speaking, you should only do reference checks on one candidate.

It is best to get a reference from the candidate’s current supervisor, a previous supervisor, and/or a colleague. Candidates should be notified that you will be contacting their references. As with the rest of the selection process, the questions should be focused on the requirements for the position.

If the selected candidate is currently employed by the University, you are encouraged to contact your designated HRCS Consultant to obtain information regarding the employee’s past performance and conduct. In order to review this information, you will need to request it; it is not provided automatically.

Update the Status of Applicants and Candidates in Jobs@UVA

Once you have selected a candidate and completed the required reference checks, make sure Jobs@UVA contains an accurate record of the reasons why other candidates and applicants were not selected (this is sometimes referred to as candidate disposition). This requirement is imposed by DOL/EEO/AAP. You can change the status of candidates at any time during the process, such as after phone screens or after an initial interview. Don’t wait until the end when your memory may fail you.

Jobs@UVA contains a drop down menu that helps to document why an applicant was not selected, including the following:

  • If the applicant was minimally qualified for the position to which the applicant applied
  • How far into the hiring process an applicant progressed
  • The reason an individual was
    • not considered for interview
    • not selected for hire after interviewing
    • selected for hire after interviewing

Before an offer can be made (or even a hiring proposal can be initiated), you should choose an accurate status for each of the other candidates and applicants in the pool.

Complete the Hiring Proposal

Once you have selected a candidate, you are ready to complete the system requirements to generate an offer. Work with your department’s HR professional or administrator to initiate and complete the hiring proposal in Jobs@UVA. The hiring proposal will include important information like the recommended salary and start date, as well as other pertinent information regarding the selected candidate.

Preliminary Offer and Background Checks

Once the hiring proposal is complete and routed for approvals within the school/unit, it will be routed for further review by the appropriate HR professional (either within your school/unit if there is delegated hiring authority or an HRCS Consultant). If the offer is fair and equitable, a preliminary verbal offer of employment will be extended via phone to the selected candidate. This preliminary offer contains basic employment terms, explains that a final offer is conditional upon the successful completion of required pre-employment background checks, and seeks to solicit the candidate’s level of interest in accepting employment.

If the candidate wishes to continue discussions, the person extending the offer will send the candidate the documentation required to conduct background checks. The required checks will be determined by the nature of the position. All candidates, regardless of the position, are subject to the National Sex Offender registry check and Criminal Records verification.

These checks will be processed through HR Consulting Services, and the results will be communicated to the appropriate departmental contact as soon as they become available. The candidate may not begin employment until the results of all pre-employment checks have cleared and all final offer documents have been signed and received.

Final Offer

The final step involves sending a formal written final offer letter to the candidate with information about the Grounds for Success orientation program, required tax and other paperwork, and information about completing the online I-9.

Charlottesville Hiring Resources