Filling an A&P or USPS Position

1. Creating the Job Opening

Once the Administrative & Professional (A&P) or University Support Personnel System (USPS) position description (PD) has been established/updated, the hiring department must enter a job opening in OMNI to advertise the position. Refer to the Staff Job Posting Checklist and the PD when creating the opening.

When formulating the Qualifications of the job posting, the hiring manager should refer to the Responsibilities that are outlined in the PD to determine what baseline education, experience/skills, physical abilities (if applicable), and licensure/certification (if applicable) the successful candidate needs to possess on the first day of the job. (This will typically require more detail beyond the PD Competencies.) The recruiter will create screening questions based on the Qualifications that will be asked of the applicant in the application. These will be used in determining if applicants meet minimum qualifications.

Once the job opening is approved by the hiring department, the assigned Employment Recruiter reviews, approves, and posts the job. Job openings must be advertised for at least 7 days.

When there are plans to advertise outside of OMNI, prior to placing the ad a draft version must be forwarded to your Recruiter in order to verify all required information is included.

Form a Search Committee to ensure that all applicants are treated consistently and given equitable consideration throughout the process. (See Staff Search Training.)

2. Reviewing Applications

Applications may be accessed and reviewed any time during and after the posting period, although applicants have to be in Route status before being contacted for an interview. The department representative should ensure that all appropriate members of the hiring team have proper access in OMNI (contact your Recruiter with any questions.)

Once a position closes from the website, the applicants are screened by your Recruiter. The screening-enabled system compares the applicants' qualifications against the qualifications of the job posting, and places the applicants who meet the minimum qualifications in Screen status. Your HR Recruiter will then Route the applicants who screened through. All Routed applications must be reviewed by the department. The department will be advised to keep track of the Applicant Disposition Codes which must be recorded on the records of those not chosen at the end of the process.

From the list of Routed applicants, look for those whose skills, experience, and education most closely match those advertised and needed for the position. Ensure that the list you call for interviews is diverse and follow any special requirements from your recruiter (such as Veterans' Preference or Internals covered by a Bargaining Unit). Check for possible "red flags" in the applicant's work history (e.g., choppy work history, similar reasons for leaving positions, lack of attention to detail, inconsistencies from application to resume, etc.). The hiring department can review the applicants' answers to the screening questions by using the View Questionnaire link in the application.

3. Scheduling the Interview

Interviews may be conducted at any time after applicants have been Routed, but an offer of employment cannot be made before the closing date of the job opening. Applicants in ScrRej (Screen Reject) status have not met the minimum qualifications and are not eligible for an interview.

  • You may have applicants scheduled for interviews who are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You should be knowledgeable of the impact of ADA as it relates to the interviewing and hiring of covered applicants, and should be able to identify the essential functions of the position you are advertising. If you have any questions regarding this process or if an applicant requests an accommodation, contact Amber Wagner in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance in Human Resources.
    • VETERANS' PREFERENCE: Applies to all USPS positions. Departments are required by law to give special consideration to all who meet the criteria for Veterans' Preference and the qualifications of the position. Your Recruiter will notify you of the applicants required for interview. If you have trouble reaching a Veteran for an interview, contact your Recruiter for assistance. All eligible Veterans' Preference candidates must be given preference for consideration at every stage of the hiring process. If a preference-eligible candidate ranks equally with another candidate, the department must hire the Veteran. Document the recruitment process and basis for hiring. If the Veterans' Preference candidate is not chosen, notify the Veteran of the decision within 14 days of the offer being accepted. More information on Veterans' Preference can be found here.
  • INTERVIEWING INTERNALS: All positions represented by the AFSCME bargaining units require interviewing at least two internal applicants who are eligible under the bargaining agreement and have met the advertised qualifications of the position, provided at least two have applied. The internal applicant must be in the same AFSCME bargaining unit of the position in which they are applying to in order to be covered by the bargaining agreement. Your recruiter will notify you of the qualified internal applicants that must be interviewed. If you have trouble reaching an internal in the bargaining unit for an interview, contact your Recruiter for assistance. Visit the Employee & Relations Collective Bargaining page to view the AFSCME Bargaining Agreements, as well as a list of the positions that fall under each unit.
  • INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS: To ensure an open and competitive process, the hiring team is required to conduct a minimum number of interviews. The minimum requirement is based on what pay band your position falls within:

    This is in addition to any mandatory interviews (such as Veterans' Preference and internals in a Collective Bargaining Unit).

    • Pay band 6 and higher require a minimum of 2 interviews from the pool of Routed applicants.
    • Pay band 5 and lower require a minimum of 3 interviews from the pool of Routed applicants.

4. The Interview

Preparing for the Interview
  • Review the job advertisement and position description as a reminder of the education, experience, and skills you are looking for.
  • When scheduling the interview, be aware of the preferred method of contact listed in the application. Indicate what position the interview is for, expected length of the interview, the agenda, who the candidate will meet with (names and titles), the mechanics (location, parking, etc.), and a contact person and info in case the candidate needs to cancel and/or reschedule. Giving the candidate these details will allow them time to request an accommodation if needed. You may also inform candidates of the expected starting salary range and work hours.
  • Review the candidate's application and supporting documentation prior to the interview. Prepare any questions you might have on the application materials, such as gaps in employment.
  • Create behavior-based interview questions (see below) utilizing the position description. Hiring and retaining good workers begins with the job interview. If you ask the right questions, you are more likely to select a candidate who is right for the job.
  • Part of conducting an interview is being a good listener. Actively listening for clues that indicate the candidate's desire and ability to perform the job is key. During the interview, the interviewer should speak about 25% of the time and the interviewee should speak about 75% of the time. It is important to understand the distinction between those who simply want the job and the candidate who would be the perfect fit.
  • Keep the interview format as consistent as possible (e.g., on campus versus skype/phone) amongst candidates. If you decide to do an in person interview for one applicant, it should be done for all applicants. If an applicant requests to be interviewed by another method (for instance, they are out of town and can't make it to an in person interview), you can work with them to accommodate their need.
  • Prepare materials for the applicant. These may include the position description, information describing the department, and your business card.
  • Create an environment that is conducive to the productive exchange of information by establishing a comfort level. Be sensible and thoughtful. Select a quiet location to conduct the interview. The setting must be accessible to those with disabilities. Take precautions to avoid disturbances, for example, hold calls, close the door, and put your cell phone on silent.
At the Interview

Give the applicant a copy of the position description to review before the interview starts. Introduce yourself and others who will be conducting the interview and explain what the agenda is. Be sure to state that you are going to take notes during the interview so you can objectively evaluate all applicants.

Interview Questions

It is recommended that you ask behavior-based questions. This technique is the best way to evaluate a candidates suitability for a position based on their past work behavior. The premise is that if a candidate demonstrated particular behaviors in the past, these behaviors serve as predictors of how the candidate will perform in your work environment.

To develop these questions, first identify the competencies that are critical to the position. Refer to the position description Responsibilities. Structure your questions with phrases like: "Tell me about a time when...", or "Think of a recent example when?". Use follow-up questions like "What did you do?", "What was the end result?". The candidate should detail actual experiences rather than hypothetical responses.

Use a structured consistent format for each interview. Make sure to ask the same work-related questions of all candidates to minimize legal risks. Take good notes and keep them on file with your recruitment efforts. Devise criteria for consistently evaluating the responses. Measure the quality of the answers given based on the requirements of the job.

Examples of behavior-based interview questions:

  • Tell me about a specific time you had to address an angry customer. How did you contribute to resolving the situation, and what was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when you made a lasting, positive impression on a customer?
  • What computer applications are you most familiar with? Can you give an example of how you used these applications in your last job?
  • Think of a project you've participated in. Tell me exactly what your role was. What challenges were there, and how did you handle them?

Contact Human Resources for assistance with formulating behavior-based questions if needed.

General rules of thumb for interview questions:

  • Don't ask questions that start with "Why". Many of these questions sound as if you're questioning their expertise or decision-making. Asking "How" prompts a discussion you may learn more from.
  • Don't ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Make the questions deeper so you may get more useful information from the applicant's answer.
  • Avoid Leading Questions. Leading questions signal the interviewer that you are looking for a specific answer or are being manipulative.
  • Interview questions should be focused on obtaining information from the candidate that evaluates whether they are capable of performing the job. It is important to ensure that discriminatory questions are not asked of any candidate.

Guide to Lawful Inquiries

Closing the interview:

At the end of the interview, ask the applicant if they have any questions about the workplace or the position and let them know what to expect next, such as follow-up interviews by others. Tell the applicant when you realistically anticipate making a decision about the position.

Provide them with a business card, invite them to contact you if they have any additional questions, and thank them for taking time to interview with your department. Try to leave the applicant with an up-beat, positive impression of the department.

Once you have finished the interview process, move along with the hiring process as outlined below.

(For additional guidance on the interview process, reference Staff Search Training.)

5. Vetting the Top Candidate

  • Complete the interview evaluations in OMNI. Try to take time immediately after each interview to complete the interview evaluation while everything is still fresh in your mind. You can make a better and fairer evaluation this way.
  • Ensure a subordinate-supervisor relationship between the candidate and a relative(s) through any direct or indirect line of authority does not exist. (Reference 4-OP-C-7-L, Employment of Relatives Nepotism Policy).
    • If the candidate has relatives employed at FSU, the review process will take place within the Smart Onboarding portal.
  • Check at least 3 professional references (use Employer Reference Check Form).
  • If internal candidate, review the personnel file (contact Employee Data Management-Records at 850-645-7854).
  • Discuss salary requirements with candidate. Obtain appropriate approval based on FSU salary guidelines and department/division protocol. Complete Salary Analysis Request and have Salary/Appointment Explanation Form endorsed, if needed.
  • If the position requires a degree, or credits toward degree were used in qualifying the candidate, obtain proof of education (copy of diploma or transcripts).
  • Obtain copies of any required license/certification; verify status and validity through government website or issuing agency.
  • Partner with HR to determine if approval is needed for special conditions like position overlap, trainee or provisional status, etc.

6. Discussing Next Steps

  • Once pre-employment approvals are complete, submit the pre-employment checklist on your candidate in OMNI.
  • Discuss anticipated start date, salary, job details, and next steps with candidate. Next steps include a background check and the onboarding process.
    • The start date must be 2-3 weeks out to allow time for the job offer to route through approvals, the candidate and department to complete steps in the portal, and a background check to be processed. Reference Payroll Calendar for Smart Onboarding Actions

7. Initiating the Smart Onboarding Process

  • Enter the Applicant Disposition Codes on the records of Routed and Interviewed applicants not selected.
  • Enter the OMNI job offer on the top candidate, attaching the endorsed Salary/Appointment Explanation Form, if required.
  • Once the job offer is fully approved, the Recruiter will launch the Smart Onboarding Invitation to the candidate.
    • The candidate and department will receive a notification.
      • The candidate should register and start the Smart Onboarding process as soon as possible.
        • Once the candidate has answered the background check questions in the Smart Onboarding portal, they will receive an email from the HR Background Check unit with instructions on completing their background check.
  • The candidate should complete all of their Smart Onboarding steps in the portal and background check request with Accurate Background, Inc. (as well as fingerprinting if required of the position) in a timely manner.
    • The candidate cannot begin work until their background check has been approved.
  • If applicable, the department reviews and approves Smart Onboarding workflow at their level for (department representatives review via My Tasks; approvers via FSU On-boarding Approvals):
    • Outside Employment
    • Dual Compensation
    • Employment of Relatives (Nepotism)
    • Leave Transfer

8. Finalizing the Smart Onboarding Process

  • The department receives an email from the HR Background Check unit. If the background check is approved by HR, the department can make the formal offer and present the candidate with the offer letter and contract, as applicable.
  • The department uploads Supplemental Documents in Smart Onboarding > My Tasks page (use Appointment Papers Matrix as a guide):
    • Appropriate Offer Letter
    • If A&P, appropriate A&P Contract (E&G funded contract, Soft-Money funded contract, or both if applicable)
    • Copy of Social Security card and notarized Loyalty Oath, if not already uploaded by candidate
    • Copy of diploma/transcripts, if applicable
    • Copy of licensure/certificate(s) and verification, if applicable
    • If non-US Citizen, applicable documentation
  • If a new hire, complete the I-9 process; if a current employee and changing departments, transfer the I-9 to your department.
    • Mark I-9 as complete in Smart Onboarding > My Tasks
  • The employee and the department will receive notifications once the candidate has been appointed in OMNI.
    • Reference the New Employee Checklist for further instructions on activating FSUID, getting an FSU Card, Parking Permit, and other onboarding information.
    • The new employee must complete New Employee Orientation (NEO) on the New Employee Information webpage and submit the Certification of Completion Form within 30 days of hire.

9. Notification of Hiring Decision

Once your top candidate has accepted the job offer, notify all candidates within 14 days. A phone call to those interviewed, but not chosen is also recommended. Your recruiter will send you a list of applicants who applied for the position, along with their contact information which can be used to send out regret letters via email or mail. Notices can also be sent out via the Send Correspondence feature in OMNI.

If sending via email: for confidentiality purposes, click the "To" field and enter your email address there, then paste the candidates' email addresses in the "Bcc" field.

10. Records Retention

Documentation on or obtained as a result of the recruitment/selection process (including reference checks) must be maintained by the department for a minimum of four years after the position has been filled, per the records retention laws. This changes to five years if hiring a foreign national.

11. Recommended Training

  • Staff Search Training
  • OMNI HR e-Recruit
  • SMART Onboarding
  • Criminal History Background Check Process
  • Embracing Diversity
  • EEO: Avoiding Minefields
  • ADA: Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

Register via OMNI-HR > Employee Self Service > Learning and Development

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