December 1, 2011

Recruitment and Hiring

Job Posting and Advertising

All staff positions, with the exception of those positions officially identified by Human Resources Administration as exempt from posting requirements and those positions appointed by the Board of Trustees of the university, must be posted for a minimum of five calendar days in the online “Jobs@USC” listing on the USC website, which serves as the official job posting document for the university. No offer may be extended until the five-day posting period has elapsed. Departments or schools may choose to buy additional recruiting advertisements in other external media (e.g., newspapers, journals, magazines, websites, etc.), but they may not recruit or advertise for a staff position until that position has been officially posted. Adherence to this policy provides a consistent approach to the recruiting, selection and eventual hiring of qualified applicants, and assures equal employment opportunities.

Refer to Appendix A – Posting a Staff Position and Applicant Review Process for further detail.

Hiring Process

Talent Management evaluates the qualifications of all staff job applicants to determine whether they meet the minimum requirements of the position, and will only forward to schools and departments those applications meeting that criteria. Schools and departments may identify preferred qualifications over and above minimum requirements.

Within schools and departments, any faculty or staff authorized as a “hiring manager” for any staff positions are required to thoroughly evaluate all applications forwarded to them by Talent Management, apply consistent standards as they move candidates through the consideration process, and ultimately select the best-qualified candidate.

Hiring managers, Senior Business Officers, human resources representatives and any others involved in the hiring process must ensure that records of the process are properly maintained. These records must include the names of all persons considered, interviewed, brought back for additional interviews, withdrawn from consideration at their request, and offered a position. This information must also be accurately recorded in the PeopleAdmin system and updated as appropriate in a timely fashion. All application materials, including resumes, CVs, letters of reference, and notes taken during any interview must be maintained as legal documents, subject to university records retention requirements. The term “interview” encompasses any direct contact with the applicant, including telephone screening, telephone interviews, direct contact through social media, emails, or in-person interviews. Interview notes may be maintained electronically within the PeopleAdmin system. As to employment references, the individual responsible for gathering reference data on staff job candidates must document the source of the data, the date of contact, and summarize the information received. (If the candidate is already a USC employee, the individual gathering reference data must contact all previous university supervisors and may contact others familiar with the candidate’s work performance and history.)

Hiring managers are required to document the reason for non-selection and to enter that information into PeopleAdmin (i.e., not as qualified, poor fit for the position, etc.).

Refer to Appendix A – Posting a Staff Position and Applicant Review Process for further detail.

Related Policy and Additional Information

Background Screening
Hiring Foreign Nationals
Providing Employment References
Record Management

Appendix A – Posting a Staff Position and Applicant Review Process

Posting a staff position

  1. Hiring department ensures compensation budget has sufficient funding.
  2. Hiring department submits a personnel requisition to the Compensation Office via
    the online applicant tracking system.
  3. Compensation reviews the requisition, coordinates any required university officer
    review and approval, and returns the form to the relevant HR Partner for posting.
  4. The hiring department posts the position.
  5. Position remains posted for a minimum of five calendar days. No offer may be
    extended until the five-day posting period has elapsed.

For more detailed information, see the Staffing and Classification Procedures section on the USC Human Resources Administration website.

Applicant review process

  1. Talent Management evaluates the application and forwards it to the hiring department if candidate meets minimum qualifications. No applicant may be considered who does not meet minimum requirements as stated in the position’s job description. Questions may be directed to Human Resources Administration.
  2. Interviewers may not ask questions or seek to elicit a response related to an applicant’s race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, medical or health condition, pregnancy, physical disability, mental disability, age, marital status, or any category protected by law. Questions regarding appropriate interviewing or screening techniques should be directed to school or division human resources representatives. These staff can also offer guidance on the proper handling of questions regarding reasonable accommodations for disabilities. Further guidance is available from Human Resources Administration.
  3. The hiring department is responsible for verifying previous employment and checking references. If applicant is a current or former USC employee, the hiring department must also contact all previous university supervisors. (If an applicant does not want his or her employer to know he or she is seeking a new position, any offer of employment may be made contingent on receiving verification of previous employment and satisfactory employment references.)
  4. Pre- employment inquiries and testing must be limited to the requirements of the job and be free of discriminatory impact.
  5. When a final candidate is identified, the hiring department must request background screening from Talent Management, which will confirm identity, verify education, and oversee criminal background screening.
  6. If candidate is deemed eligible for hire by the background screening, the hiring department sends him or her an offer letter. Standard offer letters may be obtained from Human Resources Administration. Offer letters may not be extended to any individual deemed ineligible by the background screening.
  7. Once candidate has accepted position, the hiring department deletes the job posting, sends letters of regret to those candidates interviewed who were not hired, and notifies by email those candidates who did not progress to the interview stage.
  8. Positions should remain posted only during the period of active recruiting. Talent Management will close any position that remains posted on the university’s website for longer than one year.

Responsible Offices

Human Resources Administration
(213) 821-8100


Issued by

Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California