SECTION CONTENTS 410.00 Classified Positions 410.10 Reference 410.20 Recruitment Objectives 410.30 Recruitment Options 410.40 Recruitment Procedures 410.50 Temporary Vacancies 410.60 History 420.00 Temporary Classified Vacancies 420.10 Occurrence 420.20 Recruitment Options 420.30 History 430.00 Nepotism 430.10 Reference 430.20 Appointment or Contracting with a Relative 430.30 Avoiding Nepotism 430.40 Appointing or contracting with relatives/partners on externally funded grants or contracts 430.50 History 440.00 Interviewing for Classified Positions 440.10 Conducting Interviews 440.20 Answering Applicant Inquiries 440.30 Notifying Unsuccessful Candidates 440.40 History 450.00 Reference Checks 450.10 Conducting A Reference Check 450.20 Providing a Reference Check 450.30 History 460.00 Criminal History Record Checks
410.00 Classified Positions
Modified November 2001
- Section 39-71-317, "Workers' Compensation," Montana Code Annotated.
410.20 Recruitment Objectives
The classified recruitment and selection policies are designed to assist departments in obtaining the most qualified candidates for their position vacancies while ensuring compliance with all applicable statutes, policies, and collective bargaining agreements. Classified recruitments are coordinated with Personnel and Payroll Services; the hiring authority and screening committees are provided with guidelines and assistance throughout the recruitment and selection process. Personnel and Payroll Services is responsible for reviewing and certifying procedural compliance in all classified recruitment before the employment offer is extended to the selected candidate.
Montana State University-Bozeman is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment policies and practices on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political ideas, creed, and disabilities. The University's Affirmative Action plan may be obtained from the MSU-Bozeman Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).
410.30 Recruitment Options
To fill a classified position vacancy, the department has the following options:
A. External Recruitment - If an external recruitment is conducted, the vacancy is advertised within the local community, and for some positions, throughout the state or region. Personnel and Payroll Services will work with the hiring authority to develop the recruitment plan, which will identify where advertisements and announcements should be placed, such as campus posting, newspapers, professional journals, and the local Job Service. All externally recruited classified positions will be listed with the Bozeman Job Service, posted on all the Personnel and Payroll Services job announcement bulletin boards, announced on Dial-A-Job, and posted on the MSU-Bozeman website at www.montana.edu. Personnel and Payroll Services will identify the additional recruitment sources which should be used to be in line with MSU-Bozeman EEO/AA guidelines. Advertising costs are charged directly to the recruiting department. Personnel and Payroll Services will prepare the vacancy announcement and submit appropriate advertisements to the agreed upon publications.
External recruitment requires a minimum posting period of 10 working days. The typical recruitment will last from 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the specific nature of the search.
B. MSU System Recruitment - If an MSU System recruitment is conducted, the minimum posting period is 10 working days. The vacancy announcement is posted on all official MSU System bulletin boards, posted on the MSU-Bozeman website, sent to off-campus departments, and listed on Dial-A-Job. To be eligible to apply for an MSU System recruitment, candidates must be current MSU System employees who were hired through an approved MSU search.
C. Campus-Wide Recruitment - If a campus-wide recruitment is conducted, the minimum posting period is 5 working days. The vacancy announcement is posted on all official MSU-Bozeman bulletin boards, posted on the MSU-Bozeman website, sent to off-campus departments, and listed on Dial-A-Job. To be eligible to apply for an MSU-Bozeman campus-wide recruitment, candidates must be current MSU-Bozeman employees who were hired through an approved MSU-Bozeman search.
Employees transferring to another department through a campus-wide recruitment are expected to provide their current department with a minimum notice of 2 weeks prior to the transfer.
D. Departmental Recruitment- Departments may elect to announce a vacancy only to employees within the department. All employees will be notified, either through posting or a memo given to each employee, of the position vacancy. This notice will include the selection criteria which will be used to evaluate each applicant.
Employees will submit a written expression of their interest in the position vacancy. The department may request an MSU-Bozeman application, a specialized letter and/or resume, or merely a written statement of interest.
A committee will be created, consisting of at least the hiring authority and 2 other employees, to review the candidacy of interested employees. The most qualified candidate must be selected based on an assessment of qualifications in line with the established selection criteria.
Both the decision to conduct a departmental search, and the selection of the best qualified candidate, will be reviewed with Personnel and Payroll Services prior to initiating either action.
410.40 Recruitment Procedures
A. Submission of Position Description - If a new position is being created, a completed Position Description must be submitted to Personnel and Payroll Services for review and assignment of the appropriate classification and grade level. If the position has already been established and a vacancy occurs, the hiring authority should review the existing Position Description to ensure that it accurately describes the position as it currently exists. If inaccurate or outdated, the Position Description should be updated and submitted to Personnel and Payroll Services for determination of the appropriate classification.
Once the position classification has been established or verified, the department should complete the top section of a Classified Recruitment Authorization Form (RAF) to secure budgetary approval. The appropriate department head/director and dean/vice president signatures must be obtained prior to submitting the form to Personnel and Payroll Services.
B. Establishment of the Screening Committee - A screening committee should be appointed by the hiring authority, comprised of at least 3 members who either have frequent contact with the position or a specific technical background relating to the vacancy. The hiring authority may serve on the committee. At least one of the committee members must be female.
C. Development of Selection Criteria - In consultation with Personnel and Payroll Services, the hiring authority and the committee will establish the required and preferred qualifications for the vacancy. These qualifications will become the selection criteria and the basis for all screening and selection decisions. Requirements for education and years of experience should be consistent with the position classification.
D. Personnel and Payroll Services Assistance - Personnel and Payroll Services provides direction to the screening committee on:
1. Development a recruitment plan and timeframes.
2. Review of the essential and marginal functions of the position and the preferred and required qualifications for the vacancy.
3. Review of general processes and procedures, Affirmative Action/EEO/Veteran's Preference considerations, and requirements for confidentiality.
The Personnel and Payroll Services staff will provide any other assistance which may be of help to the committee members throughout the process.
E. Initial Screening - After the application deadline date, Personnel and Payroll Services will provide the hiring authority with all applications received by the deadline date. The screening committee members will uniformly apply the selection criteria to all applicants to identify candidates for further consideration. The selection criteria cannot be changed after the vacancy has been posted. If the advertised qualifications later seem to be inappropriate, the search can be cancelled and the position re-advertised with modified criteria.
F. Interviewing - The committee members will identify the top candidates to be interviewed for the position vacancy. Questions should be developed by the committee to be used in each of the interviews, and all questions should relate to the announced qualifications for the position. Prior to conducting interviews, the hiring authority must contact Personnel and Payroll Services for authorization to interview candidates chosen by the committee. Interview notes from committee members will be collected and provided to Personnel and Payroll Services for purposes of documentation of the selection process.
G. Reference Checks - Hiring authorities and/or screening committee members should conduct reference checks on at least the top candidate, and at least 2 references should be contacted. At least 2 members of the search committee should be involved simultaneously in each reference check. Notes from the references should be collected and forwarded to Personnel and Payroll Services at the completion of the selection process. (Cross reference Section 450.00, "Reference Checks," of this manual.)
H. Extending a Job Offer - Prior to extending the offer, the hiring authority must contact Personnel and Payroll Services to discuss the selection decision and rationale. A position may be offered only upon approval by Personnel and Payroll Services. Personnel and Payroll Services may prepare a written offer of employment setting forth the conditions of employment, which will include the title, salary rate, FTE, union affiliation, FLSA status, starting date, and any special conditions of employment. It is strongly recommended that the hiring authority issue a written offer of employment to the employee.
Once the offer is accepted, unsuccessful finalists who were interviewed will be informed of the selection decision by a member of the screening committee. Applicants who were not interviewed should be notified of the selection decision by a regret letter sent from the department.
Template offer and regret letters can be obtained from Personnel and Payroll Services.
I. Submission of Documentation - The hiring authority should forward all recruitment and selection documentation to Personnel and Payroll Services. This documentation will be retained for a minimum of 3 years. The documentation should include the following:
1. A memo summarizing the decision making process (i.e., committee members, candidates interviewed) and the specific rationale for the final selection decision.
2. Interview questions and notes from all screening committee members.
3. Reference questions and notes from all screening committee members.
4. Screening matrices from all screening committee members.
5. Original application materials submitted by every applicant.
J. Initiation of Appointment - Once an offer has been accepted by an applicant, the department should complete the Personnel Transaction Form (PTF) and forward it, with necessary approvals, to Personnel and Payroll Services. This form should be submitted to Personnel and Payroll Services prior to the employee's first day of employment. To ensure payment on the main payroll, the PTF and other required paperwork should be received by Personnel and Payroll Services prior to the 20th of the month.
Personnel and Payroll Services will invite the new employee to attend the next New Employee Orientation. The employee's supervisor is responsible for ensuring that arrangements are made for the new employee to attend the session, and paid time should be provided for this attendance.
410.50 Temporary Vacancies
Temporary classified vacancies can be filled through one of the following means: a recruitment, temporary promotion, temporary reclassification, or appointment of a fixed term or temporary hourly employee. (Cross reference Section 420.00, "Temporary Classified Vacancies," of this manual.)
Section 7:00, MSU Classified Personnel Manual, Promotion and Transfer, dated June 1976. MSU's Personnel Board recommendation to establish a "generic" career ladder; June 25, 1984. MSU Classified Personnel Manual: Section V: Recruitment and Selection Policies, 1983.
Approved by Director of Administration on September 24, 1985. Revision reviewed by the MSU Personnel Board on June 13, 1986, and approved by the Director of Administration on June 25, 1986. Revision reviewed by the Vice President for Administration on April 24, 1994. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001.
420.00 Temporary Classified Vacancies
Modified November 2001
A temporary classified vacancy may result either from the temporary absence of an employee or the creation of a new classified position for a limited period of time. Temporary appointments should not be used as a trial period for assessing an individual's ability and performance prior to a regular appointment; the probationary period is established for this purpose.
420.20 Recruitment Options
Temporary vacancies may be filled through one of the following means, depending on duration of the vacancy and availability of qualified staff within the department:
A. Temporary Hourly Non-Classified - Needs of less than 90 calendar days can be filled through a temporary hourly appointment. The temporary hourly appointment form should be submitted, with necessary approvals, to Personnel and Payroll Services. Temporary hourly appointments have no recruitment requirements, but must conform to anti-discrimination and nepotism laws. (Cross reference Section 320.00, "Temporary Hourly Non-Classified Employees," of this manual.)
B. Temporary Promotion - A classified employee within the department may be temporarily promoted to a vacant position for up to one year. At the end of the temporary assignment, the employee will return to his/her previous position. The department may select the most appropriate employee to fill the temporary vacancy. The promoted employee's PTF (Personnel Transaction Form) should be processed to implement this change.
The duration of the temporary promotion will be stipulated at the beginning of the appointment.
Requests for an exception to the one year limit should be submitted to Personnel and Payroll Services, with the approval of the appropriate department head, dean, and vice president.
C. Temporary Classified/Fixed Term - Vacancies which are intended to last no more than one calendar year may be filled with a fixed term appointment. Fixed term appointments do not require a full classification review or a recruitment; however, no employee appointed to a fixed term position may become permanent in the position unless a recruitment has been conducted. Fixed term appointments may be discontinued without a showing of cause, but written notice of at least five working days must be provided to the employee. Salary rates will be consistent with the Statewide Classification System.
Fixed term employees will receive benefits based on whether they meet the eligibility criteria (employed at least six months at half time or greater for health insurance, employed for three months or greater for sick leave, and employed six months or greater for annual leave). Employee retirement contributions to PERD are mandatory if the employment period exceeds 960 hours.
If a position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the employee will be required to pay union dues, but the employee does not have seniority, nor associated layoff or recall rights.
To initiate a fixed term appointment, departments should contact Personnel and Payroll Services.
D. Temporary Reclassification - A classified employee within the department may be assigned duties from the vacancy and be temporarily reclassified as a result. A memo outlining position duties should be submitted to Personnel and Payroll Services and the appropriate classification will be determined. A reclassification applies when less than 50% of the job duties have been changed; if more than 50% of the position changes, it should be treated as a promotion instead of a reclassification. Temporary reclassifications should not exceed one year.
The duration of a temporary reclassification will be stipulated at the beginning of the appointment.
Requests for an exception to the one year limit should be submitted to Personnel and Payroll Services, with the approval of the appropriate department head, dean, and vice president.
E. Classified Recruitment - A recruitment can be conducted for the temporary vacancy. This is initiated by submitting a RAF (Recruitment Authorization Form) to Personnel and Payroll Services. (Cross reference Section 410.00, "Recruitment and Selection - Classified Positions," of this manual.)
Section 5:00, MSU Classified Personnel Manual, revised March, 1981, and modified in July, August, October, and December, 1983. Reformatted section approved by the Director of Administration on June 25, 1986. Revised and approved by the Vice President for Administration on June 30, 1988 and April 24, 1994. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001.
Modified November 2001; October 2006
- 2-2-301-03, Montana Code Annotated.
430.20 Appointment or Contracting with a Relative
No employee of Montana State University-Bozeman may participate in decisions which would involve a direct benefit or detriment (appointment, hiring, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence, contracting) to a relative as defined below. If a relative applies for a position which is supervised by a relative, the immediate senior to such a supervisor or other designated authority will institute procedures to assure compliance with this policy.
"Relative," for the purposes of this policy, means parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin, by blood relationship; spouse; or brother, sister, parent, or child of spouse; or spouse of one's brother, sister, parent or child. (Sections 2-2-302 and 303 M.C.A.)
430.30 Avoiding Nepotism
Prior to making any decision that may benefit a relative or creating a family relationship which could result in a violation of this policy, the individual involved shall consult with the next higher supervisory authority who will be responsible for assuring the compliance with Section 430.20. If no prior consultation occurs, or if a means of avoidance of a violation cannot be identified, MSU reserves the right to reassign duties or take other reasonable steps to avoid the violation. This policy shall not apply to the renewal of an employment contract of a person who was initially hired before the supervisor to whom he/she is related assumed the duties of the office.
Hiring authorities should observe the provisions of the nepotism policy in all appointments, including the hiring of temporary/hourly and student employees and in the selection of contractors or vendors. Any questions regarding the interpretation of this policy should be directed to MSU Legal Counsel.
430.40 Appointing or contracting with relatives/partners on externally funded grants and contracts
OMB Circular A-110, which are the federal rules which govern the administration of federal grants for colleges and universities states in pertinent part:
No employee, officer, or agent shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by federal funds if a real or apparent conflict of interest would be involved. Such a conflict would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has financial or other interest in the firm selected for an award.
A. Personnel appointments funded by a research grant and/or any other externally funded account established specifically to support research activities are restricted to persons who are not relatives or partners of the Principal Investigator unless the appointment is approved as described in B and C below.
B. If a Principal Investigator believes the appointment of a relative/partner is appropriate because of legitimate reasons related to the research grant and the unique qualifications of the relative, the Principal Investigator may submit, in writing, the following to the appropriate department head or director, and dean for review and either approval or disapproval:
1. a vita of the proposed appointee,
2. a statement that includes the job requirements and a justification for the appointment as demonstrated by the candidate's experience and/or training, and
3. a summary of the specific steps taken to publicize the availability of the position; the names of interested and qualified candidates who were considered and the basis for their rejection.
The department head or director, and dean shall indicate, in writing, approval or disapproval of the request and forward it to the Vice President for Research and the Provost for final consideration. The Vice President and Provost, following appropriate review and consultation at the University level, will issue a final written determination on the request.
C. If approved, the salary for the appointment shall be set in the following manner:
1. if the appointee has been designated by name in the grant proposal, the salary paid may not exceed the total annual value of the salary as specified in the original proposal (or in a subsequently revised budget). Requests for exceptions must have prior written approval of the sponsor.
2. In all other cases the Provost will consult with Payroll and Personnel and Human Resources/Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) to review the proposed salary to ensure that it represents compensation that is comparable to that of other University appointees performing similar work.
D. The Vice President and Provost shall consult with appropriate university personnel to determine whether the appointment of a relative would violate any state or federal regulations or could create a conflict of interest such that it may compromise the scientific objectivity of the Principal Investigator's research program. If a potential conflict of interest exists, it shall be handled in accordance with Section 440.00 et seq. of the MSU Faculty Handbook.
E. The Principal Investigator should not serve as direct supervisor of a family member. An alternate reporting structure should be established to handle verification of time and effort, evaluations, re-appointments, promotions, and/or salary adjustments.
Reviewed by MSU Personnel Board on October 25, 1985, and approved by the Director of Administration on November 26, 1985. This revision approved by the Vice President for Administration on October 8, 1992. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001. This modification approved by Legal Counsel on October 11, 2006.
440.00 Interviewing for Classified Positions
Modified November 2001
440.10 Conducting Interviews
The hiring authority and at least one appointed committee member should conduct interviews of the applicants considered to be best qualified for the position vacancy. Normally at least 3 applicants should be interviewed. All interview notes should be forwarded to Personnel and Payroll Services for documentation purposes.
Interview questions should be developed which relate to the announced qualifications for the vacancy. All interviewees should be asked the same basic questions.
Questions related to race, sex, marital status, age, color, religion, physical or mental disabilities, and arrest records should not be used when interviewing candidates. A pre-employment inquiry guide to assist interviewers in adhering to equal employment opportunity laws is provided to the screening committee at the beginning of the selection process, or is available from Personnel and Payroll Services upon request.
440.20 Answering Applicant Inquiries
If applicant inquiries are directed to the department, independent of the interview process, the following information can be provided:
A. Information stated on the position vacancy announcement (i.e., title, salary, date available, description of duties, required qualifications, bargaining unit, deadline date).
B. Policies and procedures associated with application and selection for classified positions.
C. General information on benefits and our community.
Other applicant inquiries should be referred to Personnel and Payroll Services.
440.30 Notifying Unsuccessful Candidates
Once an offer of employment is accepted, the hiring authority should notify all candidates interviewed of the decision. If the decision is questioned by an unsuccessful candidate, the individual can be referred to Personnel and Payroll Services.
Section 5:01 "Procedure for Recruiting and Hiring Classified Personnel", MSU Classified Personnel Manual, dated March 1981. Reviewed by MSU Personnel Board on May 7, 1985, and approved by Director of Administration on November 27, 1985. Revision reviewed by the Vice President for Administration on June 17, 1992. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001.
450.00 Reference Checks
Modified November 2001
450.10 Conducting a Reference Check
Hiring authorities should normally conduct reference checks of the top candidates. At a minimum, hiring authorities should check at least 2 references of the top finalist. In conducting a reference check, the following guidelines apply:
A. References should be current or former supervisors, not co-workers or personal references. If an applicant asks us not to contact the current employer, that employer should not be contacted.
B. Standardized questions, prepared in advance, should be used with each reference.
C. Only job-related information, specific to the job for which the candidate is applying, should be requested.
Notes should be taken during the reference check. The reference questions and notes should be submitted to Personnel and Payroll Services with other documentation of the recruitment.
Generally, members of screening committees should not serve as references for candidates who apply for the particular vacancy with which the committee is involved.
A sample of possible reference check questions is provided to the screening committee at the beginning of the selection process, or is available from Personnel and Payroll Services upon request.
450.20 Providing a Reference Check
Frequently current and former employees use an MSU-Bozeman supervisor as a reference when applying for other positions, either on campus or elsewhere. Comments should be limited to matters directly related to performance on the job which the supervisor has observed.
If supervisors have any concerns about handling a reference, they may contact Personnel and Payroll Services before providing any information. Supervisors may decline to provide information about the employee if they wish. Personnel and Payroll Services will provide only public information on employees (such as salary, title, date of hire) when requested.
Reviewed by MSU Personnel Board on February 27, 1985, and approved by the Director of Administration on November 27, 1985. Revision approved by the Vice President for Administration on June 17, 1992. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001.