Recruitment and Selection: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What can a manager do if a very talented person from an equity group applies for a position but does not have all the required qualifications?

A. Firstly, it is important to differentiate between “desirable” and “essential” qualifications. There are some roles that cannot be performed without specific qualifications. There are other situations where additional study and training can be offered to ensure that the applicant can gain the necessary qualifications.

Q. What is ‘Merit Relative to Opportunity’?

A. Merit Relative to Opportunity is when the quality and impact of a person’s achievements are evaluated according the opportunities they have had. They may have had career gaps due to parental leave, or ill health. This is in contrast to a ’special consideration’ approach that highlights the negative impact of personal circumstances on performance or expects lesser standards of performance.

It re-examines the concept of merit (traditionally derived from a fulltime, uninterrupted, linear career history), and the associated expectations of quantity, rate, consistency and breadth of outputs, and how these productivity factors may be affected by personal circumstances and working arrangements. Merit Relative to Opportunity Policy

Q. What is the “tie breaker” principle?

A.  If there are two equally matched candidates and one is Māori or a member of an equity group, that candidate should be selected.
Professional staff recruitment procedures
Academic staff recruitment procedures
Tie Breaker Principle

Q.  What is a “conflict of interest” on a selection panel?

A. A panel member could have professional or personal association with the applicant or be named as one of their referees. Any conflicts should be declared and, in consultation with the chair, a decision made about what involvement in the selection process is appropriate. It is important that panels should have credibility and perceptions of bias, whether positive or negative, are avoided. Conflict of Interest Policy

Q. How can unconscious bias be avoided in the hiring process?

A. Read the Unconscious Bias information on the Equity website, including strategies for overcoming bias in recruitment

Q. Can applicants bring a support person to an interview?

A. Applicants are entitled to bring a support person to an interview. See Interviews involving whanau. This may be particularly relevant to Māori and people with disability.

Q. What are reasonable accommodations?

A. If an applicant or employee requires provision of reasonable accommodations due to a disability, injury or illness, or for religious beliefs or family commitments, these should be made wherever possible. For further information, please see Reasonable accommodations.

Q. What does an “equivalent qualification” mean?

A. For example, if tertiary experience is not essential, a broader qualification of “experience of working in a large complex organisation” can cover similar skills and experience and has the benefit of drawing on a wider pool of applicants.

Q.  What professional development is available for new staff?

A. The Centre for Learning and Research (CLeaR) provides development for academic skills and Professional and Organisational Development unit (POD) delivers a wide range of training including IT literacy. There are provisions in Collective and Individual Agreements for employees to claim payment of tuition fees.