External Recruitment - Professional Staff Recruitment Procedures


This document applies to all professional staff members at the University


To outline the directions for recruiting external candidates for professional staff positions at the University.


Due to COVID-19 and its impact on the financial situation of the University, we urge all hiring managers to carefully consider their future recruitment needs and only recruit where it is absolutely necessary. In the first instance all hiring managers need to follow the Internal Recruitment - Professional Staff Recruitment Policy and Procedures before external recruitment is considered.


Define the position and gain approvals

1. Prior to commencement of recruitment, all new or replacement positions must be approved in accordance with the HR Delegations Schedule, on the basis of an approved budget and an overall workforce plan.

2. Prior to engaging with an External Recruitment Agency, approval from the Associate Director Talent and Recruitment must be obtained.

3. Prior to making an offer of employment, all offers must be approved in accordance with the HR Delegations Schedule, on the basis of an approved budget.

4. Draft or review the position description in conjunction with HR Advisory to accurately define the position requirements. Consideration is to be given to current and future requirements for clarity in identifying required and preferred experience.

5. All positions must be formally evaluated and allocated a job evaluation band. If the position description for an existing role has changed substantially then the existing job evaluation band may require re-evaluation. More information on the job evaluation process can be found here.

6. Existing positions will have a position number; for new positions, a new position number will need to be requested, for which a job evaluation band is required.

Note - Please familiarise yourself with the different recruitment services and contact HR Advisory or the Talent and Recruitment team for further support if required.


7. Once the position is approved, the appropriate Talent and Recruitment team member will prepare the new job advertisement and ensure it adheres to the University of Auckland branding and style guidelines and includes the approved equity statement and fulfils Immigration New Zealand advertising requirements.
Note - Professional positions between Band D (Target Zone) and Band I (Developing Zone) (Salary between NZ$27.76 to NZ$55.51 per hour for a minimum 30 hours a week; remuneration of NZ$54,132 – NZ$108,264 = 1 FTE) must include the following information:
• Position description
• Minimum and maximum salary range (in NZ$)
• Location of work
• Hours of work (in hours)
• Minimum skills, experience or qualifications for position
• Working from home flexibility (if applicable to the position)
The position must be advertised for a minimum of 14 days on Seek or external job boards where New Zealanders are likely to apply.
Note - Professional positions below Band D (Target Zone) (salary less than NZ$27.76 per hour) do not meet the Immigration New Zealand requirements for an Accredited Employer Work Visa.

8. The Talent and Recruitment team member is to consult with the hiring manager to agree on the most appropriate media in which to advertise.

9. Costs are to be approved by the hiring manager prior to advertising.

Note - Information about advertising costs can be obtained from the Talent and Recruitment team located in Human Resources.

10. The Talent and Recruitment team is to arrange all advertising.

11. Once advertised, the hiring manager is to send the advertisement including a link of the job opening to all relevant staff members in order for them to disseminate via their personal and professional networks.

12. The closing date for the advertisement, the shortlisting meeting, and proposed interview dates are to be confirmed at the beginning of the recruitment process.

Note - This will help to ensure a timely recruitment process and enable the candidates and the interview panel to make appropriate arrangements to be available on the proposed interview dates.

Managing applications and shortlisting

13. An interview panel is to be established and will typically consist of two to three people including the hiring manager, a representative from the service division or faculty in which the position is located, and one other person with relevant expertise.

14. Consideration must be given to expertise as well as gender balance and ethnic diversity when selecting the interviewers, in addition, any Conflict of Interest needs to be declared.

15. The hiring manager will have access to training on recruitment processes, equity considerations, and unconscious bias.

16. Confidentiality is to be assured throughout the recruitment process.

17. No candidate names, details or information are to be shared outside of the interview panel without the permission of the candidate.

18. The hiring manager is to remind all interviewers of their responsibility in this regard and confirm that no “informal reference checking” is to be undertaken.

19. All interviewers must screen all applications received, and as soon as possible after the closing date of the advertisement. Initial contact with candidates must be made within ten working days of closing date.

20. In instances where there are a large number of applicants (e.g. in excess of 50 applicants) it may be agreed that applications are split between interviewers so that each member screens a more manageable number of applications. In this instance, the selection criteria are to be re-confirmed by all interviewers, and an agreed ranking system applied, to ensure a fair and consistent screening process.

21. Interview panels are to aim for equitable candidate representation by gender and ethnicity when shortlisting.

Note – HR will monitor applicant and appointment rates by gender and ethnicity.

22. If it is impossible for an interviewer to be involved in the shortlisting meeting, they must provide their comments and recommendations/ranking of candidates to the hiring manager in advance of the meeting.

23. A shortlist of candidates for interview are to be agreed upon: typically, two to four candidates.

24. If a shortlisted candidate does not have the right to work in New Zealand in the advertised position, the Hiring Managers must check current immigration requirements.

25. If the interview panel is unable to agree a reasonably sized shortlist, phone or skype conversations can be conducted in the first instance.

Note - This is a good way to find out more about candidates, ensure expectations are aligned (particularly in regard to salary and timing/relocation) and give candidates an opportunity to learn more about the position, which can help to narrow the field.

26. Decide if any additional background checks (e.g. pre-employment vetting, psychometric or skill testing) are required and activate these checks via the Talent and Recruitment team.

Interviews and decision making

27. The interview panel is to arrange and conduct all interviews and ensure that all candidates have the same interactions throughout the recruitment process.

28. Support for candidates with disabilities will be provided, such as ensuring the interview location is suitable for applicants. The Equity Office can be contacted for advice.

Note – Where applicable, Group Services or an appropriate staff member will assist with arrangements if required.

29. Interviews involving whānau - candidates may bring whānau or a support group to the interview. If required, the faculty or service division is to consult with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) to suggest the name of a facilitator who will be co-opted in this case.

30. Every effort must be made to avoid candidates overlapping and meeting each other.

31. The interview panel is to use all available information gathered via the application and demonstrated through the interview process, to select the preferred candidates against the key requirements of the position, and arrange for second interviews with key stakeholders if required.

Note – Smart Recruiters will provide functionality to rank candidates against the key criteria for the position.

32. The interview panel members must be able to attend all interviews with all shortlisted candidates to ensure balanced and objective decisions.

33. The Director, Staff Equity, and/or Human Resources representative or nominee may be present at interviews.

34. The interview panel must follow a structured interview process to ensure all candidates have a consistent interview experience and are assessed on the same key criteria.

35. Where two candidates are deemed to be of equal merit and one of the candidates is Māori or a member of an equity group, then that candidate is to be offered the position.

36. Candidates must be informed about the outcome of the interview within 10 working days after interview.

37. Where no candidate is to be offered the position, the position is to be reconsidered or re-advertised.

Referencing and pre-employment vetting

38. A minimum of two oral references must be conducted prior to offering the preferred candidate the position. Where appropriate, an offer may be made to the candidate “subject to satisfactory references being obtained”.

39. At least one reference will be with a recent or relevant manager unless exceptional and stated circumstances do not allow for this to be completed.

40. Oral references are to be conducted by the hiring manager on the preferred candidate. The HR Manager or Talent and Recruitment team can provide support.

41. A transcript of the oral references must be taken and saved in the recruitment system against the candidate’s application.

42. No other person will be approached, formally or informally, without the knowledge and agreement of the hiring manager and the candidate.

43. Referees' reports must not be made available to anyone who is not a member of the interview panel without the permission of the candidate.

44. With the agreement of the candidate, references may be sought from further persons, nominated by the hiring manager or interview panel, who have knowledge of the candidate’s qualifications, expertise or experience relevant to the appointment.

Note – Some positions at the University require pre-employment vetting and/or safety checks and the incumbent may not be able to start prior to receipt of the results from the vetting organisation. Please visit the Pre-employment checks page for more information, or contact the Talent and Recruitment team.

Visa/Immigration support

45. All candidates employed by the University must have the legal right to work in New Zealand.

Note - An in-house licensed immigration adviser can provide support to staff in interpreting the immigration legislation correctly and applying for the correct visa for candidates.

Note - If required, international candidates can meet with the University Immigration Adviser for immigration support and advice. An initial meeting may occur when the candidates are attending interviews in New Zealand, or at a later date once a preferred candidate is identified. Consult the Talent and Recruitment team member or Immigration Adviser directly, for assistance.

Offer and approval

46. The hiring manager advises the approver and HR manager/advisor of the decision to appoint, the salary and any other relevant contract conditions.

47. All offers are made via Smart Recruiters once approvals have been given online by the appropriate approver/s.

48. Any offer which is above the remuneration range target zone maximum must be approved by the Remuneration and Rewards Manager.

49. Offers above the remuneration range maximum must be approved by the HR Director.

50. For internal appointments, increases above 10% must be approved by the Associate Director, HR Advisory.

51. All employment offers must be approved in writing in accordance with the HR Delegation Schedule .

Note - Contact HR Advisory for further support if required.

52. The hiring manager or Talent and Recruitment team member is to manage any offer negotiations with the candidate and answer any queries.

Note - HR is available to support and advise on these discussions.

53. For any offer of employment to a candidate who does not have the right to work in New Zealand in the advertised position, the University will be required to complete a New Zealand Immigration Job Check at a cost of NZ$610 to the hiring academic unit.

Note - A Job Check will take approximately 15 working days to be approved by Immigration New Zealand and must include a declaration that no other applicant with the right to work in NZ, meets the minimum requirements.

Note – The Recruiter will contact the In-house Immigration Manager to initiate the Job Check process.


54. The hiring manager is to arrange all details relating to the successful candidate’s induction.

Candidate care

55. Unsuccessful candidates who have not been shortlisted for interview are to be advised of the outcome through Smart Recruiters/Talent and Recruitment team, upon advice from the hiring manager.

56. Candidates who were interviewed and were unsuccessful are to be verbally declined by the hiring manager or Talent and Recruitment team member and are to be given a brief explanation as to the reasons for their decline.

57. The hiring process is to be conducted as expeditiously as possible and always be completed within a two-month period.

58. While negotiations are occurring with the preferred candidate, the second-ranked candidate must be kept informed of the process.

59. Once the recruitment process is complete, the hiring manager must ensure that all documents relating to candidates must be uploaded into the recruitment system including candidate notes, verbal references, etc. and any hard copies are to be securely disposed of by shredding/confidential disposal bins.


Hiring manager refers to the person with the delegated authority to make an appointment or recommendation such as line manager.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part-time basis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Director, Human Resources
Content manager: Associate Director, Talent & Recruitment
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 16 October 2020
Review date: 16 October 2025