Internal Recruitment - Professional Staff Recruitment Policy and Procedures


This document applies to the internal recruitment of all permanent professional staff members and all fixed-term professional staff members on contracts of six months and longer at the University.

These procedures do not apply to professional positions that are research funded. Research funded professional positions can follow the recruitment process outlined in the External Recruitment - Professional Staff Recruitment Procedures.


To outline the directions for employing existing staff members at the University into a new professional staff position.  


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.  


1. Prior to commencement of recruitment, all new or replacement vacancies must be approved by the dean or director of the faculty, service division or Large Scale Research Institute they are employed within.

2. This approval process is to be managed locally, by each dean or director.

Note - Contact your HR Advisor or HR Manager for more information on this process.

3. Any exemptions must be approved in advance.

4. Vacancies must be advertised in accordance with the business rules for position management and will be advertised on the internal University careers site (Intranet) for a minimum of five calendar days.

5. In all cases where recruitment is necessary preference must be given to internal first recruitment.

6. Applications are to be open to all current permanent and fixed-term staff.

7. Preference is to be given to existing permanent staff member.

8. Only if no suitable permanent staff member is identified, fixed-term employees may be considered.

9. If no suitable candidates were identified through the internal process, or in special circumstances where it is warranted that a role does not require/is exempt from the internal process and may be directly advertised externally.

10. Approval must be granted before progressing to external advertising.


Define the position and gain approvals

11. Once a recruitment requirement is identified, and dean or director approval to recruit has been granted, the hiring manager contacts the Talent and Recruitment team to inform them of the vacancy and discuss the recruitment process.

Note - This can be done by phone, or via the Recruitment Request Form

12. A second approval is required by the function owner, in which the vacancy sits, before recruitment can commence. This approval step is managed by the Talent and Recruitment team.

13. All professional positions of six months and longer are to be advertised exclusively on our internal careers page, considering only current staff members, prior to any external advertising.

14. 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

15. The hiring manager is to draft or review the position description in conjunction with HR Advisory to accurately define the position requirements.

16. Consideration is to be given to current and future requirements for clarity in identifying required and preferred capabilities.

Note - Care should be taken to ensure the Position Description recognises that relevant applicants could come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and should not be prohibitively restrictive.

17. All positions must be formally evaluated and allocated a job evaluation band.

18. If the position description for an existing role has changed substantially then the existing job evaluation band may require re-evaluation.

Note - More information on the job evaluation process can be found here.

19. Existing positions will have a position number; for new positions, a new position number is to be requested.


20. Once the position is approved, the appropriate Talent and Recruitment team member is to prepare the job advertisement and ensure it adheres to the University of Auckland branding and style guidelines and includes the approved equity statement.

21. The Talent and Recruitment team member is to post the job advert on the internal careers page and distribute to appropriate internal groups/networks.

22. The Talent and Recruitment team member may directly approach potentially suitable internal candidates identified through internal talent mapping, to encourage application.

23. The hiring manager is responsible for arranging the shortlisting meeting and interview dates, making any required room bookings, nominating and inviting the panel members.

24. The hiring manager and members of the hiring panel are to promote the job advert within their teams and with their internal networks, where appropriate.

25. 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 selection panel to make appropriate arrangements to be available on the proposed interview dates.

Managing applications and shortlisting

26. An interview panel is to be established and will typically consist of three to four people.

27. The interview panel must include the hiring manager and one to two representatives from the service division, faculty or Large Scale Research Institute, in which the role is located or other person with relevant expertise.

28. In forming the interview panel, consideration must be given to the expertise each member brings into the decision-making process, as well as gender balance and ethnic diversity of the interview panel, ensuring diversity of thought on the panel.

29. Any Conflict of Interest any member of the interview panel may have must be declared to the hiring manager and Talent and Recruitment consultant as soon as it is identified.

30. A selection criteria are to be formed of the essential and desired capabilities, attributes and experience required for the position, that all applicants will be measured against.

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

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

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

34. 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.

35. All interviewers must screen all applications received against the selection criteria, and as soon as possible after the closing date of the advertisement.

36. Initial contact with candidates must be made within ten working days of closing date.

Note – SmartRecruiters provides functionality to rank candidates against the selection criteria for the role.

37. 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

38. 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.

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

40. If the interview panel is unable to agree a reasonably sized shortlist, phone or video conversations may 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) and give candidates an opportunity to learn more about the role, which can help to narrow the field.

41. The hiring manager is to 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

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

43. Support for candidates with disabilities is to 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 interview arrangements if required.

44. 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.

45. After receiving an invitation to attend an interview, internal candidates are to inform their line managers of their application for the position, prior to attending.

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

47. 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 selection criteria, and arrange for second interviews if required.

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

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

50. The interview panel must follow a structured interview process to ensure all candidates have a consistent interview experience and are assessed against the same selection criteria.

51. Where two candidates are deemed to be of equal merit and one of the candidates is Māori or a member of an equity group, the tie-breaker principle applies and that candidate is to be offered the position.

52. All candidates must be informed verbally by the hiring manager or the Talent and Recruitment Consultant about the outcome of the interview within five working days after interview.

53. Where no internal candidate is to be offered the position, the position is to be reconsidered and approval may be sought to advertise the role externally.

Referencing and pre-employment vetting

54. Prior to conducting references, the preferred candidate needs to confirm with the Talent and Recruitment consultant and/or hiring manager that their current line manager has been informed of their intention to accept a new position.

55. One oral reference 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”.

56. Referees must be nominated by the candidate, and will ideally include their current line manager, unless exceptional circumstances suggest their current line manager would not be suitable. In this case another recent manager or other senior stakeholder who can verify the candidate’s experience and performance can be nominated.

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

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

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

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

61. 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

62. All candidates employed by the University must have the legal right to work in New Zealand in the position they are being appointed to.

Note - An in-house licensed immigration adviser can provide support to staff in interpreting the immigration legislation correctly and applying for the correct visa or changing the conditions of their current visa, if applicable.

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

63. The hiring manager advises the offer approver (as per the HR Delegations Schedule), Talent and Recruitment team member and, if necessary, the HR Manager/Advisor of the decision to appoint, the salary and any other relevant contract conditions.

64. All offers are made via SmartRecruiters once approvals have been given online by the appropriate approver/s.

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

Note - Contact HR Advisory for further support if required.

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


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

Candidate care

68. All candidates who 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.

69. The hiring process is to be conducted as expeditiously as possible and always be completed within one month.

70. While negotiations are occurring with the preferred candidate, and any potential second-ranked candidate must be kept informed of the process.

71. 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 interview notes, verbal reference transcripts, etc. and any hard copies are to be securely disposed of by shredding/confidential disposal bins.


The following definitions apply to this document:

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

Internal first recruitment refers to prioritising the placement of internal candidates into any professional staff vacancies.

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