Academic Staff Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedures


These procedures apply to all staff members at the University


To outline the procedures for employing permanent academic staff 


Academic head establishes staffing need

1.    The academic head is to: 

  • consult with the department over staffing needs and determine the fields, disciplines and grade of the appointment
  • assess budgetary and overall planning needs
  • assess departmental staffing plan for the area of the appointment, including academic and equity objectives

Note - The staffing plan should consider anticipated staff turnover, student numbers, non-replacement of staff leaving, replacement in a different field or at a different grade, and teaching/research/contributions needs

2.    The academic head is to discuss their conclusions with the Head of School (HOS), if any

Academic head discusses with dean

3.    The academic head (and HOS, if any) and dean is to discuss the departmental staffing plan, including the grade of any proposed position

4.    The dean is to approve advertising, and the grade(s)

5.    The dean is to advise the Vice-Chancellor of the intention to recruit, and the impact on the faculty staffing profile

Academic head establishes Recruitment and Selection Committee (RSC)

6.    Having obtained the approval of the dean to proceed, the academic head is to consult with members of the department over the appointment and composition of the Recruitment and Selection Committee (RSC) to shortlist, interview and recommend candidates

7.    The academic head is to form an RSC that is responsible to the dean through the academic head, comprising:

  • the academic head or nominee as chair
  • 2-4 other academic staff members including at least one sub-professorial staff member
  • 1 member of the FSC from outside the department
  • co-opted persons, where additional expertise is considered necessary

8.    The RSC is to be chosen or elected with experience, expertise and diversity in mind, while striving for gender balance and ethnic diversity

9.    A member of the RSC may not be a referee for the applicant  

10.    RSC members must discuss any actual or potential conflicts of interest with the chair

11.    The quorum for meetings is 50% of the RSC membership apart from at interview stage where there must be at least 4 members present

RSC prepares brief

12.    The chair is to encourage all members of the RSC to participate, and to remind members of the importance of confidentiality at all stages

13.    The RSC is to:

  • include reference to desirable experience and qualifications
  • include material about the department(s) and its teaching and research programmes for inclusion with the advertisement
  • draft the key criteria for inclusion in cluases in the conditions of appointment (grade(s) sought, qualifications, fields of expertise, duties) to ensure that all key University expectations to the applicants are clear
  • define the time-table for appointment process
  • appoint a representative(s) for the interview panel


14.    The academic head is to liaise with group services to ensure that job opening is completed in Peoplesoft HR

15.    Once advertised, the academic head is to send a link of the job opening to all staff members in the department in order for them to disseminate via their personal and professional networks, taking into account the need to ensure diversity of applicants

RSC shortlist and review referee reports

16.    The RSC is to consider the applications and define the initial short list of applicants (normally 6-10) for whom references are to be sought

17.    Where the initial short list is 2-4, the RSC may consider proceeding directly to interview but must still request written referee reports

18.    The recruitment and solutions team must seek confidential references from only those persons nominated by the candidate

19.    With the agreement of the candidate, references may be sought from further persons, nominated by the academic head or RSC, who have knowledge of the candidate’s qualifications, expertise or experience relevant to the appointment

20.    The recruitment and solutions team is to disseminate the referees reports to the RSC

21.    Only the RSC may read the references and must do so in strict confidence

22.    The RSC is to record a confidential brief written statement as to the qualities and experience which have led to the selection of these candidates

RSC creates final short list

23.    The RSC is to consider all applications and create a final short list of (normally 2-4) applicants

24.    The most meritorious one or two candidates are to be be invited to Auckland for interview wherever practicable

25.    If there are no applicants worthy of an interview the search process is to be resumed

Interview schedule and logistics

26.    The Group Services Coordinator/Group Services Administrator must liaise with candidates and arrange interview and seminar (if applicable) schedule

Note - A programme of seminars and talks is normally a desirable and useful part of the selection process, particularly where all short listed candidates are able to present. All recruitment and selection committee members are expected to attend the seminars of all candidates

Interviews involving whanau

27.    Interview candidates may bring a whānau or support group to the interview

Note – refer to the Interviews with Whānau Procedures

28.     The faculty office is to consult with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Maori) to suggest the name of a facilitator who will be co-opted in this case

RSC conducts interviews

29.    The RSC must develop appropriate questions on teaching, research and contributions to ensure a consistent and fair approach for all applicants

30.    The questions are to be based on the the criteria and standards expected of the position

31.    Each candidate must have equal access to information they might seek

32.    All candidates for interview must be provided with the conditions of appointment

The interview

33.    After the introductions have been made, the chairperson is to explain the purpose and structure of the interview

34.    Standard questions are to be asked of each candidate

35.    Each panel member must assess each response, taking into account transferability of skills from other contexts (eg from a voluntary organisation, business or iwi development context)

36.    Only questions relevant to evaluating an applicant's ability to fulfil the requirements are to be asked

37.    Supplementary questions may be required to clarify issues or to obtain further information or to explore areas opened in the interview

38.    Applicants are then to be given an opportunity to seek additional information or raise matters which may not have emerged during the interview

39.    At the close of the interview the chairperson is to inform the applicant of the probable timing of the decision-making process

40.    When interviewing applicants with physical disability, the panel must beware of making erroneous assumptions about the applicant's ability

Note - The interview room should be suitably located to ensure that the applicant is not disadvantaged

41.    Panel members must not commit the University to an appointment or salary

42.    Candidates may be told only that the salary will be within the advertised range

Note - note may be taken of any comment a candidate wishes to make in regard to salary

Outcomes of the interviews

43.    The RSC is to rank the candidates against the key requirements of the position, and to recommend to the dean:

  • whether the most suitable candidate merits being offered the position
  • the grade and salary level to be offered, taking into account equity issues and relativity with other staff members in the department, faculty and University
  • whether any other candidate(s) are to be considered for the position in the event that the most suitable candidate not be available, and the grade and salary to be offered in that event
  • why it is that other candidate(s) have not been recommended

44.    Where two candidates are deemed to be of equal merit and one of the candidates is a member of an equal employment opportunities target group, then that criteria is to be given additional emphasis and that candidate is to be offered the position:

45.     A record of the decision process must be kept

46.    Appointment decisions, including level of appointment, will only be made after considering the suitability of the applicant(s) according to the:

  • conditions of appointment (including the grade(s), qualifications, fields of expertise, duties)
  • criteria and standards prescribed in the applicable Academic Standards document

47.    The Chair of the Recruitment and Selection Committee is to provide a short written report to be considered by the Faculty Staffing Committee regarding:

  • the process
  • the candidates that were shortlisted
  • a brief summary of each candidate including a recommendation to appoint the successful candidate
  • the salary level to be offered

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

Referee checking

49.    The panel may consider asking the academic head to telephone one or more referee(s) identified by the candidate, with specified structured questions

50.    The academic head is to write brief notes of the responses for the panel’s further consideration

Offer of employment

51.    The FSC is to consider the recommendation and respond to the academic head with the outcome through the Chair of the FSC

52.    If the decision is to appoint then the academic head is to liaise with group services to progress the offer in Peoplesoft HR   

53.    All files must be destroyed three months after the appointee takes up the position

Appointments to professor

54.    The process for appointment of professor generally follows the same steps, however the dean takes on the role of the academic head and the Vice-Chancellor the role of the dean

55.    For academics who are not in faculties the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) is to take the role of dean and the director to take the role of academic head

56.    The HR Advisory team is responsible for monitoring the overall process with administrative support provided by Group Services

57.    The Vice-Chancellor is to approve the membership of a search panel comprising of:

  • dean, as chair
  • academic head
  • UASC member from outside the faculty
  • (1 or more) professor(s)  from department or related discipline
  • (1 or more) sub-professorial staff member(s) from department
  • (1 or more on occasion) co-opted person(s), where additional expertise is considered necessary

58.    The Vice-Chancellor is to approve membership of an interview panel comprising of:

  • dean, as chair
  • academic head
  • Vice-Chancellor or nominee
  • UASC member (who should be the UASC member on the search panel)
  • professor  (from search panel - dean may approve alternate professor if necessary)
  • 1-2 departmental/faculty representative(s) (normally sub-professorial) as elected by the search panel, on advice of academic head
  • 1-2 external adviser(s) who may represent academic, professional or other external interests
  • where there is more than one faculty or one department involved, each dean and each academic head will be a member of each panel

59.    Where a candidate wishes to apply in strict confidence, the Vice-Chancellor is to consider whether or not such a request will be accepted, and how the procedure might be modified to accommodate such a request

60.    Where the request is declined, the application and all other documents are to be returned to the applicant (or to their alma mater dossier, where that is required)

61.    Professorial candidates are to present a seminar

62.    This seminar will be organised and hosted by the department

Note - It is expected that the interview panel will attend all seminars

63.    The interview panel is to rank candidates and the dean must provide a short written report to the Vice-Chancellor

64.    Appointment decisions are only to be made after considering the suitability of the applicant according to the Academic Standards, and the needs of the position

65.    The Vice-Chancellor may approve proceeding with the appointment and the remuneration and conditions to be offered

66.    The dean is to make the offer to the candidate

67.    If the applicant accepts the offer, the HR Advisory team in association with the recruitment and solutions team, are then to liaise with the candidate around the offer of employment, relocation and induction procedures 


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head means the head of the department/school/research centre/institute or other academic unit in which the staff member is employed

RSC refers to the recruitment and selection committee established to fill the particular position 

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

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries 


Document management and control

Content manager: Associate Director, Talent and Recruitment

Owner: Director, Human Resources 

Approver: Vice-Chancellor

Date reviewed: 01 November 2015

Review date: 01 November 2018