Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Business Policies and Procedures Manual

Revised 4-17
Human Resource Services


Recruitment and Selection of Administrative Professional Personnel


University departments are to follow the requirements and procedures in this section to create and change permanent, or temporary administrative professional positions and appointments.

Administrative Professional Definition

Administrative professional (AP) personnel include employees who perform administrative, managerial, professional, research, public service, and/or extension responsibilities and are exempted from the provisions of Washington Administrative Code Title 357 (see RCW 41.06.070).

AP positions may be for permanent or temporary appointments. AP positions must be for no less than .50 FTE and require a minimum appointment of six months and one day. (See BPPM 58.01 for definition of full-time equivalent (FTE).)

Human Resource Services (HRS) reviews each position description and determines whether or not a position meets the exemption criteria and may be assigned to AP service.

To view the exemption definitions, see the Administrative Professional Handbook, which is available on the HRS website.

Human Resource Services (HRS)

HRS administers the recruitment procedures for administrative professional (AP) personnel.

Pullman HRS is responsible for making final determinations regarding recruitment for AP vacancies at all WSU locations systemwide.

Appointing Authority

The responsible appointing authority as delegated by the President coordinates the recruitment process with HRS to develop a recruitment strategy. See BPPM 60.10 for information about delegation of appointing authority.

To view the master list of delegations of appointing authority, go to the Managers area of the HRS website.

Position Control

Departments are to create new permanent or temporary AP positions and change appointments in accordance with position control procedures (see BPPM 58.01 and 60.02).


Expenses associated with searches for AP personnel and the relocation reimbursement for new employees are supported by employing units.

Departments are to contact Purchasing Services and Travel Services for recruitment and relocation expense specifics, including cost and weight limits (see BPPM 70.60 and 95.14).

Open Competitive Recruitment

Washington State University (WSU) is an equal opportunity employer committed to eliminating barriers to employment and improving opportunities available to individuals in protected classes, particularly where there is underutilization. The University makes good faith efforts consistent with state and federal laws to meet this goal.

One method used to achieve this goal is open competitive recruitment. Generally, vacant AP positions are filled by conducting an open competitive recruitment. However, in limited and exceptional circumstances, a justification may exist to forego the open competitive recruitment process. (See Exceptions to Open Recruitment below regarding exceptions.)

Prior to Recruitment or Filling AP Position

Recruitment Strategy

Prior to submitting an online job posting, HRS and the appointing authority consider the competencies and requirements of the particular position in order to ensure the most effective, efficient, and useful method of recruitment for the position. HRS and the appointing authority may determine screening methods based on the HRS analysis of the position.

When appropriate, HRS may approve use of a search firm to assist with the recruitment and screening of applicants.

Search Committees

HRS encourages the use of search committees for the process of evaluating, screening, interviewing and recommending to hire. Resources for the hiring manager and search committee are available from the Staff Recruitment ToolKit website.

OPDRS User Groups

The following user groups use the Online Position Description and Recruitment System (OPDRS) for recruitments and searches.

Hiring Manager

The hiring manager user group has department-level scope and typically includes the employing official and search support for the department.

See BPPM 60.10 for definition and responsibilities of the employing official.

Personnel Administrator

The personnel administrator user group is an optional user type for areas/colleges. The personnel administrator has department-level scope and typically serves as a second-level reviewer of position actions before submission to the appointing authority user. The personnel administrator does not work with applicant movement, workflows, or statuses.

Appointing Authority

The appointing authority user group has designated area/college-level scope and includes individuals delegated as appointing authorities in accordance with BPPM 60.10.

See also Appointing Authority above.

Required Documentation

Prior to requesting recruitment for any AP vacancy, the department is required to submit the following.

Position Action/PRR

If creating or modifying an AP position and/or its assignment of accounts, the department submits a completed Position Action/PRR to HRS Position Control (see BPPM 58.02 and 60.02).


The department submits the following through OPDRS:

  • Position description
  • Proposed salary
  • Organization chart showing the position’s relationship to other positions in the department

See below and BPPM 60.02 for instructions.

Access OPDRS at:

HRS must complete the position review and approve the position description and salary before the department may submit a job posting for recruitment, even for existing AP positions.

Job Posting

Recruitments for all AP positions are conducted through OPDRS.

Each department user must establish a user account and password to use the online recruitment system.

The hiring manager and/or personnel administrator completes and submits the job posting for recruitment for an AP position. The job posting is to include the following:

  • Position title
  • Supervisor
  • Work location
  • Salary
  • Functional position information
  • Background check required or not required (see BPPM 60.16)
  • Advertising plan (if applicable)
Recruitment Procedures
Posting Job Online

Upon HRS review and approval of the job posting, HRS posts the position on the WSUJobs website. HRS advises the applicable appointing authority regarding the recruitment process and advertising plan appropriate to each position.


A department may choose to advertise a position outside of WSUJobs. The department must submit the advertisement copy through OPDRS to HRS for approval prior to submitting the copy to an outside advertiser.

Expenses associated with advertising are supported by the employing unit.

Affirmative Action

WSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Consistent with its Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy, WSU makes good faith efforts in outreach and recruitment to decrease underrepresentation of protected groups, in accordance with federal and state law.

The WSU Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy is published in the Executive Policy Manual under EP12.

Resources for developing and executing an outreach strategy to attract a diverse pool of qualified applicants are available at the Staff Recruitment Toolkit website.

Referral of Applicants for Consideration

When the posting has closed, HRS may review the applicant pool. HRS releases the resulting eligible applicants to the hiring manager for consideration based upon the recruitment strategy determined at the time of the posting. The personnel administrator, or the hiring manager in coordination with the search committee chair, determines how and when the search committee receives applications. Search committees may receive the application materials when the position closes or as coordinated with HRS.

In most cases, the pool includes applicants who meet the minimum requirements of the position. If the number of applicants exceeds the needs of the hiring department, the hiring department may request HRS screen applicants for qualifications and refer the qualifying applicants to the hiring department.

The hiring manager and/or search committee chair is responsible for ensuring that the hiring process is fair and objective. See Search Committees above regarding search committees.


HRS may disqualify an individual from consideration for employment at any time for good and sufficient reasons. HRS removes the individual’s name from an applicant and/or applicant pool for failure to meet a benchmark or all benchmarks in a series.

HRS notifies the applicant in writing if she or he is removed from an applicant pool. The written notice specifies the reason for the removal and the right to request a review of the removal.

Review of Removal

An applicant may request a review of the removal. Such a request must be made in writing and submitted to HRS within 20 calendar days following the date of the notice of the action for which the review is requested.

An appropriate HRS representative who is not involved in the removal action conducts the review. The HRS representative provides the review decision in writing to the applicant. Review decisions are final and not subject to further review or appeal.

Evaluation and Interview

Once HRS releases an applicant pool to the hiring department, the hiring manager and/or search committee, if applicable:

  • Evaluates and considers the applicants for the position based upon the submitted application materials.
  • Determines which applicants will move forward in the recruitment process.

Prior to initiating any interviews, the hiring manager changes status of the selected applicants to “Request to Interview.”


Hiring managers and/or search committees should review the preemployment inquiry guidelines in BPPM 60.08 when developing questions for applicant interviews.

Resources for the interview process are available from the Staff Recruitment ToolKit website.

Update Applicant Status Online

The hiring manager is responsible for updating the current status of each applicant in OPDRS, noting who is or is not being considered for the position. See OPDRS above.

Reference Checks

The hiring manager and/or search committee chair is responsible for investigating or verifying the following information provided by the applicant:

  • Application
  • Work history
  • Education
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • References

The search committee chair, the position’s supervisor, and/or the appointing authority may examine personnel files of top finalists who work or have worked at WSU (see BPPM 90.07). Contact HRS for more information.

Interviewers should follow the advisory guidelines for conducting reference checks outlined on the the Staff Recruitment ToolKit website.

Background Check

The department contacts HRS to determine if the position requires a preemployment background check in accordance with BPPM 60.16. If a background check is required, the hiring manager is responsible for notifying HRS after the finalist applicants are identified.

HRS is responsible for initiating the background checks.


The hiring manager and/or search committee chair in consultation with the appointing authority determines the best applicant to fill the vacancy. The hiring manager uses OPDRS to indicate the applicant under consideration for hire. The hiring manager is responsible for ensuring that the status of all applicants is updated accurately in OPDRS.

The appointing authority must obtain HRS approval prior to extending the offer. HRS is automatically alerted by e-mail through OPDRS when the hiring manager requests to extend an offer. HRS reviews the request to offer and notifies the hiring manager when the job offer may be extended to the applicant.

Official Offer

When the selected applicant accepts the offer, the hiring manager updates OPDRS accordingly so that all applicants are able to check the status of their applications. Each applicant is allowed to view the status of her or his application only.

Offer Letter

The responsible appointing authority makes the official offer for AP positions.

HRS recommends that the appointing authority send the offer to the applicant by letter. Templates for offer letters for AP positions are available from the Staff Recruitment ToolKit website.

To consummate the agreement, the hiring department may request acceptance in writing by letter of acceptance or by the applicant’s signature on the original letter of offer.

Positions Reporting Directly To Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Deans, or Athletic Director

Authorization is required prior to discussion OR extension of an offer to positions which report directly to vice presidents, chancellors, deans, or the WSU Athletic Director. Specifically, for direct appointments:

  • Deans must receive approval from the Provost prior to discussing an offer with an applicant.
  • Chancellors must receive approval from the President or Provost prior to discussing an offer with an applicant.
  • Vice presidents and the Athletic Director must receive approval from the President prior to discussing an offer with an applicant.
Records Retention of Offer

The hiring department retains a copy of the offer letter and the letter of acceptance.

The department forwards the original letter of acceptance and a copy of the AP applicant’s offer letter or the original offer letter with the applicant’s signature indicating acceptance to HRS. HRS retains the letters of offer and acceptance and copies of the resume and cover letter in the employee’s personnel folder in accordance with University records retention requirements (see BPPM 90.01).

Notification to Applicants

HRS recommends that the appointing authority send letters or e-mails to finalists who were invited to interview for the position, or to all applicants if desired, to notify them of the status of their applications. Sample letters are available at the HRS website.

Exceptions to Open Recruitment

Personnel Officer Approval

The University’s designated Personnel Officer (see RCW 41.06.510) may approve direct appointment without a search under the exceptional circumstances described below. NOTE: The designated Personnel Officer is the administrator who oversees HRS.

See also Positions Reporting Directly To Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Deans, or Athletic Director above regarding required approval by the President and/or Provost for direct appointments.

Exceptional Circumstances

An appointing authority may request a direct appointment without a search under any of the following limited circumstances:

  • When a position requires a high level of expertise in a specialty area and the department has a unique opportunity to hire a highly-qualified individual with the expertise to fill the position. The applicant must meet the position requirements.
  • When a partner or spouse accommodation would assist with the recruitment of a qualified job applicant or the retention of a permanent employee. The applicant must meet the position requirements (see BPPM 60.15).
  • A short-term, temporary appointment to a position. (See BPPM 60.02 for requirements of temporary AP appointments). The applicant must meet the position requirements.

    Prior to the end of a temporary appointment, the appointing authority may submit a request to HRS to extend the end date of the temporary appointment or change the appointment from temporary to permanent without a search. The request must include a clear, written justification for the exception to the recruitment process. The justification must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the University personnel officer that exceptional circumstances (e.g., extend appointment to conduct a recruitment or an open recruitment failed during the temporary appointment period) exist that clearly outweigh the need for a search to fill the position.

  • Due to a reorganization or operational need to ensure that the necessary work of the department is uninterrupted, a permanent employee may be reclassified or promoted in her or his current position and/or reassigned to a new position with different duties/responsibilities. The employee must meet the position requirements.
  • A permanent employee may be placed in a temporary/interim appointment to meet the needs of the organization. The employee must meet the position requirements. The appointing authority may later request that the employee be permanently appointed to the position without a search. The request must be accompanied by a written explanation of why an open competitive search is not feasible or appropriate for the appointment.
Submitting Request for Direct Appointment

To request direct appointment of a candidate to a position, the appointing authority submits the following to HRS for approval through OPDRS (see OPDRS above):

  • Position description
  • Proposed salary
  • Performance expectations (not required, but recommended)
  • Organization chart showing the position’s relationship to other positions in the department
  • Employee/applicant resume
  • Justification to appoint without a formal search
  • Diversity implications

NOTE: Departmental personnel must indicate “Direct Appointment” in the Posting Details area of OPDRS.

The University’s Personnel Officer reviews the request and notifies the appointing authority of approval or denial of the request.

Executive Appointment

The President or the Provost and Executive Vice President may make a direct appointment without a search when he or she finds such an appointment to be in the best interests of the University.

The President or the Provost and Executive Vice President submits justification for this decision to HRS for retention in the appointed individual’s personnel folder.


PERMS Transactions and Attachments

Use the online Personnel/Position/Payroll Electronic Routing Management System (PERMS) to complete the personnel action for an appointed AP employee. Submit copies of the resume and any letters of reference or telephone reference check notes to HRS.

See BPPM 60.25 for instructions for completing and routing PERMS transactions and attachments for personnel actions.

Foreign Worker Disclosure Statement

The University must provide a disclosure statement to each worker who is a non-U.S. citizen and who comes to the state of Washington based upon an offer of employment. (RCW 19.320) See BPPM 60.05 for instructions.

Renewal of Temporary Appointment

A temporary AP appointment employed through an open competitive search may be renewed without a search. A temporary direct appointment ends on the terminal date unless an exception is granted to extend the appointment.

Transfer From Within WSU or Other State Employer

Transfer annual leave and sick leave for an employee changing positions within WSU or transferring to WSU from a state agency or other state institution of higher education (see BPPM 60.19 and 60.60).

If the selected applicant is a current WSU employee, obtain the Time Report or Leave Report file from the employee’s former employing department. If the selected applicant is a former WSU employee reappointed within three years of separation, obtain the file from HRS (see BPPM 60.60).

If the selected applicant’s former employer was another state of Washington agency or institution, HRS requests information from the former employer regarding accrued leave and other benefits. Refer to BPPM 60.19 regarding transfer of benefits from previous state employers.

Retention of Recruitment Documents

The hiring department is to maintain all employee recruitment documents (i.e., search materials and references) in accordance with the University records retention schedule (see BPPM 90.01).

New Employee Orientation

New employees are to enroll in new employee and benefits orientation classes. Enrollment information is available from the Employees–Training and Development area of the HRS website.

New Supervisor/Manager

New supervisors and/or managers are encouraged to enroll in supervisory and enhanced supervisory training. Enrollment information is available from the Employees–Training and Development area of the HRS website.

Other Applicable Policies and Procedures

See also BPPM 60.71 and 60.72.