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

Revised 10-14
Human Resource Services


Recruitment and Selection of Classified Positions


Washington State University is committed to the recruitment, development, and retention of its employees. The University follows state regulations regarding the recruitment and selection of applicants for classified positions. See Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chapter 357-16.

Prior to requesting recruitment for a position, the department considers and approves the budget, position allocation, position function (including a current position description and performance expectations), staffing level implications, and salary (see BPPM 30.07 and 60.02).

Classified Positions

For the purposes of this procedure, civil service positions and positions covered by bargaining unit agreements are referred to collectively as classified positions.

Collective Bargaining Unit Positions

When recruiting for a position covered under a collective bargaining agreement, refer to the appropriate agreement regarding promotional procedures. See the Employees–Labor Relations area of the Human Resource Services (HRS) website at:

Employing Official

The employing official is the administrative or supervisory employee designated by the appointing authority to exercise responsibility for requesting certification, interviewing eligible applicants and recommending appointment of individuals to classified positions. (WAC 357-01-150) See BPPM 60.10.


WSU Pullman HRS is responsible for overseeing all recruitment activities for classified positions at all WSU locations systemwide.

The University’s designated Personnel Officer is the administrator who oversees HRS (see RCW 41.06.510).

Promotional Applicants

A promotional applicant is an applicant who, at the time of application, is a current WSU employee and meets the competencies and requirements of the position for which the individual is applying.

A current WSU employee is defined as any of the following:

  • Faculty (temporary or permanent)
  • Administrative professional (temporary or permanent)
  • Civil service employee (permanent or probationary)
  • Collective bargaining unit employee (permanent or probationary)
  • Student and nonstudent (hourly and work study)

The hourly or work study student employee must be in paid status at the time of application.


It is a violation of state law to have a preretirement written or oral agreement to reemploy a Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) retiree into a classified position. Note: Mere expression or inquiry about postretirement employment by an employer or employee that does not constitute a commitment to reemploy the employee after retirement is not considered an agreement.

A DRS retiree must be hired in accordance with the procedures in this section (BPPM 60.18). The employer must document a justifiable need to hire a retiree into the classified position, and the appointing authority must approve the hire.

State law limits the number of hours a DRS retirement plan retiree can work in a classified position that is eligible for a DRS retirement plan. DRS retirement plans include PERS (Public Employees Retirement System), LEOFF (Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters), and TRS (Teachers Retirement System) plans. For more information, contact HRS; telephone 509-335-4521; or select the Working After Retirement link on the DRS Retirees website at:

Open Competitive Recruitment

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. However, exceptional circumstances may justify foregoing the open competitive recruitment process. (See Exceptions to Open Recruitment below regarding exceptions.)

Recruitment Process

Prior to Recruitment
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 at the Staff Recruitment ToolKit website:

OPDRS User Groups

The following user groups use the Online Position Description and Recruitment System (OPDRS) for processing employee conducting 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 Employing Official above regarding 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.

Position Description and Performance Expectations

Position descriptions and performance expectations are required for all classified positions.

Prior to recruiting a classified position, the department must submit through OPDRS an accurate, updated position description and performance expectations to HRS for review and approval.

HRS must complete the position review as outlined in BPPM 60.02 before an online job posting is added to the WSU jobs website:

Coordinate with HRS

Prior to submitting an online job posting, the hiring manager and/or personnel administrator coordinates the recruitment process with HRS. If the department needs to fill a difficult position or intends to conduct a national search, the hiring manager and/or personnel administrator and HRS 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. Screening methods may be determined based on the HRS analysis of the position.

Create a Job Posting

Recruitment requests for all classified positions are processed through OPDRS for posting on WSU jobs website. To begin, go to:

Each department user must establish a user account and password to use OPDRS.

The hiring manager and/or personnel administrator completes and submits the online job posting for recruitment for a classified position.

The hiring manager and/or personnel administrator must complete all required fields, as noted in OPDRS. HRS reviews and approves the job posting to the WSUJobs website.

All classified position openings must be posted for a minimum of five business days.

Applicant Pools

For certain classifications HRS establishes reoccurring recruitments to maintain active pools of applicants. To receive applicants from a pool, the hiring department must follow the job posting process described in Create a Job Posting. HRS releases qualified applicants from a pool in accordance with the procedures outlined in Referral of Applicants for Consideration.

Referral of Applicants for Consideration

When the job posting has closed, 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.

If the number of applicants exceeds the needs of the hiring department, HRS may screen applicants for minimum requirements upon request.

HRS must refer eligible veterans or their surviving spouses to the hiring manager for consideration, in accordance with WAC 357-16-110.


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 pool for a class or all classes in an occupational category/class series. (WAC 357-16-155)

HRS notifies the applicant in writing if he or she is removed from an applicant pool. (WAC 357-16-160) The written notice specifies the reason for the removal and the right to request a review of the removal under the provisions of WAC 357-16-170, WAC 357-16-175, and WAC 357-16-180.

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

The review is conducted by an appropriate HRS representative not involved in the action under 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.

Affirmative Action

To increase the representation of persons with disabilities, Vietnam-era veterans, disabled veterans, and persons age 40 and over, HRS may screen these individuals for placement in eligible applicant pools. (WAC 357-16-030, WAC 357-16-135) This affirmative action tool is used only when a goal exists for the specific affected group, in accordance with WAC 357-25-055.

Promotional Applicants

HRS may refer promotional applicants to the hiring department prior to open-competitive (non-WSU employee) applicants or along with open-competitive applicants, as determined by the recruitment strategy.

Eligible Laid-Off Applicants

HRS refers eligible laid-off and promotional applicants to the hiring manager for consideration before other applicants. If there are fewer then ten eligible applicants from the layoff and promotional lists, HRS may certify other eligible applicants.

If more than ten eligible applicants from the layoff and promotional lists are identified and the hiring manager determines that there are no qualified applicants from these pools, the hiring manager must notify HRS in writing to request the remaining applicants from the applicant pool. The notification must include good and sufficient reason why the promotional, laid-off, and/or other applicants were disqualified, in accordance with WAC 357-16-155.

HRS releases the remaining applicants from the applicant pool if the disqualifications are for good and sufficient reasons and the department requests the rest of the applicants.


Once HRS releases an applicant pool to the hiring department, the hiring manager and/or search committee reviews and considers the applicants for the position. Prior to scheduling screening interviews or on-campus interview, the hiring manager submits a request to HRS through OPDRS for approval to interview the selected applicants. HRS reviews the selected applicants and changes the status in OPDRS for those applicants that are approved to proceed to the interview phase.

The hiring manager and/or search committee chair is responsible for ensuring that the recruitment process is fair and objective.

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

The department is to maintain all recruitment documents (e.g., interview questions, notes) in accordance with approved records retention schedules (see BPPM 90.01).

Update Applicant Status Online

The hiring manager is responsible for updating the current status of each applicant in OPDRS, as each applicant moves through the recruitment process.

Reference Checks

The hiring manager and/or the search committee 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, or the appointing authority may examine personnel files of applicants who are currently or formerly employed by WSU and are under consideration for the position vacancy (see BPPM 90.07). Contact HRS to arrange to view the personnel file of any such applicants.


The hiring manager and/or search committee determines the applicant who best meets the requested competencies to fill the vacancy. The hiring manager submits a request to HRS through OPDRS for approval to extend the offer to the final applicant.

HRS reviews the request to offer and notifies the hiring manager when the job offer may be extended to the applicant.

The hiring manager is responsible for ensuring that the status of all applicants is updated accurately in OPDRS.

Offer Above Minimum Step

The hiring manager must submit justification to the area/college’s appointing authority in OPDRS to request approval to offer a salary that is above the minimum step. The hiring manager and/or personnel administrator must receive approval from both the appointing authority and HRS prior to making the offer at a higher salary to the applicant.

Update Applicant Status

When the selected applicant accepts the offer, the hiring manager updates OPDRS indicating the acceptance.

Exceptions to Open Recruitment

Exceptional Circumstances

An appointing authority may submit a request to the Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for a direct appointment without recruitment for a civil service position in a scientific, research, or laboratory classification, or a project civil service position in any of the following cases: (see BPPM 60.23)

  • A partner or spouse accommodation may assist the recruitment of a qualified job applicant or the retention of a permanent employee (see BPPM 60.15). The applicant must meet the position requirements.
  • A position requires expertise in a specialty area and the department has a unique opportunity to hire an individual with the specialty experience. The applicant must meet the position requirements.
  • A department reorganizes or has an operational need to ensure that necessary work is uninterrupted. In such cases, the department may reclassify or promote a permanent employee in his or her current position and/or reassign the employee to a new position with different duties and responsibilities. The employee must meet the position requirements.
  • A department has an organizational need to fill a vacant position. In such cases, the department may place a permanent employee in a temporary/interim appointment with a fixed end date. The employee must meet the position requirements.

    The appointing authority may later submit a request to HRS to permanently appoint the employee 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 an applicant to a civil service position, the appointing authority submits the following to HRS for approval through OPDRS:

  • Position description (see BPPM 60.02)
  • Proposed salary (see BPPM 60.02)
  • Performance expectations (see BPPM 60.02)
  • Organization chart showing the position’s relationship to other positions in the department (see BPPM 60.02)
  • Employee/applicant resume
  • Justification to appoint without a formal search

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

See Selection above regarding selection request review and approval.

Notification to Applicants

HRS recommends that the hiring manager send a letter or e-mail to each finalist who was invited to interview for the position, or to each applicant if desired, regarding application status. Sample letters are available from the HRS Staff Recruitment Toolkit website. (See below.)

The hiring manager must send a letter signed by the appointing authority or designee confirming the appointment to the applicant who has been extended an offer of employment. Sample hire letters are available from the Staff Recruitment ToolKit website at:


Submit a personnel action request through the online Personnel/ Position/Payroll Electronic Routing Management System (PERMS) (see BPPM 60.25).

For classified employees, the effective date is the day the employee begins work.

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

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

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.

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–New Employee area of the HRS website at:

See also BPPM 60.71 and 60.72.