Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 60: Personnel

Recruitment and Selection of Administrative Professional Personnel

BPPM 60.17

For more information contact:
   Human Resource Services

1.0   Overview

Washington State University is committed to the recruitment, development, and retention of its employees. University departments are to follow the requirements and procedures in this policy to create and change permanent, or temporary administrative professional positions and appointments.

1.1    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. 

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.

1.2   Responsibility

1.2.a  Human Resource Services

HRS administers the recruitment procedures for AP personnel.

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

1.2.b  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.

1.3   Position Control

Departments are to create new permanent or temporary AP positions and change appointments in accordance with position control procedures (see BPPM 60.02 and the applicable Workday Recruiting reference guides).

1.4   Expenses

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).

2.0   Retirees

It is a violation of state law to have a preretirement written or oral agreement to reemploy a Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) retiree. Note: A 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 or Washington State University Retirement Plan (WSURP) retiree must be hired in accordance with the procedures in this policy (60.17). The hiring department must document a justifiable need to hire a retiree, and the appointing authority and HRS must preapprove the retiree’s hire prior to an offer being made.

Washington state law limits the number of hours a DRS retirement plan retiree may work in a position that is eligible for a DRS retirement plan. DRS retirement plans include the following:

  • PERS (Public Employees Retirement System)
  • LEOFF (Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters)
  • TRS (Teachers Retirement System)

DRS retirees, visit the Working after retirement link on the DRS website.

WSURP retirees are limited to working no more than 40 percent FTE, with limits on the salary that may be offered.

For more information and to begin the retire/rehire review process, contact HRS; telephone 509-335-4521.

3.0   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 Section 8.0 regarding exceptions.)

4.0   Prior to Recruitment or Filling AP Position

4.1   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.

4.1.a  Search Committees

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

4.1.b  OPDRS Security Groups

The following security groups use Workday Recruit to conduct recruitments.

4.1.b.i   HR Partner/Recruiter/Manager

This security group has department-level scope and typically includes the employing official and search support for the department. See “Employing Official” in BPPM 60.10.

4.1.b.ii   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 Subsection 1.2.b.

4.2   Required Documentation

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

4.2.a OPDRS

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.

4.2.b  Job Posting

Recruitments for all AP positions are conducted through Workday.

The employing department 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)

4.3   Recruitment Procedures

4.3.a  Posting Job Online

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

4.3.b  Advertising

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

Expenses associated with advertising are supported by the employing unit.

4.3.c  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 HRS Staff Recruitment Toolkit website.

4.3.d  Referral of Applicants for Consideration

When the posting has closed, the pool of applicants is automatically released to the department for review.

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 HR Partner/Recruiter and/or search committee chair is responsible for ensuring that the hiring process is fair and objective. (See Subsection 4.1.a.)

4.3.e  Disqualification

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 they are removed from an applicant pool. The written notice specifies the reason for the removal and the right to request a review of the removal.

4.3.e.i  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.

5.0   Interview

The HR Partner/Recruiter and/or search committee reviews and considers the applicants for the position. Prior to scheduling screening interviews or on-campus interview, the HR Partner/Recruiter submits a request to HRS through Workday for approval to interview the selected applicants. HRS reviews the selected applicants and changes the status in Workday Recruit for those applicants that are approved to proceed to the interview phase.

The HR Partner/Recruiter and/or search committee chair is responsible for ensuring that the recruitment process is fair and objective.

HR Partner/Recruiters and/or search committees should review the pre-employment inquiry guidelines in BPPM 60.08 when developing questions for applicant interviews.

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

5.1   Update Applicant Status Online

The HR Partner/Recruiter is responsible for updating the recruitment stages for each applicant in Workday Recruit, as each applicant moves through the recruitment process.

6.0   Reference Checks

The Primary Recruiting Coordinator schedules and/or contacts the candidate’s professional references for the Search Committee Chair, HR Partner, or Hiring Manager to conduct the reference check.

Reference Checks are conducted outside of the Workday system.

The HR Partner/Recruiter 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, 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 HRS Staff Recruitment ToolKit website.

6.1   Background Check

The hiring department follows the appointment authority requirements to determine if the position requires a preemployment background check in accordance with BPPM 60.16. HRS is available to provide assistance.

If a background check is required, the HR Partner/Academic HR Partner is responsible for notifying HRS after the finalist applicants are identified. HRS is responsible for initiating the background checks.

6.1.a  Positions with Access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

If a candidate is hired into a position with a security role that has access to personally identifiable information (PII), the hiring department must ensure a background check is done and the new employee completes FERPA training.

7.0   Selection

The HR Partner/Recruiter and/or search committee recommends to the appointing authority the applicant who best meets the requested competencies to fill the vacancy. The HR Partner/Recruiter submits a request to HRS through Workday Recruit for approval to extend the offer to the final applicant.

HRS reviews the request to offer and approves the request in Workday Recruit when the job offer may be extended to the applicant.

The HR Partner/Recruiter is responsible for ensuring that the status of all applicants is updated accurately in Workday Recruit.

7.1   Sexual Misconduct

Prior to an offer of employment, WSU must comply with RCW 28B.112.080. To comply with this law, hiring departments may not make an offer of employment until approved by HRS.

If hiring an applicant outside of Workday Recruit, departments are to contact their HRS Service Team prior to extending an offer.

7.2   Official Offer

Upon receipt of appointing authority and HRS approval, the HR Partner/Recruiter sends the final candidate their offer letter for review and approval through Workday.

7.2.a  Records Retention

HRS has access to the offer letter generated in the Workday system. 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).

7.3   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.

7.4   Notification to Applicants

HRS recommends that the appointing authority or HR Partner/Recruiter 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 on the HRS Staff Recruitment ToolKit website.

8.0 Exceptions to Open Recruitment

8.1   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 Subsection 7.3 regarding required approval by the President and/or Provost for direct appointments.

8.2   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 their 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.

8.3   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 Subsection 4.2.a):

  • 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

See also the requirement to comply with RCW 28B.112.080 under Subsection 7.1.

The University’s Personnel Officer reviews the request and notifies the appointing authority of approval or denial of the request. If approved, the individual is directly hired into Workday. See the Workday Hire (New Employee or Contingent Worker) reference guide.

8.4   Executive Appointment

The President, Provost and Executive Vice President, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Executive Vice President of Health Sciences may make a direct appointment without a search when they find such an appointment to be in the best interests of the University.

The President, Provost and Executive Vice President, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Executive Vice President of Health Sciences submits justification for this decision to HRS for retention in the appointed individual’s personnel folder.

9.0   Appointment

9.1   Transactions and Attachments

Complete the personnel action for an appointed AP employee in Workday. Submit copies of the resume and any letters of reference for placement in personnel file.

See the applicable Workday Staffing reference guide for instructions for completing and routing transactions and attachments for personnel actions.

9.2   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.

9.3   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.

9.4   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).

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.

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.

10.0   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).

11.0   New Employee Orientation

New employees are to enroll in new employee and benefits orientation classes. Enrollment information is available from HRS.

11.1   New Supervisor/Manager

New supervisors and/or managers are encouraged to enroll in supervisory and enhanced supervisory training. Enrollment information is available from HRS.

12.0   Other Applicable Policies and Procedures

See also BPPM 60.71 and 60.72.

Revisions:  August 2023 (Rev. 613); July 2021 (Rev. 571); Dec. 2020 (Rev. 559); Apr. 2017 (Rev. 487); Oct. 2014 (Rev. 439); Oct. 2011 (Rev. 388); Mar. 2011 (Rev. 376); Nov. 2009 (Rev. 350); Oct. 2009 – new policy (Rev. 347).