Interviewing and Selection

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A. Screening: The Human Resources Office and the hiring department will screen resumes and/or applications to identify the most qualified applicants as indicated in the advertisement, and in accordance with the job description. When reviewing resumes please remember not to make notes or comments directly on resumes, cover letters or other application materials. Your notes should be maintained in a separate file. 

B. Interviewing: The hiring department and the Human Resources Office will discuss procedures for on-campus interviews.  The hiring department, and at the hiring manager’s request someone from the Human Resources Office, will interview selected candidates. Thorough planning of questions pertinent to the duties and responsibilities of the job will assist in structuring effective, consistent interviews. When appropriate the Human Resources Office will administer testing on a variety of software packages (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access) and assess general clerical skills (data entry, proofreading, typing).  Interviewing guidelines are available through the Human Resources Office. Interviewing notes should be kept separately from the resume or application and retained until the process is completed.  Written comments must be job related and not discriminate as outlined in our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.  Once the process is completed the interview notes should be sent to the Human Resources Office.

Preliminary interviews may be conducted by telephone to narrow the pool of candidates who may then be invited to campus. Telephone interviews can be a cost-effective way to explore an applicant′s qualifications and clarify important information such as job history, specific job duties, education or credentials. This may also determine the candidate’s current and desired salary requirements before an interview.  However, it is not advisable to engage in extensive discussion and/or negotiation of the salary range at this stage of the recruitment process.

C. Reasonable accommodation: Federal law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities applying for a job. For example, individuals with visual or learning disabilities may require assistance in filling out application forms. More detailed information regarding interviewing and hiring of individuals with disabilities, as well as the College′s obligation to make "reasonable accommodation" is available through the Human Resources Office.

D. Reference checking: Reference checks should be limited to the top candidate(s) and be conducted only after interviews are completed. References may be checked by telephone after receiving written permission from the candidate, via the employment application, to contact those references. Many employers may require written authorization from candidates before releasing information, or may provide only standard verification of job title and dates employed.

E. Background Screening for Staff: Rhodes College is committed to the highest standards of responsible hiring or assigning practices for staff.  Employment offers for all regular, full-time and part-time non-faculty position openings will be contingent upon a satisfactory background screen.  This practice is necessary to reduce the risk of violence in the workplace, avoid negligent hiring liability, detect falsified applications, and help to provide the safest environment possible to our faculty, staff, volunteers, visitors and students under our supervision.  Also subject to satisfactory background screens are Resident Assistants, Graduate Assistants, Interns, Assistant Directors of Residence Life and temporary employees depending on their campus access.  Current employees applying for position openings may be subject to a background screening and when necessary a credit check.  Excluded from these policies are applicants for faculty positions.  The reporting agency used for this service is InfoLink Screening Services, Inc (http://www.infolinkscreening.com/).

In summary, the background screening procedure is as follows:

  • At the time of application, candidates will be required by Human Resources to complete a Disclosure and Authorization to Obtain Information Form along with identification information and previous addresses.   Authorized personnel in the Human Resources Office will receive a written report from InfoLink, generally within three (3) business days after submission of the search request.
  • For positions handled through a Search Committee, the chair of the committee will be responsible for ensuring that all candidates interviewed have met with Human Resources to complete an Employment Application and the Disclosure and Authorization to Obtain Information Form required.
  • No background check may be requested until the Disclosure and Authorization form is completed and signed by the candidate.  If any candidate/employee refuses to sign the Disclosure and Authorization Form, no further consideration will be given to that candidate/employee.
  • After the hiring department makes their recommendation to hire, the Human Resources Office will electronically submit to InfoLink the necessary information for a pre-employment background check.
  • At this time, criminal history search, social security number trace/validation, motor vehicle history report/driving record, and national criminal database search will be routinely checked through InfoLink.  Other background reports are available but will be conducted only if required as part of the specifications for the job, e.g., credit history.  Human Resources or the Search Committees will continue to conduct employer references and will obtain verification of licensures/certifications and educational transcripts.
  • For other names used in the last ten years, the additional criminal history search and criminal database search will be routinely checked through Infolink.
  • If the report contains information that would preclude a recommendation for employment, an offer of employment will not be extended and the hiring manager will be contacted to discuss other options.
  • If adverse action is to be taken based in whole or in part on the information obtained from InfoLink, FCRA requires that we provide the candidate/employee with a copy of the report, along with a summary of rights.  The candidate/employee is entitled to a copy of the background screening.  If the information contained in the report precludes further consideration.  Adverse action cannot be taken before five days from the date of notice. 
  • The pre-employment background check results should be obtained before an offer is made.  If necessary, the offer may be made contingent upon obtaining satisfactory results of the background check.
  • Human Resources will serve as the custodian of the records, and results will be kept in a file separate from the regular personnel file

F. Applicant reporting: Applications/resumes are logged into an applicant tracking database in the Human Resources Office. An acknowledgment letter and the information request card are sent to acknowledge receipt of resume/application and solicit relevant voluntary information related to the profile of the applicant.

G. Offer: The hiring manager in consultation with the Human Resources Office will identify the most qualified candidate. Starting salaries will be based on the candidate′s qualifications, relevant market data, and internal equity.  Employment offers can be made by the Human Resources Office or by the hiring manager. No employment commitment, verbal or written, may be made without prior approval from Human Resources.  An employment letter will be sent to the selected candidate confirming the terms of employment along with information regarding fringe benefits and new employee orientation. The new employee is required to report to Human Resources to complete new hire paperwork during the first three days of work inorder to continue employment with the college. Any Vice President may compose and sign the letter of employment to a person being hired within his or her division after consulting with the Director of Human Resources. The Human Resources Office is both responsible for overseeing the benefits package for all employees of the College and serves as liaison with the insurance carriers. For these reasons, no descriptions of benefits may be made without prior consultation with the Human Resources Office.

H. Physical Capacity Employment Testing: Post Offer/Pre-Employment test is utilized to create a safer working environment for employees in designated jobs. Recognizing that every job and every employee are different, the tests are utilized to determine whether or not the employee can adequately and safely perform job duties.  Candidates, who believe they need an accommodation to take the required tests, must request such accommodations prior to testing.  These requests must be evaluated for reasonably and should not require undue hardship. 

I. Closing the search: All applicants will be notified at the close of the search.

J. New Hire Paperwork:  The new hire paperwork is required to establish the record of employment at Rhodes College.  The prospective employee will complete the following forms and return them to the Human Resources office on their first day of employment:

  • Biographic information form
  • Demographic data sheet
  • W-4 Federal tax withholding form
  • College Handbook acknowledgement form
  • Payroll deduction form
  •  Payroll direct deposit program enrollment form (optional)
  • Employment eligibility verification (I-9 Form)

Federal law requires verification of original forms of identification for the completion of the I-9 Form.  People most commonly use either a passport or the driver’s license/social security card combination.  There are other types of ID that are acceptable and they are detailed on the back of the I-9 form.