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Hiring temporary staff

Temporary staff positions are appropriate when assistance is needed for a defined project or for a fixed period of time, usually related to increased workload or temporary absence of permanent staff. Unlike permanent positions, temporary positions can be direct filled, rather than through competitive recruitment. You will work with the HR Specialist to fill temporary positions.

A temporary employee is intended to fill a business need, not to provide a trial period for an employee you may wish to eventually hire for a permanent position. To convert a temporary position into a permanent position, a competitive recruitment is required. Learn more about permanent hires.

Hiring and recruitment process

Below are ten steps to follow when initiating the hiring of a permanent staff position. If you have identified a person to direct hire into the position, you may skip steps 3 through 6.

1. Draft a job description

Draft a detailed job description, including examples or specifics of responsibilities and minimum qualifications (including education and years of experience). If the position requested is a Research Scientist/Engineer, you will need to fill out the Research Scientist/Engineer Job Questionnaire. The HR Specialist will review the job description and provide feedback.

2. Undergo review process

The job description and position will be reviewed by the COE Dean's office and HR Compensation Office, routed by the HR Specialist in Workday to obtain approvals.

The dean's office and the HR Compensation Office will review the job description and position and determine if duties and responsibilities align with selected payroll title and employment classification. The average review time is two weeks, but may be longer depending on the position complexity.

Note: If filling the position through direct hire, skip steps 3 through 6.

3. Review layoff list or post the position

If you are hiring for a union represented classified position, a person from the UW's layoff list that meets the minimum requirements may claim placement in the position. HR Specialist will coordinate this process. If your position is not eligible or there are no employees meeting minimum requirements on the list, UW HR will post the position to the UW employment website, where applicants can apply for the position.

Also, learn how to increase outreach efforts and build an inclusive applicant pool with guidance from the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.

4. Form a search committee and draft interview questions

A search committee should be formed to review applicants, create interview questions, and interview top candidates. When forming a search committee, consider membership based on knowledge of work, interaction with position, and composition and diversity of the committee. Utilize the search committee to draft interview questions relative to the position. Consider making a scoring rubric.

Interviews are your opportunity to ask qualified candidates pertinent questions regarding their skills and to sell the job to the applicant. Evaluate all the applications based on the qualifications and skills you are seeking, and interview those who appear most qualified.

As a hiring manager or interview panelist, you are responsible for following federal and state employment laws and University Administrative policy on unfair pre-employment inquiries.

5. Review resumes

UW HR will review resumes against all requirements and place top candidates on your hiring manager workbench in UWHIRES for you to review. The Administrator will request access to the workbench for the hiring committee.

How to Review Applications in UWHIRES

Once the position closes, UW HR will review applications and forward candidates to your Workbench. When you log into UWHIRES, you will see the open requisitions; click on the “Job Profile Name” for the position you are recruiting for. You will see information about the job at the top, the list of candidate(s) in the middle, and a full job description at the bottom. To view o the applicant’s resume, click on their name. Clicking on the score percent (e.g. 6%) will take you to their cover letter. The red “E” indicates they are a current UW employee.

6. Conduct interviews

After reviewing applications, the hiring committee will conduct phone screens or interviews of top candidates and check references for final candidates prior to making a hiring decision. Interviewing a minimum of three candidates is recommended. If you are hiring for a union represented classified position, at least one (1) union represented applicant per job posting, who is a regular monthly employee and who possesses the essential skills, shall be among those granted an interview. For all positions, where there are two or more equally qualified candidates and a candidate is a veteran eligible for preference, then the veterans' preference will act as a tie-breaker. 

Remember to forward all records to the HR Specialist or Administrator for the HR Requisition file (materials include evaluations on candidates, notes on employment selection, etc). These records must be maintained for three years after completing the hiring process or the end of employment for the new hire.

7. Check references

Reference checks are required prior to hiring an applicant. At least three professional references should be checked. The Telephone Reference Check form can help you to consistently ask the same questions of each reference.

When the finalist for a position is a current or former UW employee, you must obtain a reference from the candidate’s current (or most recent) UW supervisor. If the immediate supervisor is unavailable or if the employee asks that you not contact their current UW supervisor, contact the HR Specialist who will contact HR to inquire. Additionally, the department must request a review of the candidate’s official personnel record held at HR. The HR Specialist will complete this step for you and let you know if there are any documented issues in their personnel record.

8. Obtain salary approval

Once you have selected a qualified final candidate, inform the HR Specialist of the intended salary. If it falls outside the normal range, you may need Administrator approval.

9. Make a verbal offer

Once the salary has been approved, you can make a verbal offer to the candidate. For positions that are designated as security/safety sensitive, offers must be made contingent upon a successful background check.

10. Write a confirmation letter

Once the offer is accepted, the HR Specialist will write a confirmation of hire letter for the candidate and begin the hire process in UWHIRES and Workday (including a background check, if necessary).