Winston-Salem State University


Harold L. Martin, Chancellor 
Delores Turner, Director of Human Resources 
March 2, 1998 
(updated on-line April 24, 2000)


The purpose of this merit-based recruitment and selection plan is to fill positions subject to the State Personnel Act from among the most qualified individuals.

In the recruiting and selection process, Winston-Salem State University will give equal employment opportunity to all applicants, without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, or political affiliation/influence; and will be based solely on job related criteria. The recruitment and selection process will be consistently applied, nondiscriminatory, and promote fairness, diversity, and integrity. The recruitment and selection process will comply with all Federal and State laws, regulations, and policies.

from Management

The Chancellor, Personnel Director and executive management accept responsibility for ensuring that all hiring practices are applied consistently and equitably, thereby demonstrating commitment and support of the merit-based recruitment and selection plan.

The Chancellor, Personnel Director and executive management accept responsibility for ensuring the recruitment and selection process complies with all applicable and existing state and federal laws, policies, and rules governing personnel actions, including Senate Bill 886. The merit-based recruitment and selection plan will also comply with established policies issued by the office of State Personnel. Positive efforts will be made to recruit qualified individuals including minorities, women and persons with disabilities for applicant. pools. In addition, the Personnel Director and executive management will demonstrate effort to consider and apply contemporary personnel practices.

Ethics Statement

The citizens of North Carolina and the state workforce deserve strong assurances that knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are the basis for state government hiring decisions, not political patronage.

In order to assure the integrity of state government, every employee has a responsibility to view public service as a public trust and to act impartially. Preferential treatment will not be given to any private organization or individual based on political affiliation or influence. 


Winston-Salem State University will implement strategies to inform employees, applicants, and the general public of the merit-based recruitment and selection plan.

After receiving approval from the Human Resources Commission, employees will be informed of the merit-based recruitment and selection plan and processes through and information sheet included with the monthly pay stubs. Additional information, such as a copy of the university plan, will be available in the Personnel Department. Employees with questions may contact the Personnel Department at 750-2830.

In addition, Winston-Salem State University will post the merit-based recruitment and selection position statement on bulletin boards, include the plan in the Winston-Salem State University policy/procedure manual, and a statement on the vacancy announcement.


Winston-Salem State University will provide merit-based recruitment and selection training to manager/supervisors and Personnel Department staff on a scheduled basis. Updates and revisions to the Winston-Salem State University merit-based recruitment and selection plan will be communicated through written materials and training sessions.

Role Definitions/ 

A. Executive Management staff is responsible for leadership in developing and implementing merit-based procedures and demonstrating commitment and support for merit-based recruitment and selection.

B. Managers and supervisors are responsible for evaluating the need for filling vacant positions; maintaining accurate and current position descriptions for subordinate jobs; understanding the concepts of the merit-based system and communicating the process to employees and applicants; making every effort to achieve and maintain a diverse workforce; demonstrating commitment and support for merit-based recruitment and selection; making all hiring decisions based on merit principles; and documenting selection decisions.

C. Personnel Department and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) staff are responsible for demonstrating commitment and support for merit-based recruitment and selection in daily operations; providing technical advice and assistance to managers and supervisors; developing university specific policies and procedures for merit based actions; ensuring the training of managers and supervisors on a variety of issues relating to merit-based recruitment and selection; monitoring recruitment and selection activities for adherence to merit-based policies and procedures; and maintaining recruitment and selection data in order to conduct employment trend analysis. Individuals with responsibilities which include Personnel Department functions may also provide assistance and guidance to managers and supervisors. For the purposes of this plan, such individuals will be considered a part of the Personnel Department staff.

D. Employees and applicants are responsible for obtaining vacancy information in order to submit the required materials; providing full and complete information as to their qualifications; and submitting materials for the vacancy by the established deadline.


Winston-Salem State University will strive to actively recruit from a variety of sources to achieve a diverse workforce that successfully meets the needs and demands of the university.

The hiring manager, with assistance and guidance from the Personnel Department staff, will:

 *assess the need for the position to ensure it contributes to  meeting the goals, objectives, and mission of the work unit; 
 *conduct a job analysis including a review of the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of the position; and 
 *revise the position description if necessary.

Job analysis is necessary only when there is a change in the duties and responsibilities that impacts qualifications required. Therefore, if a current, accurate job analysis already exists for a given job type, there is no need to conduct a new one for each individual vacancy. For example, in instances where there is a high volume of positions in a class, frequent turnover in a class, or little job change, there will likely not be a need to conduct a new job analysis each time a vacancy occurs. As long as there is a job analysis on file that accurately assesses the position, there is not a requirement to conduct another one.

The hiring manager and Personnel Department staff should assure that the critical tasks, KSAs, and training and experience requirements, including any selective criteria, necessary to successfully perform the duties of the position have been identified. In order to assure a timely and efficient process, generic KSAs (included on class specifications) may be utilized for recruitment and selection purposes where they are sufficient for differentiating qualifications of applicants.

Information from the job analysis and position description will guide the hiring manager in drafting the vacancy announcement. Personnel Department staff will ensure the vacancy announcement meets the requirements of State policy.

The hiring manager and Personnel Department staff will determine the appropriate option in posting a vacancy (internal to the university, state government, or external) . In addition, staff consults with the hiring manager to determine additional recruitment sources, if needed, to target specific audiences, including professional journals, newspapers, and technical colleges/universities.

Prior to the vacancy closing date, the hiring manager will determine any selection tool(s) that will be used in the final evaluation process. Any selection tool(s) utilized will be objective, based upon job-related KSAs, and be consistently applied to all applicants in the final selection pool. Personnel Department staff should be consulted for assistance and will be responsible for review of selection tools and procedures. Some examples of selection tools include structured interview, in-basket exercises, written tests, skills tests and reference checks.

Selection Process

A.  Definitions

1.) Selective criteria - additional essential qualifications specifically related to duties and responsibilities of the individual position

2) Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) 
 * knowledge - information which makes adequate performance on  the job possible 
 * skill - a proficiency that is readily observable, quantifiable, and measurable (examples include skill in  
   typing; skill in operating a vehicle)  
 * ability - capacity to perform an activity at the present time

3) Preferences - Specific types of experiences, degrees, licenses, KSAs, or other selection factors above those minimally required to perform the duties and responsibilities of a position

4) Essential qualifications (minimum qualifications) - minimum training and experience requirements including knowledges, skills, abilities and selective criteria included on the vacancy announcement

5) Qualified - those applicants whose credentials indicate the possession of training and experience, selective criteria, and KSAs included in the vacancy announcement

6) Most qualified - the group of applicants who, to the greatest extent, possess qualifications which exceed the essential requirements described in the vacancy announcement

B. Differentiating qualified and most qualified applicants

1) Determining qualified applicants

Applications are to be submitted to the Personnel Department. A designated Personnel Department staff member will screen all applications to determine which applicants meet essential qualification requirements including any selective criteria. In situations where there are 10 or less applications meeting the essential qualifications, all may be forwarded directly to the hiring manager in alphabetical order. This group then becomes the pool of most qualified applicants. If the quality of applications forwarded is deemed insufficient, the hiring manager may choose to re-advertise the position.

2) Determining most qualified applicants

If there are more than 10 qualified applicants, a second level of evaluation will be conducted to determine those that are most qualified. Applications are evaluated to determine to what extent essential qualifications are exceeded in order to identify the most qualified.

Panels will be used for this second level of evaluation in most instances, particularly where positions are technically complex and/or organizationally sensitive. However, in instances where there are large numbers of vacancies in the same class and/or qualification requirements are readily evaluated, management may opt not to use panels to determine the most qualified.

Applications are grouped according to those that meet essential qualifications and those that clearly exceed essential qualifications. Those clearly exceeding essential qualifications will be a manageable number to refer to the hiring manager. A manageable number typically is 5-10; if the number of applications exceed this range, a more detailed analysis may be in order. Any further analysis must continue to be based upon the job-related qualifications identified in the vacancy announcement. Applications are referred to the hiring manager in alphabetical order.

If there are no applicants which clearly exceed the essential qualifications, the applications meeting essential qualifications may be forwarded to the hiring manager and therefore would become the pool of most qualified applicants, or a decision may be made to re-advertise the vacancy.

Applications referred to the hiring manager must be reviewed in relation to all applicable policies and issues.

C. Use of panel/individual for evaluation process

1) Key Points 

 * applications will not be sent directly to the hiring manager  
 * applications will be submitted to the designated Personnel Department representative who is responsible for screening all applicants to determine whether they meet essential qualification requirements 
* the hiring manager, in consultation with the Personnel Department representative, decides if a panel is to be used 
* the hiring manager and Personnel Department representative will identify potential panel members  
* individual/panel members will maintain the confidentiality of the material they review

2)     When a panel evaluates applications, panel members will:

* be selected from the same or closely related field to the position being filled 
* include a Personnel Department representative as an advisor to ensure the merit-based policies and procedures are consistently applied 
* be familiar with selection guidelines 
* represent the organization's diversity 
* consist of 2-5 members depending upon the number of applicants being rated 
* appoint a chair

3)     When an individual evaluates applications, he or she will:

* possess knowledge of job subject matter or receive training 
* receive orientation/training on selection process


Personnel Department staff will review the initial applicant pool to identify applicants with priority status. All employment/ reemployment priorities are to be afforded in accordance with State policy. This will require, in some instances, that applications of individuals with  certain priorities will be included among those referred to the hiring manager. All individuals involved in application evaluation, including the hiring manager, will receive advice and guidance from the Personnel Department staff regarding the priority consideration which must be afforded.

Consideration must be given to applicants that have the following priorities: 

Priority Reemployment 

Employees scheduled to be separated or separated through reduction-in-force have priority consideration over non-state applicants. RIFcandidates must only meet essential qualifications to receive priority.

Exempt Policy-Making/ Confidential and Exempt Managerial

Employees separated from exempt policy--making/confidential and exempt managerial positions for reasons other than just cause have priority consideration over non-state applicants and must only meet essential qualifications to receive priority.

Veterans Preference

Preference is to be given in initial employment opportunities to qualified veteran applicants

Promotional Priority 

Career state employees are eligible for priority consideration over non state applicants when the individuals possess substantially equal qualifications.

Injured-on-the-job/ Workers' Compensation 

Employees injured on-the-job, placed on workers' compensation leave, and who have been released to return to 
 work by their physician have re-employment considerations based upon maximum medical improvement.

Making the Final  

The final selection recommendation/ decision will be made from among the most qualified applicants. Applicants with priority reemployment must also be given appropriate consideration. The hiring manager will utilize selection tools that are objective and based upon job-related KSAs.

Any selection tool will be consistently applied to all applicants in the final pool. The hiring manager will also be responsible for documenting the selection process and justifying the hiring recommendation and/or decision. Personnel Department staff will be available for guidance and assistance to the hiring manager at any time during the selection process. Personnel Department staff will review the applicant package to ensure employment/ reemployment priorities are properly afforded. Applicants not selected for the position will receive timely written notice of the selection decision.

Approval Process

The final selection decision must be approved by the immediate supervisor, Department Director, Vice Chancellor, Affirmative Action Officer, Chancellor and Personnel Director before an offer of employment is made.

of Process

It will be the practice of Winston-Salem State University to maintain documentation of the merit-based recruitment and selection process in order to support the decisions and to provide fact-based information for monitoring and evaluating recruitment and selection practices and procedures.

A file will be maintained for each hiring event for a minimum of three years. Each file will contain:

* any record of job analysis conducted for the vacancy including any additional KSAs and/or selective criteria that resulted from job analysis (or a reference to the job analysis utilized for the vacancy) 
* vacancy announcement  
* recruitment sources 
* selection tools and criteria  
* applications received 
* priority reemployment inventory/register 
* selection/decision log 
* inventory of applicants as unqualified, qualified, and most qualified

Appeals Process

If an applicant has reason to believe they were denied employment due to political affiliation or influence, the applicant may appeal the hiring decision directly to the Office of Administrative Hearings within 30 days of written notification that the position has been filled if all the following conditions apply:

* applicant timely applied for the position in question; 
* applicant was not hired into the position; 
* applicant was among the most qualified persons applying for the position; 
* successful applicant for the postition was not among the most qualified persons applying for the position; and 
* hiring decision was based upon political affiliation or political influence


Personnel Department staff will periodically review program data across the University to ensure the recruitment and selection activities are in compliance with the University plan. Personnel Department staff will compile and analyze an annual summary of selection activity for the Chancellor. This report will include analysis of the impact on demographic groups, exceptions to policy, and other relevant factors. Personnel Department staff also will comply with the reporting and plan update requirements from the Office of State Personnel.

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