Washington State University

Revised 7-13
Human Resource Services

Recruitment and Selection of Classified Positions

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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 candidates 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 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 HRS website at:


Employing Official (Hiring Manager)

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

Use of Online Position Description and Recruitment System (OPDRS)

For purposes of utilizing the Online Position Description and Recruitment System (OPDRS), the University uses the term hiring manager to refer to the employing official, clerical manager, or other designated staff. See below.


WSU Pullman Human Resource Services (HRS) is responsible for overseeing all recruitment activities for classified positions at all WSU locations systemwide.

Promotional Candidates

A promotional candidate 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:

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 (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 which 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 335-4521; or select the Working After Retirement link on the DRS Retirees website at:



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 below regarding exceptions.)


Prior to Recruitment

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 the OPDRS an accurate, updated position description and written performance expectations to HRS for review and approval. HRS performs a position review of the description and expectations to ensure that the position is appropriately allocated.

See 60.02 for classification procedures and applicable documentation.

HRS must complete the position review as outlined in 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 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 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 the OPDRS. To begin, go to:


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

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

The hiring manager must complete all required fields, as noted in the OPDRS, prior to final approval of the job posting.

Upon HRS review and approval of the job posting, HRS posts the position on the WSU Jobs website. All position openings must be posted for a minimum of five business days. A department may request that a job posting remain on the WSU Jobs website for more than five business days, if desired.

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 above. HRS releases qualified applicants from a pool in accordance with the procedures outlined in "Referral of Applicants to Hiring Manager" below.

Referral of Applicants to Hiring Manager

When the posting has closed, HRS releases the resulting eligible candidates to the hiring manager for consideration based upon the recruitment strategy determined at the time of the posting. If the number of applicants exceeds the needs of the hiring department, HRS screens candidates for minimum and preferred qualifications and refers the applicable candidates to the hiring department.

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

HRS notifies the applicant or candidate in writing if she or he is removed from an applicant or candidate 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 or candidate may request a review of the removal from the applicant or candidate 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 or candidate. 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 Candidates

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

Eligible Laid-Off Candidates

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

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

HRS releases the remaining candidates 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 a candidate pool to the hiring department, the hiring manager reviews and considers the applicants for the position. The hiring manager is responsible for ensuring that the hiring process is fair and objective.

HRS recommends that the hiring manager and department coordinate interviews for those candidates considered most qualified for the position. Hiring managers should review the preemployment inquiry guidelines in 60.08 when developing questions for candidate interviews.

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

Update Candidate Status Online

The hiring manager is responsible for updating the current status of each applicant in the OPDRS, noting who is or is not being considered for the position.


The hiring manager is responsible for investigating or verifying the following information provided by the candidate:

The hiring manager may examine personnel files of applicants who work or have worked at WSU and are under consideration for the departmental vacancy. See 90.07. Contact HRS to arrange to view the personnel file of any such candidates.


The hiring manager determines the candidate who best meets the requested competencies to fill the vacancy. The hiring manager uses the OPDRS to indicate the candidate under consideration for hire. The hiring manager is responsible for ensuring that the status of all candidates in the OPDRS is updated accurately.

HRS is automatically alerted by e-mail when the hiring manager is ready to extend an offer. HRS reviews the request to offer and notifies the hiring manager when the job offer may be extended to the candidate.

Offer Above Step A

The hiring manager must submit a written justification to his or her department's appointing authority and the Director of HRS, the University's designated personnel officer, to request approval to offer a salary that is above Step A. The hiring manager must receive approval from both the appointing authority and HRS prior to making the offer at a higher salary to the candidate.

The University's designated personnel officer is usually the administrator who oversees HRS. (See RCW 41.06.510.) The University's designated personnel officer reviews the request and notifies the appointing authority of approval or denial of the request.

Update Candidate Status Online

When the selected candidate accepts the offer, the hiring manager updates the OPDRS accordingly so that each candidate is able to check the status of her or his application. Each candidate is allowed to view the status of her or his application only.


Exceptional Circumstances

An appointing authority may submit a request to the Director of HRS for a direct appointment without recruitment for a civil service position in a scientific, research, or laboratory classification, or a project civil service position (see 60.23) when:

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 a candidate to a civil service position, the appointing authority submits the following to HRS for approval through the OPDRS:

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

See above regarding selection request review and approval.


HRS recommends that the hiring manager send a letter 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 website. (See below.)

The hiring manager must send a letter signed by the appointing authority or designee confirming the appointment to the candidate who has been extended an offer of employment. Sample hire letters are available on the Managers area of the HRS website at:



Submit a personnel action request through the online Personnel/ Position/Payroll Electronic Routing Management System (PERMS). See 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 60.60.

Obtain the Time Report or Leave Report file from the employee's former employing department if the candidate selected is a current WSU employee. If the selected candidate is a former employee reappointed within three years of separation, obtain the file from HRS. See 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 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 60.71 and 60.72.