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August 18, 2009

While the goal is to hire the best candidate for the job from a diverse pool of qualified candidates, using proactive efforts to include members of underrepresented groups, it must be understood that search procedures for classified, “civil service” staff are governed by New Jersey Administrative Code 4A, and the Civil Service Commission.

Authorization to begin a search for a new position must come from the Division Vice President via the

RAMAPO COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY

Certification Procedures for Classified, “Civil Service” Staff

(Staff Governed by N.J.A.C. Title 4A)

August 18, 2009

While the goal is to hire the best candidate for the job from a diverse pool of qualified candidates, using proactive efforts to include members of underrepresented groups, it must be understood that search procedures for classified, “civil service” staff are governed by New Jersey Administrative Code 4A, and the Civil Service Commission.

Authorization to begin a search for a new position must come from the Division Vice President via the Staffing Requisition Form (SRF) available on our forms page (please see Roger Jans X7231 regarding the Staffing Requisition Form) . As indicated in the SRF procedures, the Position Review Committee recommends to the Cabinet whether or not a particular vacancy can be filled. The Cabinet either approves or disapproves filling the vacancy. If there is approval to fill the vacancy, HR staff will assist and guide the Unit Head/Hiring Manager with the below outlined recruitment process.

General procedures

If there is approval to fill a vacancy in the classified, “civil service” sector, the following needs to take place:

HR needs to determine if there is a “promotional list” for the title. A “promotional list” consists of permanent “civil service” employees at RamapoCollege who have taken and passed a promotional exam for the vacant title.

If there are three or more permanent RamapoCollege employees on the promotional list who are interested in the position, one must be appointed permanently. If there are less than three, one can force an appointment. Such a forced appointment is considered “provisional,” pending another promotional examination.

If there is no promotional list, HR needs to determine if there are three or more permanent RamapoCollege employees who qualify for the position and who are interested in the vacancy (“promotable eligibles”). This is done through internal posting. If there are three or more permanent employees who qualify, one must be appointed provisionally, pending a promotional examination. (Please note, this provisional appointment is required even if the hiring manager does not want to appoint one of the three internal candidates.)

If there are no internal candidates (permanent “civil service” employees) to be promoted into the title, HR needs to determine if there is an open competitive list for the title. An open competitive list consists of individuals who have taken and passed a “civil service” examination for the title. If there is such a list, and three or more people are interested in the position, one must be appointed, and a veteran cannot be bypassed. The College has very little latitude in asserting individuals on New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) lists who do not qualify for our positions.

If there is no “open competitive list,” we can then post the position to the “outside.” The “outside” may include the individual with no permanent “civil service” status who has been serving in the position pending the certification process. This posting cannot be done without clearance from the New Jersey Civil Service Commission via an “authorization number.”

The provisional can then be appointed provisionally pending an examination.

The provisional must take a New Jersey Civil Service exam for the title, and must be one of the top three scorers in order to be appointed permanently. In the case of open competitive examinations, veterans go to the top of the list and cannot be bypassed; in the case of promotional examinations, veterans are ranked as they score, but they cannot be bypassed.

When we appoint an individual from a Civil Service list, either open competitive or promotional, the person begins a four-month probationary period, which may be extended by two months.

While every effort is made to expedite the process (much of which is behind-the-scenes), it must be understood that we are bound by CSC regulations. It is a very time-consuming process, and sometimes it takes months to receive a list. In order to expedite the process, HR sometimes posts for the vacancy and calls for a list simultaneously. The danger in doing this is that our “provisional” may get “bumped.” Also, we may not receive timely authorization and clearance for a provisional appointment.

HR makes every effort to assist hiring managers in filling vacant classified positions with the best candidate possible. We also take steps to protect individuals who may have been appointed provisionally. Civil Service Commission regulations are complex and cumbersome, and HR will guide hiring managers, supervisors, provisionals, and potential employees through the below process. For additional information, please contact the Department of Human Resources at extension 7506 or 7231.

Hiring Steps:
  1. HR staff will assist the Unit Head/Dean/Hiring Manager with the recruitment process beginning with completing the Staffing Requisition Form (please see Roger Jans regarding the staffing requisition form X7231), developing a job description, developing the ad copy, developing a recruitment strategy, following the Civil Service requirements and posting the position on www.ramapojobs.com to broaden and diversify the pool of candidates. Please see “Specific Hiring Procedures and Responsibilities” section, item #1 below on the role of Hiring Managers.
  2. The Hiring Manager selects a Search Committee that is comprised of a diverse representation of units interacting with the position.
  3. The Assistant Director of Human Resources will advise the Search Committee Chair of his/her responsibilities, which are as follows: a) monitor the entire process, b) complete the hire packet check list, c) have all finalists sign the completed employment application prior to leaving campus, d) conduct work history/reference check, e) ensure information is included in the hiring packet to the appropriate Vice President/Dean/Unit Head when the selection has been made.
  4. HR will assist the Search Committee in determining how the applicant pool should be evaluated, develop screening techniques and design questions for the interview process. Should the committee use telephone interviews, two sets of questions should be developed, one for the telephone interviews, and another set for the in-person interview.
  5. After the qualified candidates have been interviewed, the work history/references of the potential finalists are checked by the Search Committee Chair. Finalists should be told work history references are being checked, and current employment situations should not be compromised. References should be checked before bringing candidates to campus.
  6. The Search Committee Chair forwards to the Hiring Manager a letter of recommendation along with the following information: 1) description of the interview process or evaluation forms, 2) names of the final candidates for the position and their resumes, (see item 15), 3) work history/references and other significant related materials, 4) job description, and 5) signed employment application.
  7. After the Hiring Manager completes the final interviews, he/she consults with HR regarding salary, benefits and starting date.
  8. The Hiring Manager makes a recommendation for hire to the next level supervisor up to the cognizant vice president/provost.
  9. The search chair or a designee must send letters of rejection to candidates not interviewed, and to candidates interviewed by the Committee but not recommended for further consideration. The hiring manager sends letters to finalists interviewed by him/her and not selected. Letters should go out at the completion of the search process (candidate hired).
  10. The complete hiring package must be submitted to the Assistant Director of HR for approval of the process and results. A complete hiring package contains the following:
    • Letters of recommendation from the Hiring Manager, Unit Head, Dean and/or Vice President
    • Letter of recommendation from Search Committee Chair
    • Job description
    • Candidate’s resume
    • Copy of the advertisement (internal and external)
    • Copy of the approved Staffing Requisition Form
    • Signed employment application
    • Any other pertinent information about unusual circumstances.
    • HR prepares the appointment letter
Specific Procedures and Responsibilities

A. The Hiring Manager shall

  1. complete the Staffing Requisition Form, obtain appropriate signatures, and submit the form with the job description and add copy to the Department of Human Resources (ad copy must be consistent with job description)
  2. select and charge the Search Committee
  3. review the job description with the Committee
  4. develop and submit the job posting to HR utilizing the ramapojobs.com/hr system
  5. clarify requirements for the position as well as preferred attributes
  6. send letters to finalists not selected (see Sample Letter 1 (DOC) and Sample Letter 2 (DOC)) at the completion of the search process (candidate hired)
  7. interview finalists
  8. make a recommendation for hire at the completion of the search to the next level supervisor, if applicable
  9. discuss final terms with the Department of Human Resources, and after approval, the finalist

B. The Search Committee Chair shall

  1. receive interviewing training and training on the on-line application process from the Department of Human Resources.
  2. act as the committee’s facilitator, official spokesperson, and liaison to the hiring authority; articulate expectations for committee conduct; and mediate conflict
  3. protect the confidentiality of applicants and the integrity of the search process. Written documents may be subject to public records requests; therefore, judicious use of written and e-mail communication is recommended
  4. coordinate the checking of work history/references of finalists (see Reference Check Procedures (PDF). The candidate’s current employment situation should not be compromised, and the candidate should be told references are being checked. Concerns about information obtained during the reference-checking process should be referred to HR.
  5. ensure compliance with state and federal laws and College policy
  6. provide pertinent information to the candidates being interviewed, including job description, relevant information about the College, portion of Employment Eligibility Verification (PDF) statement so the candidate understands the type of documentation that will be required at time of hire
  7. send letters of rejection to the finalists interviewed on campus and not recommended for further consideration after completion of the search process (i.e. the selected finalist has accepted the position)

C. The Search Committee shall

  1. refer questions regarding the search process, salary ,or information on the employment application, or other administrative details to the Department of Human Resources;
  2. participate fully and consistently
  3. screen applicants and refer recommendations to the Hiring Manager
  4. use latitude and flexibility in the selection process – this must be balanced with consistency and transparency – for guidance, consult with HR
  5. provide fair, consistent and nondiscriminatory interviews to all finalist candidates
  6. act promptly to ensure that top candidates are not lost to institutions that move quickly to hire top talent

HR may assist in developing the interview questions (see generic Sample Questions (DOC) which should:

  1. emanate from the job description with additional questions based on the applicant’s resume/vita
  2. be job related
  3. elicit more than a yes or no response and ask what, when, where, who, why, how
  4. force the applicant to think
  5. not be discriminatory such as questions regarding:
  • race, color, or national origin
  • age
  • disability
  • religious affiliation
  • gender, marital status, number of children, family plans

6. elicit information about eligibility to work in the U.S.

7. elicit information about the need for accommodation to do the job

See also:

F. Conducting the Interview

  1. Conduct interview in a pleasant, uninterrupted environment
  2. Give applicant the committee’s undivided attention
  3. Put the applicant at ease before beginning questions
  4. Explain the process
  5. Explain that there will be time for questions after the formal interview
  6. Ask each applicant the same basic questions
  7. Use follow-up questions effectively: what, when, where, who, why, how
  8. Allow the applicant to do most of the talking, but without digressing
  9. Allow silence
  10. Control your body language
  11. Take note of the applicant’s responses
  12. Ask the applicant what questions he/she has for the committee members
  13. Explain the timeline for the search process and when they may expect to hear from the College
  14. Thank the applicant and direct them to their next destination

Note: These procedures are subject to reasonable flexibility in extraordinary circumstances.

The College uses an automated applicant tracking system (ramapojobs.com) and all candidates must apply through this process.

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