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Recruitment Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) La Trobe recognises the importance of attracting and maintaining staff that enhance the quality and reputation of La Trobe and are also aligned to La Trobe’s strategic vision. La Trobe is also committed to ensuring that the process of appointing such staff is transparent, equitable and compliant with La Trobe’s modes of employment and classification standards.

(2) This Policy sets out the overarching principles to guide managers in the recruitment process. The Procedures provide further detail on the process relating to the recruitment of staff.

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Section 2 - Scope/ Application

(3) This Policy and Procedure applies to hiring managers and potential and current staff both academic (Level A – E) and professional (HEO 1 – 10 and ESMC 1 - 4).

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The principles herein are to be observed by La Trobe hiring managers and staff involved in recruitment when undertaking recruitment activities.

Fairness

(5) Procedural fairness is an aspect of natural justice and it requires that just processes be used in making decisions.  They include confidentiality, timeliness, impartiality and freedom from repercussions. Fairness in recruitment means treating applicants impartially, without subjecting them to biased decisions.

(6) Treating everyone the same does not necessarily make a process fair. La Trobe aims to account for individuals’ circumstances to give them an equal chance to present themselves.  

Merit

(7) Selection based on merit is where the best possible match is made between qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and relevant experience of the applicants, and the selection criteria in the Position Description. The selection decision must be based on an assessment of relative suitability, using a selection process that assesses qualities that are genuinely related to the work. 

Diversity

(8) Respect for diversity means providing opportunities to people from a broad range of backgrounds so that La Trobe may benefit from a variety of skills, experience and knowledge. Employing people from diverse communities will reflect the community in which La Trobe operates.

Equal Employment Opportunity

(9) La Trobe must ensure that applicants receive fair and equitable treatment during the recruitment process and that decisions are not based on irrelevant factors such as a person’s sex, race, disability, age, sexuality or other personal biases or favouritism. This responsibility is defined in both Federal and State legislation and detailed in our workplace policies.   

Code of Conduct

(10) Our behaviours must support and align with the values, standards and goals of the Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct puts into words the actions and attitudes. It contains important rules we all must follow as we do business, and it describes the values that will guide us in our decisions.

Conflict of Interest

(11) A conflict of interest occurs in recruitment (and in general day-to-day business activities) when a person involved in the recruitment process can be influenced, or appears to be able to be influenced by a personal interest/personal relationship when making an employment decision.

(12) Staff should not take part in the recruitment process where any potential or actual conflict may impact the outcome.

(13) Staff involved in the recruitment process must consider whether they have any conflict of interest. Such conflict may include those referred to in the Conflict of Interest Policy.  Staff are expected to declare any actual or perceived conflict of interest in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Privacy

(14) La Trobe is committed in respecting the confidentiality of information and the privacy of applicants. La Trobe is bound by the Victorian and Commonwealth Privacy Legislation (as amended) in Australia.  La Trobe will take all reasonable steps to protect the privacy of the personal information that we collect and use. 

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Section 4 - Procedure

Part A - Delegations Approval Authority

Positions within Salary Profiles

(15) Approvals must be obtained from the below listed delegates in the respective category.

(16) Authority includes the rights to approve to recruit to a position within the agreed Salary Profile and approval to offer the role to preferred candidate for all levels:

  1. Academic A to E
  2. Professional HEO 1 to 10
  3. Professional ESMC 1 – 4
Positions Title for Delegated Authority
Continuing Academic Positions within Colleges
- Head of School
- College PVC
Fixed Term Academic (including Visiting & Clinical) within Colleges
- Head of School
- College PVC
Honorary/Adjunct
- Head of School
- College PVC
Professional/Admin within Schools/Colleges and funded by School/College
- College GM
- College PVC
Professionals & Academic within VC, SDVC, DVC Research, VPA, CoS, and PVC Regional SEG Portfolio Holder

Positions Outside Salary Profiles

(17) Requests for positions outside agreed salary profiles need to be endorsed by the relevant Senior Executive Group member for approval by the VC.

Reclassifications

(18) Classification of new roles and reclassification of existing positions must be authorised by Human Resources

Part B - Recruitment Process Flow

(19) There are 9 stages to the recruitment process:

  1. Recruitment Need
  2. Prepare and Advertise
  3. Shortlist Applicants
  4. 1st and 2nd Interviews
  5. Candidate Checks
  6. Offer of Role
  7. Employment Checks
  8. Applicant Management
  9. Preparation for Start

(20) Refer to the Recruitment Process Flowchart for more information.

Part C - Recruitment Need

(21) The need to fill an existing (replacement) position or to create a new position is to be reviewed in line with the specific needs of the business. The value added by the position should be considered before proceeding to recruit a person to fill the vacancy.

(22) Managers wishing to hire staff should contact their Recruitment Consultant as their first step, who will guide them through the process.

Remuneration / Job Grading

(23) Human Resources will advise the appropriate job grade and salary range for the position based on market value and internal relativities at the beginning of the recruitment process.

(24) A realistic salary should be set at the time of the appointment and is reviewed as part of the annual salary review.  Under no circumstances is a commitment to a new salary outside of this timing to be made (either verbally or in the letter of appointment) to any staff member unless it has been agreed by the relevant approval authority and endorsed by Human Resources.

Employment Categories

(25) All staff may be classified into one of the three following categories:

  1. Hourly/weekly paid staff (staff who are deemed as casual staff and who are not eligible for employment benefits).
  2. Hourly/weekly paid staff (staff on an individual employment contract).
  3. Fixed Term / Continuing Staff who are paid fortnightly.

(26) Within these three employment categories there are three employment relationships.

  1. Full-time / Fixed Term or Continuing – staff who work full-time hours and engaged to work for a defined period or on an ongoing basis.
  2. Part Time – staff who work less than full-time hours. 
  3. A Casual – staff who are engaged for a short period of time.

Authority to Recruit

(27) Where there is a need to recruit a role permanently or on a fixed term contract, Managers must complete and have appropriately approved Job Card/Requisition in La Trobe electronic system, prior to any recruitment activity commencing. 

(28) Authorisation to recruit full time and part time staff will be as per the relevant approval authority.

(29) Casual engagements are the responsibility of the hiring manager and must be authorised by the relevant approval authority.

Terms of Appointment

Appointments of less than one (1) year

(30) For fixed term positions, appointments can be for a minimum of 3 months up to one year; depending on the category as set out in the Agreement.

Appointments for greater than one (1) year or continuing appointments

(31) Appointments can be made into fixed term positions for greater than one year and no more than five years, depending on the category as set out in the Agreement, or into continuing positions.

Conditions of Employment

(32) Conditions of Employment, including the appropriate salary grade, with salary/wage and benefits must be determined before the recruitment process commences.

Part D - Prepare and Advertise

Position Description

(33) A Position Description is to be prepared or revised, prior to commencing the recruitment approval process. The Position Description will be used to assist in preparation of position advertising, and to match applicants against the requirements of the job.

(34) Preparation of the Position Description ensures that hiring managers are clear about the purpose of the position, job responsibilities, job dimensions, reporting/functional relationships, key skills and competencies, and required qualifications.

(35) Position Descriptions must be developed by the Hiring Manager in collaboration with the Recruitment Consultant.  All position descriptions must be endorsed/approved by the relevant Human Resources Business Partner as part of the recruitment approval process.

Key Selection Criteria

(36) Key Selection Criteria must be established prior to advertising the position. 

(37) The criteria should include the skills, knowledge and abilities required for an individual to perform effectively in the position.

Advertising

(38) The Hiring Manager, together with the Recruitment Consultant, will determine the best recruitment strategy for filling the position.

Internal Advertising

(39) Positions are advertised internally unless specific skills, knowledge and experience are required in which case the Executive Director, Human Resources may provide approval for roles to be advertised externally only or directly employed pursuant to the Direct Appointment Policy.

External Advertising

(40) There are a variety of media available through which potential candidates can be reached.  These include newspapers (local, regional or international), professional journals/newsletters, university noticeboards, online job boards and social media. The Recruitment Consultant manages all recruitment media channels and can assist in the selection of media and placement of external advertisements.

(41) As a means of ensuring La Trobe branding through a standardised approach to our recruitment activities, an agreed La Trobe format will be used for all external advertising. 

External Agencies

(42) A decision to use an external recruitment agency is made by the Recruitment Consultant and Hiring Manager. Hiring Managers must not independently engage recruitment suppliers in relation to continuing or fixed term recruitment.
Where the need to engage a recruitment agency becomes apparent, La Trobe has preferred suppliers for all external recruitment activity. A decision not to use preferred suppliers will only be by agreement with Executive Director, Human Resources and the Director, Procurement. The unit requesting the use of an external agency will bear all associated costs.

Internal Candidate Applications

(43) Internal applicants should inform their immediate manager of their intention to apply for an internally advertised position. Should the manager choose not to support the application, this will not preclude the applicant from the recruitment process.

(44) Where a staff member is being seriously considered for a position, they should be advised that their manager or supervisor may be contacted for a reference. The staff member’s manager must be notified before any offers are made.

(45) Where a staff member in another Department/College is identified as being suitable for a vacancy, the hiring manager should only make an approach through the staff member’s manager or relevant Senior Manager. Staff must not be approached directly.

Reengagement of Redundant Staff

(46) The reengagement of any ‘bona-fide’ redundancy staff member may only be done in accordance with the Re-employment of Redundant Staff Policy.

Employment of Relatives

(47) A current staff member can recommend someone they have a personal relationship with for a vacant position however should not take any direct part in the selection process for any appointment for which this person is an applicant.  Staff must comply with the Code of Conduct and the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Part E - Shortlist Applicants

(48) All applications are to be treated confidentially and should be recorded via La Trobe electronic system. When the system receives an application, it will automatically generate a return email confirming receipt of the application.

(49) Applications are assessed and compared against position requirements. Applications that do not meet these requirements (e.g. work entitlement) should not proceed further and applicants notified. This activity will be undertaken by the Recruitment Consultant and/or the Hiring Manager.

Assessing Work Entitlements & Disclosures

(50) Applications must be reviewed taking into account the response provided in relation to:

  1. work entitlements (e.g. residency, visas)
  2. prior redundancy with La Trobe
  3. charges/convictions of criminal offences
  4. willingness to undertake a working with children check
  5. consent to a National Police Check

Telephone Screening

(51) Apart from backing up the resume and narrowing a large number of applicants, a telephone screen can help hiring managers decide if the applicant is motivated for the position and can assess their communication and articulation skills. 

Establishing the Shortlist

(52) A short list of approximately 3 to 6 profiles should be compiled in collaboration with the Hiring Manager and presented to the Selection Committee (as appropriate) for consideration. Once agreement is reached on suitability of candidates these applicants should be invited to attend an interview or participate in other appropriate next steps.

Part F - Interviews

Selection Committee

(53) The Selection Committee will be established in accordance with the Selection Committee Policy prior to the commencement of formal candidate interactions. Selection processes should be robust and allow for appropriate methods of selection as required.

Conducting the Interviews

(54) The purpose of the interview is to assess the candidate on the basis of their skills, knowledge and organisational fit. The interview also allows the candidate to assess the scope and requirements of the role, and to determine whether the organisation meets their personal needs. For this reason, interview questions should be consistent for each candidate, enabling an equitable basis for comparison of applicants.

(55) Questions should be prepared using the position description and the Key Selection Criteria (relevant job dimensions that determine how the applicant may respond in situations experienced in the role). The Recruitment Consultant can assist with appropriate questions for each interview stage.

(56) The process is not limited to two interviews and may include any of the following selection activities:

  1. case study, seminar and/or presentation
  2. additional interviews (remaining members of the Selection Committee or others are appropriate for the role)
  3. psychometric testing / personality profile
  4. informal introductions to key stakeholders and campus tour
  5. background / Police / visa checks

(57) Additional requirements can be discussed with the Recruitment Consultant.

Part G - Candidate Checks

(58) Checks should be done as a final step of the recruitment process before an offer is made (including current and former staff as appropriate). As such, checks will be limited to the final 1 or 2 applicants and not carried out on the general population of applicants. Any discrepancies between the information provided on the application and the actual check may be grounds for disqualification.

(59) In order to establish a history of probity, employment checks and employment references should be sought.

Reference Checks

(60) At least 2 comprehensive reference checks should be carried out with previous employers (prior 2 employers). This should include validation of employment dates and qualitative information. References should be obtained from persons to whom the applicant has reported directly.

Work History

(61) Where these have not been validated by the reference checks, they need to be separately or independently validated. Gaps in employment should be thoroughly investigated.

Creditor etc

(62) Credit checks will be conducted for specific roles that, by their nature, provide easy access to the funds of La Trobe, i.e. certain finance/ payroll and senior management positions.

Medicals

(63) Medical checks may be required for specific roles. Usually medical checks are conducted prior to the offer of a role however in certain circumstances, this may occur post the offer of a role.

Psychometric

(64) Psychometric testing may be used to form part of the decision making process or where an internal applicant has been directly appointed.

Part H - Offer of Role

Evaluating Information

(65) Information obtained on each candidate should be assessed to ensure that the candidate with the best match of skills for the job is selected. It is also important to retain relevant selection documentation such as key selection criteria and interview guides, in the event that the decision is challenged by candidates, agencies or other managers.

(66) The final decision is the responsibility of the Hiring Manager; however a formal discussion/meeting is to take place with the Selection Committee and relevant stakeholders to assist in reaching a consensus.

(67) The approval process for making an appointment/offer to a candidate is to be the same approval process used for seeking authority to recruit.

Offering the Role to the Preferred Candidate

(68) Under no circumstances is a “conditional” offer of employment to be made. All elements of the selection process must be completed prior to any job offer.

(69) Approval to make an offer to a candidate is required from the relevant approval authority. Once obtained, the Recruitment Consultant or Hiring Manager should make the job offer, at which time they should reconfirm:

  1. the specific position, title, and salary grade.
  2. the direct reporting relationship
  3. remuneration
  4. an appropriate starting date
  5. other checks required as identified below (Employment Checks)

(70) Once approval has been given by the responsible La Trobe staff member, notification and all information submitted with the nomination or recommendation, as set out above, must be provided to Human Resources.

Internal Candidate Appointments

(71) In instances where a current staff member is appointed to another position and, as a result, new conditions of work or changes to their contract of employment apply, the appointment is to be confirmed in writing. All the relevant details of the appointment which are new or will supersede the previous conditions of employment should be outlined.

Part I - Employment Checks

(72) The following Employment Checks are required for all positions.

Proof of Identity

(73) Of all of the checks, identity verification is the most fundamental, and should be carried out in nearly all circumstances.

(74) The simplest means of verifying an individual’s identity is by sighting original identity documents, which contain:

  1. a photo
  2. signature
  3. date of birth, and
  4. full permanent address

(75) A driver’s licence or passport is perfect for this.

Work Entitlements

(76) In order to be employed by La Trobe, all applicants are legally required to have what is referred to as ‘the right to work” or equivalent in Australia.

(77) It is La Trobe’s responsibility to ensure that every person hired is legally eligible to work in Australia. Where the staff member is a casual, fixed term or contractor via a third party agency, the agency must obtain proof of the appropriate visa.

(78) Where a non-Australian or non-New Zealand citizen has applied for a role, a copy of their residency status is required including a copy of the relevant visa providing this entitlement to work and any restrictions relevant.

(79) If the applicant indicates they are Australian or from New Zealand, they must provide a copy of their passport or birth certificate.

(80) Should the applicant not be an Australian or New Zealand citizen they are required to provide a copy of their passport and visa entitlements to work in Australia.

(81) Copies of appropriate visas should be attached to the staff file or alternatively recorded as having been cited.

(82) For visa sponsorship, refer to the Visa Sponsorship Policy.

Documents that ARE proof of right to work Documents that are NOT proof of right to work
Full Australian Birth Certificate (if born before 20 August 1986) and a form of photo ID Tax File Number
Full Australian Birth Certificate (if born on or after 20 August 1986), a form of photo ID and evidence that at least one parent was an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of the child's birth Driver's Licence
Australian Citizenship Certificate Medicare Card
Australian Passport Bank Account
Certificate of evidence of resident status Referrals from employment agencies
Valid Visa with work rights References from previous employers

(83) The requirement for the following Employment Checks are dependent on the position requirements.

Police Checks

(84) A criminal history check may be a part of the appointment processes for particular positions (Executive, Finance, Procurement, etc) within La Trobe (usually detailed in the Position Description). La Trobe expectations are that criminal background checks must be conducted prior to finalising any appointment process where such a check is required. 

(85) La Trobe must first obtain written consent from the applicant before conducting any police check. This consent must be freely provided by the applicant who must not be coerced in any way. A record of this consent must be maintained on the applicant’s file. Any applicant who is unwilling to agree to a police check should not be considered any further in the appointment process.

(86) Applicants are required to consent to the Police Check and disclose any conviction or criminal offence as part of the application process. 

Working with Children

(87) Working with children checks will be conducted in accordance with the Working with Children Policy.

Driving Records

(88) For those positions involved with driving motor vehicles as part of their duties, trucks etc, a driver record check will be conducted.

Qualifications Check

(89) Copies of transcripts of educational qualifications, including degrees, diplomas or certificates that are relevant to the role must be obtained from the new staff member. For example, an applicant applying for a qualified accountant or legal role.

Social Media

(90) It is becoming increasingly common to consider an applicant’s ‘online reputation’, i.e. the evaluation of an individual based on their online behaviour and what they and others post about them. Social media searches can help verify identity, confirm or resolve concerns about suspicious behaviour, or establish how security aware the applicant is. Potential conflicts of interest might also be identified.

(91) Social media searches must be necessary, proportionate and transparent. If there is no real connection between an applicant’s social media presence and the proposed role, such searches should not be done. Only online information which can be publicly accessed should be researched.

Part J - Applicant Management

(92) Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by the Recruitment Consultant at the conclusion of the recruitment process.

Part K - Preparation for Start

(93) First impressions count, and as a manager of a new staff/existing staff into a position, Managers will have a significant impact on the successful transition into their new position. An effective and carefully planned induction ensures a new staff member feels supported in their role and their first experiences of La Trobe are positive.

(94) Managers should ensure they are as accessible as possible throughout the initial weeks, and commit to monitoring their new staff member - through both formal meetings and informal conversations.

(95) Manager’s should consider the events which may occur in the following timelines when planning for the arrival of new staff:

  1. prior to day 1
  2. 1st day
  3. in 1st week
  4. in 1st month etc

(96) Managers should consider the requirements of the new staff and take any action (or arrange action to the taken) in the following areas:

  1. documentation requirements
  2. department, project, team and other information
  3. network systems access and IT equipment
  4. user ID and email address requested ensuring department/school specific folder drives access, remote access etc is requested
  5. hardware requirements & building access
  6. arrange/request relevant hardware eg desk, chair, laptop, mobile phone etc and arrange building access and passes
  7. induction schedule as above
  8. communications to the team/department/college or other
  9. draft a communication to the team or key people to communicate the appointment and start date of the new staff member
  10. call the new staff member
  11. call the new staff member prior to day 1 to confirm first day arrangements e.g. start time, location, who to request upon arrival

Part L - Probation Period

(97) Probation periods are set in accordance with the relevant probation policy and in accordance with the Collective Agreement.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(98) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Applicant is a person who has applied for a position and/or is being considered for a position;
  2. Staff means all employees of La Trobe or affiliated enterprises with which La Trobe has a formal agreement, including casual employees and unpaid employees such as Honorary and Adjunct appointments;
  3. Hiring manager is the manager of the position that is being recruited to; 
  4. Internal applicants are deemed to include all people engaged directly and paid directly by La Trobe;
  5. Personal relationship is defined to include spouse, domestic partner, de facto, children, siblings, cousins, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, parent, grandparents, relations of similar status by marriage and sexual relationships;
  6. Position Description is a document which provides details of the functions and responsibilities of the job, the skills required to perform those functions and the role of the position within La Trobe.  They are not intended to cover every kind of work assignment a position may have. Rather, they cover those work assignments which are predominant, permanent and recurring;
  7. Senior HR Representative means the relevant HR Business Partner, Senior Recruitment Consultant or delegate of the Executive Director, Human Resources.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Hiring Managers/staff.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Deputy Director, Strategic Recruitment and Workforce Planning.