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Office/Service Hiring Guide

These guidelines are to assist you and your department during the recruitment process. Your adherence to these guidelines will ensure that the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's (UNL) recruitment procedures are being applied uniformly. It also ensures that UNL is in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. Along with these guidelines, also refer to the Office/Service Recruitment Checklist to assist you with this process. If you have questions at any time during the selection process, please call Human Resources at 402-472-3101.

Prior to posting a position, a hiring rate/range will be developed with the assistance of Human Resources staff. This hiring rate/range will provide guidance in making final salary decisions.The hiring department is responsible for ensuring adequate funding and approval prior to the recruitment process.

An approved job description must be in place before a requisition is prepared to fill a position. Create or update the job description electronically through the PeopleAdmin system. Access to the electronic job description is through the same website as the electronic HR Requisition – Assistance in preparation of a job description is available by contacting a member of Human Resources staff (402-472-3101) or sending an e-mail to

The unit should submit a requisition for the position through PeopleAdmin. A minimum of five seven calendar days is required for all posted office/service and managerial professional positions. Exceptions must be approved by Human Resources. Office/Service positions do not require any advertising but if newspaper advertisements are needed to secure qualified applicants, Human Resources is responsible for placement of advertisements. The hiring unit is responsible for the expense. Please Note: newspapers will bill your department directly for advertisements.

A position may be posted for recruitment in one of three ways:

  • External – open to everyone, both University and non-University applicants.
  • University employees only – with approval of the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, the position would be open to all University employees, including those from University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Central Administration.
  • Department Only – with approval of the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, a search may be limited to those within the department who are current regular part-time or full time employees hired through the regular UNL competitive search process (not a temporary employee). Positions are normally posted external at UNL, a public institution. On some occasions, upon prior approval from the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, a department may request another form of posting.

All applicants, both internal and external, will be instructed to apply on the web site at The Employment Office in Room 401 of the Canfield Administration Building South has computers available for applicants to use and will assist applicants with the process if necessary.

Human Resources staff may be requested to screen applications to the top qualified applicants for office/service positions and forward them to the hiring manager via PeopleAdmin after the review date; no less than three and no more than ten applicants are normally referred to the hiring unit. The hiring unit is required to interview all referred applicants. If the hiring unit does not find a suitable candidate after interviewing all referred applicants, the hiring unit may request in writing that additional candidates be referred. The request should include reasons why the candidates referred initially were not acceptable. The hiring unit may request that the position be re-posted and if needed, advertised in the newspaper if a suitable candidate is not found. Hiring units must obtain approval from the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance before administering any skill, knowledge, ability tests during the hiring process.

Anyone involved in recruiting, screening and/or interviewing must have attended the Search Process Seminar provided by the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance within the past three years. For additional interviewing help, an Interview Guide is available for hiring managers which includes competency based interview questions.

Once interviews have been completed, the hiring unit should conduct reference checks of the top candidate’s current and previous employers. Conducting reference checks with supervisors of current and former UNL employees is strongly recommended (see Current and Former UNL Employee Eligibility below).

  • It is important to be consistent in conducting all reference checks. For a list of suggested reference questions, review the Telephone Reference Checklist.
  • When checking references, you may find an employer who will not release any information without written consent from the applicant. The Release of Liability Reference check form may assist you in obtaining the information that you need. You will need to have the applicant sign the release before sending to the former employer.

When the reference check process has been completed, the hiring unit should confer with Human Resources staff prior to an offer of employment. Human Resources staff will extend a formal offer of employment or authorize the hiring unit to do so.

  • Approval of the hiring rate/range and salary offer rate will be dependent upon your departmental/unit approval requirements. If you have questions or need assistance in determining the appropriate salary for a job offer, contact a member of the Human Resources staff. Factors to consider in making salary decisions include: budget constraints, internal equity, market relevance, and internal value of the position, within your unit and UNL. Justification for an offer that is above the approved hiring rate/range should be documented on Salary Determination Form. After obtaining appropriate unit signatures, this form is forwarded to the Human Resources Compensation Unit for review and recording of your unit’s salary decision. This form will be returned to your unit for record keeping.
  • Offers should be made “contingent” upon a successful Criminal History Background Check for all new and transfer employee hires. Certain positions require that the selected candidate pass tests or checks prior to beginning to work.
  • When applicable, Pre Placement Physicals, D.O.T. mandated Commercial Driver's License (CDL) drug testing or Driving Record Review must be completed and details arranged with the Human Resources Office. Please call 402-472-3101 for more information regarding these pre-placement processes.

After the verbal offer of employment is made, a Letter of Offer must be mailed to the successful candidate.

The successful candidate should reply to the Letter of Offer in writing with either a Letter of Acceptance or by signing and returning the Letter of Offer. The Letter of Acceptance must include the start date, the position title, the salary, and confirmation of the terms of probation. A copy of the letter of offer and acceptance should be submitted with the PAF.

After the hiring process has been completed, the employment office will complete the post hire details and mark the position as filled in PeopleAdmin. The hiring manager has the option of having Human Resources send an e-mail to all applicants not hired or the hiring department may elect to send a letter to the unsuccessful applicants that were interviewed.

Occasionally, unsuccessful candidates inquire about the status of their application. It is best to respond to an inquiry from an unsuccessful candidate by indicating that a candidate whose qualifications better matched the needs of the unit was selected for the position. Additional reasons should not be given. The hiring unit may refer persistent unsuccessful candidates to Human Resources.

The hiring unit completes the necessary paperwork to officially hire the new person. Please refer to the Office/Service Recruitment Checklist and Information Sheet to assist you with this process. All newly hired employees must serve an original probationary period of six months. This probationary period is an extension of the selection process and is used to determine an employee's suitability for UNL employment. Note that current UNL staff members who have regular status do not serve another original probation.

The hiring unit will complete the following and mail to the appropriate Budget Office. If the employee is new to UNL, all insurance forms should be sent directly to the UNL Benefits Office within 31 days of the date of hire.

  • Personnel Action Form (PAF)
  • Personnel Data Form (PDF)
  • Copies of Letter of Offer and Acceptance ( see # 15 above)
  • I-9 Form
  • E-Verify
  • Direct Deposit Form
  • W-4 Form

Human Resources will prepare and mail a letter to the new employee (copy also to hiring department) confirming position title, salary, and effective employment date.

Additional information about benefit provisions can be found at Agreement/ UNL Photo Identification Card / New Employee Orientation

Application Records Retention Policy: All materials pertaining to the recruitment process must be maintained within the department official files for a period of four years starting from the successful candidate’s start date. These materials will be important to you in the event you have to respond to any legal action or inquiry in connection with the hiring process. 

If you have questions at any time during the selection process, please call Human Resources at 402-472-3101.

Current and Former UNL Employee Eligibility

Current UNL O/S Employees are eligible to apply for a transfer to another department after completing six months of satisfactory service in the present position. An employee with less than six months of service is eligible to apply for promotion and/or transfer within the same department.

Former UNL Employees who were dismissed from UNL are ineligible for rehire; former employees whose performance is documented as below satisfactory may be ineligible for rehire. Internal applicants whose performance is documented as less than satisfactory and those who are under corrective action are ineligible for transfer. Questions about eligibility policy should be directed to Human Resources (402-472-3101). Conducting reference checks with supervisors of current and former UNL employees is strongly recommended.