The Search Procedure

Before you begin the process of hiring a professional staff or faculty member, you should familiarize yourself with the employment policies and procedures contained in the documents listed below.

  1. Equal Opportunity & Diversity (EO&D) Office Search Procedures for Faculty and Staff
  2. Professional Staff Salary Administration Program Handbook for Bargaining Unit Employees
  3. Professional Staff Salary Administration Program Handbook for Non-Unit Employees
  4. Professional Staff Union (PSU) Bargaining Unit A Bargaining Agreement
  5. Academic Personnel Policy (“Redbook”), Trustee Document T76-081 [PDF]
  6. Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP) Bargaining Unit Agreement

Search Procedures

The Equal Opportunity & Diversity (EO&D) Office is responsible for establishing and monitoring search procedures, approving search proposals and waivers of the search process, and providing technical assistance to search committees. The EO&D guidebook, Search Procedures: Faculty & Professional Staff, offers detailed information and instructions about the entire search process and includes such topics as how to conduct and document a search, responsibilities of those involved in a search, interviewing, and how to request a waiver of the search process. The chair of the search committee is encouraged to meet with the EO & D Office prior to starting a search. If you have any questions about the search process, contact the EO&D Office, (413) 545-3464.

The Search Proposal Package

The search process begins when the employing department prepares a Search Proposal which consists of the documents listed below. These documents should be placed together in a folder and submitted through the appropriate administrative channels for review and approval.

Personnel Requisition Form

Commonly referred to as a Requisition, this form provides the means for schools and departments to initiate and seek levels of approval for filling all positions except those held by graduate employees and student personnel. Instructions for completing the Requisition are in on HR’s Employment Office website in the online Department Hire Tookit. Requisition forms are available in the Employment Office, Room 167, Whitmore Administration Building.

Search Proposal

A Search Proposal is to be entered directly on the Personnel Requisition form. The Equal Opportunity & Diversity (EO&D) Office Search Procedures for Faculty and Staff guidelines specify the following items to be included in the Search Proposal: 1) a list of the race, gender, and rank or state title of the proposed members of the search committee; 2) a statement about how the hire reflects the department’s affirmative action goals; and 3) a summary of the advertising plan (where ads will be placed, extent of search, etc.) Questions about the search proposal should be directed to the EO & D Office, 545-3464.

Position Description Form

This form is required for all non-academic professional staff positions. The Position Description Form is prepared by the Department Head and used to record the duties, responsibilities, and minimum qualifications for a particular staff position.

Job Advertisement

The basic requirements for a job advertisement include: the job title, a brief description of the position, the minimum and preferred qualifications, a salary range, a deadline for submitting applications, a contact person and address, and an Affirmative Action Statement. The scope of the search, i.e., on-campus, local, regional, or national, determines the type of additional information that should be placed in the advertisement. In the case of non-academic professional staff searches, separate job advertisement are prepared for the print media and as an attachment to the Yellow Sheet.

Positions cannot be advertised until the Personnel Requisition has been reviewed and Approved at all appropriate administrative levels, including the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity.

Waiver of the Search Process

In cases where a search is not necessary , such as for a part-time temporary position, you must provide a Requisition form, letter of justification or rationale to fill the position, and a letter requesting a waiver of the search process. Complete instructions for submitting waiver requests are given in the Search Procedures.

A Position Description Form is required for all non-academic professional staff positions, even if the search process is waived. The Position Description must be reviewed by the Manager of Total Compensation before a waiver is approved or an individual is offered and/or appointed to a staff position.

Questions concerning waivers of the search process should be directed to the Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office, (413) 545-3464.

Preparing a Position Description Form

A Position Description Form is required for all non-academic professional staff positions. This form is one of the key components in a Search Proposal. When completed, it should present an accurate description of the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and supervision associated with a particular position.

The Department Head/Dean/Director is responsible for developing the position description. All new or amended position descriptions must be approved by the appropriate Chancellor, Vice Chancellor or designee (Administrative Officer) and the Manager of Total Compensation.

In preparing a Position Description Form, you may find it helpful to refer to the Professional Staff Salary Administration Program handbook . There are two types of handbooks available; one for Bargaining Unit Staff Positions and the other for Non-Unit Staff positions. Each booklet contains a Position Description Worksheet that can assist you in filling out the Position Description Form.

If you have any questions about the Position Description form, contact Total Compensation.

Filling a Vacant Staff Position

It is not necessary to prepare a new Position Description form when filling a vacant staff position unless you are planning to make changes to the position. Simply photocopy the Position Description form used for the previous incumbent and submit this in your Search Proposal.

A new Position Description should be prepared if you plan to make minor changes in the work content for the position.

A new Position Description form is required if:

  • you are planning to make significant changes in a position because of an increase or decrease in the complexity of duties or changes due to a major reorganization.
  • a position will undergo a significant and permanent increase or decrease in responsibilities.

The Manager of Total Compensation re-evaluates revised Position Descriptions and determines whether the changes have affected the position level and salary range. The search process may not begin until the evaluation has been completed and the results communicated to the Administrative Officer and the Department Head.

Filling a Newly Created Staff Position

When a new staff position for a department has been approved by the appropriate Administrative Officer, you must prepare a Position Description Form before starting the Search Process. Use the Position Description Worksheet in the Professional Staff Salary Administration Program handbook to assist you in describing the functions of the position. Submit the proposed Position Description Form and the Worksheet to the Manager of Total Compensation, Human Resources, Room 330, Whitmore Administration Building.

The Manager of Total Compensation analyzes and evaluates the position according to the Position Evaluation System, then assigns a position level and an appropriate salary range. The results are discussed with the appropriate Administrative Officer and subsequently communicated to the Department Head. Once the Manager of Total Compensation has approved the Position Description, you may proceed with the search process.

Position Level and Salary Range

The Professional Staff Salary Administration Program was introduced in 1985 and is administered by the Total Compensation section in the Division of Human Resources. All professional staff positions covered by this program are analyzed and evaluated by Total Compensation according to the Position Evaluation System, and are given a position level and an associated salary range.

The salary range for a position must be determined prior to the beginning of a search or waiver of a search process, and shall appear on the Requisition form.

The guidelines for determining starting salaries for new employees and advertising salaries for vacant staff positions are provided in the Professional Staff Salary Administration Program Handbook for Bargaining Unit Employees and the Professional Staff Salary Administration Program Handbook for Non-Unit Employees.

For information concerning position levels and salary ranges for professional staff, contact Total Compensation.

Questions about Classified Ads?

For all Classified Advertisements, please contact the Employment Office at (413) 545-1396 for specific instructions.